Mark Allegrini, Climate Solutions Collaborative Manager, Confluence Philanthropy
With experience as a sustainability consultant, advocate and grantmaker, Mark brings a diverse skill set and background to his role with the Climate Solutions Collaborative.
Mark joins Confluence from Cone Communications in Boston, where he worked with clients on all aspects of their CSR and Sustainability strategies including reporting, stakeholder engagement and issues management. Prior to Cone, Mark was at the nonprofit Ceres, where he advocated for better management of corporate sustainability. This work involved facilitating engagement with a broad range of stakeholders to move the market towards a more sustainable future, harnessing the power of investors, foundations, academics and companies to advance this mission. While at Ceres, Mark was involved in mapping the sustainable agriculture space, and developing a benchmark of corporate agriculture sourcing practices. Prior to this, he was at the German Marshall Fund in Washington, DC, where he worked on the Economic Policy Program to explore issues related to multilateral trade, agriculture policy, biofuels policy and their impact on global poverty and food security.
Mark holds a BA from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and lives just South of Boston, MA with his wife and two young children.
Berit Ashla is Vice President at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. Based in RPA’s San Francisco office, Berit is responsible for West Coast advisory services, leading work with individual, family foundation and corporate donors. She brings a wealth of experience in grantmaking, education, social justice, arts, sustainability, and foundation governance including ways to align philanthropic and investment impact. She is a frequent contributor to national and regional philanthropic conferences and participates in many donor networks. Prior to RPA, Berit was Executive Director of the David Brower Center, an innovative arts and sustainability center. Earlier in her career, she directed programs at Tides Foundation and Foundation Source. Berit’s board service includes Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Abundance Foundation, Nia Community Fund, the Institute for the Future, and the Schott Foundation for Public Education. She is a graduate of Amherst College, was an All American cross-country runner and pursues extensive hikes, travel and cultural adventures.
Rick Beckett, CEO, Global Partnerships
Rick Beckett is the President and CEO of Global Partnerships, an impact-led investor dedicated to expanding opportunity for people living in poverty. During Rick's tenure Global Partnerships has invested more than $250 million in market-based solutions to poverty, bringing the opportunity to earn a living and improve life to more than 7 million people in sixteen developing countries throughout Africa and Latin America. Prior to joining Global Partnerships, Rick was managing director of a $112 million private equity fund investing in middle-market companies and early stage ventures. Rick spent 10 years at McKinsey & Company where he served financial institution and healthcare clients on strategy and performance. He specialized in helping not-for-profit organizations achieve superior results in competitive markets. While at McKinsey, Rick co-authored the bestselling book Real Change Leaders: How You Can Create Growth And Performance At Your Company. He holds a B.A. with distinction in economics from Stanford University, and an M.B.A. as an Arjay Miller Scholar from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Rick has served on the boards of directors of numerous privately held portfolio companies and not-for-profit organizations, including Direct Relief International and The Initiative for Global Development.
Alex Bernhardt, Principal, Mercer
Alex Bernhardt, US Responsible Investment (RI) Leader for Mercer Investments, is a noted expert in catastrophe, weather and financial risk management. In his role as US RI leader Alex regularly leads ESG integration exercises with the boards and investment committees of institutional investors of all types and sizes while driving innovation in environmental and social risk management. Alex was a lead contributor to Mercer’s Investing in a Time of Climate Change research and has since (co)-led related consulting arrangements with institutional investors across North America managing over $800B in assets.
Prior to joining Mercer, Alex was a Senior Vice President at Guy Carpenter, another Marsh & McLennan operating company, where he founded and ran the firm's GC Micro Risk Solutions® division focused on designing and developing index-based micro(re)insurance programs for development banks, microfinance institutions and insurers. Additionally, he supported the firm's broader growth efforts advising public and private risk bearing entities on a variety of issues with a focus on disaster risk management, energy liability and credit risk. In this capacity Alex co-led the Flood Insurance Risk Study, an in-depth year-long project for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) focused on researching the global capacity for catastrophic flood reinsurance, options for flood insurance privatization in the US and the NFIP's capital adequacy.
He received a BA from the University of Puget Sound, is a board member for Earth Economics and is often quoted in financial industry press.
