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Harsh Agarwal

Managing Director and Family Office Strategist, Bank of America Private Bank

Harsh Agarwal is a managing director and family office strategist at Bank of America Private Bank. In this role, he partners with private client advisors and client teams to serve families with the benefit of significant wealth and the burden of complexity that comes with it. Through collaboration with key internal and external stakeholders, Agarwal is responsible for growing market share, promoting brand awareness and ongoing strategic direction of family office solutions. These solutions include multi-custodian consolidated investment reporting, integrated general ledger capabilities, treasury and bill pay management services, and advisory services related to formation, ongoing governance and transition of family offices. With innovative, sophisticated and cutting-edge services, Agarwal and his team help guide families to achieve a more meaningful future that can last generations. Prior to his current role, Agarwal was a vice president and fiduciary wealth advisor at Bernstein Private Wealth Management, where he advised ultra-high-net-worth families, business owners, corporate executives and charitable foundations. He built his client servicing model akin to a multi-family office where he partnered with external experts in industries such as banking, M&A, trust and estates, insurance, legal, tax and personal home care to dimension client complexity and customize solutions to their needs. Agarwal has also enjoyed successful stints in commercial banking, investment sales, real estate finance and management consulting. He was born and raised in Mumbai, India, where most of his immediate family still resides. He graduated summa cum laude with dual degrees in computer science and business management from the University at Buffalo, N.Y. His childhood in Mumbai did not prepare him for the winters in the Northeast so Harsh, his wife, Jill, and dogs, Molly and Lampard, are thrilled to call Dallas, Texas home. Agarwal is passionate about financial literacy, entrepreneurship, animal welfare and social programs to support the elderly. On an off day, you can find him playing golf, grilling outside with family or running around with his dogs. Agarwal sits on the boards or executive committees of the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce and TiE Dallas. In 2020, he was honored by the Dallas Business Journal as a recipient of the Outstanding Directors Award.

Vanessa Salinas Beckstrom, CPA, CFE, CFF

Investigations & Forensics Partner, PwC

Vanessa Salinas Beckstrom is a partner in PwC’s Investigations and Forensics practice in Dallas. She has more than 21 years of experience specializing in investigations, litigation, eDiscovery and compliance. Beckstrom regularly assists global companies doing business domestically, as well as throughout the globe. She advises clients on cross-border deals, including potential anti-corruption risks across industries. She also assists companies with monitoring and compliance efforts such as the design and implementation of anti-corruption programs, including conducting compliance assessments of foreign business units and the exercise of audit rights for third parties. She is a native Spanish speaker and has done extensive international travel in Latin America, Europe and Asia leading combined U.S. and local engagement teams. Beckstrom also works with legal, compliance and internal audit teams to lead investigations into whistleblower allegations or regulator inquiries, as well as internal investigations into alleged asset misappropriation, financial frauds and corruption. She has helped to represent clients and law firms in such matters, including the development of disgorgement calculations, before the United States Department of Justice and the SEC. Beckstrom received a Bachelor of Business Administration (major in Finance and Spanish and a concentration in international business) from the University of Notre Dame, is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), and is Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF). Beckstrom is passionate about mentoring and promoting women; she co-leads the PwC Women’s Inclusion Network in Dallas and is a board member of Step Up, a non-profit focused on mentoring teen girls.

Ashley Sharp

Executive Director, Dwell with Dignity
With over a decade of experience in public service, Ashley Sharp is a true servant leader whose greatest passion is fighting for the voiceless and underrepresented. Throughout her career, she has excelled at bringing communities together and organizing people in support of her deeply held values: equity, opportunity and diversity. She brings compassion and dedication to her leadership roles, as well as her role as a wife and mother. Born to a Haitian immigrant father, Sharp brings firsthand knowledge to her work helping the underserved. She knows the struggle of striving to reach your full potential while overcoming numerous obstacles along the way. Her diverse background, from her mother’s upbringing in Venezuela to her own childhood in Germany, has equipped her with a broad and unique perspective on life. Sharp first served as corporate development coordinator with the Dallas Symphony before taking a position as manager of patron relations at the Nasher Sculpture Center. More recently, she served as chief development officer at Interfaith Family Services, where she raised $1.8 million annually to alleviate poverty for children and families. In 2018, she began her current role as executive director of Dwell with Dignity, a nonprofit organization that designs and installs complete home interiors for families in need. During her time at Dwell with Dignity, she has led the organization to new heights of success, attaining national recognition through the Decade of Dignity dining series and winning the Best Place to Donate award from D Magazine. She has also spearheaded the organization’s Diversity In Design initiative, which highlights talented designers of color to promote industry diversity. In 2020, Sharp seized the opportunity to participate in the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas Social Innovation Accelerator’s Class of 2021. In addition to her professional career, Sharp serves on the KERA Community Advisory Board, the Forbes Young Entrepreneur Council and the Mayor’s Star Council as the Engage Dallas Chair. She teaches management and leadership at the University of Houston and often speaks at conferences on fundraising, nonprofit management, career development and being a millennial in the workplace. Sharp holds a Master of Public Administration in public affairs with a concentration in nonprofit management from the University of Texas at Dallas, where she also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration. She has completed programs in executive leadership at the University of Houston and at the Lyndon B. Johnson Women’s Campaign School at the University of Texas at Austin.

Michael Thomas

Executive Director, My Possibilities
Michael Thomas serves as the executive director for My Possibilities and is responsible for the overall function and performance of the organization and its partner/subsidiary businesses. His responsibilities include the management of the organization’s long-term strategy and managing all individual components within that process, including financial budgeting and oversight, resource development and community engagement, program design and delivery, people development, and new business endeavors. He has overseen the growth of My Possibilities since 2010 and has successfully developed and completed a $25 million campaign to enable the organization to find and begin building its college-style educational campus in Plano. Since 2006, Thomas’ career has been spent in the nonprofit industry, specifically supporting children and adults with disabilities. His organizational experience includes the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Opportunity Village in Las Vegas, Nev., and My Possibilities. He has served on the Community Relations and Planning & Zoning Commissions for the City of Plano as well as state boards supporting the disabilities community, including the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities System Redesign Advisory Committee. Additionally, he speaks regularly on the nonprofit/social impact space, serving as a voice for other executives striving to do things in a new way that better equips each organization to serve and hopefully complete its mission. Community service is important to Thomas, and he has served leadership and board roles at the Plano Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Plano, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and the Sigma Phi Epsilon Alumni Board. He has an undergraduate degree in philosophy and religious studies from Southern Methodist University and received his MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas. Thomas was born in Dallas and attended Booker T. Washington High School, focusing on classical piano performance, prior to attending SMU. He is married to Julie Carey Thomas, who is a private licensed massage therapist and health consultant, and together they have twin boys, Jackson and Maxwell. In his free time, he plays golf and soccer, and enjoys time at the piano.