Kathryn Webster is a strong thought leader across various communities, hence the ignition to found this organization, most notably named after her father, Tad, who passed away in 2017. Kathryn is a 2023 MBA candidate at Harvard Business School. Upon graduation, she will be joining KKR, the global investment firm, in New York. Kathryn grew up in Connecticut, later receiving Bachelor of Science degrees in Statistics and Computer Science with high honors from Wake Forest University. Her scholastic achievements propelled Kathryn into a career with Deloitte & Touché, LLP., where she specialized in strategic transformation and business process reengineering. While in the Washington DC metropolitan area, Kathryn spearheaded the creation of a mentorship program, Project RISE, under the National Federation of the Blind, for blind and low vision youth across the state of Virginia. She currently serves on the Board for the Lighthouse of San Francisco, Treasurer of BLIND, Inc. in Minneapolis, as a board member of the Jacobus tenBroek Memorial Fund, and on the board of Business Opportunities for the Blind. Kathryn is a leader in the National Federation for the Blind and previously served as President of the National Association of Blind Students, the largest organization promoting independence and confidence for blind students within the Federation. Kathryn recognizes the value in intertwining corporate prowess with civic engagement, thus the impetus for Together Achieving Dreams Foundation Inc. She believes this organization will completely transform the way society, corporations, and families view the blind and low vision communities. She approaches each day with the motivation to break the stigma and prove that blind people can achieve anything they want in the world.
Co-Founder, Board Member
Julia Ford Backer is a mother of four incredible adopted children, her eldest born with a visual impairment. Julia earned her BS in nursing from Boston College, which brought her to Children’s Memorial Hospital as a neonatal intensive care nurse in Chicago, Illinois. There, Julia met Dr. Carl Backer, who was the Chief of Cardio Vascular and Thoracic Surgery, and now her beloved husband of several years. Julia is an avid skier, triathlete, and has a constant travel bug. Right out of college, Julia cofounded the Junior Council of Children’s Memorial Hospital. Most recently, Julia founded Bridges, a youth-driven junior council to raise money for the Chicago-based medical facility. Julia believes in the capacity of blind and visually impaired people and is dedicated to showering these communities with resources to be successful in anything they dream of. Julia knows that blind students are equally qualified to shine in all arenas of life.
Vice President, Board Member
Syed Rizvi is a 2024 JD candidate at Harvard Law School, where he has been recognized as a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. As a blind man himself, Syed is committed to moving the needle for people with disabilities, particularly around employment and access to resources. Syed summered at Vinson & Elkins LLP's Houston office in their mergers and acquisition practice, specializing in Executive Compensation. Syed graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in Government, named the Dean's Distinguished Graduate. He cofounded the American Muslim Bar Association and chairs their Mentorship Committee, empowering minority students to enter the legal profession. Previously, Syed worked closely with TAD's founder, Kathryn Webster, as her vice president for the National Association of Blind Students, the world’s largest organization supporting blind students. In this role, Syed traveled the country hosting empowerment seminars for blind youth and lobbied on Capitol Hill for equal access to education and employment.
Alec Webster currently works at Partners Group in the Private Equity Healthcare business unit, based in New York. Previously, Alec worked at Jefferies in the Investment Banking Leveraged Finance business unit. Alec received his BA from the University of Virginia, where he also played Division 1 lacrosse. Outside of work, Alec serves as a member of The Healthcare Private Equity Association Young Leaders and The Atlas Society Junior Board. Growing up with a blind younger sister, Alec witnessed firsthand the misconceptions toward people with disabilities and is driven to shift perspectives to ensure blind and low vision individuals share the same opportunities as their sighted counterparts to compete for success.
