Sage Hill alumna Carolyn Witte (‘08) has been named to the 2019 Forbes “30 Under 30” List in the Consumer Technology category, alumnus Luke Droulez (‘07) made the list in the Retail & Ecommerce category.
A total of six alumni have now represented Sage Hill on the Forbes “30 Under 30” Lists since 2012.
Witte co-founded the women’s healthcare startup Tia, along with fellow Cornell alumna Felicity Yost. Tia is a "for women by women" company that “helps users tap into a network of health experts in order to be their own patient advocate and get meaningful healthcare through the app and location in New York,” according to the Forbes website. Prior to founding Tia in 2016, Witte was a team lead at Google's Creative Lab where she worked on the redesign of the Google logo and developed the Gboard keyboard.
Witte has stayed involved with the Sage Hill community since graduating in 2008 and was the 2016 commencement speaker.
“Carolyn was an integral part of the Sage Hill community during her four years at Sage Hill,” said President Gordon McNeill. “Named by her peers as one of the most ‘balanced’ (banner award) students at the School, along with always doing incredibly well academically, Carolyn was involved in varsity soccer, newspaper, peer counseling, and was a lead student ambassador. What I remember most about Carolyn was her belief that anything is possible and to see her succeeding with Tia, where women can act as their own healthcare advocates, seems apropos.”
Witte said Sage Hill was a big influence in getting to where she is today.
“When I think about the requirements to being a successful founder — curiosity, passion, and a willingness to take risks and fail — I think a lot about my high school days at Sage Hill," Witte said. "It was at Sage where I first became obsessed with women's issues, was encouraged to be insatiably curious and follow those curiosities, and take action to bring my ideas – big and small – to life. It was definitely an atypical high school experience that I believe helped me discover my 'superpowers’ earlier than most."
Droulez is the Chief Marketing Officer and very first hire for Parachute Home, a home essential brand based in Los Angeles. Under his leadership, “the once online-only store is now on track to open 20 retail locations by 2020 and raised $30 million in Series C funding earlier this year,” according to Forbes.
“Luke Droulez always showed his passion for math, science, and technology while at Sage Hill. What was most interesting about him, however, was his creative approach to the life of the school,” McNeill said. “As one of the elected Student Council Activities Directors, he always brought his unique style to school-wide events and was never shy about being himself and leading with his quirkiness. Luke embodied what it means to be ‘Sagey,’ and it is great to see him having the success he is having at Parachute Home.”
Droulez credited Sage Hill for allowing him the opportunity to try new things in a supportive environment.
"My advice to high schoolers today is to be open to experiences both inside and outside of the classroom," Droulez said. "Only in hindsight will you come to discover the people, places and things that shaped your view of the world.”
The Forbes list is culled from across the U.S. by a panel of Forbes readers and top business minds. Witte is joined in good company by four other Sage Hill alumni: Lisa Conn (‘06, Law & Policy in 2018), Jeff Cruttenden (’05, Finance in 2016), Mark Ramadan (’04, Food & Wine in 2012) and Matthew Schlicht, who has made the list twice. (’06, Social & Mobile in 2012 and Games & Apps in 2013).