Keith Bisson, President, Coastal Enterprises Inc
Keith Bisson is President at Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI). Prior to that he was the Senior Vice President for Program Management and Development where he managed CEI’s small business counseling, natural resources, and workforce development programs. He was also responsible for development and management of CEI’s $12 million Northern Heritage Development Fund and $5.5 million Working Partners Initiative, winner of the 2011 Wells Fargo NEXT Award for Opportunity Finance; monitoring and participating in Federal rural development policy; and managing and developing foundation and investor relations. A graduate of McGill University and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Keith is active in the community and currently serves on the Advisory Board of Directors of: Four Directions Development Corporation, a CDFI serving Maine’s four Native American tribes; the Opportunity Finance Network; and the CDFI Coalition.
Patrick Briaud, Philanthropic Advisor, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
Patrick helps individuals, foundations and corporations achieve their social impact goals – including strategic planning, impact investing implementation, grants management and impact evaluation. His areas of expertise include Impact Investing, Sustainable Development Goals, Monitoring & Evaluation, Faith-Based Giving and Financial Inclusion. Patrick frequently speaks on philanthropy and impact investing at a range of events, including Americans for the Arts, Confluence Philanthropy, Mission Capital, and Opal Family Office.
Prior to RPA, Patrick was head trader and investment analyst of Lee Financial’s $900M portfolio. As a professional tennis player, he earned a world doubles ranking of 125 and played in Wimbledon 2008.
Patrick has a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from Yale’s School of Management. He serves on the boards of Briaud Financial Advisors, LearnPhilanthropy and the Rivendell Institute at Yale. When not at work, Patrick can be found wrestling with his two nephews, discussing the implications of different worldviews and dancing the Texas two-step.
Mark Bünger, VP of Research and Client Development, Lux Research on Synthetic Biology
Mark Bünger works with clients to develop their innovation processes and organizations, to take strategic advantage of emerging technologies and new business models. He joined Lux Research in 2005, and launched the company’s biosciences, digital, technology foresight, and consulting services. Prior to Lux, he worked as a management consultant, technology analyst, and entrepreneur at Accenture, Forrester Research, and several startups. He has served as chairman of the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, and guest lectures at the University of California Berkeley. Mark studied business at Mälardalen Polytechnic (Sweden) and the University of Texas at Austin, and studied and worked in neurology and bioengineering labs at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). He is an avid linguist, athlete, and Maker.
Kesha Cash, Founder and General Partner, Impact America Fund
Kesha Cash is founder and general partner of Impact America Fund, a venture capital firm investing in high-growth companies that are accelerating change in underserved communities. Dubbed a “Top Five Gamechanger” by Forbes and a “Power Investor” by Essence, Kesha spent the first decade of her career as a mergers and acquisitions analyst at Merrill Lynch, an operational consultant to inner-city small businesses in Los Angeles, and an impact investments associate at Bridges Ventures in the UK. She received her MBA from Columbia Business School and her B.A. in Applied Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley. Kesha shares her thought leadership and passion for investing in underserved communities as a national speaker, contributing writer for Women@Forbes, and guest lecturer at Columbia Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business and Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
Tina N. Castro, CFA, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Avivar Capital
Tina is a managing partner and co-founder of Avivar Capital, bringing over 17 years of experience in finance and investment management. She co-leads the firm’s overall business activities and serves as an impact investment advisor to Avivar’s clients providing guidance on development and execution of impact investing portfolios and funds. Prior to founding Avivar, Tina spent more than five years as Director of Impact Investing for The California Endowment (TCE) and prior to that, six years in the Investment Management Division at Goldman, Sachs & Co. At TCE, a health-focused private foundation with over $3 billion in assets, Tina developed financing vehicles and strategies that delivered solid financial returns, leveraged significant additional investment capital and supported TCE’s Building Healthy Communities goals. This included the California FreshWorks Fund, a $272 million public-private partnership loan fund to finance healthy food retail in underserved communities throughout CA as well as TCE’s $101 million Program-Related Investment portfolio focused on healthy food retail, community health centers, affordable housing and community lending. Tina has designed and built impact investing portfolios and funds on behalf of clients ranging from large national and regional private foundations to local community foundations including authoring Impact Investing Policy Statements, designing impact investing processes to support effective execution of impact investment activities and designing social and financial performance tracking systems. Tina is a CFA Charterholder, has an MBA in Finance from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and an MA in International Affairs with a focus in International Business from the University of Miami. She earned a BA Cum Laude in International Relations with a focus in Latin America from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Tina currently sits on the board of Aeris Insight, the National Advisory Council for the Building Healthy Places Network, and the Dignity Health Community Economic Initiatives Subcommittee. She is also formerly an Adjunct Instructor for a graduate course on impact investing at USC.
