Rodriguez, Gonsalves Speak to Alumni Groups

Two prominent alumni, Marcos Rodriguez ’83 and Gregg Gonsalves ’89, were each keynote speakers during the inaugural gathering of now-annual events for Hispanic and African American alumni sponsored by the School in coordination with the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). 

Rodriguez, founder and managing partner of Palladium Equity Partners, LLC, spoke at a networking event to connect Hispanic students with alumni. He noted that his involvement in the leadership of SHPE and the University Senate as a SEAS student prepared him for the challenges of starting his own company.  He urged the attendees not to wait until they are more established to get involved in volunteering and philanthropy. He said his time at Columbia shaped his philanthropic passions of access to education, healthcare, and the Hispanic community.  Rodriguez’s company has more than $1 billion of committed equity capital.  He and his sister, Ana Rodriguez ’86, ’88, created the Rodriguez Family Junior Faculty Development Fund.

Gonsalves, a managing director at Goldman Sachs, spoke at a similar networking event for African American alumni, students and faculty.  Gonsalves, who holds an MBA from Harvard, is sector head of the Aerospace & Defense Group. He told his audience to “find your passion and pursue it.” He also encouraged his listeners to network, keep up relationships, and remember that interactions with others will leave a lasting impression. He also noted that gatherings of alumni and students from organizations such as NSBE and SHPE can serve as important networking opportunities that build your personal brand.