Our Team

Haley Hoffman Smith

Haley is the Director of Community for Next Gen Summit. She holds a B.A. with honors from Brown University, where she started the first-ever female entrepreneurship incubator and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. She is the author of Women and Business bestseller Her Big Idea, the Founder of the Her Big Idea Fund in partnership with Brown's Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship, and has been featured in Forbes and Entrepreneur.


Dan Lilienthal

Dan is the Director of Investor Relations for Next Gen Summit. Originally from San Diego, California, Dan studies psychology and history at Duke University. Before working at Next Gen, Dan founded a failed ed-tech startup and helped his siblings with their creative endeavors. When he is not studying or working on Next Gen, Dan loves to read about urban development and fashion trends. His interests lie in music, media, and travel.

Emily Akers

Emily is the Director of Events and Campus Outreach for Next Gen Summit. At Penn State University, Emily is studying Acting, French, and Entrepreneurship (with a focus in media). An avid community enthusiast, Emily 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.


Alex Myers

Alex is the Assistant Director of Outreach for Next Gen Summit. At Penn State University, Alex is studying Hospitality Management and Entrepreneurship. Before joining the Next Gen Team, Alex helped grow several startups in the State College area. Alex spends his free time hosting a local radio show, giving back to children through his school's dance marathon, and with his fraternity brothers.


Michael Hsun

Michael is the VP of Business Development for Next Gen Summit. He is a 2018 Venture for America fellow and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a degree in Economics. Previously, Michael was a management consultant in the financial industry. He is passionate about connecting with young entrepreneurs and forming valuable partnerships for the Next Gen community. Michael enjoys hiking and is on a quest to visit every country in the world.


Rachel Gross

Rachel is the Director of Outreach for Next Gen Summit. At Brown University, she is studying English Literature while also exploring her passion for entrepreneurship. When not involved with academia, Rachel writes for several niche-interest lifestyle publications and blogs as a women’s voice advocate and proponent of self-improvement. She sees entrepreneurs as creators of inspiration, imagination, and influence.


Abram Moore

Abram is the Director of Social Media for Next Gen Summit. Abram is a forward-thinking business developer and creative marketer who aspires to change the world by positively affecting one person at a time. He is an advocate for interactive education, group collaboration, and networking, and Abram enjoys writing and sharing the vision of others through social media.


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, 3,000 companies, and more than 20M online impressions. The most recent Next Gen Summit 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.