The members of Empire Global Ventures have advised Fortune 500 companies, national central banks, senior elected officials, and nongovernmental organizations across three continents. We marshal this expertise in business, government, and law to structure innovative solutions for our clients confronting the challenges and complexities of the global economy.
Dr. Sam Natapoff
Dr. Natapoff is President of Empire Global Ventures LLC. He has wide experience in international economics, trade, investment, and international business development. As the founder and CEO of his own international economics and business-consulting firm for a decade, his clients included numerous private sector companies as well as Fortune 500 firms. Dr. Natapoff previously served as Senior Advisor to the Governor of New York State for International Commerce, Deputy Commissioner of NYS Department of Economic Development for International and Senior Vice President for International Economic Development for the Empire State Development Corporation.
Dr. Natapoff has worked with multiple government agencies in five countries in the areas of international trade & investment, business development and monetary policy. His experience includes positions at the U.S. Department of Commerce, the European Central Bank, the German Bundesbank, and the state of Massachusetts.
He is a member of the Board of Directors of the United Nations Development Corporation and has published numerous articles on international economic issues, including international monetary policy, technology development, EU institutional development, as well as U.S. domestic politics.
Dr. Natapoff received his B.A./M.A. in Modern History from Balliol College, Oxford University and his Ph.D in political science from the George Washington University in Washington D.C. He speaks French and German, and lives in New York with his wife and two children.
Alexandra Stanton is the CEO of Empire Global Ventures LLC. She is an attorney with a proven record of executive leadership in business development, technology, organizational development, and public-private partnerships. She has established operations in multiple foreign markets including China, India and Turkey, raised venture and working capital for expansion and development, identified U.S. and foreign partners for joint ventures, and facilitated export promotion to and from the U.S. Her corporate focus ranges from developing large multi-nationals to launching start-ups, and she is widely recognized for her experience in assisting female founders.
Ms. Stanton has worked in the E.U., Washington, D.C., and New York. She has held senior positions in large public enterprises, including the NYC Mayor’s Office of Appointments for Mayor Bill De Blasio, the Empire State Development Corporation (New York State’s economic development agency) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C.. A veteran of state and national campaigns, Ms. Stanton has also worked in Paris for Doctors of the World, implementing their international organizational development programs.
In 2013, Ms. Stanton was appointed by President Barack Obama to the Board of Trustees of The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. She currently serves as Vice President of the Board of the Parrish Art Museum in Watermill, New York and Vice President of Doctors of the World – USA. Ms. Stanton also sits on the New York State Tourism Advisory Council and on the Advisory Board of the Urban Assembly School for the Performing Arts.
Ms. Stanton received her B.A. from Cornell University and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and is a member of the New York Bar. Fluent in French, she resides in New York City with her husband and two children.
Marie M. Ternes
SENIOR DIRECTOR, EUROPE
Marie M. Ternes has professionally focused on the intersection of business and government for the majority of her career.
She has worked in senior government roles, from the New York City Council’s Speaker’s office to the halls of the United States Congress in Washington, DC. Before moving to Europe in 2016, she was an Executive Vice President for four years at Dan Klores Communications, which was named the most powerful public relations company in the United States by the New York Observer. She has worked with Fortune 100 companies, tech start-ups, biotech firms, advertising conglomerates and real estate leaders. She brings her passion, commitment and energy to everything she does, whether it is developing a communications strategy, handling a crisis, rolling out a new product or debuting on the Nasdaq.
In 2004, Marie began her work for the New York City Council Speaker’s office handling a broad portfolio of policy issues. Very shortly thereafter, Marie was tapped to serve on former U. S. Representative Anthony Weiner’s 2005 New York City mayoral campaign, where he surprised pundits and leaders by finishing within striking distance of the nomination. She later served as his Chief of Staff in Washington DC and New York. After six years in Congress, she left to found a communications company, O.T. Solutions, where she worked on issues such as the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile and the construction of statewide coalitions to support related policy changes.
Working with local, national and international media, she has placed op-eds, developed feature articles and secured TV interviews in major news outlets such as the New York Times, CNBC, CNN, The BBC, The Economist and The Financial Times. In 2010, City Hall News named Marie one of its “40 Rising Stars Under 40.”
Fluent in Spanish, Marie graduated from Hampshire College in Massachusetts with a degree in public policy and a focus on international health.
SENIOR DIRECTOR, CULTURE AND COMMUNICATIONS
Helen Allen is Empire Global Ventures’s Senior Director of Culture and Communications. Named by Crain’s New York Business as one of the “40 Under 40 Rising Stars” in 2007, Helen Allen has used her business development, management and communications skills to provide strategic planning, marketing, public relations and creative development programs for a variety of corporations and individuals.
