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Corporate and Foundation Webinar Series

St. John’s University’s Corporate and Foundation Webinar Series provides online learning from top alumni and industry experts. These hand-selected individuals will discuss topics for business professionals seeking professional growth and those interested in learning about the latest trends in their industry.

Future of College and Professional Sports Post COVID-19

Thursday, August 27 at 10 a.m. EST. 

In this webinar, the Future of College and Professional Sports Post COVID-19Mike Cragg and Michael Verna '02CPS will discuss the impact of COVID-19 on students and professional athletes around the world. Topics include the success of the NBA and NHL “bubbles” and applying them to college sport, the rise of lesser-known sports such as Korean league baseball and weightlifting, the role of social media for St. John’s sports, and the impact on student’s studying and internships in the business of sports. 

Learn More and Register 

About Mike Cragg

Mike Cragg Headshot

With more than 30 years of intercollegiate athletics administration experience on his resume, Mike Cragg enters his third year as the Director of Athletics at St. John’s University in 2020-21. Cragg is responsible for providing executive leadership, strategic direction and oversight for all of St. John’s 17 varsity sports and its nearly 350 student-athletes. In addition, he is charged with managing the department’s fiscal affairs, personnel, strategic planning, facilities, general operations and public relations.
A key part of the University’s senior leadership, Cragg serves on the President’s Advisory Council and is the direct liaison between the Athletic Department and the broader campus community.

Cragg is committed to inspiring excellence in every facet of the student-athlete experience and to fostering an environment that allows the Red Storm to be successful on all fronts. Since his arrival in Queens, Cragg has helped St. John’s continue to rise among the nation’s elite institutions for its combination of its academic prestige, athletic achievement and community service.
In Cragg’s two years leading the Athletic Department, the Red Storm won four BIG EAST championships and had six teams compete in national postseason competition, including the fencing program’s first NCAA individual title in women’s saber in 2018-19. The 2019-20 academic year featured the women’s volleyball team’s unprecedented run to capture its first BIG EAST title in 12 years while the men’s soccer program earned a national seed in the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Round of 16.

St. John’s student-athletes have also shined in the classroom under Cragg’s leadership, as Red Storm program’s have earned nine public recognition awards from the NCAA for finishing in the top 10 percent of their sport in Academic Progress Rate (APR). In addition, 141 perfect semesters with 4.0 grade point averages were logged by St. John’s student athletes over the last two years.

During the 2019-20 academic year, Red Storm student-athletes earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.51, including a 3.72 cumulative GPA for the spring semester. In total, 90 percent of student-athletes achieved a mark of 3.0 or better while 59 percent earned above a 3.5 cumulative GPA.

 Prior to starting at St. John’s on September 27, 2018, Cragg spent 30-plus years at Duke University where he played a vital role in shaping the direction of Duke’s nationally acclaimed men's basketball program.  The senior administrator for the men’s basketball team for two decades, Cragg most recently served as the Blue Devils Deputy Director of Athletics and Chief Operating Officer, overseeing facilities and planning for all 27 of Duke's athletic programs.

About Michael Verna '02CPS 

Mike Verna in front of screen displaying "Mikey Verna Live!"

Michael Verna is Vice President of Account Activation in Marketing Partnerships with The Madison Square Garden Company. He is responsible for overseeing the activation strategy and execution for partnerships across MSG’s portfolio, including the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, Concert Series at MSG, Sports Properties, Radio City Music Hall and KNX Gaming. In addition, Verna leads the account management of multiple key partner accounts, including Verizon, Kia, Johnson Controls, Enterprise and Renaissance.

Verna joined the company in 2012 as MSG entered the final phase of the arena’s transformation. He implemented activation strategies across MSG properties, leading to increased internal efficiencies and communication within the Account Management department. As the activation lead for Marketing Partnerships, he has built a team that plays an integral role in the management of signature partner accounts, including Chase, Delta, Lexus, Anheuser-Busch, Draft Kings and more.

Prior to joining MSG, Verna spent 10+ years with New Jersey Nets/Brooklyn Nets/Barclays Center organization. Starting as an intern, he held roles in the Operations and Season Ticket Services departments, concluding with his role as Senior Account Executive in Partnership Marketing. There he lead the management of several founding partner accounts and their transition from New Jersey to Brooklyn.

Born in Queens, NY, Verna graduated from St. John’s University and currently resides in Haledon, NJ with his wife, Mimi, and niece, Xena.

