The Hometown Summit Team

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Paul Beyer
Founder and Director, Tom Tom Founders Festival

Paul is the Founder and Director of the Tom Tom Foundation and the Tom Tom Founders Festival. Tom Tom is a Festival of music, art, and innovation held each April over Jefferson’s birthday week in Charlottesville, VA. Since its inception in 2012, Tom Tom has hosted over 128,000 attendees, 300 bands, and dozens of public artists at wide-ranging creative events throughout the historic downtown. Tom Tom’s innovation programming has featured 350 speakers, including founders of Reddit, the Container Store, Chromat, Crutchfield, Gizmodo, and the Maker Movement, and its competitions have seeded $2.8M in grants and funding to entrepreneurs and nonprofits. As Director of the Festival, Beyer oversees the visioning, programming, and marketing of the event that both builds the Charlottesville community and increasingly draws national entrepreneurs and creatives to explore the art of founding.

Paul has spent his professional career in Charlottesville invested in a number of civic and entrepreneurial pursuits in the region. Paul sits on the Board of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Charlottesville Economic Development Authority, and the Mayor’s Advisory Council on Innovation and Technology. Prior to that he chaired Albemarle County’s Housing Committee, and participated on the steering committee of the Charlottesville Cultural Plan.


Jim Cheng
Co-Chair, The Virginia Entrepreneurship Retreat

Jim Cheng has over 25 years experience as a technology entrepreneur, angel/private capital investor, business leader and a senior state government executive. Jim is currently a member of the venture capital/private equity firms of New Richmond Ventures and Blue Heron Capital; and is of counsel to the firm of Lee & Hayes PLLC. He is an Executive Lecturer of entrepreneurship at the University of Virginia School of Engineering and School of Law.

From 2010 to 2014, Jim was the Secretary of Commerce and Trade for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Serving as a senior member of the Governor’s cabinet, he was the highest ranking Asian-American to serve in Virginia State Government, and of the few Asian-Americans to ever serve in an equivalent role. His portfolio included about 2000 personnel at 13 agencies with portfolios ranging from economic development, housing, employment, export, licensing, tourism, mining and energy. He planned and led over 12 overseas trade delegations, including 4 trips to China. The last trip to China included meeting with President Xi Jing-ping and 5 provincial governors. From 1994-2005 he was founder and CEO of CHM, a government contractor specializing in Information Technology, which he grew from a staff of 5 people to 550 and $90M in revenue at the time of sale in 2005. In 1999 his company was named Virginia Business Magazine’s fastest growing private company in Virginia and the 12th fastest growing private US company by Inc Magazine’s “Inc 500”. In 2001 he was named SE Virginia’s KPMG Entrepreneur of the year.

Jim serves on numerous boards/advisory boards, including Tranlin Inc, the UVA Darden School Foundation, the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership (UVA), and the Virginia STEAM Academy, among others. Jim holds a BS Degree in Computer Science from Old Dominion University, a MBA from the Colgate Darden Graduate School of Business (UVA) and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center.

John Kluge
Co-Chair, The Virginia Policy Entrepreneurship Retreat

John is an entrepreneur, author, and researcher on the intersection of business and social impact. He is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner at the Alight Fund, a for-profit investment fund that provides working capital to refugee and host country entrepreneurs to grow small businesses in displacement-affected zones. Previously, he co-founded Toilet Hackers, a sanitation & hygiene social enterprise, as well as Eirene, an angel investment company for aging, sanitation, & peace-building ventures. He also worked as an entrepreneur inside the Eastwest Institute and Rock and Wrap It Up, piloting cross-sector programs and partnerships in cybersecurity, child safety, and food security. John serves as Director of the Fonderie 47 Foundation and Advisor to Social Entrepreneurship @UVA. He is the co-author of the book, Charity & Philanthropy for Dummies (Wylie, 2013), the author of John Kluge: Stories (Columbia University Press, 2008) and is a contributor to Forbes and Conscious Company Magazine. John holds a B.A. from Columbia University and is a ’17 MBA candidate of F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College.