Ms. Allen consults with clients to create strategic communications and marketing initiatives including planning, coordinating, managing and promoting media programs, extensive private and corporate events and social media programs. Clients have included: The Brooklyn Museum, BRAND U Events, Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, Charles Heidsieck Champagne, Editions Artists Books Fair, FLUX Art Fair, ICRAVE, FAILE, Purity Vodka, Jorge Otero-Pailos, Holiday House Hamptons, Bespoke Post, Hearst Brand Development, Hornblower Cruises, Rekorderlig, Mohonk Preserve, and real estate developer YoungWoo & Associates. Additionally she worked with her prior firm, Allen/Cooper Enterprises, to create communications platforms for several of Campfire’s programs including Game of Thrones, National Geographic, PBC, Inifiniti, and the Showtime hit, Shameless.
Ms. Allen has co-founded and partnered in several initiatives including Washington DC’s (e)merge art fair, a Lower East Side pop up gallery and event space – Site/109, and Allen/Cooper Enterprises -a communications and events management agency that focused on cultural and luxury lifestyle clients. Previously, she served as executive director of Ramsay Fairs for nine years and orchestrated its U.S. market entry, as well, she conceived and was executive director of PULSE Contemporary Art Fair, which grew to become a leading contemporary art fair in New York, Miami and London under her direction. While with Ramsay Fairs, Allen also consulted on the establishment of the internationally renowned Art Hong Kong (now Art Basel-Hong Kong).
Previously, Ms. Allen held positions at several companies and leading art institutions including, Sara Meltzer Gallery (Director), Thea Westreich Art Advisory (Associate Advisor), and Christie’s Communications Department in Rome, and CHRISTIE’S Contemporary Art Departments in Rome and New York. She began her career in the Communications Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Allen regularly lectures and participates locally and internationally in panel discussions about business development, entrepreneurship, marketing, and the contemporary art market at Christie’s Education, Sotheby’s Institute, NYU, the New York County Lawyers Association, The Armory Show, and Scope Art Fair, among others.
She has served on boards, committees, and as a consultant to business, charitable, community, and arts organizations, among those: Ritz-Carlton Hotel Group, Chez Bushwick, Church Pension Group, St. James’ Church, iCI, The Chapin School, Project Cicero, Instituto Cervantes, Charles Cowles, Gallery, The Children’s Museum of the Arts, God’s Love We Deliver, the New York Rescue Mission, the New York Common Pantry, and SCO Family Dynamics.
A native New Yorker, Allen graduated from The Chapin School. She received her BA from Duke University and a Masters from Christie’s Education/The Royal Society of Arts in London.
SENIOR DIRECTOR, MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT
Giselle Fernandez, is a five-time Emmy award winning journalist, producer, filmmaker and Latin media marketing entrepreneur. She is the creator and host of the award-winning online interview series, “Big Shots,” for Emmis Publishing’s, Los Angeles Magazine. In additional to directing Empire Global Ventures’s Media and Entertainment practice, Fernandez also advises Empire Global Ventures’s clients on US-Mexico business relations.
Fernandez is President of her own production, management and consulting company which focuses on Latin-themed productions for both English and Spanish language distribution. In addition, she consults with Fortune 500 companies on marketing strategies to the Latino consumer.
Fernandez has worked in cross-border business and media for decades. In her former role as President and Co-owner of Dynamic Direct Marketing, a fashion line of women’s slimming garments that are available in leading chains in both Mexico and the US, Fernandez oversaw all marketing, branding, celebrity endorsements and merchandising of the line and its expansion. Prior to that, in her previous capacity as former Managing Director of Creative World Talent Management, Fernandez oversaw a diverse global media operation with special emphasis in Latin America and the U.S. Latin market.
Before spearheading these business ventures, Fernandez was known for her for her insightful coverage of international news stories, major events, and her documentary film production. She co-anchored KTLA Channel 5 News (Los Angeles) and, in addition to handling foreign and special assignments for NBC, she has anchored the weekend edition of the “Today Show” and the Sunday edition of NBC’s “Nightly News.” Previously, she served at CBS substituting anchors on “CBS This Morning,” “CBS Evening News,” and “CBS Weekend News.” Additionally, Fernandez was a regular contributor to CBS “Sunday Morning,” “Face the Nation,” and “48 Hours.”
Born in Mexico and raised in Southern California, Fernandez graduated from Sacramento State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Government.
