Executive Team

Bobbie Carlton

Bobbie Carlton, founder of Carlton PR & Marketing, Innovation Nights and Innovation Women, has been called Boston’s Innovation Den Mother, and the Startup Fairy Godmother.  She’s an award-winning marketing, PR and social media professional with a soft spot for the under-served and under-represented in the high-tech community. She speaks regularly on PR, social media, community building, product launches, public speaking and women’s issues.

Previously, in addition to working with a number of Boston-area PR and marketing firms, she headed global PR at Cognos and PTC, both publicly-held enterprise software companies. In 2006 she switched gears, joining a startup focused on supporting self-esteem and positive role models for preteen girls through a social network and book series.

In 2008, she started her own company…the first one.

  • Carlton PR & Marketing is a boutique agency servicing a wide variety of startups and small companies, providing support for PR, content creation, social media marketing and marketing programs.
  • Mass Innovation Nights (MIN) is a social media powered new product showcase and networking event.  MIN has launched more than 1000 new products which have received more than $2 billion in funding.
  • Innovation Women is an online “visibility bureau” helping drive visibility for entrepreneurial, technical and innovative women through speaking engagements.

In 2010 she was named one of the “Ten Bostonians who have done the most for the startup community”, and in 2011 she was a recipient of a Mass High Tech All-star award. In 2015 she was named a Boston Business Journal Woman to Watch. PR News called her a Gamechanger in 2017.

Bobbie featured in articles/interviews



Follow Bobbie on Twitter as @BobbieC @MassInno @WomenInno or @CarltonPRM

Mary Beth Russo

Mary Beth Russo – Director, Marketing. With more than 25 years of direct marketing experience, Mary Beth is a seasoned marketing veteran. Whether it’s creating an innovative marketing program, nurturing a specific set of leads or accounts, or implementing compelling content on a website to drive engagement, it’s all for the same purpose — driving demand. Mary Beth enjoys staying current on new approaches and technologies. She loves demand generation and to be in the thick of it, playing a key role in transforming organizations poised for fast growth. She solves problems at any level whether tackling strategic challenges or getting her hands dirty in the execution. She also loves to measure what’s been done in order to optimize for the future. Mary Beth has worked at companies like PTC, IBM, Applix, Charles River Interactive, Datawatch, and Design News Magazine.

Kerry Fristoe

Kerry Fristoe – Social Media, Content creation. Kerry worked in Member Services at the AGC of Massachusetts, helping members of the busy construction trade association and planning events and classes.  She promoted AGC programs and helped clients gain national certifications and awards. She also raised a bright, shining daughter. Before Kerry started her family, she was a Systems Engineer at Lockheed-Martin and served six years in the United States Air Force as a Cryptologist/Linguist.  She’d tell you what she did, but they’d revoke her 00 status. Along the way, she attended Connecticut College, The Community College of the Air Force, Harvard Extension School, and the Defense Language Institute. Kerry watches a lot of movies and writes about them on her own blog, Prowler Needs a Jump, as well as the Brattle Film Notes, and B Movie Maniacs.  She also writes guest pieces for other film blogs. She runs, with her partners, a weekly Tweet-along where a group watches films that often involve radiation and a large spider.

Nat Hefferman

Nat Hefferman – Social Media and Newsletters. A former financial services professional, Nat began working in social media as a website monitor for a COPPA-compliant children’s website (yes, the Beacon Street Girls) while home raising his two kids. The job soon evolved into the role of head monitor, managing the schedules and team of monitors. In his spare time, he plays saxophone, bassoon and sarrusophone (look it up) with several local orchestras and bands, most notably the Extraordinary Rendition Band of Providence, RI. Follow Nat on Twitter as @Dublreed

Kumari Swamy

Kumari Swamy – Operations. Kumari Swamy directs operations for Innovation Women. She plans, monitors and executes revenue mechanisms towards building scale. As necessary she works with sales, marketing, production and technologists to achieve growth goals. Previously, she worked for The Marg Foundation, publisher of books and magazines in Indian and related art and culture as Manager – Data Processing. She managed authors, compiled material (text and images) from authors/contributors to meet publication timelines of their quarterly books and magazines. She also set up and managed the technology for recording accounting transactions at The Marg. She holds an MBA from ICFAI, Hyderabad and Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Mumbai University.

