Meet the New SA Executive Team

Welcome back! As we mentioned in our conversation with the ECs last week, we wanted to reiterate to you in print what it is the SA actually does and how we can be helpful to you this year. To do this, we thought who better to hear it from other than our Executive Team:

We know you have lots of questions, potentially about prices of tickets or when the buses will leave Spangler or what is our twitter handle. Well, here are the people you can ask.

Justine Lelchuk, SA Co-President
What’s the role?:
Help HBS run better for students!ÿ Build support and consensus with students and administrationÿfor events and services that make students lives easier and more fun.

Brief Bio:
Native New Yorker, former Deloitte Consultant and Philippine-based NGO supporter. I enjoy spending time with my five sisters, working on NY Times Sunday Crossword puzzles and running.

Why did you choose to be a part of the SA?:
A desire to positively impact our class, work across sections on major initiatives, motivate peers to get involved and contribute in a lasting way.

Your plan for the next year (in your capacity):
Impact. Unity. Professional Excellence
Anything else you would like to add: Feel free to send us your opinions and feedback on how your year is going.

Brett Gibson, SA Co-President
What’s the role?:
Help HBS run better for students!ÿ Build support and consensus with students and administrationÿfor events and services that make students lives easier and more fun.

Brief bio:
Native Virginian, former Army Ranger and Carlyle real estate.ÿ Loves the HBS Impact Initiative, planning dinners and parties with roommates at 9 Ashton and following U.S. politics.ÿ

Why did you choose to be part of the SA?:
Love working with peers to build excitement and support for SA events and initiatives!

Your plan for the next year (in your capacity):
Create as many opportunitiesÿas possible for HBS students to serve the Boston and Cambridge community.ÿ

Anything else you would like to add:
Let’s leave HBS better than we found it!

Ashley Marlenga,
Chief Operating Officer (Events)

What’s the role?:
I am responsible for overseeing school-wide events, including Holidazzle, Newport Ball, TGIFs, EC Ski Trip and the “Best of EC Year” speaker series. Essentially, my job is to throw really, really big parties.

Brief bio:
I am a proud Bostonian (and member of Section I), who couldn’t be happier to be back in Red Sox Nation.ÿ I studied English literature as an undergraduate, but quickly realized that it takes a lot more talent than I possess to make a living off of reading and writing, so I pursued a career in finance.ÿ I spent my summer with J.P. Morgan Private Bank and had a blast catching up with classmates in both Boston and New York.

Why did you choose to be part of the SA?:
I chose to be a part of the SA because I wanted to have the opportunity to create memorable experiences for my classmates and to be a part of improving the quality of the HBS experience for our and future classes. Oh, and also because I wanted to have control over the social lives of 1,800+ people.ÿJust kidding.ÿKind of.ÿ

Your plan for the next year (in your capacity):ÿ
I am looking forward to revamping existing HBS traditions and to starting a few new ones.ÿNew events include the recent EC Welcome Event at the New England Aquarium, an SA Halloween party and more frequent TGIFs.ÿ The SA is very committed to fostering a more cohesive community at HBS… and to achieve that, we need to engage both RCs and ECs in events that are inclusive, affordable and FUN!

Anything else you would like to add:ÿ
We have an incredible Executive Committee that really cares about making meaningful changes and has the firepower to do it.ÿ Get ready for a fantastic year!

Anushri Mainthia,
Chief Marketing Officer

What’s the role?:
Officially, it is to “develop, refine, and implement the communication, marketing, and branding strategy of the SA”.ÿ Simply – it is to make sure you know what’s going on with the SA!

Brief bio:
I am a California girl who has been trapped on the east coast/Midwest for much too long!ÿ After a summer of making toys and living in a Hermosa beach house (Malibu was a little too expensive for my student budget) I am excited to be back and “tweeting” for the SA (follow us @hbssa!)

Why did you choose to be part of the SA?:
I hate sleep.ÿOnly joking – I am a sucker for school involvement and think that the SA is up to some pretty amazing things this coming year.

Your plan for this year (in your capacity):
Think digital and interactive – hopefully you have seen the new website (, twitter and facebook. We are hoping you might be able to download an app or two by the end of the year!I also plan on leveraging everything learned in RC Marketing – the 5 C’s, 4 P’s, the customer decision funnel and the price thermometer – (that’s for Brett and Justine if they read this).

Anything else you would like to add:
Get excited for this coming year – the SA team has some amazing things planned!

