October 2020 Newsletter - The Monthly ROR (Return on Relationship)

Welcome to the October ROR Summary!

Welcome to the October ROR (Return on Relationship)! Fall is officially here, and more than six months into the pandemic, we have all settled into the new normal, whether it is mastering Zoom etiquette or surviving a virtual ‘back-to-school’. 

We have a lot of events planned for the next few weeks, and are especially excited about our Fall Launch Event on October 22, featuring a moderated discussion with Jeff Grass WG'99, CEO of HUNGRY, about his entrepreneurial journey, followed by breakout networking sessions with our Board and Affinity Group leaders. We will also provide an overview of the Club’s activities and planned activities as we close out the year.

Our Climate Change Affinity Group has two upcoming events this month, on Climate Finance at the IFC/ World Bank Group (Oct. 8), and on the Business of Climate Change (Oct. 29), and our Technology Affinity Group will address the Emerging World of Digital Collaboration & Remote Work (Oct.15). All these events have a 15-30 minute networking opportunity at the end. Finally, a brief hiatus, Virtual Pub is back next week!

If you are not yet a member, please join us here. In the meantime, please keep your notes and feedback coming to us. We love hearing from you.

WCNCR Board of Directors and Advisory Committee 



Upcoming Events

Thur., October 8 - Climate Finance at the International Finance Corporation 

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our times. This challenge also created opportunities for the Wharton community. The webinar will focus on the financing opportunities in the new products and services to protect humanity from the perils of climate change.

In particular, the webinar will focus on the following:

  • Climate Finance at the International Finance Corp (IFC)
  • Contribution of the IFC’s Financial Institutions Group towards Climate Finance
  • IFC’s Covid response and work towards the green rebuild in Emerging Markets
  • Open discussion on the market opportunity in climate finance
  • Open discussion on the future Wharton Climate Change Affinity Group activities

Peter Cashion is a Chief Investment Officer and the Global Head of Climate Finance in the Financial Institutions Group (FIG) at the IFC. He leads the climate finance business that makes more than $1.5 billion in annual investments in the financial sector in emerging markets, and oversees the advisory services program that develops the capacity of financial regulators and institutions to deliver on climate finance objectives.

Click here for more details 


Tues., October 13 - Business Owners and CEOs

Exclusively for Wharton Alumni Business Owners and CEOs

Are you a Wharton alum CEO, Business Owner or Executive Director in the National Capital Region? It’s lonely at the top--especially when working virtually! Come build relationships with other alumni who are running their own businesses and delve into business issues, share resources, and learn best practices.

No business is too small or large to participate. First timers are welcome!  Click here for more details 

Tues., October 13 - Future for the Stock Market - Election Impact & Economic Uncertainty

The US and world stock and bond markets are in a period of dramatic uncertainty. Economic contraction and recovery due to COVID-19 and the US election are driving investor expectations and sentiment.

Join alumni from Harvard Business School and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania for an important and engaging discussion with Prof. Jeremy Siegel.

Dr. Siegel is on the Wharton faculty and is a leading expert on the stock market. He will share his views on the outlook for the market and the likely impact of the election results and the economic recovery.

Raj Sharma, Head of the Sharma Group at Merrill Lynch, will lead the discussion with Prof. Siegel.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Is the stock market disconnected from the economy? Economic fundamentals are weak but the market keeps making new highs.
  • How do you expect the US election outcome to impact the stock market?
  • Is the Fed creating an asset bubble through its expansionary monetary policy? 
  • How should investors think about asset allocation? The traditional 60/40 portfolio appears to be outdated in view of extremely low bond rates.
  • A few stocks ( FANG) appear to be driving the majority of market returns? Will this lead to an unsustainable asset bubble and a crash similar to the 2000-2002 internet bubble? 
  • What is your definition of a safe asset in today’s environment? 

This virtual Zoom  program is co-hosted by the HBS Assoc. of Boston and the Wharton Club of Philadelphia. Wharton and HBS alumni organizations from Boston, NY, NJ, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC, are co-sponsoring the program for their alumni communities.

Raj Sharma will lead the discussion of these important topics for 60 minutes followed by a 30 minute Q&A period open to everyone on the program. 

Click here for more details 


Thur., October 15 - The Emerging World of Digital Collaboration & Remote Work through the Eyes of a Serial Entrepreneur

Please join us to meet author, serial entrepreneur, and Principal Program Manager for Microsoft Teams Dave Jaworski to learn how digital platforms are transforming the way we live and work.