Patricia Alberto

Patricia Alberto – Research. Patricia is a research and content specialist. At Novus Laurus she is responsible for market research, lead generation, website content, social media outreach, email outreach, webinar content and core operations on a daily basis. She also supports Novus Laurus portfolio companies with her expertise in these areas.  

Advisory Board

Dhaya Lakshminarayanan

Dhaya Lakshminarayanan is a sought-after innovation and strategy consultant as well as a storytelling expert and speaker. A sample list of her clients includes Twitter, Reebok, Adidas, Peet’s Coffee, Intuit, Yelp, Agni Energy, Seven Figures Management, Columbia University, Stanford University, StubHub, entrepreneurs, and political candidates. She has been an invited speaker at over a hundred panels and conferences. She was hired by the Entrepreneurs Organization to speak about Entrepreneurship, Leadership & Innovation in Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Calcutta, and Kathmandu.    

At Omidyar Network, $400M a mission-based, return-focused investment fund headed by eBay founder, Pierre Omidyar, Dhaya was an Investment Manager, responsible for sourcing, executing, closing, and managing both venture capital and non-profit investments. Her for-profit investments included: Innocentive, CircleLending (acquired by Virgin), Prosper, Meetup, Voxiva, Eventful, PatientsLikeMe, and Collaborative Drug Discovery on whose Board of Directors she served. Her non-profit investments include Myelin Repair Foundation, KaBoom!, Sunlight Foundation, and Guidestar. Dhaya has also been a management consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton and also worked in asset management for Parnassus Investments, a $1 billion socially responsible mutual fund where she focused on the health services sector. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she received a Bachelor of Science and a Master of City Planning.

She hosted the Emmy Award winning series “High School Quiz Show” during the premiere year on WGBH. She was a featured Storyteller on the PBS station, KQED, and is a regular contributor to NPR’s “Snap Judgment” a storytelling program, which Ira Glass called, “Amazing. Like a cousin of  ‘This American Life’ that grew up in a wildly different neighborhood…” She hosts The Moth, a monthly storytelling event, broadcast on NPR affiliates nationwide. Dhaya Lakshminarayanan is the winner of the Liz Carpenter Political Humor Award (previously awarded to Samantha Bee, Wanda Sykes and satirist/humorist Mark Russell) presented by the National Women’s Political Caucus. KQED named her one of the twenty “Women to Watch” a series celebrating women artists, creatives and makers in the San Francisco Bay Area who are pushing boundaries. Comedy Central Asia crowned her Grand Prize Winner of “The Ultimate Comedy Challenge” filmed in Singapore. She has worked with the following: Janeane Garofalo, Norm Macdondald, Marc Maron, Jello Biafra, Dick Gregory, Maz Jobrani, and Greg Proops. She had the pleasure of introducing former Vice President Al Gore and making him laugh (there is photographic evidence). The Boston Globe, The Bay Guardian, and The San Jose Mercury News have all run profiles about her.

Jillian Vorce

Jillian Vorce, Founder of The Jillian Group, Inc., helps professionals make connections and achieve business goals. She has been consulting or advising senior-level executives and business owners on expanding their networks and creating strategic growth opportunities for over two decades. Other works include her first book 20-20 Mind Sight, the TEDx Talk The Lens of Connectivityand the ebook “9 Steps to Increase Your Professional Network.”

Investor and Board Member

Pradeep Aradhya

Pradeep Aradhya brings a unique perspective on building businesses. With the strategic approach of building a “minimum viable business” he guides Novus Laurus as well as mentors and invests in other businesses.

Pradeep takes his experience in organic and inorganic growth strategies along with product and operational know how in multiple spaces and combines it with 12 years in digital marketing and the use of cutting edge technologies to drive businesses to “new successes”. Previously, as a senior executive he successfully led acquisitions in the mobile space where his role was to identify strategic growth areas,  inorganic growth potential, candidate product companies and negotiate acquisitions. He has also led multi million dollar initiatives at Fortune 500 companies to create technology platforms for marketing. He identified and advocated the best and newest developments in various technology areas that gave brands competitive advantages in establishing lasting relationships with customers.

At Novus Laurus he builds empowered and engaged teams both internally and within client businesses. Pradeep holds a Ph.D. in Structural Dynamics from NC State University and a M.Sc in Aerospace Engg. from the Indian Institute of Science.

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