Event description

Join USI for a panel discussion on increasing economic ties between New York City and Israel. This event is for Startup Founders, CEO’s, investors, executives, and USI members involved in US-Israeli business.

By application and invitation only.



Melissa Mark-Viverito

Melissa Mark-Viverito,  Speaker of the New York City Council 

Speaker Mark-Viverito currently serves as the Speaker of the New York City Council, the first Puerto Rican and Latina to hold a citywide elected position. She represents the 8th District, which includes El Barrio/East Harlem and the South Bronx.

Speaker Mark-Viverito was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She worked for over a decade in local activism, nonprofit organizations and labor before being elected to the City Council in 2005, as the first Puerto Rican woman and Latina to represent her district in the Council.

In 2009, she was elected to her second term in the City Council, during which she served as Chair of the Committee on Parks and Recreation, the founding Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus and as a member of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus. In 2011, she was one of four Council Members to pioneer the first-ever Participatory Budgeting process in New York City.

She is a graduate of Columbia College at Columbia University and Baruch College, City University of New York, where she studied Public Administration through the National Urban Fellows Program.


Mark D. Levine

Mark Levine, Councilmember, 7th District City Council

Mark began his professional career as a bilingual math and science teacher at JHS149 in the South Bronx. He later

served as Executive Director of Teach For America-New York, where he oversaw placement and training of hundreds of high-performing teachers in schools throughout Upper Manhattan and the Bronx. He continued his education leadership as Executive Director of the Center for After-School Excellence, a non-profit initiative supporting after-school programs throughout the five boroughs.

While Mark was a teacher, he saw how the families of his students lacked access to basic financial services, including bank accounts. He decided to address this need by founding Upper Manhattan's first and only community development credit union, Neighborhood Trust. The credit union has helped thousands of local low-income residents obtain loans to start businesses, pay for education, and even become owners of their own homes and continues to be a pillar of the Washington Heights community.

In 2007, Mark was first elected to serve as Democratic District Leader in Northern Manhattan. In the 2008 presidential election he was honored to run on Barack Obama's slate of delegate candidates and in early 2009 he founded one of New York City's newest political clubs, the Barack Obama Democratic Club of Upper Manhattan, which has quickly become a force for empowering community residents to make their voice heard in local politics. Mark also served as chair of the Traffic and Transportation Committee of Community Board 12, where he led calls for improved subway and bus service, and championed the cause of making streets safer for bicyclists.

As a City Council Member, Mark will continue to advocate for New York to be a place that works for everyone—where people of all incomes have an affordable place to live, a good school to send their kids to, and a job that pays a living wage.

Mark is a longtime resident of Washington Heights with his wife Ivelisse and their two sons, who attend local public schools. He is an active member of the Hebrew Tabernacle synagogue. Mark earned a B.A. in Physics from Haverford College, and a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University. He is fluent in Spanish.


Dov Lipman

Dov Lipman

Member of Knesset (MK) Rabbi Dov Lipman moved from Silver Spring, MD to Beit Shemesh, Israel in 2004 with his wife and four children. MK Rabbi Lipman has rabbinic ordination from Ner Israel Rabbinical College and a Masters in Education from Johns Hopkins University. The author of three books about Judaism and an experienced educator, MK Rabbi Lipman rose to national and international prominence for his role in challenging and combating religious extremists in Beit Shemesh. He was elected to the 19th Knesset as a member of the Yesh Atid party led by MK Yair Lapid, and is the first American-born MK in close to 30 years.


Yehiel Hilik Bar

Yehiel Hilik Bar, Deputy Speaker of the Knesset

Hilik (Yehiel) Bar is a Member of Knesset for the Israel Labor Party, Secretary General of the Labor Party, and Deputy Speaker of the Knesset. Bar previously served as a member of the Jerusalem City Council on behalf of mayor Nir Barkat’s "Yerushalayim Tazliach" (Jerusalem Will Succeed) party, holding the Tourism and Foreign Relations portfolios for the city


Gil Galanos

Gil Galanos, Founder & President of the U.S. Israel Business Council and Executive Director of Israel & Co. 

Gil is the Executive Director of Israel & Co., a young nonprofit that provides opportunities for leaders to visit Israel and experience its culture of innovation and entrepreneurship firsthand.  Prior to joining Israel & Co. in 2011, Gil served as Executive Director, and is still acting President, of the U.S. Israel Business Council (USI), a trade association he founded in 2010.  USI brings together investors, entrepreneurs and business executives across key growth sectors including Digital Media, Healthcare, Internet, Cleantech, Medical Devices, Mobile, Software, and Telecom to spur innovation and promote business between the U.S. and Israel.

From 2006 to 2010, Gil acted as the Deputy Economic Minister to North America for the Government of Israel Economic Mission. In this position, he formed and organized business delegations to and from Israel, provided advisory services to Israeli companies in the U.S., served as a key liaison between Israeli companies and American investors, and developed strategic partnerships between Israeli and U.S. companies and organizations. Gil’s early work experience includes various roles in the Israeli high-tech arena, working for companies such as Comverse Technologies (CMVT) and Intel Corporation (INTC).

Gil has a BSc in Information Systems from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Gil lives in New Jersey with his wife and three daughters.


Adi Vaxman-Magid

Adi Vaxman-Magid, Chief Operating Officer at Gett (Get Taxi)

Adi is a seasoned technology leader with 20 years of success establishing, structuring and leading complex technical and client-service operations that drive sales and customer retention to new heights.

Gett is a free app for iPhone and Android that lets you instantly book a ride with a tap of your mobile. We exist to wow passengers and drivers alike by giving them a more reliable, fast and safe way to travel around New York City.


Offir Gutelzon

Offir Gutelzon, Co-Founder & CEO of Keepy Inc.

 Offir co-founded PicScout and served as its Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Gutelzon served as the General Manager of PicScout and led the PicScout's development and execution of the leading image recognition solution Image Tracker ™.

Prior to PicScout, he was employed at several start-up companies and was involved in the vision and creation of various software and hardware solutions. One of the start-ups was Tundo Telecommunications where Mr. Gutelzon held various product marketing and project management positions. He served in a key technology unit of the Israel Defense Force. He serves as a Director of PicScout. Mr. Gutelzon is a Graduate of the Zell Entrepreneurship Program of IDC Herzliya..