Space is Limited!!!!  Register Now!

He’ll share his lessons learned from 30+ years of technology, sales, marketing and management experience, and discuss how he brings the start-up mentality to the job. As Microsoft employee #735 in 1985, Dave was with Microsoft when it was a startup, working with Bill Gates and interacting with pioneers such as Steve Jobs during the early competitive years when key technical landscapes where being shaped. Dave has helped organizations in multiple industries across the globe, developing and delivering profitable, award winning technology products. After several successful start-ups in the Music industry and helping to innovate micro-payments with PayPal, Dave returned to Microsoft in July 2017 and is now shaping the future of remote work.

In addition to this great speaker, we will also facilitate interactive networking among all attendees using Treble.  To make the most of this opportunity, please set-up your Treble profile prior to the event.   Visit Treble’s YouTube page for quick videos and tutorials to help you get up and running quickly or contact Wharton alum and Treble CEO David Gertler if you need assistance.

Click here for more details 

Thur., October 15 - Virtual Pub: Welcome New Students

Please join us and your fellow Club members at 8:00 pm this Thursday night for our monthly "Virtual" Pub Night. 

You bring the stories and beverage of choice, we supply the video access and friends.

This month, please join us in welcoming our New Students & Catch up with Friends!

Click here for more details 

Wed., October 21 - The Insane Power of Your Mind, Mindset, and Mindfulness

Details to follow soon!

Please join the WCDFW Career Mentor Initiative

Click here for more details 



Thurs., October 22 - A New Paradigm: Generating Opportunities through Resiliency featuring Jeff Grass

Please join us in a conversation with Jeff Grass, a serial entrepreneur and proven leader with a track record of building great teams and successful businesses. 

Jeff is the Chairman & CEO of HUNGRY, the first ever platform that provides exceptional business and event catering by a network of top local chefs. HUNGRY now operates in 7 cities across the U.S. and is revolutionizing the business and event catering industry. HUNGRY started in early 2017 and three years later raised a $20 million Series B valuing the company in excess of $100 million. HUNGRY investors include food industry heavyweights Walter Robb (Whole Foods), Celebrity Chefs Tom Colicchio (Top Chef) and Ming Tsai (Simply Ming), Seth Goldman (Beyond Meat & Honest Tea), Eric Kessler (Arabella Advisors, JBF), Dan Simons (Founding Farmers Restaurant Group). From the entertainment industry investors Jay Z (via Marcy Venture Fund), Usher, Kevin Hart, Dave Free and NFL superstars Ndamukong Suh, Bobby Wagner and Todd Gurley. HUNGRY’s venture capital investors Sands Capital Ventures, Motley Fool Ventures, Evolution VC Partners and Marcy Venture Fund.  

Click here for more details 

Thurs., October 29 - The Business of Climate Change

Climate Restoration and Supply Chains

Co-hosted by Wharton Energy Network 
  • WCNCR Climate Change Affinity Group will host a signature event on climate change. The event will have two eminent speakers presenting on two very important topics:
  • Sanjeev Khagram, Director General, and Dean of Thunderbird School, will talk about his work on market opportunities for climate restoration,
  • Brent Habig, Vice President for Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC), will talk about their work with companies such as Apple and H&M on creating sustainable supply chains 

The event will be moderated by Arthur van Benthem, Associate Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at Wharton and co-faculty lead of Wharton’s Business, Climate, and Environment Lab

Click here for more details 


To see all the upcoming events, click here!


Spotlight on the WCNCR Career Mentor Initiative:

Since July, the Career Mentor Initiative has been hosting regular Wednesday Zoom meetups offering career support and community for our pandemic age. Topics have ranged from optimizing your LinkedIn profile to Zoom presentation skills and working with executive recruiters. The next session is on October 21, and will be on “The Insane Power of Your Mind, Mindset, and Mindfulness”.

For more information, please reach out to Hira Fernando WG’04.


Membership Renewal

It’s hard to believe that we launched WCNCR just over a year ago! You may have received messages in your inbox reminding you to

Renew Your Membership!

Please continue to support our awesome new club by choosing the auto-renewal option on your membership. If you have any questions about the Club, programming, financial status, or other issues, please send a message to [email protected].

Get Involved

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 here to see how you can get involved.

If you have access to a centrally located space that we can use for a nominal fee, email [email protected].

If you are interested in putting together an event or a series, please click here to our volunteer page to submit your ideas.