Justin Bakes

Justin Bakes

Forward Financing

Justin Bakes is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Forward Financing, a fast-growing fintech company providing fast, flexible working capital to small and medium-sized businesses throughout the U.S. that are often underserved by traditional financing options.

Since 2012, Forward Financing has expanded Main Street’s access to capital by providing over $1.6 billion in funding to more than 40,000 small businesses. The company is A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau, with an ‘Excellent / 4.9 stars’ rating on Trustpilot.com. Forward Financing has been recognized as a Best Place to Work by the Boston Business Journal and Built In Boston and is certified as a Great Place to Work®.

Before founding Forward Financing, Justin served as Director of Mergers and Acquisitions for Miami-based Watsco, Inc. (NYSE:WSO), the largest independent distributor of air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration equipment in the U.S. During Justin’s three-year tenure, Watsco’s revenues doubled via acquisitions.

Justin has also held positions with UBS Investment Bank, where he advised U.S. and European financial institutions, private equity firms, and multinational corporations on mergers, acquisitions, and public and private financings in Europe and Latin America.

Despite his extensive experience working closely with large banks and corporations, Justin has built Forward Financing with the mission to make business financing accessible to a wide range of businesses by using technology to cut costs, increase speed and accuracy of credit decisions, and provide the highest level of service to small business clients.

Originally from South Florida, Justin graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Science in Finance. He is an active member of Young Presidents’ Organization and currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts with his wife and two young children.


Justin Bakes headshot

Jackie Grant

Jackie Grant


Jackie Grant is an investment professional at Abingworth, a transatlantic life sciences venture capital firm based in Boston. She has over 12 years of life science experience, including translational research, business development and investing. Jackie represents Abingworth on the boards of Atsena Therapeutics and Nido Biosciences and is an observer on the Anjarium and Glycomine boards.

Previously, Jackie was a Senior Associate at SV Health Investors. She was formerly in the Business Development Group at Genentech with primary responsibility for partnering activities in neuroscience. Her transactions span a broad spectrum of deal structures and therapeutic areas, including technology and platform in-licenses and research collaborations. Jackie has a PhD in Neuroscience from Stanford School of Medicine and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Jackie Grant headshot

John Connors, III

John Connors, III

Boathouse Group

John Connors is the Founder & CEO of Boathouse Group. John grew up in the advertising business. He started his career in 1989 at Hill Holliday working for his father, Jack Connors, and remained until its sale in 1998. Soon after, John left to work for McCann-Erickson World Group as CEO of Zentropy Partners, where he led the roll-up of 13 separate Internet service businesses across six countries.

In 2001, after working at the biggest agency in New England and then the biggest agency in the world…John decided to start his own agency. Boathouse is an athletic-minded, team-oriented culture focused on ROI and business building. Clients include blue-chip brands such as Eversource, Lincoln Financial, Steward Health Care, Bose, and Cushman & Wakefield.

Margaret Norton

Margaret Norton

Mass General Brigham

Margaret Norton joined Mass General Brigham in 2017 as the Chief of Staff in the Office of the CEO.  She is responsible for ensuring matters related to the CEO are coordinated in a timely, strategic and orderly manner as to ensure the advancement of Mass General Brigham’s goals and objectives.  This includes research, strategic counsel, and editorial support for both internal and external matters, close collaboration with Mass General Brigham’s leadership, and coordination with members of the business and civic communities.

Prior to joining Mass General Brigham, Margaret was Director of Corporate Communications for nearly twenty years at Eversource (previously NSTAR) and was responsible for corporate advertising, branding and related external customer communications, large scale sponsorships, employee and community giving and philanthropy, and employee communications. Prior to joining Eversource, Margaret worked at several Boston public relations agencies and at her alma mater, Emmanuel College.

She has served as a member of the Salvation Army Greater Boston Advisory Board, A Better City, and the board of trustees at Notre Dame Academy Hingham, including three years as board chair.

Margaret received her bachelor of art in English literature and political science from Emmanuel College and her master of science in communications management from Simmons College. She resides in Weymouth, Massachusetts with her husband Michael and their children Maggie, John and Kevin.

Freddie Jacobs

Freddie Jacobs

Northeast Retirement Systems

Freddie Jacobs is Chief Risk Officer for Northeast Retirement Systems (NRS) and its subsidiary Global Trust Company (GTC). Freddie is responsible for the company’s overall compliance, risk, and fund accounting and finance functions. He has over 25 years of experience in the investment industry and joined NRS in 2013.

