Advisory Board

Sumaya Kazi

Executive Director and Founder

Sumaya, 25, serves as the Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief at The CulturalConnect. She has been recognized by BusinessWeek Magazine as one of America’s ‘Top 10 Entrepreneurs Under 25’, CNN as a ‘Young Person Who Rocks’, and has also been recognized as a 2007 Who’s Who of Global Emerging Leaders. She frequently keynotes at Universities and business conferences across the U.S. on topics of entrepreneurship, community-building and bridging the non-profit community with other industries.

In her spare time, Sumaya works full-time as a Marketing Manager for the Global Communications Group at Sun Microsystems, the youngest in her division. Additionally, she serves as a high school entrepreneur adviser and mentor for BUILD, a social venture that empowers under-resourced students to excel in education and succeed professionally.

Her interests include connecting young professionals with each other, traveling, technology and International human rights.

Sumaya graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Marketing & Strategic Planning. She is a Bangladeshi-American residing in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Raymond Rouf


Raymond currently serves as a Director at OptiOpt. Prior to OptiOpt, he co-founded and served as Director of Business Development at The CulturalConnect until May 2007. He also co-founded and served as Managing Director at Prodeant, LLC, a web development consulting firm based in Champaign, Illinois from May 2004 to August 2006.

Raymond majored in Economics and Applied Mathematics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

In his spare time, he advises fledgling start-ups. His interests include cycling, fashion, web technology, and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Kaiser Shahid


Kaiser graduated from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign where he received his B.S. in computer science. He was a consultant for Prodeant LLC and consults through Aquent LLC.

His interests partly encompass his website, animals, video games, pixel art, listening to an eclectic mix of music, Xiu Xiu, laughing, children, learning about religions, mythology, writing, tea, coffee, kebab, and food. And traveling the universe.

Kaiser, a Bangladeshi-American, currently lives in Bethesda, Maryland with his wife Asma and their six children.