Fernandez currently serves on numerous boards of directors, including Banc of California’s Hispanic Advisory board, President Barack Obama’s Futuro Fund, the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, City Year (Los Angeles), Excelencia in Education, and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation. She is the recipient of multiple awards including the 2014 Imagen Award for Best Online Interview Series, the Golden Mike Foundation’s 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award for Broadcasting, the Legislative Hispanic Caucus Hispanic Spirit Award and, most recently, she has been inducted to the Latina Women’s Museum in Sacramento honoring outstanding Latinas in California.
SENIOR ADVISOR, BIOTECHNOLOGY AND MEDICAL DEVICES
Liz Leff is Empire Global Ventures’s Senior Advisor for Biotechnology and Medical Devices. She has led an extensive career in the Life Science and Healthcare industries. She currently is the Corporate Relations Director for the National Kidney Foundation, and in recent years Ms. Leff has worked at companies which include a Management Consulting Firm, a Human Tissue Procurement company, and a Clinical Research Organization. Ms. Leff has built and strengthened countless relationships and negotiated multi-national revenue generating contracts for pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, molecular diagnostic companies, and medical device companies.
Ms. Leff has in-depth experience in the area of biotechnology project management. She has led and managed numerous multi-million dollar projects including the overseeing of complex human tissue and blood sample projects which involved negotiating contracts and pricing structures, managing aggressive timelines, and producing ahead-of-schedule deliverables. In addition, she has been instrumental in facilitating customer goals for research and development, diagnostic discovery programs, and biomarker research while demonstrating the ability to propose alternative solutions to complex requests.
Ms. Leff spent 10 years working in various roles at Pfizer Inc. which included leading a multi-year technology management initiative focused in the area of Managed Care. She designed, developed, and implemented a customized suite of tools that was successfully adopted by the Managed Care Organization and other internal groups, which created an unprecedented awareness to the Pfizer organization of the complexities of the Managed Care industry.
Ms. Leff received a BA in Political Science and Business from the University of Denver.
MANAGING DIRECTOR, INDIA
Kaviraj Singh is the Managing Director, India for Empire Global Ventures LLC. Mr. Singh is also a founding partner of Trustman & Co, a full service law firm based at New Delhi, India. He practices in the area of foreign investments by regularly advising multinational corporations on establishing and doing business in India.
Mr. Singh has also directed New York State’s international trade and investment promotion efforts in India. Mr. Singh was appointed Emeritus Chapter Chairman of the New York State Bar Association, International Section in recognition of his contributions as India Chapter Chairman. He was also nominated by the Honorable Chief Minister of Delhi, India to the governing body of Aurbindo College under the University of Delhi.
Mr. Singh received a law degree from the University of Delhi and has completed post graduate coursework in international trade.
His professional affiliations include: Supreme Court of India Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, American Association of Justice, Indo American Chamber of Commerce, Director, Federation of International Business Association, Indo-American Friendship Group, PHD Chamber of Commerce, All India Management Association
MANAGING DIRECTOR, CHINA
Mr. Wilson Lu is renown as a special advisor for unique and highest-level business and governmental negotiations between China and foreign countries. For example, in 2002 Mr. Lu successfully managed the process of requesting permission of the Chinese government, the Shanghai Sharks basketball team, and the Chinese Basketball Association to permit world-famous basketball player Yao Ming to enter the U.S. National Basketball Association and play for the Houston Rockets. Mr. Lu currently serves as a special advisor to the Washington DC specialist public relations firm Policy Impact and brings his expertise with high net worth Asian clients, which include Mr. Li Ha Sing, the wealthiest man in Asia.
Mr. Lu is also the founder and president of Amerasia Service & Trading Corp and Amerasia Capital LLP. As a private equity investor, Mr. Lu directly invests in China and the USA and currently directs over 8 portfolio companies under management. As a proven rainmaker in the IT and media industries, Mr. Lu is known as a market leader and provider of innovative solutions.
Amerasia assists its U.S. clients to develop marketing strategies in China. Amerasia also represents multiple Chinese companies in the US. Mr. Lu invests and advises companies on electronic commerce, purchase and sale of information technology hardware, software, and services through consulting, licensing, purchase, development, outsourcing, and strategic alliance arrangements.
Mr. Lu is also the founder and president of International Executive Association (IEA). He organized and chaired the “2006 China IT Summit”, the “2005 China IT Summit”, the “Wall Street Forum” and “Wall Street Chinese Forum”, the “2007 China IT Summit” hosted in Guangzhou, China and the “2008 China IT Summit” hosted in New York and “2009 China Investment Forum” in Guangzhou, China. He has led multiple US business and government delegations traveling to China and vice-versa. He frequently gives speeches regarding China and global outlook.
Mr. Lu earned his MBA from Shanghai University in China and an MA from St. John’s University in the United States.