The Tecovas Foundation
The Acacia Fund
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Mr. Ian Fisk, Executive Director
firstname.lastname@example.org | 202 365 4570
Ms. Vikki Frank, Senior Advisor for Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships
Ms. Suzannah Simmons, Outreach and Marketing Coordinator
Ms. Suzy Valle, Frontier Market Scout
Ms. Serenity Siya Mlay, Frontier Market Scout
Ms. Anu Keshavan, Research Advisor
Ms. Deb Parsons, Investor Liaison
Mr. Matt Lee, Research Partner
Ms. Erin Jones, Research Associate
Office and Postal Address
The William James Foundation
920 U Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
For in-person visitors : we are a member of a wonderful co-working space called the The Affinity Lab. Look for signs for with that name, and you will be directed to our office. If you are arriving by Metro, the Green Line U Street/American American Civil War Memorial stop is one block from our office. If you are driving and can not find street parking, there are parking lots on 9th street between T & U, NW.
Leadership Ian Fisk is the executive director of the William James Foundation. As director, he leads the WJF Mentor Network, which includes more than 2,000 individuals who have built, managed, invested in, or studied social enterprises. In that capacity he has supported hundreds of up-and-running companies who are changing the way the world does business. He has worked to build the field of social entrepreneurship through Net Impact, SVN, The Impact Accelerator Network and many other organizations to encourage those supporting impact entrepreneurs to learn from each other.
His previous roles include CEO of ITF Consulting, Inc., Director of Projects for Wall Street Without Walls, co-designer of the AmeriCorps*VISTA Entrepreneur Corps, and the internet coordinator for a U.S. Presidential Campaign. Mr. Fisk also worked with Public Allies, City Year, KaBOOM!, Youth Service America, and the Corporation for National Service. He founded DC’s Community Tool Chest, and was a charter organizer of Hands On DC, an annual volunteer work-a-thon for the D.C. public schools. He has helped to found more than a dozen enterprises, some for-profit, some non-profit, and some non-profit on purpose. Five of those ventures have lasted for at least a decade.
Mr. Fisk has an MBA from the Yale School of Management, where he was selected by his professors as a super-tutor. He teaches improvisation and storytelling for entrepreneurs.
Outreach and Marketing Coordinator Suzannah Simmons is passionate about using marketing and outreach to connect the right people in order to give initiatives more impact and bring solid ideas into a working reality. In her spare time, Suzannah helps organize and/or host local community events that support entrepreneurs and self-starters. Suzannah holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John's College.
Anu Keshavan is passionate about social enterprise management and impact investment to tackle societal problems and empowering the poor. She is a 2013 Frontier Market Scout Fellow @ William James Foundation. Her interest in solving social problems originates from her childhood exposure to inequalities the poor face in different shapes and forms, and her continuing backpacking travels to more than 60 countries around the world. Anu is currently a Ph.D. fellow at International School of Management, in Paris. She has over 14 years of international experience in Enterprise Solutions life cycle and its management. Her expertise is in Customer Relationship Management, On-demand solutions, Governance Risk Compliance, Mobile Technology and Sales Force Automation. She is competent in Customer-focused Innovations, building successful Customer Relations, leading large programs and Product Management. Anu holds an M.B.A, Masters in Computer Applications and a Bachelor of Engineer in Electrical and Electronics.
Deb Parsons (Investor Liasion) is an experienced connector who can bring ideas to action possessing the ability to see connections between disparate ideas and translating that knowledge to others. Over the past 8 years, she has developed an extensive network of funders, operators and sector experts in the social enterprise and sustainable space. Her experience includes serving as co-director of Investors' Circle, Vice President of Operations for Good Capital, LLC., and being a fellow at SJF Ventures. She earned her MBA from UNC-Chapel Hill, where she served as Net Impact president, received the MBA 2006 class Award for Integrity, and founded the Sustainable Enterprise Venture Capital Investment Competition.
Erin Jones (Research) is originally from Seattle and is a graduate from Brown University as a double concentrator in Education Studies and Development Studies. She is conducting follow-up interviews with past competition entrants as well as conducting research for her own thesis on social enterprise. She is hoping through these conversations to learn how businesses can effectively balance multiple bottom lines and the different ways in which they are able to generate social value simultaneous to profit.
