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 Chandra Briggman, Acting Director - Venture Cafe Providence 

Chandra Briggman, Acting Director   

Chandra is Director of Venture Café Cambridge and acting Director of Venture Café Providence. To this role, she brings 20 years of product and marketing experience that spans both start-ups and large enterprises – in multiple start-up ecosystems. Chandra teaches product management at General Assembly and coaches entrepreneurs for WINLab (Babson). She founded digital magazine PATRONNÈ as an online platform for professional women. She is chair of the board for Youth CITIES – a nonprofit dedicated to youth entrepreneurship and a mentor with Babson, Harvard Rock Center and others. As the former director of digital for USPS, she built the first digital division and innovation lab for the organization. Chandra holds a master’s from both MIT and Johns Hopkins and a bachelor’s from Columbia International. She is a child advocate and certified foster care provider. She is also a proponent of human-centered and conscious innovation and is on a mission to activate the “inventor” in everyone.

Kajsa Mashaw-Smith - District Hall - Private Meetings & Events

Kajsa Mashaw-Smith, Meetings & Events Sales Manager

Kajsa Mashaw-Smith is the Private Meetings & Events Sales Manager of District Hall Providence, managing the bookings for the private space rentals. You will often find her engaging with clients and touring the space. Kajsa is a Rhode Island native and has recently returned home from California, where she was the Director of Events for a non-profit organization, planning and executing their various meetings and conferences. Kajsa holds a bachelor’s in Spanish Language & Literature as well as a bachelor’s in Latin American & Caribbean Studies from Rollins College. She looks forward to reconnecting with the local community and being a part of the continued growth and development of the city of Providence.

Avi Mallinger, Sr. Program Manager

Avi Mallinger, Senior Program Manager

Avishai Mallinger is the Senior Program Manager of Venture Cafe Providence. He is passionate about civic innovation, food systems, design, and social entrepreneurship. Previously he was the General Manager for a Providence-based food-business incubator. His career has spanned several sectors, including roles supporting after school education for the Boys and Girls Club, a producer for Sirius XM Radio, and as a fine-dining chef for nearly a decade. He believes that embracing civic design while harnessing the creativity of innovation and small business communities is the key to sustainable and inclusive economic development. He holds a BA from Brandeis University where he is currently completing an MBA in Social Impact Management.

Amy Erickson, Events & Operations Manager

Amy Erickson, Events & Operations Manager

Amy Erickson is the Events & Operations Manager of Venture Café Providence managing both the monthly conference nights and bar operations. Amy previously worked in non-profit fundraising, managing events that netted $50,000-100,000 as Events Manager for Providence Children’s Museum and Development Director of The Bridge Center. She holds a master’s from Central Washington University and a bachelor’s from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Amy strongly believes in the power of relationship building and that forging connections between people will change the world for the better.

Sydney Manning, Marketing Coordinator

Sydney Manning, Marketing Coordinator

Sydney Manning is the Marketing Coordinator for Venture Café Cambridge and Venture Café Providence. She holds an undergraduate degree in Marketing Communications from Emerson College and a graduate degree in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she isn’t working she enjoys writing creative nonfiction, blogging, and reading cookbooks.

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