private schools reopening
FILE PHOTO Montclair Kimberley Academy.

Montclair Kimberley Academy launched a new podcast, “Inquiry to Insight,” on May 26. Steve Valentine, MKA’s assistant head of the Upper School and director of academic Leadership, hosts the podcast, which will feature interview with the school’s alumni.

“From investments and law to product partnerships and design, each guest will discuss their career paths and how technology has played an important role,” Valentine said. “We are taking our listeners on a journey through the ‘state of technology,’ demonstrating how this ever-changing field is intertwined in everything we do. At the forefront of innovative solutions, MKA is a school that has mastered the art of technology on many levels and our alumni are proof.”

The podcast will feature the following alumni:

  • Rick Diamond ‘91, heads the Global Financial Technology investment banking practice at Citigroup.  He will discuss technology trends and their implications on society, developing the next innovation within the tech industry, sustainable disruptors in the tech industry and more.
  • Vejay Lalla ’93 is a Partner in the technology transactions group at Fenwick & West. He will discuss monetizing traditional marketing content and distributing it via tech platforms, disruptors in the tech industry, how the convergence of tech with traditional industries is changing the way people are consuming products and more.
  • Alex Holz ‘99 is a Senior Product Specialist at YouTube. He will discuss the importance of trust and integrity when licensing at scale and distributing music on a large platform like YouTube, how one should distinguish between those opportunities that offer legitimacy and those that do not, particularly in the tech industry, what happens when a tech product is created for one purpose but unintentionally disrupts another and more.
  • Devika Patel ’12, is the Design Director at The Better Lab. She will discuss how the facets of the human-centric design process invite us to embrace, and thrive in, ambiguity, why the design process plays such an important role in technology, how companies beginning to thoughtfully integrate design technology and more.

For more information on the podcast, see

SAVE MONTCLAIR LOCAL: We need your support, and we need it today. The journalism you value from Montclair Local, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, depends on the community's support — we exist because the old model of selling ads alone just can't fund journalism at the level we endeavor to provide. That's why you've seen other local newsrooms cut back staff or shut down entirely. Montclair Local was created because we believe that's unacceptable; the community's at its best when triumphs are celebrated, when power is held to account, when diverse lived experiences are shared — when the community is well-informed.

Montclair is seeking to raise $230,000 from donors, members and grantors between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 to put us on firm footing for 2022, and continue supporting the hard work of our journalists into the new year and beyond. Visit to see how we're doing and make your contribution.