Artificial Intelligence: Demystification, Trends, and Practical Applications

Thursday, July 30 at 9 a.m. EST

In this webinar, Artificial Intelligence: Demystification, Trends, and Practical Applications, experts Anthony Heading and Simon Greenman will discuss Demystifying Artificial Intelligence (AI) and will provide a practical overview of artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML); introducing key concepts, capabilities and the fundamental knowledge needed to understand the AI revolution from a business perspective. Real-world examples will be used to explain and illustrate concepts throughout the webcast. We will touch on the benefits of Artificial Intelligence, AI applications and capabilities, how it drives a competitive advantage, explanation of the importance of data in AI applications, and industry drivers and the impact of AI on the future of work.

View Recorded Webinar

About Anthony Heading

Anthony Heading headshot

Anthony is a Managing Director and head of the Data Science team at JPMorgan Asset Management. This group is involved in applying modern AI, machine learning and big data technologies to all parts of JPMorgan’s business. He joined JPMorgan in 1994 and has worked earlier as an interest-rate trader, research analyst, technologist and various other roles, in London, Singapore, Tokyo, and currently New York. Before joining JPMorgan he worked for the UK Ministry of Defence for five years developing similar machine learning techniques to those used today. He holds a M.A. from the University of Cambridge, UK.


About Simon Greenman

Simon Greenman headshot

Simon Greenman is co-founder and partner at Best Practice AI where he advises corporates, start-ups and investors on best practice in AI strategy, implementation, risk and due diligence. He is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global AI Council. He has over twenty years of international digital transformation and innovation leadership experience including co-founding, the first online mapping brand. 

Simon chairs the Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of London, is an AI Expert In Residence at Seedcamp and advisor at DN Capital. He holds a MBA from Harvard and a BA in Computing & Artificial Intelligence from the University of Sussex.


July 23, 9 - 10 a.m EST

Experts Gabor Gurbacs and F. Jacob Cherian '94MBA dive into the topic of Cryptocurrency. In this webinar we will discuss the building blocks of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin - the Blockchain and public and private keys as well as explore some of the other major cryptocurrencies and the differences between traditional currency (fiat) and cryptomarkets. We will also discuss the potential applications of blockchain far beyond bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Finally, we will investigate the current and future state of the broader crypto ecosystem. 

View Recorded Webinar


Gabor Gurbacs

Gabor Gurbacs is responsible for managing VanEck’s digital asset initiatives, including investment, technology, and regulatory matters. Mr. Gurbacs built the first industry-standard digital asset indices and architected and filed for first futures-based bitcoin ETF and oversees physical Bitcoin ETF efforts. He pioneered and leads digital asset investing and market structure discussions with U.S. and global regulators (such as SEC, CFTC and BaFin). He joined VanEck in 2014 and was previously a member of the ETF product management team. Prior to joining VanEck, Mr. Gurbacs held several finance research positions at Williams College, Budapest University of Technology and Economics as well as Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

About F. Jacob Cherian '94MBA

F. Jacob Cherian

F. Jacob Cherian is Co-founder and CEO of two NASDAQ listed acquisition investment companies (SPAC) which raise over $110 million cash through the full Wall Street IPO process and create hundreds of millions of dollars of public equity to invest in cross border transactions in emerging markets. Mr. Cherian performing all the responsibilities and duties of a U.S. listed company CEO.   

He brings deep capital markets, M&A, public/private equity, and management consulting expertise. He has expertise in all facets of capital investing, including raising investment capital, sourcing and negotiating investments, building management teams, providing strategic guidance, and creating strategies to provide attractive returns. 

Mr. Cherian’s prior work experience includes working at JP Morgan & Co., a Wall Street bulge bracket firm; Director at KPMG LLP, a Big Four; and Partner at Computer Sciences Corp., a Fortune 500 global information technology & services company spans 15 years and 3 continents of Europe, Middle East and South Asia.   

Recently Mr. Cherian registered with FINCEN (U.S. Treasury Dept.) and providing the go-to market strategy for a Digital Currency as part of a Platformized Digital Asset Exchange. 

DUSD is a Digital Currency/Stablecoin developed for the Asian markets underpinned by Blockchain technology and pegged 1:1 to the U.S. dollar with the goal of issuing the digital currency to become a bridge between the assets of the real world and the digital world on Blockchain ERC-20 technology to inject greater vitality into the Asian economy and giving new value to various types of assets and eventually replace paper money and coinage and creating a strategy for a U.S. registered Stablecoin for Asian markets to serve as a digital currency to create price stability, scalability, privacy, decentralization, and redeemability. 