Alisa Amarosa Wood is a senior partner at KKR, leading global private markets and real assets, as well as serving as Co-CEO of KKR’s democratized private equity business. She was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of the "Women to Watch" in 2020 and named by Private Equity International as one of the “Women of Influence in Private Equity” in 2022. Prior to joining KKR, Alisa was with Deutsche Bank's Private Equity Group. She holds a BA from Columbia College and an MBA from Columbia Graduate School of Business. Outside of work, Alisa is a fabulous mother of three, living in Manhattan. She spends much of her time giving back as she is currently the Vice Chair of the Columbia College Board of Visitors and the Vice Chair of the Convent of the Sacred Heart Board of Trustees. She also sits on the Columbia Business School Private Equity Board, the Sloane Hospital for Women's Advisory Committee, the PE-WIN's (Private Equity Women Investor Network) Steering Committee, the Nantucket Historical Association Board of Trustees and the Public Theater Board of Trustees.
Treasurer, Board Member
Alex Hickey is an investment professional at Davidson Kempner Capital Management (DK) based in New York. Prior to DK, he spent time in investment banking at Goldman Sachs. Alex graduated from Yale University with a BA in Economics with distinction. Alex is on the Brunswick School Alumni Development Council and sits on the Annual Project subcommittee. Through existing partnerships at DK, Alex has broad exposure to various charitable foundations and community groups, with a particular focus on organizations creating positive impact in the New York City area. Alex is eager to leverage his leadership skills and business development experience to create positive change and economic opportunity, specifically for marginalized groups.
David Fubini is a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School and a renowned author of several business leadership books. Previously, he was a Senior Director of McKinsey & Company where he worked for over 34 years. He was McKinsey's Managing Director of the Boston Office, and the past leader of the North American Organization Practice as well as the founder and leader of the Firm’s Worldwide Merger Integration Practice. Outside of work and raising three beautiful children, David is on the Board of Directors of Leidos (formerly SAIC), as well as MITRE and J. M. Huber (family owned company), and a Bain Capital BDC Board. He was formerly on the Board of Compuware, and a member of the Shareholder Committee of ZS Associates Consulting.
David is a member or has been a member of several prominent Boston civic organizations. He has been an Executive Committee member of the Boston Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Boston Municipal Research Board, and the Inner City Scholarship Fund. David is a co-chair of the Board of Overseers of the Boston YMCA and was previously on the Board of Directors of WBUR (Boston’s local NPR station). In addition, David is a past member of Harvard Business School's Dean’s Advisory Council, and remains a member of the UMass Amherst Foundation, and the UMass Eisenberg School of Business Dean’s Committee. He is the past Chair of the Board of the Park School and a former member of the Dana Hall School and Beaver Country Day School Boards. He was a member of the Boston Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Sustainability, and was an active contributor to the Catholic Schools “2010 School Reform” Committee. He is also a Board member of the Weston Vermont Playhouse.
Dustin Cather currently serves as Youth Program Coordinator at Blind Service Association in Chicago, Illinois. As a blind leader himself, Dustin works with blind and low vision students to provide mentorship, independence-focused programming, and scholarships. He currently serves as a board member of the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois and previously was Treasurer of the National Association of Blind Students, the largest organization supporting blind students. Prior to serving the blind community, Dustin worked in both hospitality and politics. Dustin is adopted from Romania and has a deep passion for giving back for as long as he remembers.
Kelly Lovett is an active consultant, marketer, and advocate in the assistive technology space. Her passion for people, equality and inclusion serves as her main source of excitement and motivation in life. She has spent the majority of her career in the healthcare, AI and tech arenas, however she found her passion for the assistive tech community after a close family member began to lose their vision. Kelly wants to make a direct impact on making the world a more accessible place. She is delighted to bring her networking, engagement and fundraising experience to the TAD Board. Outside of her worklife, when she isn’t hiking, running or enjoying one of California’s many wineries, Kelly is volunteering and fundraising for California Labradors, Retrievers and More, where she has rescued both her dogs. Currently Kelly sticks to 5Ks and half marathons, however in 2012 she completed the Boston Marathon as a top fundraiser for Boston Children’s Hospital through both hosting dynamic events and pursuing corporate sponsorships.