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Oakland Ambassadors  

Ambassador-Alex

Alex is the Executive Director/ CEO of the Chabot Space and Science Center, a position he has held since April, 2007. Prior to joining Chabot, Alex was the Executive Director of the Fort Mason Foundation in San Francisco, California from 1999 to 2006. Zwissler was born in Stuttgart Germany then moved to California with his family. He was raisedin Oakland and visited Chabot on a field trip as a grade school student. Alex attended public schools before going on to receive a B.A. in Political Science, with Honors, at the University of California at Berkeley. After graduating from Berkeley, Alex went on to become a Postgraduate Research Fellow at the Centre for Mass Communication Research at the University of Leicester, England, conducting research on the development of international satellite broadcasting. In addition to enjoying an active lifestyle with his family, Alex serves in the leadership of both local and national non-profits, currently on the Board of Directors for the San Francisco Market Street Railway, Tau Kappa Epsilon at UC Berkeley, and the Non Profit Centers Network.

Ambassador-Ben

Ben Delaney provides organizational leadership at a strategic level. Over thirty years of executive leadership, marketing, and evaluation enables me to enhance the effectiveness of mission-driven organizations, CSR offices, and social enterprises. 

Most recently, Ben led an expanding social enterprise, ReliaTech, building a cohesive, multi-ethnic team. This social enterprise added two new, profitable business lines and increased revenues by over 300% while increasing Social Return on Investment (SROI) greatly. Ben focuses on: 

  • Using best business practices to further social and beneficial causes
  • Social enterprise and CSR
  • Evaluation, especially building evaluation into new programs
  • Effective communications
  • Leveraging strengths through well-executed collaboration
In the public sector, Ben puts his diverse experience to work to try to make the world a better place. 
Ambassador-Charles

Charlie Finnie is a Managing Director and Co-Founder of EFW Partners. He brings over 25 years of experience as an analyst and investor in emerging technology and energy companies. In 2008 Charlie founded Greener Capital Partners, the predecessor firm to EFW Capital, focusing on energy, food, and water  innovation. Greener Capital has 12 portfolio companies, and Charlie sits on the boards of Sungevity, Electratherm, Project Frog, and PeoplePower.

Ambassador-Gil

Gil Friend is president & CEO of Natural Logic Inc, helping companies design, implement and measure profitable sustainability strategies. Widely considered one of the founders of the sustainable business movement, and recently named an inaugural member of the Sustainability Hall of Fame (along with Amory Lovins, Karl-Henrik Robert, Bob Willard and the late Ray Anderson). Systems ecologist and business strategist with nearly 40 years experience in business development and environmental innovation. Has guided strategic and operational efficiency projects with more than 100 large and small companies in a wide range of industries. Combines broad business experience in management consulting, internet services, direct marketing, and television production with broad content experience in business strategy, systems ecology, economic development, management cybernetics, and public policy. 

Ambassador-Jeff

Co-founder and Chief Evolutionary Officer at Dharma Merchant Services, Jeff began selling credit card processing services back in 1991 in Portland, Maine. Through various acquisitions and moves (Boulder, Phoenix, Portland OR) Jeff became a regional manager for Cardservice International, the largest Merchant Service Provider (MSP) in the country at that time. In early 1998, seizing the opportunity with the advent of ecommerce, he became SVP of Business Development for Authorize.Net, creating the most successful online payment gateway, which is now a unit of Visa USA. In late 2007, after reading an article on finding one's life purpose, the idea of starting a company whose purpose was to give back to the community as well as an opportunity to serve the sustainable business community was manifested as Dharma Merchant Services – whose name refers to one's path – specifically by adhering to the principles of right speech, right intentions, right thought, right mindfulness, etc.

 

Jonathan Mi is a Senior Associate at Brightpath Capital Partners, LP and is responsible for deal sourcing, due diligence, and deal execution for the company.  Prior to BCP, Jonathan was an Associate at Gryphon Investors, a middle-market private equity firm based in San Francisco with more than $900 million in assets under management. While there, Jonathan was responsible for sourcing, analyzing, executing, and monitoring investments across the healthcare, business services, and education industries. He previously worked for Merrill Lynch, where he focused on M&A advisory services for high tech companies.  Jonathan received his BA from the University of California, Berkeley where he was a Chancellor’s Scholar. 