Mr. Cherian has also been an adjunct professor of Finance at St. John’s University, Tobin College of Business MBA Program in New York for ten years.  

The Evolution to Digital in Asset Management

Thursday, July 16 at 10 a.m. EST

Industry leaders Jillian DelSignore, CIMA, and Steve Oh drive the topic of the Evolution to Digital in Asset Management. The realm of asset management is explored and discussed, and questions are answered such as:  what is an ETF?; how does an ETF work?;  how does it differ from a mutual fund?; what are the benefits of using an ETF?; who uses them and how?; where will the growth come from?; what are the trends in the industry?

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Jillian Delsignore

Jillian DelSignore

Jillian DelSignore, CIMA, is a Women in ETFs Board member and senior executive in the ETF industry. 

She was most recently Head of ETF Distribution with J.P.Morgan’s Asset Management business. She was responsible for leading the sales and distribution efforts and strategy in the intermediary and institutional markets. She also served as Co-President of Women in ETFs (WE), the first women’s group for the ETF industry from 2017-2019. Founded in 2014, WE achieves the mission to connect, support and inspire by organizing events globally that support our goals of education, networking, philanthropy.

Before joining J.P.Morgan in September 2015, Jillian was a Strategic Account Manager within BlackRock's iShares ETF Institutional Asset Management Group. She was responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with institutional investors, including boutique asset managers, global institutional asset managers, hedge funds and registered investment advisory firms.

Prior to joining iShares in March, 2009, Ms. DelSignore worked in the Independent Advisory Channel of Goldman Sachs Asset Management covering GSAM mutual funds, separate accounts, retirement plans, and alternative investments. She joined Goldman Sachs in 2005. Earlier, Ms. DelSignore worked in both the Institutional Corporate Cash and Global Bank Divisions at Federated Investors from 2000-2005.

Ms. DelSignore has a B.A. in Communications from John Carroll University and an M.B.A degree in Finance from the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. She earned her CIMA designation from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and holds the Series 6, 7, and 66 licenses.

Steve Oh

Steve Oh

Steve Oh joined Nasdaq in 2017 as the Head of ETF Listings. His primary role is to oversee the Nasdaq ETF Listings Exchange that currently has nearly 400 listed ETFs. He also leads ETF business development working with other Nasdaq departments to support ETF related opportunities globally. Steve came to Nasdaq with a broad and deep understanding of the ETF industry and product having managed business units for 20 years in Asset Management and Trading across the US, Europe and Asia. 

Drug Approval Process: Medications in the Global Pipeline for Covid-19

Thursday, July 9 at 9 a.m. EST

In this seminar, "Drug Approval Process: Medications in the Global Pipeline for COVID-19," Andrew Clair '77GP, '82Ph.D. provides an overview of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 including its genomic features, epidemiology, and biology. He also addresses the history of pandemics. Participants learn about global drug development and the US regulatory process these treatments must go through in order to gain FDA approval. Lastly, specific pharmacologic treatments showing the most promise in improving patient outcomes are reviewed.

View Recorded Webinar

Andrew Clair

Andrew Clair '77GP, '82Ph.D.

Andrew Clair '77GP, '82Ph.D. most recently served as Senior Director, Medical Affairs, Oncology at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in New York City. He has also been an adjunct professor at Temple University and St. John’s University. Dr. Clair retired in 2018 after a 24-year career at Pfizer. He has spent 37 years working in the pharmacy industry.  During his career at Pfizer, Dr. Clair worked in Safety and Risk Management, Regulatory Affairs as well as Medical Affairs. He has published over 140 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals on topics involving pain, neuroscience, comorbid depression and oncology (kidney).

Dr. Clair has his doctorate in Pharmacology from the Graduate Division, College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions, St. John’s University. He currently lectures to medical school students on pharmaceutical medicine via Pfizer’s medical elective program and lectures to teenagers on the health consequences associated with smoking via his “Tragedy of Tobacco” program.

Upcoming Programs

Cybersecurity Trends

Thursday, August 13 

Networking and Job Searching during the Pandemic

Thursday, August 20

If your company would like to participate as a presenter, please contact:

Stacey Varghese '99C
Associate Director, The Loughlin Society
[email protected]