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October 20, 2021 5:30 pm
Season 4

DukeNY Career Conversations: Maneesh Goyal ‘97, Founder & Partner of SONA, Founder & CEO of Pineapple Co

with DukeNY & DEMAN NY
Marketing, Branding & Influencers Culinary Arts

Join Duke alumni, parents, and current students for DukeNY’s Career Conversations featuring Maneesh Goyal ’97, Founder & Partner of SONA, and Founder & CEO of Pineapple Co. Maneesh will be interviewed by Drew Neisser ’79, Founder of Renegade and CMO Huddles, and author of “Renegade Marketing: 12 Steps to Building Unbeatable B2B Brands.”

Maneesh will share his successful career journey as a serial entrepreneur with a passion for bringing people together. He is the founder of MKG, the award-winning experiential marketing agency. Through Pineapple Co., he is an active angel investor, advisor & Board member to a number of start-up and mid-size companies. This month, Maneesh Goyal will expand his footprint in hospitality beyond SONA, by re-opening one of New York’s most iconic cocktail dens, Temple Bar.


Maneesh Goyal ‘97

Founder & Partner of SONA; Founder & CEO of Pineapple Co

Maneesh K. Goyal is a serial entrepreneur who firmly believes that risk makes life remarkable. Fueled entirely by a passion for bringing people together, Goyal decided to try his luck in the event marketing industry, despite little experience nor network in the category. He went on to build one of the industry’s most highly sought-after creative agencies, MKG, which he grew to 4 offices and over 150 employees. In the Fall of 2019, his business was wholly acquired by a holding company.

Since then, Goyal channeled his love of both people & entertaining into the opening of SONA, a contemporary Indian restaurant in the Flatiron District of New York City. SONA opened in late Spring 2021 to rave reviews. In October 2021, Goyal will expand his footprint in hospitality by re-opening one of New York’s most iconic cocktail dens, Temple Bar.

He is an active angel investor, advisor & board member to a number of start-up and mid-size companies. Goyal is also a long-time advocate and proudly serves on the National Board of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. He has an undergraduate degree from Duke & a graduate degree in public health from Yale. He lives in New York City with his husband.

Drew Neisser ’79

Founder & CEO of Renegade; Founder of CMO Huddles; Author

Drew Neisser is the founder of Renegade, the award-winning boutique for B2B innovators, and CMO Huddles, the fastest growing community exclusively for B2B CMOs. Uniquely wired as both strategist and writer, Drew has helped dozens of CMOs unleash their inner renegade and told the stories of over 450 marketers via his podcast Renegade Thinkers Unite, a live-streaming show Renegade Thinkers Live, his CMO Spotlight column for AdAge, and his 1st book “The CMO’s Periodic Table: A Renegade’s Guide to Marketing.” His 2nd book, “Renegade Marketing: 12 Steps to Building Unbeatable B2B Brands” launches October 5th, 2021.

Ranked among the top B2B influencers, Drew has been a featured marketing expert on ABC News, CNBC, CBS Radio, and Tony Robbins’ podcast among many others. A frequent keynote speaker and moderator at industry conferences, Drew is deeply passionate about the role marketing can play to make our lives a bit better if not save the planet.

Drew and the Renegade team have won just about every award imaginable for creativity and marketing effectiveness. Among Drew’s credits, naming the Toughbook for Panasonic which he and Renegade helped grow to over a ½ billion in sales, naming and launching Case Makes, an “amazing” division of Case Paper, another award-winning Renegade client and conceiving the HSBC BankCab, one of the most lauded guerrilla marketing programs of this century.

Drew is forever grateful for just getting into Duke in 1975 and has been an active alum ever since. In addition to helping start DEMAN NY, sitting on the Duke NY board for many years, speaking at multiple career weekends and DEMAN weekends, being on several class reunion committees, Drew is proudest of the fact that his agency has employed over 25 Dukies as interns or in full-time positions. His personal Duke mission is to help undergrads discover great career opportunities beyond law, medicine, or finance.

Diapered at Wells Rich Greene, trained at JWT and retrained at Chiat/Day, Drew officially founded Renegade in 1996 and CMO Huddles in 2020. He earned a BA in history from Duke University, lives in Manhattan with his wife, and is the proud parent of two delightful grown-ups and a French bulldog named Louie. He currently sits on the boards of the Urban Green Council and the Duke Alumni Association. An avid Ben Franklin fan, Drew’s favorite aphorism remains, “Well done is better than well said.”

About DukeNY Career Conversations

DukeNY Career Conversations is a 30-minute, virtual series (15 minutes facilitated conversation followed by 15 minutes of moderated audience Q&A) designed to help the DukeNY community continue to expand their professional Duke networks, gain helpful Forever Duke career path advice from successful alumni in the Tri-State region, and be inspired. Since its May 2020 inception, the DukeNY Career Conversations series has showcased more than 30 alumni from across Duke schools and industries. Recordings of past segments are available on the DukeNY website in the front page ‘Announcements’. The 2021-2022 series will be held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, through June.

About DEMAN Live

We know that finding a job/internship in all industries during these unprecedented times is confusing and stressful. We are here to help with DEMAN Live—a new Zoom series featuring conversations with alumni working in creative industries to help students and alumni navigate careers and opportunities during this time.