Board of Directors
Board Chair Stefan Friedman is an investor focused on early-stage ventures, greenfield, and turnaround opportunities. He is the Founder and Manager of UltraSeed Capital LLC, a Virginia-based specialist in early-stage investment capital and the structuring, positioning and management of startup companies and venture turnaround opportunities. Mr. Friedman has more than a dozen years of venture capital experience, including management of an internet-startup incubator and a seed-stage investment fund. Prior to that, he was a serial entrepreneur in the high-tech and alternative energy sectors. In 1994, Mr. Friedman cofounded digiTRADE, which created the first technology platform that enabled internet stock trading; the company was sold 3 years later to Thomson Financial. Mr. Friedman received a B.A. from The University of Virginia, with an interdisciplinary focus on Theoretical Neuroscience.
Dr. Wayne Curtis is co-founder and managing partner of Curtis Concepts, LLC, an advisory services firm providing executive-level expertise in economic development, strategy and policy, and government relations. Dr. Curtis has extensive experience structuring complex debt and equity financing structures, particularly on behalf of governmental agencies and banking institutions. Curtis Concepts has completed work for the FDIC bank recovery initiative, and stood up the State Small Business Initiative (HR 5297) at the US Treasury this year. Prior, Dr. Curtis worked as an executive with Fannie Mae for nearly 16 years creating innovative products and partnerships for Redevelopment Agencies, Public Housing Authorities and Single- & Multi-Family developers, public & private.
He was an investment banker with Chemical Bank and Manufacturers Hanover Bank in New York City. He served as Deputy Director of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority in the late 1980s. He was Executive Director of the Business Relocation Advisory Commission in New York City. As Executive Director of the Urban Park Rangers, he established the first professionalized park service unit within New York City’s Parks Department in the late 1970s. Dr. Curtis earned a Master of Science in Economic Development from Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture and Planning (focusing on Public Bonds) and a Bachelor of Administration, with honors, from Harvard University. He also holds a PhD in Philosophy, in Leadership and Change from Antioch University. His research focuses on wealth building strategies for working class Americans through social entrepreneurship and employee stock ownership plans.
Berit Coleman is a founding partner of Affinity Lab, a shared office space for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profits in Washington, DC. When it opened in 2001, Affinity Lab was the first co-working spaces in the US. Berit was also a founding partner of the web development and communications firm, Articulated Impact, where she served as the President. Before coming to Washington, DC, she managed the third party web traffic auditing at a media tracking company in New York. She graduated from Smith College with a major in Art History and a minor in Film Studies. Berit enjoys traveling the world, writing young adult literature, and reading excessively on her Kindle.
Ian Fisk is the Executive Director of the William James foundation. See the "leadership" section for his biography.
Board of Directors (Emeritus, Non-Voting)
Charles E. Dell graduated from the University of Chicago (Lab) High School in 1938 and Dartmouth College in 1942 with a joint major in economics, political science, and sociology. In 1941, in his junior year in college, he joined Camp William James during its brief existence as an experimental model camp for the Civilian Conservation Corps. Following graduation he served four years in the US army, including duty as a tank destroyer officer during two years’ service in Europe. After the war he worked first in the Tractor Works of International Harvester Company in Chicago and later with the Dodge Motor Company in Detroit where he was active in the local UAW/CIO union. In 1951 he received his Masters in Public Administration degree from the University of Michigan and joined the Public Health Service in Washington, D.C. He worked for a short time with the Department of Agriculture before completing the major part of his government career with the Department of Education where he became the program management officer charged with overseeing Title I elementary and secondary project activities for the educationally disadvantaged in 25 states. In the 1960’s and 1970’s he co-founded and served as president of the federally funded Saunders B. Moon Community Action Association and Northern Virginia Fair Housing, Inc. After retiring in 1981, Chuck co-founded the Unitarian Universalist Affordable Housing Corporation which financed the construction and renovation of hundreds of low income housing units in the Washington DC - Baltimore area. He was married for 45 years to the late Ruth Dell who was a psychologist and vice chair of the Fairfax County School Board. They have two sons and three grandchildren. Chuck has been an active tennis player for more than 75 years. Mr. Dell co-founded the organization and remains an emeritus member of the board.
Board Secretary Betsy E. Lehrfeld, a principal in the firm of Swankin and Turner, focuses on insurance investment and regulatory issues, health care, health-specialty certification, and commercial, contract, corporate and tax matters for businesses and nonprofit organizations. She has appeared before the Food and Drug Administration and has served as general counsel to Consumers United Insurance Company, the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and the Consumer Health Foundation (formerly Group Health Association, Inc.). A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), she currently serves as executive director of the the National Institute for Science, Law, and Public Policy. Ms. Lehrfled is a non-voting member of the board.