Roger Dean Huffstetler
Senior Advisor, The Hometown Summit

Roger Dean “RD” Huffstetler is Senior Advisor to the Hometown Summit, leading strategic partnerships and organizational performance. RD comes to Charlottesville from serving as Chief of Staff to Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA), a fellow Marine he came to know in graduate school. Prior to working on the Hill, RD was in the San Francisco Bay Area for five years, first at the high-growth startup Twilio and later co-founding a big data startup, Zillabyte.

RD is a Marine Corps veteran, having served in both Afghanistan and Iraq, rising to the rank of Sergeant. After leaving the military, Huffstetler earned a Masters in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School and a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. Roger Dean graduated from the University of West Georgia in 2001 with a degree in chemistry.


Carolyn Zelikow
Organizer, The Hometown Summit

When not Hometown-ing, Carolyn Zelikow manages National Programs at the Aspen Institute, a portfolio comprised of Aspen Across America, Aspen Around Town, and various special initiatives in the office of Institutional Advancement. Previous roles at Aspen include running the Urban Innovation Lab, staffing the Future of Work Initiative under Sen. Mark Warner and former Gov. Mitch Daniels, and being part of the Aspen Ideas Festival team. Prior to joining Aspen, Carolyn was the Assistant Director of Tom Tom Founders Festival. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2012 with a B.A. in English Language and Literature, and now lives in Washington, D.C.

Lisa Draine
Manager, The Hometown Summit

Lisa brings her organizational skills and community connections to the Hometown Summit team. For the past ten years, she has served as Festival Manager for the Charlottesville-based LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to celebrating the vision of extraordinary photographers and fostering the next generation of artists during a week-long festival in June.

As a seventeen year resident of Charlottesville, Lisa has been a volunteer with a number of local non-profit organizations, including Community Children’s Theater (former Board President), Habitat for Humanity, the International Rescue Committee, PACEM (People and Congregations Engaged in Ministry), the Charlottesville High School Orchestra, Holy Comforter’s soup kitchen, and the Charlottesville Track Club.

Lisa is proudest to be the mother of two accomplished daughters. Rebecca graduated last May from the College of William & Mary and is currently working for the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as a Henry Luce Foundation Fellow. Sophie is a Third Year student in the University of Virginia’s Architecture School majoring in Urban and Environmental Planning. She just returned from a semester in Ecuador.

Prior to moving to Charlottesville, Lisa was the Producer in the Washington, DC Bureau of TF1 French Television, the leading national network in France. She graduated from Davidson College with a degree in Political Science


Adam Jones
Programming Fellow, The Hometown Summit

Adam Jones is a third year at the University of Virginia studying Economics. He currently serves on the Student Advisory Boards for SE@UVA, an interdisciplinary initiative that aims to spread and promote the ideals of social entrepreneurship, and the University of Virginia Center for Global Health. Adam conducted research in Rwandan refugee camps and launched a for-profit Ed-tech venture there in Summer 2016. He hopes to combine his passions for film, entrepreneurship, and social change by launching his own business someday.


Emily Laskoe,
Marketing Fellow, The Hometown Summit

Emily Laskoe is a third year at the University of Virginia from Charlottesville, Virginia. Emily is pursuing a double major in Economics and Media Studies and hopes to establish a career in marketing or advertising. At school, Emily is a member of the Virginia NoTones and an executive council member of Pi Beta Phi sorority. In her free time, Emily enjoys reading, writing, exercising, and trying new restaurants with friends.


Katie Mulhern
Marketing Fellow, The Hometown Summit

Katie Mulhern is a third year at the University of Virginia from Annapolis, Maryland. Katie is enrolled in UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce, where she is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in marketing and finance, with a business analytics focus. At school, she volunteers as a Big Sister for a local 11-year old girl and is an Executive member of Pi Beta Phi sorority.


Anna Powell,
Production Fellow, The Hometown Summit

Anna Powell is a second year at the University of Virginia from Houston, Texas. Anna is pursuing a double major in Economics and Media Studies, with a concentration in Media Policy and Ethics. Professionally, Anna plans to pursue a career in marketing or advertising. At school, Anna is a member of Reformed University Fellowship and an Executive Board Member of Chi Omega Fraternity.