Rising Star Award Winners

The NAIC recognizes organizations, investment professionals and senior executives who have demonstrated personal achievement, passion and dedication each year during its Annual Private Equity & Hedge Fund Conference. Also honored are those groundbreaking deals orchestrated by visionary diverse managers.

The Rising Star Award

NAIC’s Rising Star Award recognizes young professionals who are leading the way in the industry with their talent, dedication and expertise while they exemplify excellence and dedication as financial industry professionals early in their career.

2019 Winners:

Senofer E. Mendoza, Founder & General Partner, Mendoza Ventures
Daniel D. Miller, MPA, Deputy Executive Director, Board of Education Retirement System of the City of New York
Adrian Ohmer, Manager, Private Equity & Strategic Opportunities, UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust
Alia Rafi, Vice President, MVision Private Equity Advisers Limited
Ajai Thomas, Managing Director, Head of Investor Relations and Business Development, Hollis Park Partners
Vindya Dayananda, Senior Associate, William Blair & Company
Rashmi Singh, Vice President, William Blair & Company
Kwesi Smith, Research Analyst, William Blair & Company
Kristina Blaschek, Director of Business and Technology Solutions, William Blair & Company

2018 Winners:

Justine Chiou, Director, Services, Investment Banking, William Blair
William Heard, Chief Executive Officer & Chief Investment Officer, Heard Capital LLC
José Guzmán, Investment Officer, Office of the New York City Comptroller
Susan Nichols, Associate, Technology, Investment Banking, William Blair

2017 Winners:

Biyi Animashuan, Senior Associate, Brooke Private Equity Associates
McComma Grayson, III, Principal, HarbourVest
Amanda Outerbridge, Principal, HarbourVest
Rishi Verma, Vice President, GenNx360 Capital Partners
Kwesi Quaye, Associate, Fairview Capital; Kaci Boyer, Vice President, Neuberger Berman
Jessica Holsey, Associate, Investments – Private Markets, GCM Grosvenor
Jillian Ojeda, Analyst, Investments, GCM Grosvenor
Qian W. Elmore, Principal, ICV Partners

2016 Winner:

Brinda Cherian, Vice President, First Atlantic Capital

2015 Winners:

Stephen Cammock, Associate at GCM Grosvenor Associates
Tiana Williams, Associate at GCM Grosvenor Associates
Tanya Barnes, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs

2015 Winners:

Matthew K. Autrey, Vice President, BAML Capital Access Funds
Yue Boonet, Vice President, Palladium Equity Partners
Brook A. Critchfield, Vice President, BAML Capital Access Funds
Marcelia C. Freeman, Director of Investor Relations & Product Development, Invesco
Jason R. Howard, Principal, GCM Customized Fund Investment Group
Nigel M. Howard, Vice President, RLJ Equity Partners, LLC
Elliott F. Robinson, Senior Associate, Georgian Partners
Rendel L. Solomon, Vice President, Muller & Monroe Asset Management, LLC
T. Otey Smith, Vice President, RLJ Equity Partners, LLC