Prior to joining NRS, Freddie was with JP Morgan where he was responsible for the 40’ Act Compliance Reporting Services Team. Prior to JP Morgan, he was with State Street Bank as a Risk Manager for Investor Services. While at State Street he was responsible for new product reviews, new business risk assessments, risk control self assessments, and other duties related to mitigating operational risk. Prior to State Street’s acquisition of Investors Bank and Trust (IBT), Freddie was the Director of Operational Risk and Compliance for Mutual Fund Administration at IBT. Before joining IBT, he accumulated over ten years of experience in various roles for several organizations. He was the Vice President of Fund Administration for Unified Fund Services (UFS, later acquired by Huntington Bank) in Indianapolis, IN, and was also the CFO for the UFS sponsored Unified Series Trust Fund. Freddie began his career with Arthur Andersen as an auditor in Milwaukee, WI, and later worked at U.S. Bancorp Fund Services as an AVP in Fund Administration and Sunstone Financial Group (later acquired by UMB) as a Financial Analyst.

Freddie graduated from Hampton University with a bachelors of science degree in accounting. He is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in Wisconsin. Freddie has been married for 20 years and has three children.

Anthony Tivnan

Anthony Tivnan

Magellan Jets

Anthony Tivnan, President and Co-Owner of Magellan Jets, was solidified as a major player in the world of private aviation long before the company’s launch, in 2008.

In 2002, a novice to the aviation industry, Anthony made his mark at Jets International. As a member of the sales team, he was quick to become a prominent leader and mentor. After years of leadership and record-breaking sales history, Anthony was eventually appointed as the Executive Vice President. He also managed their retail sales department and sales teams in both Massachusetts and New York City.

Through his leadership, Magellan Jets has seen incredible growth since its inception. In the last four consecutive years, Magellan Jets has been awarded by the Boston Business Journal as one of Massachusetts Fastest Growing Companies, and has made the Inc. 5000 five years consecutively.

Anthony works closely with Magellan Jets marketing and sales divisions to strengthen the brand name and innovate the way Magellan clients utilize business jets. Magellan Jets was the first company to appear on iTunes with their Private Jet Search App, allowing users to search, book and sign for a charter in a matter of minutes all from a smartphone device. The innovation doesn’t stop there; Magellan Jets was also the first jet card provider to launch a Wi-Fi Jet Card for business travelers. With his sales background, Anthony is the ideal candidate to translate the client’s needs and expectations into results. Anthony strives to create and retain strong customer and vendor relationships through his belief in personal attention and open communication. He truly executes the entire operation; from creating the product line, to reaching the audience, to obtaining the trust of each and every client he works with. Anthony was recently featured by Boston Magazine as one of “10 Boston Men of the Moment”.

Anthony frequently speaks at conferences and events about entrepreneurialism, business aviation and innovation. He has spoken as an expert regarding aviation safety during ACSF’s annual symposium at NTSB Training Center in Virginia. He recently spoke at a Camp Harbor View panel for local students, hosted by Boston College and Camp Harbor View. His candid, frank speaking style, and honest commentary at the adversity he has overcome to achieve success is powerful and resonates with his audiences. He was asked to speak on the Transportation Panel during BostInno’s State of Innovation Conference, the Aviation Fraternity National Conference, Bentley College, Harvard University and has appeared as an aviation expert on Fox 25 and other news broadcasts.

Anthony completed pilot ground school at Alpha One Flight School in Plymouth, Massachusetts. He serves on the Board of Directors at Magellan Jets, Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) and Camp Harbor View in Boston. Anthony and his team at Magellan Jets volunteer annually at various Camp Harbor View events, as well.

Kanna Kunchala

Kanna Kunchala

City Year

Kanna Kunchala  is Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff at City Year. Kanna first joined the City Year family as a Boston corps member in 1995, and then continued on staff in the communications department and as the Director of CYZYGY, City Year’s National Convention, in 1997.

Kanna then joined the Boston Redevelopment Authority, as Special Assistant to the Director, working on the planning and economic development agenda for the city in the late 1990s. After public service, Kanna moved to the Midwest to attend business school, and subsequently entered the private sector at Goldman Sachs in Chicago as an equity derivatives salesman in 2001. Kanna moved with Goldman to London in 2004, helped build their international and emerging market equity derivatives franchises, and then moved to Barclays in 2011 to build those same businesses again.

Throughout his time in the private sector, Kanna maintained his connection to the service sector by helping to bring City Year to the UK. He was a Founding Board member of City Year UK, and served as the Finance Chair for five years. Kanna also organized the Goldman Sachs Gives Team in London to support the program’s work through donations from senior leaders. Since joining City Year, he is one of the only people to serve as a corps member, staff member, individual donor, corporate sponsor and Board Member.

Kanna is a graduate of Harvard College with a degree in English literature, and later received his MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Kanna is married to Jill, and they are raising their three children in Lexington, Massachusetts.