Erik Ekevall,
Chief Operating Officer (Products)

What’s the role?:ÿ
I make sure students have access to affordable memories from their time at HBS, with the help of two full-time product managers. From our office next to The Grille we pester vendors into giving us the best deals on fleeces, yearbooks, photos, business cards and a flurry of other products.ÿ

Brief bio:ÿ
I started my professional career in the Norwegian Infantry, spending 12 months as part of the NATO-led peace support mission in Kosovo. I then promptly swore to never be that cold again, so I joined a management consulting practice in Australia.

Why did you choose to be part of the SA?:
I had been looking for the best way to get involved in the community for a while, and felt that the practical nature of this role perfectly complemented our somewhat theoretical classes. It also didn’t hurt that I thought SA stood for Special Agent.ÿ

Your plan for this year (in your capacity):
Our main goal is to keep products priced as affordable as possible, as we are all getting used to living without our monthly paychecks. We will also be working hard to carry forward a few of the great initiatives from this year, such as the Hilton Gold cards for all ECs, and hope to land similar deals with other providers.

Jessica Rabl,
Co-Chief Development Officer

(with Katina)
What’s the role?:
This is a new role on the SA Executive Team, one that I share with my counterpart Katina. We work together to coordinate the SA’s relationships with corporate sponsors.

Brief bio:
I’m a proud member of OI (go Incredibles!) and a native Long Islander. Before HBS I worked in investment banking and this past summer I worked in consulting.ÿ In my free time I love to travel.

Why did you choose to be part of the SA?:
Being a part of the SA is a great way to contribute to the HBS community, improve the HBS student experience, and also get to know the other student leaders on campus.

Your plan for this year (in your capacity):
I plan to continue developing sponsor relationships with the goal of making a significant difference in the affordability of SA events.

Katina Pappas,
Co-Chief Development Officer

(with Jessica)
What’s the role?:
Our dual role as Chief Development Officers was specifically created by Brett and Justine in order to increase the SA’s attention to sponsorship and fundraising. My role specifically will be to solicit new, innovative sponsors and donations for the SA. The goal is to encourage a diverse set of sponsors, both small and large, to get involved in the HBS community.

Brief bio:
A native Texan, I spent the last four years far from home in New York. After two years of investment banking, I happily quit to attend culinary school in New York – accepting a job afterwards with Chef Daniel Boulud in PR and Marketing. After a fun summer at Lincoln Center, I’m looking forward to another exciting year at HBS!

Why did you choose to be part of the SA?:
I chose to be a part of the SA because I felt it would be an opportunity to get further involved and influence the HBS community.

Your plan for this year(in your capacity):
Jessica and I share the same goal of increasing the affordability of SA events in order to get wider student involvement in these spectacular events. Specifically, I hope to create innovative funding opportunities for sponsors that will entice small, yet high volume, repeat donations.

SA Key Initiatives
Beyond our team, we wanted to make sure you know what you can expect from us and especially what our priorities this year are.

Here are the three main initiatives we set out to complete, and will do everything to see them through to fruition over the course of the year:

Impact: Giving students increasing opportunities to become leaders of consequence
– Impact Initiative – Ongoing service opportunities throughout the year
– Sponsorships – Reduced financial burden by raising money from corporate sponsorships ($74,500 to date) for social costs. Working with the Clubs on campus to increase financial transparency

Unity: Integrating within the internal HBS community, and greater Boston and Cambridge
– Co-sponsored TGIFs with many clubs on campus (professors and Exec Ed participants invited to all)
– Revamped section handoffs and increased collaboration between 2011 and 2012 Section Officers
– HBS SA Cup – Redefining the way HBS does intramurals with a healthy competitive spirit between the classes. Look out for the first event, flag football on Sept 14-15th. Will your section be the best?

Professional Excellence: Making HBS the premier graduate school as it relates to academia and career searches
– Networking and Professional Etiquette Dinners
– Continuing to obtain feedback on academic curriculum and provide actionable efforts (e.g., TEM simulation that the 2011 class had at the end of – J-Term will now be an Interview Bootcamp week for the 2012 class)
– Relevant and cost-effective products at the SA Store

So all that is great, but what should you expect from us this year? Well it’s simple:

1. We promise to execute against our three key initiatives – providing opportunities for service and professional excellence, executing great events, and kicking off the HBS SA Cup

2. We will make sure our communication is consistent (weekly SA pulse and Harbus Columns), accessible (twitter @hbssa, a facebook page and a new (and useful) website with event details, HBS SA Cup standings, product information, etc.) and open (Office hours every Monday from 2:30-3:30 in Spangler 026A)

3. We will be open. We want to hear your feedback and suggestions and know adapting to changing environments is important

We are looking forward to a great year!

September 7, 2010
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