The National Urban Technology Center (263968)

The National Urban Technology Center, a social enterprise committed to innovative education reform, honored David and Lisa Grain at the center’s annual Gala Awards Dinner this past Wednesday, June 13. The event was co-hosted by E! News reporter Alicia Quarles at The Pierre Hotel in Midtown. The gala highlighted Urban Tech’s recent efforts to provide novel, preventative approaches to bullying in schools, and featured a silent auction for tickets to the Broadway shows “Hamilton,” “The Boys in the Band” and “The Iceman Cometh.”

The couple are excitedly looking forward to the gala. David Grain said, “My wife, Dr. Lisa Grain, and I are honored to receive the Corporate Leadership Award from Urban Tech. Closing the digital divide for low-income communities that lack access to high-speed broadband is one of our top priorities, and we commend Urban Tech for working diligently to solve this serious issue.”

Quarles gave additional praise in the Center’s press release, noting, “Having worked with Urban Tech for years—including being on their board—I could not be more excited for our annual gala!”

David Grain is the founder and CEO of Grain Management LLC, a private equity firm dedicated to global investments in the communications sector. The firm’s clients include academic endowments, public pension funds and foundations. He was also the founder and CEO of Grain Communications Group, Inc., which focused on building and operating wireless communication towers for the state and federal governments across the United States. He received his BA from the College of the Holy Cross and his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Lisa Grain is an orthodontist formerly in private practice. She has served on the staffs of Harlem Hospital, Bronx Lebanon Hospital and Interfaith Hospital, and she has taught at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine. She currently sits on the board of trustees for Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and has served as a trustee on the boards of Marylawn of the Oranges High School, the Chestnut Hill School and Out of the Door Academy. She received a BA from the University of Virginia, a DDS from Howard University College of Dentistry and an MS in orthodontics from Ohio State University. 

The couple have devoted much of their careers to service. David Grain is the founder of the Grain Fellows Program, which provides students from low-income families with funding for SAT preparation classes, college application fees and financial aid negotiation.

The Grains have adopted Booker High School in Sarasota, Fla., where they provide mentorship programs to students, as well as support the school’s SAT prep and college visitation programs.

Past award recipients at the National Urban Technology Center Gala have been senior adviser to former President Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett, actress Annette Bening, actor Blair Underwood, television host Dr. Mehmet Oz, CEO Judy A. Smith, businessman and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, model Olivia Culpo and singer Patti LaBelle.

Speaking to the Amsterdam News, Urban Tech president Patricia Bransford said, “We are thrilled to be honoring David and Lisa Grain for their commitment to helping their community. Urban Tech is also thrilled to be entering our 23rd year of fulfilling our mission of helping children and schools in education.”