Our Team

Emily Akers

Emily is the Director of Events and Campus Outreach for Next Gen Summit. A junior at Penn State University, Emily is studying Acting, French, and Entrepreneurship. In addition to her academic endeavors, she is a member of Full Ammo Improv and a senior backpacking orientation leader for AURORA. She is an endearingly awkward human and a proud New Yorker.

Haley Hoffman Smith

Haley is the Director of Community for Next Gen Summit. Currently a senior at Brown, she is pursuing her honors thesis on how women develop their sense of self agency in entrepreneurship and venture capital. At Brown, she is the President of Women’s Entrepreneurship. She is the founder of global nonprofit Lit Without Limits and the author of She Is Without Limits (Dec, 2016). Haley is also the proud owner of Fitz Carlton The Doodle!


Dan Lilienthal

Dan is the Director of Partnerships for Next Gen Summit. Originally from San Diego, Dan is currently a sophomore at Duke University with plans to major in psychology and history. Before working at Next Gen, Dan founded a failed ed-tech startup and helped his siblings with their creative endeavors. When he’s not studying or working on Next Gen, Dan loves to read about urban development and fashion trends.


Justin Lafazan


Dylan Gambardella

Dylan Gambardella and Justin Lafazan have been working and growing together for years. Their entrepreneurial adventure began with the creation of Students4Students College Advisory, a new-age consulting agency that has helped over 100 clients across 4 continents gain admission to their dream schools. Students4Students created an on-demand marketplace for college counseling services, providing opportunities for college students to share relevant insights about the admissions process with prospective students.

Dylan and Justin later went on to launch the Next Gen Summit, a conference and an online/in-person community for millennial entrepreneurs. Next Gen Summit’s current reach extends to more than 200 campuses, 5,000 direct founders, and more than 20M online impressions. The most recent Summit event in June 2017 brought 700 attendees from six continents, dozens of investors backed by billions in capital, pitches from 30+ startups, 50 industry-leading speakers, hundreds of accomplished mentors, 2.5M+ social media engagements, the #2 trending topic on Twitter, and more. Next Gen Summit has been named “1 of 5 Can’t Miss Conferences” by Forbes Magazine and “1 of 7 Best Conferences for Entrepreneurs Under 30” by Entrepreneur Magazine.

Dylan and Justin helped launch a charitable arm of Next Gen Summit, the Next Gen Foundation, which provides scholarships to youth interested in pursuing entrepreneurial studies at the collegiate level, particularly focused on those in underserved communities. 

To get in touch with Dylan and Justin, click here.