November/December 2019 Newsletter

The Monthly ROR (Return on Relationship)

Welcome to the full and complete monthly newsletter! Get plugged into recent activities and upcoming ones. Get to know your community, and so much more!


A message from Club President, Narges Zemani:

As we enter the holiday season, we want to take the time to thank you for your support, enthusiasm, and membership. With over 300 members, WCNCR is already the fifth largest Wharton club as a percentage of available local alumni. Our goal for 2020 is to exceed our 2019 numbers in terms of membership and event offerings. We will be organizing more events focused on Faculty Engagements and continue with our speaker series, fireside chats, cultural and social events. The purpose of the club is to ensure that you are not just connected to Wharton but also to the broader network of alumni locally and globally. We continue to rely on you for content, attendance, and the connectivity we all seek.

Looking forward to 2020:

As we move toward a new year, there will be many events and activities continuing to show the Return on Relationship you have with Wharton and WCNCR. Keep an eye out for information about our first anniversary event, membership renewals, and upcoming annual board elections.

Upcoming Events

Thur., Dec. 5 - Pre-Holiday Pub Night

Join us at The Crown & Crow! Let's ring in the holiday season with a toast to our new Club and our great friends in the National Capital Region! Click here to register!


Tues., Dec. 10 - Business Owners and CEOs

Join us for monthly coffee on the second Tuesday of the month. Click here for details.



Thur., Dec. 12 - How to Win Against Extremism

The holidays are a reminder of peace. But the war against extremism is ongoing. Join us to hear a discussion about how the fight against extremism can be won. An evening with Farah Pandith and Doron Ezickson to learn about ways we can all participate in defeating extremism domestically and abroad. Register soon here!

Wed., Jan. 8 - January Fireside Chat 

Fireside Chats are designed to be intimate gatherings with business leaders. They are an opportunity for discussion and interaction with all the attendees. Watch for details to follow soon!  



Recent Events

Thur., Nov. 7 - Fireside Chat with Erik Bethel, United States Executive Director of the World Bank

Over thirty WCNCR members and guests joined us for our latest Fireside Chat, this time with Erik Bethel WG’99 of the World Bank. Although we lacked a “fire”, we were treated to a warm and candid conversation with Erik about his personal career path, his favorite memories of Wharton, and his role at the World Bank. Erik addressed questions from the group on how the United States participates in the World Bank’s goals to end poverty and to address shared prosperity. He also provided insights about how protectionism and state-sponsored technology are impacting global economic behavior. Despite his exhausting travel schedule, Erik stayed until the end of the evening chatting with attendees.

Special thanks to club member Amal Dave W’03, who hosted this event at the fabulous downtown conference center of Arent Fox LLP.

Sat., Nov. 9 - Wharton Club Leadership Conference, Philadelphia

Narges and Denise were able to attend our first Leadership Conference representing the Wharton Club of the National Capital Region. We were overwhelmed with the warm welcome of our Club peers, who were excited to hear about our first year and to provide feedback on ways to build our value to you, our members. Club officers from over 20 regional and affinity clubs attended.

The event included lots of networking and best practices conversations. We also received a Wharton update from Sam Lundquist about goings on at Wharton, which you can read more about in this attachment and presentations from many of the Wharton Research Center directors, focused on current research and ways that our alumni clubs can stay involved.

The Penn and Wharton campuses continue to evolve with two new buildings opening in 2020 and Huntsman Hall getting a makeover. But some things still remain, including the oft-frequented Wawa’s on 38th and Spruce and the unbelievable lack of parking! 

Six Questions with...Joanna Abousleiman and Ali Qureshi

Joanna Abousleiman, Board Member and Young Alumni liaison

Wharton Affiliation and Class Year: MBA Class of 2015
Current Job and Role: I'm an Investment Officer at IFC, focusing on equity investments in fintech companies in emerging markets.
Where do you live in the National Capital Region? Dupont Circle
What is your favorite activity in the National Capital Region? Taking advantage of the NCR's rich cultural scene, whether it's the fantastic local theaters or the many (and free!) Smithsonian museums.
Why are you volunteering to support the WCNCR? I loved my Wharton experience and made many lasting friendships and professional relationships, and so I'd like to help recreate some of that Wharton magic here in the NCR. 
Favorite Wharton Club? Food Club
Favorite Wharton Memory? Too many to choose from! Word bingo and other games during core classes via the cohort GroupMe (group chat). Small group dinners in Philly BYOB's. Global Modular Courses in China and Dubai. Dance Studio.

Ali Qureshi, Board Member and Fireside Chat liaison

Wharton Affiliation and Class Year: Class of 2006 of the Executive Master’s in Technology Management (EMTM) – Penn Engineering and Wharton
Current Job and Role: Chief Operating Officer at NuAxis Innovations
Where do you live in the National Capital Region? Broadlands, VA
What is your favorite activity in the National Capital Region? Supporting our fireside chats where we highlight Wharton alumni sharing their success stories.
Why are you volunteering to support the WCNCR? To be a part of this amazing team of people, now friends, who are volunteering to make the Wharton Club of NCR to make a positive impact for alumni in the National Capital Region. Again, the success begins with the people on the team!
Favorite Wharton Club? NCR of course! Love the people, the energy, and the drive to make an impact for Wharton Alumni in the National Capital Region!
Favorite Wharton Memory? Memories -- Weekend travel from DC to Philly on the Amtrak, sleepless nights, sushi at the POD, White Dog Café, and my wonderful classmates and faculty. I was a hectic time, but I miss it!
Humble Brag (tell us something about yourself that you are proud of): Proud to have served as the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer at the U.S. House of Representatives where I had responsibility for all operations for all Member, Committee, and Leadership offices. Service to the country is very important to me and I was proud to have been part of amazing teams service our elected officials.

Get Involved


This is YOUR club! Your help makes it better.

Do you have an idea for an event? - A connection to a Wharton professor that you want to share? - An affinity group you’d like to arrange? - A great meeting space you can offer?

We need your help!

YOU are what make our club programming successful, whether it’s your attendance or your ideas and help in coordinating the events. Please check out our Volunteer page to see how you can get involved.

One of our biggest challenges is finding donated meeting spaces where we can have large events. If you have access to a centrally located space that we can use for a nominal fee, please let us know the details! Click here to send us a message.


WCNCR is planning to make sponsorships available for the upcoming 2019-2020 year.  If you are interested in increasing your company’s brand awareness, or want to align with a specific venue, program, or affinity club, please contact Ellis Rosenberg for more information at [email protected].

Not yet a member? 

Join WCNCR today!