Jeff Chang, Executive Director, Institute for Diversity in the Arts
Jeff Chang is the Executive Director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University. His books include Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop, Who We Be: The Colorization of America (published in paperback in January 2016 under the new title, Who We Be: A Cultural History of Race in Post Civil Rights America). His latest, We Gon' Be Alright: Notes On Race and Resegregation, was published in September 2016. His next book will be a biography of Bruce Lee.
Jeff co-founded CultureStr/ke and ColorLines. He was named by The Utne Reader as one of "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World" and by KQED as an Asian Pacific American Local Hero. He has been a USA Ford Fellow in Literature and the winner of the Asian American Literary Award.
atherine has significant corporate finance and institutional advisory experience and has been in the investment field since 1993. Before joining RBC, she was part of the SRI Wealth Management Group at Piper Jaffray for five years where she advised foundations, non-profit organizations and high net worth individuals on ESG investments. Prior to Piper Jaffray, Catherine worked with J.P. Morgan for almost seven years and was an investment banker covering the healthcare, natural resources and technology sectors. During her tenure at J.P. Morgan, Catherine advised clients on over $5 billion of M&A, project finance and equity and fixed income underwriting transactions. She was based in the New York, San Francisco, and Hong Kong offices, and has expertise in advising multi-national companies. Prior to that, she was an analyst in the International Banking Department of Chinatrust Commercial Bank in Taiwan, part of one of the largest conglomerates in Taiwan. She performed investment analysis for a variety of project finance transactions and assisted in establishing its Hong Kong office.
Catherine is a Board Member of the East Bay Community Foundation, former Advisory Board member of the Women's Funding Network, and former Board member of the Children's Council of San Francisco, a non-profit childcare referral and resource center. She is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and has a BA in both Economics and History where she is a Cal Alumni Scholar. She is also a Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®), a designation she earned from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and is a member of IMCA (Investment Management Consultants Association). She is Series 7 and 66 registered, and holds a California insurance license. Catherine is a member of the Social Investment Forum. She has sat on the firm’s Investment Advisory Group Council, is a member of the firm’s Senior Consulting Group, and is part of the President's Council in the firm (which is a distinction bestowed on high producing advisors in the firm). She is also a proud parent to two kids with her husband.
Leslie Christian, CFA, NorthStar Asset Management
Leslie Christian, a leader and innovator in social and environmental investing, is focused on the development of Integrated Capital, a framework for investing that accounts for the global risks of our time as well as the vision, values and aspirations of each client. Through Outside Investments, a division of NorthStar Asset Management, Leslie offers consulting and advisory services to individuals and institutions seeking an integrated capital approach. Leslie joined Portfolio 21 Investments in 1995 and served as its President and CEO until 2012. She is a Board member Seattle Good Business Network.
Deborah Cullinan, CEO, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Deborah Cullinan is one of the nation’s leading thinkers on the pivotal role arts organizations can play in shaping our social and political landscape, and has spent years mobilizing communities through arts and culture.
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) CEO Deborah Cullinan is one of the nation’s leading thinkers on the pivotal role arts organizations can play in shaping our social and political landscape, and has spent years mobilizing communities through arts and culture. Deborah is committed to revolutionizing the role art centers play in public life and during her tenure at YBCA, she has launched several bold new programs, engagement strategies, and civic coalitions. Prior to joining YBCA in 2013, she was the Executive Director of San Francisco’s Intersection for the Arts. She is a co-founder of CultureBank and ArtsForum SF, co-chair of the San Francisco Arts Alliance and on the board of the Community Arts Stabilization Trust. Her passion for using art and creativity to shift culture has made her a sought-after speaker at events and conferences around the world.
Anna De la Cruz, Senior Advisor, Linked Foundation
Anna is a Seattle-based social impact consultant with an emphasis on global health, microfinance and social enterprise. As consultant to Linked Foundation, she leads the foundation’s impact measurement work and advises the foundation on its overall portfolio investment strategy. Anna has also served as consultant and advisor to Qualcomm Wireless Reach, the Aspen Institute, Innovations in Healthcare at Duke University, and other funders and practitioners interested in measuring and maximizing their social impact. Before starting her consulting practice, Anna gained experience evaluating international development programs working with the UCSF Global Health Group, Innovations for Poverty Action, and the Financial Access Initiative at New York University. She received a Master’s in Public Administration with a focus on International Policy from New York University, and a Bachelor’s in International Studies from the University of Washington.
