Blog Archives


Vice Admiral David Brewer (Ret.)

Admiral David Brewer oversaw the training of more than 300,000 sailors during his service as Vice Chief for U.S. Naval Education before going on to become Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Raised in a family of educators from Virginia and Florida, he graduated from Jones High School in Orlando where he currently chairs the Jones High School Foundation to support local community empowerment. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for Bethune-Cookman University.

Admiral Brewer attended Howard University before graduating with a BS in Biology from Prairie View A&M University where he was commissioned in the first class of Naval ROTC established at a Historically Black College or University. As the leader of the Military Sealift Command (MSC), he managed the private sector relationships for the sea transportation needs of all military branches. His MSC role also included command of the Navy’s relief and hospital ships during Hurricane Katrina. His energy behind Venly’s mission and training was sparked by his observation of the inverse learning relationship around social media in which first year college students often arrive knowing more than college seniors.

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David Sandberg

Joined Venly after retiring as a Cambridge-based business development lead for Google/ITA Software. David began representing ITA in 1997, and he served as the MIT spin-off’s founding General Counsel and Vice President beginning in 2000 through Google’s acquisition of ITA in 2011. David worked previously for Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in New York, and then with Edwards & Angell in Boston, before becoming an adviser to early stage technology companies in the 1990s. David holds an AB in English Literature from Princeton University and a JD from Columbia Law School.

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Melissa Ludtke

Joined Venly after serving as the longtime editor of the Nieman Reports, a magazine and website published by Harvard’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism. An ardent baseball fan, she became a reporter for Sports Illustrated right out of college. Her landmark court case against Major League Baseball gave female sportswriters equal access to interview baseball players after being shut out of the locker room during the 1977 World Series. Her entry credential is on display at the Baseball Hall of Fame. Melissa holds a BA in Art History from Wellesley College.

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Yoeun Peang

Helped launch Venly after joining Benchmarking Partners in 2006. Yoeun specializes in graphics, layout, and icon design. She graduated in Visual Communications from the Boston, MA campus of Gibbs College.

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Gary Clairmont

Gary helped launch the firm. Gary originally joined Benchmarking Partners in 1997 and went on to deliver a range of next generation systems from open source collaboration for a range of multinationals, to clinical trials for Pfizer, to distribution systems at Apple. Prior to Benchmarking, Gary served as one of the core architects within Digital Equipment Corporation’s object-oriented integration group. At Venly, he ensures that Venly’s big data analytics stay aligned with the emerging needs for augmented intelligence for local and global firms from Main St. to Wall St. Gary holds a BSE in Computer Science from the University of Connecticut.

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Andrea Jung

In addition to her leadership as a co-founder of Venly, Andrea serves as President and CEO of Grameen America. Grameen America is the non-profit micro-finance bank started by Nobel Peace Prize winner, Muhammad Yunus, to help women who live in poverty build small businesses. Andrea spent 13 years as Avon’s first female Chair and CEO until 2012 and currently serves on the boards of Apple, Unilever, and Wayfair. Andrea is an authority on distributed resource networks and chaired the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations. She has also been a longtime international activist on women’s economic independence. Andrea believes that helping local businesses grow is the best and most fundamental way to create jobs. She gave Venly its name based on the way our Venn diagram brings together community and technology through talented recent graduates and returning veterans to help their local businesses and community institutions with a user friendly platform and service. Hence the name Venly for combining hi-touch and hi-tech. Andrea is fluent in Mandarin and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Princeton University with an AB in English Literature.

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Tom Fellows

As Venly’s General Manager, Tom Fellows helped launch the Mary S. Peake Fellowship for more than a decade. In 2007, he began leading an elite programming effort that led to the Peake Fellowship Development Team. Together with Peake, Tom continues to pioneer Venly’s secure, massively scalable, open source commerce and collaboration platform that supports Applied Learning & Teaching among higher ed centers, local chambers of commerce, and Anchor Community businesses.

Tom has driven enterprise strategies from neighborhood shop owners to multinational CEOs and 4-star generals leading the DoD’s supply chain. He is a leader in the open source software movement and engineered the Peake Fellowship cyber-readiness assessment process. Tom holds a BA in Mathematics and Economics from Johns Hopkins University. He has dedicated his career to helping local businesses grow and strengthening each community served for sustainable and inclusive growth.

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Ted Rybeck

Ted helped launch Venly as a spin-off from Benchmarking Partners which he had founded in 1994. At Benchmarking, he co-led development of Walmart’s first Internet-based collaboration system from customers back to suppliers. He subsequently co-led the roll-out of an open source version of Walmart’s “Collaborative Planning, Forecasting, and Replenishment” (CPFR) software as a standard among retailers globally. He served as founding CEO of Syncra Software which spun-off from the CPFR system and today serves as a core of Oracle Corp.’s retail collaboration suite. Ted went on to develop and teach courses on network collaboration at MIT, Wharton, and the University of Chicago School of Business. Ted’s interests stem from growing up in West Virginia where his grandparents helped lead the local Chamber of Commerce. In the early 1990s, Ted served on the non-partisan U.S. Congressional review panel on ecommerce. His work on secure Internet collaboration was then funded by a multi-million dollar award from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Since 9/11, Ted has served as volunteer chair of a committee to mobilize physical and cybersecurity of the U.S. Defense Industrial Base. He holds a BA in Economics from Haverford College and spent two years as a Thomas Watson Fellow based at IBM Düsseldorf working on regional revitalization through technology.

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