The New England Venture Capital Association Appoints Five New Directors, Kent Bennett to Board Chair

NEVCA continues its commitment to DEI gender diversity with a Board composition exceeding 50% women

BOSTON — January 11, 2023 The New England Venture Capital Association (NEVCA), the leading advocate for the region’s venture capital and startup ecosystem, today announced it has appointed five new members to its Board of Directors, further advancing and maintaining its commitment to diverse board representation and gender diversity, exceeding 50% female board membership. In addition, current NEVCA Treasurer Kent Bennett assumed the role of Chair.

“We are thrilled to welcome this multidisciplinary, multitalented, and accomplished group to the already-stellar NEVCA board. Our organization is embarking on its next chapter and leveraging new perspectives and ideas is critical to our growth and the value we bring to the New England venture community,” said NEVCA Executive Director Ari Glantz.

Incoming Chair Kent Bennett is a veteran of the NEVCA Board of Directors, serving for more than half a decade. He is a partner in Bessemer’s Cambridge office focusing on consumer products and services as well as software sold to consumer-facing verticals. Before his career in venture capital, Kent was a creative executive for an entertainment production company, where he developed and sold original material including a network television pilot and a feature film. He began his career with Bain & Co., where he worked on projects in industries spanning IT, retail, consumer products, healthcare, and biotech.

Jasmina Marjanovic is a Director at AbbVie Ventures and a trained scientist with over a decade of combined experience in pharma and academic research. Prior to joining AbbVie Ventures, she was part of AbbVie’s Search and Evaluation team sourcing strategic partnerships across all stages of asset development. As a trained chemist with experience in chemical biology, Jasmina began her career in drug discovery.

Anna Palmer is a General Partner at Flybridge Capital, where her investment interests include commerce 3.0, marketplaces, mobile, consumer and e-commerce. Prior to joining Flybridge in 2020, Anna co-founded XFactor Ventures in partnership with Chip Hazard and Flybridge, a seed stage fund focused on backing female founders and gender-diverse teams where she personally led investments in Chief, Zubale, MixLab, among others.

Rudina Seseri is Founder and Managing Partner of Glasswing Ventures, leading the firm’s investments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled enterprise software as a service (SaaS), cloud, Information Technology (IT) software, and vertical markets. Rudina has led investments and/or served on the Board of Directors of Celtra (acquired by Symphony Technology Group), ChaosSearch, CloudTruth, CrowdTwist (acquired by Oracle), Inrupt, Plannuh (acquired by Planful), Reprise, Talla, Verusen, and Zylotech (acquired by Terminus).

Stefan Vitorovic is Co-Founder and Managing Director at Vida Ventures. Previously, Stefan was an investment professional at Third Rock Ventures, an early-stage life sciences venture capital firm. At Third Rock, he was part of the founding team of Decibel Therapeutics, a hearing-focused drug discovery and development platform company.

Darshana Zaveri is a Founder and Managing Partner of Catalyst Health Ventures (CHV). She is actively involved in all aspects of fund management, including investments and capital raising, and has led several investments in the medical device, women’s health and diagnostics markets.

The new directors join a diverse NEVCA board whose members include:

  • Kent Bennett, Bessemer Venture Partners — NEVCA Chair
  • Colleen Cuffaro, Canaan — NEVCA Vice Chair
  • Kevin Bitterman, Atlas Venture
  • Yumin Choi, Valspring Capital
  • Johannes Fruehauf, LabCentral
  • Lily Lyman, Underscore VC
  • Holly Maloney, General Catalyst
  • Marian Nakada, Johnson & Johnson Innovation — JJDC
  • Sara Nayeem, Avoro Ventures
  • Deborah Palestrant, 5AM Ventures
  • Jody Rose, Hack.Diversity
  • Gaurav Tuli, F-Prime Capital

About the New England Venture Capital Association

The New England Venture Capital Association (NEVCA) works toward a collaborative, inclusive, and prosperous innovation ecosystem. Through unique programs, critical policy work, and dynamic local events and regional marketing, the NEVCA invests in the entrepreneurial ecosystem on behalf of the VC community.

VCs are only as successful as the entrepreneurs in whom they invest and the environments in which those investments grow. We don’t just host events: we act as a network, catalyst, and resource for the innovation economy, from celebrations to education; legislative advocacy to workforce development.

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Media Contact:

Melissa Mahoney / Caroline Shamon

V2 Communications for NEVCA



New England Venture Capital Association

New England Venture Capital Association (NEVCA) members support entrepreneurs winning. Great VCs depend on great entrepreneurs.