Brandy Davis, Investor Program Manager, Confluence Philanthropy
Brandy joined Confluence after providing customized philanthropic services to individuals, families and foundations at Silicon Valley Community Foundation. As a philanthropy advisor, Brandy partnered with donors to increase the strategic impact of their grantmaking, and supported foundations to have effective operations and governance.
Before her career in philanthropy, Brandy was a social justice advocate and public interest attorney. Brandy was executive director of a legal aid organization that advocated for the rights of immigrant communities in Los Angeles. She also led a statewide labor-community coalition and partnered on national organizing campaigns focused on policy solutions for working families, including paid sick leave and family leave.
Brandy has a law degree from USC Gould School of Law and is a member of the California Bar. She has a bachelor's degree from UC Irvine and a certificate in nonprofit management from UCLA. Brandy was born and raised in a small farming community in rural California and makes her home in the Bay Area, where she can be found exploring hiking trails.
Bridget Dobrowski, Program & Operations Director, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems Funders (SAFSF)
Bridget Dobrowski joined the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders in 2009 and has held many different roles and responsibilities during that time. She has a master’s in environmental science and management from the Bren School at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Before grad school, her professional work experience included time with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary; interning with the Sonoran Institute in Montana and the Environmental Defense Center in Santa Barbara; and working as a biological field technician for the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service in Montana, Idaho, and Utah. She grew up half in Montana and half in Ohio, giving her the perspective to confidently say she always wants to live in the West, without thinking everyone else should feel the same way.
In addition to her professional work with environmental and food system issues over the last 15 years, Bridget has a passion for theater, yoga – especially AcroYoga, building & fixing things, sewing, crocheting, cooking, and helping friends whenever she can.
Andrea Dobson, Chief Financial Officer, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation
Andrea Dobson is nationally known for her leadership in philanthropic finance and investing. A CPA with a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Michigan, she is committed to addressing the issues related to poverty, race and social justice, education and economic equity. Andrea currently serves as Executive Committee Member and Treasurer of the Neighborhood Funders Group Board, the International Funders of Indigenous Peoples, and the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund Board, and on the Southeastern Council of Foundations Audit Committee. She has spoken frequently at conferences on her work in mission-related investing, including the Council on Foundations, the Southeastern Council of Foundations, the Mission Investors Exchange, and the Grant Managers Network. In addition, she is sought after to speak at conferences focusing on emerging managers, and providing opportunities for women and minority led investment firms. She provides pro bono consulting to many nonprofits in the areas of financial management and transparency. Her work in communications has received several Wilmer Rich Shields awards for excellence.
Geoffrey Eisenberg, Principal, The Ecosystem Integrity Fund,
Geoffrey Eisenberg is a Principal at the Ecosystem Integrity Fund, and has been a member of the EIF investment team from its inception in 2010. EIF is a sustainability-focused venture capital fund, currently investing out of its third fund. At EIF, Geoff invests in renewable energy, grid/storage, electric vehicle technologies, sustainable agriculture, water, and green chemistry.
Prior to joining EIF, Geoff worked as a Senior Consulting Associate at Cambridge Associates, a global institutional investment consulting firm. While at Cambridge, he provided investment counsel to institutional, pension, and ultra-high net-worth clients. Geoff also conducted due diligence on investment managers, and helped clients build diversified and sophisticated portfolios across asset classes. He initiated the firm’s 2007 white paper on cleantech investing for institutional clients, and conducted extensive research on the cleantech industry, including company and venture capital/private equity fund analysis.
In addition to his role at EIF, Geoff is a mentor for the Hawaii Energy Exelerator, helping clean energy start-ups scale. He also serves as a director to the Forsythia Foundation, a non-profit focused on the commercialization of safer green chemistry replacements for toxic chemicals in our products and environment.
Geoff holds a BA in History and Philosophy from Bates College in Lewiston, ME.
