A CR…Whaaa??

Corporate Responsibility can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. At Ernst & Young, a huge part of the meaning is a commitment to entrepreneurship.  One way the Firm demonstrates this commitment is through the Ernst & Young Corporate Responsibility Fellows Program (CR Fellows). Since 2005, Ernst & Young has helped some of the most promising entrepreneurs in Latin America succeed by dedicating a select handful of experienced professionals each year to provide skills based services at no charge to the businesses. This year, 12 professionals have been chosen to serve entrepreneurs in Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico and I am so honored and thrilled to be one of them!!!

The participating entrepreneurs have all been selected by Endeavor, a not-for-profit organization that identifies and supports high-impact entrepreneurs in emerging economies as a way to catalyze long-term growth. This organization has built an incredible global network and being accepted as an Endeavor entrepreneur is no easy task! Just check out this video created by an Endeavor candidate showing what the process is like.

So why am I doing this?

Entrepreneurs excite and inspire me and this is the coolest opportunity just about ever.  My first encounters with high impact entrepreneurship were through the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland (go Terps!).  It was also here that I first learned about the CR Fellows program while job-hunting as a Senior. I was hooked. I wanted to work with a Firm that shared my values on the importance of entrepreneurship as a driver for long term development.

Once I got to EY, I worked primarily with Strategic Growth Market (SGM) accounts and became involved in the Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) and Entrepreneurial Winning Women (EWW) programs. I then went back to my alma mater for grad school where I took courses on entrepreneurial finance and innovation. I even pitched a couple of my own ideas to the Center’s Entrepreneurs in Residence! Okay, so maybe my ideas weren’t good enough to quit my day job but I can accept that.

I look at where some of my clients are today compared to where they were five years ago and I am amazed by their growth and success. They’ve gone public, gone global, been bought out, went private, went P/E, went under….I could go on but you get what I’m saying. The point is that they keep going and by doing so play a vital part in building communities and impacting economies. I’m doing this because I want to contribute my skills to the cause too.

Meet the 2012 Fellows:

Here’s the list of this year’s class. As you can see we’re a diverse group coming from eleven different offices and five different professional service lines! Some of us will be blogging and I look forward to connecting with the other fellows and sharing a few updates from across the team over the next few weeks.


  • Uma Datla (Assurance Manager, Fort Worth) will be at ClearSale, a provider of fraud risk management outsourcing solutions that focus on e-commerce and telesales environments, on a financial processes project.
  • Joyce Olson (Advisory Senior Manager, Cleveland) will assist B2, an agency that serves as a marketing platform for brands and advertisers to access Brazil’s burgeoning youth market, with a Human Resources leadership development project.
  • Onuwa Uzor (TAS Manager, Atlanta) will work with Pixel Labs, a developer of interactive cosmetic technology solutions for Point of Sale and online channels, helping with cash flow management and projection.


  • Rich Pashkin (Americas Markets Associate Director, Secaucus) will work with Tuyo, a company that buys and re-sells secondhand consumer electronics in physical stores, with a marketing and store expansion strategy.
  • Susan Raffel (FSO Senior Manager, New York) will assist BlueMessaging, a business that offers organizations a user-friendly and scalable digital messaging platform based on artificial intelligence, with their financial processes.
  • Joe Sanabria (Advisory Manager, McLean) will help Enova, a social enterprise specializing in technology-based educational centers, with their financial processes and planning.


  • Roni Gibri (Assurance Manager, Tel Aviv) will assist Integro, a company that creates Human Resources loyalty programs, with financial reporting.
  • Angela Gomez (TAS Manager, New York) will be at Conexia, a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) information technology company helping with their financial planning process.
  • David McGibbon (FSO Senior Manager, Charlotte) will help Onapsis, a software development firm that performs automated SAP security assessments, with various financial processes.
  • Daniel Paquin (Assurance Manager, Kitchener, Ontario) will support Goodpeople, an action sports community network that have a retail, wholesale, and online presence, with their financials and forecasting.


  • Tamil Chellaiah (Advisory Manager, Louisville) will help Prey, a developer of an open-source, multi-platform software, that helps people track and recover lost or stolen computers, tablets, and mobile phones, prepare to raise capital and expand market share.
  • Linda Whalen (Marketing Associate Director, Los Angeles) will assist Buscalibre, an e-commerce bookstore, with a brand and marketing strategy.

This is my personal blog and does not represent the ideas or opinions of Ernst & Young, Endeavor or any of the Entrepreneurs highlighted within. Enjoy!

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Sao Paulo, Brazil and Entrepreneurship

Corporate Responsibility Fellowship


Corporate Responsibility Fellow

Corporate Responsibility Fellowship

Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship

Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship

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