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Event Recap: Urban Tech 23rd Annual Gala @UrbanTechCenter @alicialquarles @GrainDg @ThePierreNY

On June 13, 2018 , YRB attended The annual National Urban Technology Center Gala Awards Dinner – co-hosted by award winning journalist Alicia Quarles at The Pierre Hotel in New York City.

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This year’s honorees are private equity firm Founder & CEO of Grain Management, David J. Grain and wife Dr. Lisa Grain – who has dedicated her career to healthcare, education, and mentorship and currently sits on the board of trustees at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital – along with honorary chair Vernon E. Jordan Jr., who is the Senior Managing Director of Lazard.

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The evening’s program, highlighted Urban Tech’s commitment to help provide a proactive approach in preventing bullying in schools, entailed a silent auction with seats for three different phenomenal Broadway shows up for bid: Hamilton, Boys In The Band and Iceman Cometh.

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“It’s an absolute honor to be part of the gala this year. Part of our mission is to help bridge the digital divide for those less fortunate, so this is a perfect partnership with Urban Tech, and we look forward to changing many lives together.” The night’s co-host also shares,  “Having worked with Urban Tech for years – including being on their board – I could not be more excited for our annual gala!

-David Grain

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“We all have a responsibility to pay it forward to the next generation and we’re doing just that by bridging the gap between technology and students who thrive when given the proper tools.”

– Alicia Quarles

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Past honorees include – Senior Adviser to President Barack Obama – Valerie Jarrett, Annette Bening, Blair Underwood, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Judy A. Smith, Michael Bloomberg, Miss USA Olivia Culpo, and Patti LaBelle.

The National Urban Technology Center, Inc. (Urban Tech) develops educational curricula and services for building social and life skills, improved academic skills, and financial and digital literacy skills for underserved youth. Through their Youth Leadership Academy® (YLA) courses, students develop fundamental skills for life effectiveness. Urban Tech’s “Adopt a School” Program focuses on Financial Network Program, Dignity for All, STEM, and Social Justice & Community Leadership.


David J. Grain manages the private equity firm he founded, Grain Management, LLC. Established in 2007 and based in Washington D.C., Grain Management makes investments globally in the communications sector. The firm manages capital on behalf of a number of the country’s leading institutional investors including academic endowments, public pension funds and foundations. Prior to founding Grain Management, Mr. Grain was the Founder and CEO of Grain Communications Group, Inc. (GCGI), a venture capital backed company with a core focus on acquiring, building, owning and operating wireless communications tower sites specifically developed for federal and state government wireless systems throughout the United States. GCGI was acquired by Grain Infrastructure Fund, L.P.

Dr. Lisa Grain is an orthodontist and was in private practice and on staff as an attending doctor at Harlem, Bronx Lebanon, and Interfaith Hospitals, and has taught at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine.  She received a B.A. from The University of Virginia, a D.D.S. from Howard University College of Dentistry, and an M.S. in orthodontics from The Ohio State University. She currently sits on the board of trustees for Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, and has served as a trustee on the boards of Marylawn of the Oranges High School, the Chestnut Hill School, and Out of the Door Academy. Lisa and David Grain adopted Booker High School in Sarasota, FL, where they provide mentorship, SAT prep programs, and college visits.

 Alicia Quarles is one of today’s hardest working TV hosts. Quarles has covered red-carpets from the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards to the MTV VMA’s, Met Gala and Super Bowl interviewing the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Zac Posen, 50 Cent, Lupita Nyong’o, Rihanna and many professional athletes as well (Eli Manning, Marshawn Lynch, Amar’e Stoudemire, etc.). Her credits include The Daily Mail TV’s correspondent, the NY Correspondent for E! News, contributor to the Today Show, Associated Press – where she was the Global Entertainment and Lifestyles Editor – MSNBC, VH1, HLN and more. Quarles graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern California and currently resides in New York City.


For more information, please visit http://www.urbantechnyc.com/

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