Ambassador-Jose

Jose leads the ICA team by providing strategic leadership, management and direction. Since joining the organization in 2004, Jose has led ICA in helping local entrepreneurs achieve success by assembling an unparalleled network of the Bay Area’s foremost business leaders, and is often sought out for his ability to understand inner city business trends. Over a seven year period, Jose has overseen $8,253,600 of total pro bono investments into the ICA mission. In 2012, these combined investments supported the creation and retention of 2,602 good jobs, the generation of $93M in wealth created for local residents, and $57M in total revenues under active management. Furthermore, he is focused on ensuring that the model serves those that need help the most. To that end, 73% of ICA companies now hire workers with barriers to employment, 59% of ICA companies are owned by women, and 48% are owned by people of color.

Ambassador-Mike
Mike Hannigan was born in Pensacola Florida. He earned his B.A. in Philosophy from U.C. San Diego and his M.A. in Criminology from U.C. Berkeley. He began work for the Xerox corporation and built his career in management for business products companies for the next decade until starting GSB.
Says Hannigan, "I was active in the usual social movements of the late '60s and '70s, and although I was very successful as a businessperson, I was never really comfortable in that role and never happy unless I was involved in some type of community political activism. I approached Sean Marx with the idea of forming a company that would combine our business skills and our values. We saw an opportunity to use the power of business to further the goals of community service through funding non profit organizations. We started the company in 1991 with $20,000 each from our savings and started making sales calls from my living room."

 

Portland Ambassadors  

 Ambassador- Amy

Amy is the executive director and co-founder of Springboard Innovation. She draws on extensive experience in the education, corporate, and social sectors to create a vision of addressing global challenges with citizen-led solutions. By making innovative strategies "learnable" she teaches social entrepreneurship skills and strategies to youth and adults in order to foster a more equitable, innovative, and capable society. Her own career has taken her from public television to the classroom and school district, to the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, to managing Intel's online education program implemented in dozens of countries. She believes we need to move 50% of our strategies upstream to allow us to get in front of our accelerating challenges. She is currently building unique infrastructure to better enable social innovation to flourish.

 Ambassador- Bill

As an attorney, Bill had an active practice in mergers and acquisitions, corporate law, and business litigation. Bill is also an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at The University of Portland and Portland State University. Bill holds a B.A., with honors, in biology, geology and history from Carleton College and his J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School.

Bill likes to explore the Pacific Northwest on snowshoes, snowboards, rafts, bicycles, motorcycles, snowmobiles, boats, running shoes and hiking boots.  He lives with his wife and three children in Portland. Learn more about the Meriwether Group.

 Ambassador- Danny

As the principal of Redside with its expertise in green building development and retrofits, Danny wants to show that striving for energy efficiency to conserve resources and conscious construction to minimize waste is a profitable alternative to status-quo development and management. He envisions Redside being part of the solution for challenges related to climate change. Under his leadership Redside has become known for its forward-thinking environmental stewardship, receiving prestigious LEED certifications and EnergyStar designations for its properties, as well as industry recognition for its contribution. As one of the top 10 largest commercial real estate developers in Portland, Redside’s work can be seen throughout the Portland metro area and beyond, from downtown Portland (the Loyalty-Hamilton building at 3rd and Alder) to Oregon City (221 Molalla) to Bend (1000 Wall). Danny and his business partner, Garrin Royer, launched Redside in 2002, naming it after the famed Deschutes trout and in honor of their children, who inspire them to maintain an unflagging sense of responsibility regarding environmental stewardship and making conscious choices to that end. Danny lives in Lake Oswego with his wife Michelle and their children, Jackson and Lily.

 Ambassador- Derek

Derek Smith has been in a leadership role in triple bottom line ventures for more than a decade, with experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Prior to Clean Energy Works Oregon, he was Policy Advisor for City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, where he was project manager of the Clean Energy Works Portland (CEWP) pilot program. In the late ‘90s, Derek developed one of the first sustainability programs in the retail world at $225 million multi-channel retailer Norm Thompson Outfitters. As Director of Operations at YOLO Colorhouse, a venture capital funded green lifestyle brand offering premium zero VOC paint, Derek was a member of the management team that supported 500% annual growth. Derek has also consulted on sustainability strategy to a number of leading companies and organizations. He has a BS in Mass Communications from San Jose State University and an MBA from the University of Oregon. 

 Ambassador- Franz Laughing Planet works hard to provide access to wholesome food at a great value, for as many people as possible. They believe the food you put in your body has a dramatic impact on your life, and your ability to access your human potential. And that everyone ought to be able to eat in a healthy manner — so nutritious, delicious food should be available to all. Learn more about Laughing Planet here.

