Jeffrey F. Rayport Named Chairman of the Board

From the Top has named Jeffrey F. Rayport, Operating Partner at Castanea Partners in Boston, as Chairman of its Board of Directors. Rayport has been a member of From the Top’s board since its inception in 2003 and replaces its Founding Chairman Francis O. Hunnewell who passed in late January.

“We feel very fortunate to have Jeffrey’s leadership. His expertise will guide us as we enter a new decade full of opportunities and promise,” says From the Top co-CEO Gerald Slavet.

“It has been a privilege and a pleasure to serve on From the Top’s board and to oversee its extraordinary growth over the past decade. As Chairman, I look forward with excitement and humility to building on the foundation that was laid by our Founding Chairman, Francis Hunnewell, and to helping propel this amazingly entrepreneurial and creative organization into a future of multiple venues, channels, and media. I know we will aim to inspire ever-deeper levels of engagement with kids, communities, and audiences as we showcase both the talent and the personalities of our remarkable young musicians, “ says Rayport.

Presiding over From the Top’s February 11 Board of Directors meeting, Rayport welcomed four new members to the Board. Richard Davis, a seasoned professional with more than 30 years of executive experience, has been appointed as Director. Cynthia Curme, musician and Trustee of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Eran Egozy, co-Founder and CTO of Harmonix (inventors of Guitar Hero); and media entrepreneur Robert Williams have been appointed as Overseers.


Rayport brings more than 20 years of experience in digital and mainstream media, marketing, and information services to his new role as From the Top Chairman. Prior to joining the private equity firm Castanea Partners in September, he was Founder and Chairman of Marketspace LLC, a division of the global management consulting and merchant banking firm Monitor Group. Marketspace advises market-leading companies on customer experience and multi-channel strategy in the networked economy.

As one of the most popular faculty members at Harvard Business School for nearly a decade, Rayport’s expertise lies in increasing the impact of new media technologies on companies’ service and marketing strategies. At HBS, he developed the nation’s first MBA-level e-commerce course, and coined the term “viral marketing.” His writing has appeared in a variety of print and online publications, including Business Week, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, The Los Angeles Times, and McKinsey Quarterly, among others, and he frequently appears as a business commentator on television and radio.

Rayport serves as a director of several public and private companies, including GSI Commerce, i-Crossing, International Data Group, ValueClick, and Andrews McMeel Universal. He is a Trustee of the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA. Rayport earned a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard College; a Masters of Philosophy in International Relations from the University of Cambridge (U.K.); and a Master of Arts in the History of American Civilization and a Ph.D. in Business History, both from Harvard University.  He and his wife Hillary and son, Abraham, live in Boston, MA.