Stacey Faella, Executive Director, Woodcock Foundation
Stacey Faella is the Executive Director of the Woodcock Foundation, a progressive family foundation that supports efforts to improve the educational, economic, and environmental circumstances of communities in need. Stacey works across the foundation’s programs, which span social enterprise, food systems, large landscape conservation, gender equality, media reform, and civil society. In addition to advancing the foundation’s programs through both grants and program-related investments, Stacey works with others in the sector to foster collaboration in philanthropy and support grantee capacity building efforts. She originally joined the foundation in September 2011.
Stacey has experience working on foundation and nonprofit communications, strategy, evaluation, and impact investing. She has managed a growing PRI portfolio at the Woodcock Foundation, built a project strategy to engage millennials in causes related to gender equality, conducted a program evaluation for an international youth reproductive health program, and led a strategic planning process for a nonprofit focused on civic engagement. She has engaged in communications research on behalf of various causes and frequently works with grantees to improve their communications capacity. Stacey serves on the board of Spark Microgrants as well as steering committees for Community Food Funders and Confluence Philanthropy. She previously served on the Board of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey, where she was also founding chair of the Young People’s Network.
Originator of the concepts of Blended Value and Total Portfolio Management, Jed Emerson has extensive experience leading, staffing and advising funds, firms, social ventures and foundations pursuing financial performance with social/environmental impact. In addition to his writing, Jed currently focuses on working with families exploring how to ensure a long-term legacy by managing their full net worth for impact. He is an internationally recognized Thought Leader in impact investing, social entrepreneurship and strategic philanthropy. Emerson has twice been selected as one of North America’s Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior and was awarded a Life Time appointment in 2015. Together with co-author, Antony Bugg-Levine, winner of the 2012 Nautilus Gold Book Award and has twice been selected by the NonProfit Times as one of the 50 Most Influential People in the Sector.
Patricia Farrar-Rivas, Founding Principal and CEO, Veris Wealth Partners
Patricia Farrar-Rivas is a founding principal and CEO of Veris Wealth Partners, a wealth management firm committed to aligning wealth with values. She has been providing investment advisory and wealth management services since 1992. Prior to Veris, Patricia led the effort by Silicon Valley-based public accounting firm, Frank, Rimerman + Co. to launch its new investment advisory subsidiary. She also co-founded the New York office of Progressive Asset Management in 1994.
Earlier in her career, Patricia worked on economic development, local empowerment, and social justice. She realized the degree to which economic factors were embedded in those challenges, and, as the responsible investing industry was emerging in the U.S., turned her attention to advising asset owners on the potential impact of their investment policies and decisions.
Patricia served on the board of As You Sow, a nonprofit organization promoting corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy and innovative legal strategies. Patricia is a principal consultant to the Envestnet Sustainability Platform and a member of the Envestnet Advisory Board. She is also a member of the Standards Council for the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), a nonprofit that works on developing and disseminating industry-specific sustainability accounting standards for material, nonfinancial (ESG) information. Patricia is based in San Francisco, where she lives with her family.
Deborah Frieze, Founding Partner, Boston Impact Initiative
Deborah Frieze is founding partner of the Boston Impact Initiative, an impact investing fund focused on economic justice, which means investing in opportunity for all people—especially those most oppressed or abandoned by our current economic system—to lead a dignified and productive life. The fund takes an integrated capital approach, combining investing, lending and giving to build a resilient and inclusive local economy. Deborah is co-author of Walk Out Walk On, an award-winning book that profiles pioneering leaders who walked out of organizations failing to contribute to the common good—and walked on to build resilient communities. She is also founder of the Old Oak Dojo, an urban learning center in Boston, MA.
Ivan Frishberg, Vice President, Sustainable Banking, Amalgamated Bank
Ivan Frishberg joined Amalgamated Bank in 2016 to launch a new Sustainability Banking division within the bank. Ivan works across the bank on a range of banking, investment and lending products designed to serve sustainability goals and the goals of our clients in the areas of energy, climate and the environment. He has also played a central role in managing climate policy and shareholder engagement efforts for the bank. Prior to joining Amalgamated Bank, Ivan has more than 25 years of advocacy, organizing and policy experience. Most recently, Ivan served as a campaign manager and Senior Advisor on Climate Change for Organizing for Action, directed the State Climate Hub facilitating coordination of state level efforts to implement the Clean Power Plan, and worked with the Climate Briefing Service on the intersection of US Climate Advocacy and international climate negotiations.