The Tecovas Foundation
The Acacia Fund
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Leadership Team Executive Director Ian Fisk (firstname.lastname@example.org) leads the WJF Mentor Network of 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. Seven of those ventures 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.
Senior Adviser for Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships Vikki Frank was the founder and executive director of Credit Builders Alliance, an innovative non-profit social enterprise creating solutions for financially underserved families in the U.S. to build credit and assets. She has over 15 years experience creating wealth building and anti-poverty solutions for international, national and community-based organizations throughout the Americas and Africa. Prior to CBA, Vikki worked to certify, underwrite and strengthen CDFIs and Native CDFIs at the Department of Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. Vikki has also worked at the Latino Economic Development Corporation coaching and mentoring start-up social enterprises. Ms. Frank has an undergraduate degree from McGill University and a masters degree in Human Rights and Economic Development from Columbia University.
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.
Frontier Market Scout, Suzy Valle, email@example.com
Frontier Market Scout, Serenity Siya Mlay, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anu Keshavan is passionate about social enterprise management and impact investment to tackle societal problems and empowering the poor. She was 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.
Matt Lee is a Doctoral Candidate at Harvard Business School and research partner.
Board of Directors
Board Chair Stefan Friedman is an impact investor focused on early-stage ventures and greenfield and turnaround opportunities. He is the Founder and Manager of CoPilot Ventures, a Virginia-based specialist in seed-stage investment capital and the structuring, positioning and management of startup companies and venture turnaround opportunities. CoPilot has a particular focus on pioneering technologies that have transformative potential for the sustainability of our natural environment and resources and the well-being and security of our population. Mr. Friedman has more than fifteen years of venture capital experience, including management of internet-startup incubator CoDevelop and early-stage investment fund UltraSeed Capital. Prior to that, he was a serial entrepreneur in the high-tech and alternative energy sectors. Companies co-founded by Mr. Friedman include digiTRADE, which created the first technology for internet stock trading, and W2Fuel, an innovative producer of waste-based biofuels and specialty chemicals. Mr. Friedman received a B.A. from The University of Virginia, with an interdisciplinary focus on Theoretical Neuroscience.
Mitra Ardron is CEO of Lumeter Networks, which has developed a pre-paid electricity meter that it provides to renewable energy companies so they can provide power to off-grid rural poor in developing countries. Mitra is passionate about solving projects at scale. He built a solar company in Australia that crowd-sourced community purchase of residential PV. He co-founded the Association for Progressive Communications (www.apc.org) that pioneered the internet in the early '90s into much of the emerging economies and is now a leading voice on ICT for development and human rights. His background bridges technology and business, from editing internet standards to being acting CEO of a banana paper company that IPO-ed. Immediately prior to co-founding Lumeter, he spent a few years mentoring innovators with clean tech solutions to developing world problems, traveling extensively to work with them, and seeing the challenge that led to the founding of Lumeter.
Board Treasurer 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.
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.
Deb Parsons 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.
Ian Fisk is the Executive Director of the William James foundation. See the leadership section above for his biography.
Board of Directors (Emeritus, Non-Voting)
Emeritus member and co-founder 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.
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.
Office and Postal Address
The William James Foundation
920 U Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
We are a member of a wonderful co-working space called the The Affinity Lab.
Metro: Green Line U Street/American American Civil War Memorial
Parking: Street parking and Parking Lot on 9th street between T & U