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Alumni Speaker Series

Join us for the Alumni Speaker Series! This series seeks to foster meaningful connections between current students and alumni and provide useful career advice for students’ transitions after graduation. At each Speaker Series event, one featured alumnus/a will join a small group of students over dinner to share about their career journey, offer advice to current undergraduate students, and engage in a brief Q&A session.

Past Speakers

Les Williams

Les Williams (Engr ’00): Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer of Risk Cooperative

Les Williams is a Certified Risk Manager (CRM) is Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer of Risk Cooperative, an innovative strategy, risk, and advisory firm that creates solutions for emerging risks such as cyber liability insurance, political risk insurance, and other domestic and global challenges. He is a featured “Risk Insider” and his monthly columns appear in the publication Risk & Insurance. In 2020 Les was recognized in this publication as a 2020 Power Broker for Specialty Lines, and he has appeared as a professional contributor in The Institutes’ CPCU online risk management curriculum.

Les was raised in Alexandria, Virginia and attended the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Tech­nology before graduating from University of Virginia as a Rodman Scholar in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He is a member of the Raven Society, I.M.P. Society, served as a Peer Advisor to younger engineering students, and was one of two students given the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for outstanding contributions to student life during his tenure at UVA.

After graduating, Les was an engineer with Ford Motor Company in Detroit working on the engine programs for the Lincoln LS. In 2003, Les left Michigan to attend Harvard Business School (HBS) where he served as Class Co-President. He continues his involvement with HBS to this day, serving as an avid admissions volunteer and as a member of the HBS Global Alumni Board from 2010-2013. In 2020 Les received the Bert King Award for Service for his work supporting HBS Admissions. Before joining Risk Cooperative, Les held various positions in sales and marketing with firms in Atlanta (IBM, JLL) and Washington, DC (Landon Butler, LiveSafe, SoHookd).

Les enjoys traveling, biking, weightlifting, and reading. He is proud to serve as a Trustee of the UVA Engineering Foundation and as a member of the UVA Alumni Association Board of Managers. He is married to B.J. Wiley Williams (CEO and Founder of SoHookd and fellow graduate of UVA and HBS) and they reside in Arlington, Virginia.

Chat Razdan (Com ’05)

Chat Razdan (Com ’05): Co-Founder and CEO of Care+Wear

Chaitenya “Chat” Razdan is the CEO and Founder of Care+Wear, a healthwear company changing the way the world looks and feels about healthcare. Chat left his career as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs to launch Care+Wear to create products that bridge fashion and function so those receiving critical care can feel more like people and less like patients. Named one of the 100 most intriguing entrepreneurs by Goldman Sachs, Chat has been featured as one of the Rising Stars by Becker’s Healthcare and has spoken at industry conferences including the Aspen Ideas Festival, Association for Vascular Access and Oncology Nursing Society. Care+Wear has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Fast Company, Huffington Post, ABC, NPR, and more.

Chat serves as Co-Chair of his Reunions for UVA and other Boards for UVA, Co-Chair of the Alumni New Venture Challenge for Chicago Booth in NY, and is also involved with Ronald McDonald House of NY, the NYU Langone Patient Research Advisory Council, the Association for Vascular Access Beyond Acute Care Significant Interest Group, and more. He is a proud alumnus of the University of Virginia and received his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Watch Chat Razdan’s event

Shavonne Gordon

Shavonne Gordon (Engr ’95): Vice President, Enterprise Diversity Recruiting at Capital One

Shavonne joined Capital One in 2001 after spending five years as a Systems and Database Analyst in manufacturing at DuPont and EDS. She spent eight of her 15 years at Capital One in the Technology department as a Business Systems Analyst, Project Manager, and Technical Lead. She also worked in Operations where she created and managed a Project Management Office and the daily operations of our Prepaid and Affinities businesses before joining Bank Operations as a Chief of Staff. As a program manager and Agile Portfolio Coach for our Digital IT organization – Shavonne worked to deliver critical projects to further Capital One’s Digital agenda.

Shavonne decided to join HR Recruiting in November of 2014 after years of partnering with the organization to follow her passion for recruiting great talent to Capital One. As Director of Diversity Talent Acquisition, Shavonne fostered relationships with external organizations to build Capital One’s brand with diverse audiences – highlighting Capital One’s opportunities for innovation and growth in the Technology and Digital space. She partnered with the Talent organization to equip recruiters with the tools and l earnings they needed to successfully attract top diverse talent into the company. In 2017, Shavonne was promoted to Senior Director and assumed responsibility for Capital One’s Business Resource Group and Enterprise Partnership Strategy, and D&I Learning and Development programs. In April of 2018 Shavonne returned to her true passion – recruiting – where she led a number of our Talent Acquisition teams supporting line-of-business recruiting. Shavonne’s role recently shifted to focus entirely on leading Diversity Recruiting for all of Capital One. She’s had a tremendous impact across the company through her focus on attracting and developing leaders and mentoring associates – in particular, lending her counsel and insights to advance the growth and development of Black associates. Shavonne is an active thought leader externally in the talent marketplace as she represents Capital One in many ways.

In 2009, Shavonne was featured in Working Mother magazine where she discussed some of the great benefits Capital One offers to working mothers. She was recently recognized as one of Savoy’s Most Influential Women in Corporate America. Shavonne is an active member of the Blacks in Tech and Voices Business Resource Groups (BRGs), and serves as the Strategic Advisor for Voices, our Black BRG. She is the Vice President and COO of the CALIBR Global Leadership Network, and was recently appointed by VA Governor Ralph Northam to the Board of Visitors for Virginia State University, a 138 year old HBCU in Ettrick, VA.

Shavonne is a graduate of the University of Virginia and holds a degree in Systems Engineering. She resides in Glen Allen, Virginia with her two daughters Kennedy (16) and Simone (12).

Watch Shavonne Gordon’s event