 

 Ambassador- Garrin

Garrin oversees the financial and construction aspects of Redside’s projects in development or under management—with all decisions being considered according to the triple bottom line standard of people, planet and profits. Projects under his direction include the newly refurbished Loyalty and Hamilton buildings (LEED-EBOM) in downtown Portland, and the 1000 Wall (LEED-CS) in downtown Bend. Garrin became an advocate for green building shortly after co-founding Redside with Danny McGinley in 2002. Newly informed about recycling construction waste from the county building department, Garrin interrupted the demolition of an early project to ask where the debris would go. When the answer came back, ‘the dump,’ Garrin stopped everything until they developed a plan for recycling the material. Three years later, an old lumberyard became Redside’s 221 Molalla, the first privately developed LEED-Gold building in Clackamas County. Garrin lives in West Linn with his wife, Cortney, and their three children, Bella, Olivia, and Callahan.

 Ambassador- Jesse

Jesse started at AOC from a career in community and economic development finance. His work began with neighborhood rehabilitation and small business lending in Oregon. The hook that caught him at the start came from sharing a week with the late Jim Fletcher, one of the founders of South Shore Bank. In a seminar on community development finance it became clear that real “access to credit” should consider both affordability and the fair evaluation of an individual or business’ capacity to borrow.

Jesse has worked in the public and private sectors, in commercial and investment banking, and for a nonprofit CDFI (community development financial institution) and affordable housing developer. When Jesse learned of an exciting new partnership for Vittana in India that would allow him to explore the opportunities and challenges of India’s financial markets in country, it was too good to pass up. Jesse spent two seasons in India learning about their financial market and brought a wealth of knowledge and ideas back to his local community.

 

 Ambassador- Kimball

Kimball Ferris joined Miller Nash in 2011 as a partner in its business practice. Kimball has practiced for over 30 years in the Portland, Oregon, area emphasizing domestic and international business, banking, and real estate issues. He works closely with senior business executives and high-net-worth individuals in solving their legal problems and concerns with creative and innovative approaches. 

Kimball's practice areas and experiences as outside general counsel include working as a team leader and working attorney on a wide and diverse variety of business transactional matters. Read more here.

 Ambassador- Nancy

Nancy founded Nancy Hamilton Consulting to help clients on both sides of a proposition navigate their pursuits more effectively by translating their needs and wants into language that makes sense to everyone. Learn more here.

 Ambassador- Nathan

Nathan Kadish is the Director of Investment Strategy for Ecotrust, an organization focused on fostering a natural model of development that creates more resilient communities, economies, and ecosystems. Nathan develops and executes investment strategies for the Natural Capital Fund, Ecotrust’s working endowment, across targeted sectors: Food & Farms, Fisheries, Forestry, Green Building, and Social Finance.  He conducts financial and operational diligence for potential investments, as well as works with Ecotrust’s program teams to grow mission aligned businesses.  He brings a breadth of experience to his business incubation and investment analysis approach, from conducting market studies to test political viability of public funding strategies in rural Oregon communities, to developing go-to-market sector plans for PricewaterhouseCoopers. His wide range of ecosystem services work, ranging from ecological field study in Costa Rica’s cloud forest to analytics for the global Carbon Disclosure Project, provide him with a holistic view of the intersection of business, environmental, and social value. He holds a BA in Biology and Public Policy from Pomona College and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management with a focus on Finance and Management Strategy.    

  



Sacramento Ambassadors  

 Ambassador- Anne

Anne Staines is a leading social marketing expert, specializing in campaigns that motivate consumers to adopt behavior that is in their best interest and for the good of society. She has more than 25 years experience managing statewide and national campaigns for a wide range of public and private clients ranging from Columbia Pictures and Mattel to numerous public-sector clients including California Energy Commission, CalSTRS, Cal Grants, Cal FIRE, Department of Technology Services, First 5 Placer, and Caltrans. Read more here.

 

Charles formed Ansbach and Associates in 1987, after a successful tenure as a national campaign director of Ketchum, Inc. He came to this profession with a background in business and the arts.  During the last 30 years, he has personally managed major campaigns in the fields of health care, education, the arts, religion, science, and civic affairs, as well as mentoring. Charles was recognized as the “Outstanding Fundraising Executive of 1996” by the Capitol Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

 Ambassador- Heidi

Heidi has been a leader in the solid waste industry in California for 22 years; working with industry, government and the public to reduce waste, improve product design and recyclability, and implement cost-effective policies which protect the health of our communities. Collaborating with local government leaders, Heidi founded CPSC in 2007 to change the way product waste is funded and managed in California; she has since become a nationally recognized thought leader and driver for innovative product stewardship programs across the country. Read more here.

 Ambassador- Veronica

 

 

Seattle Ambassadors  

 Ambassador- Frank

For the past twenty years Frank has provided political, legal, business strategy and general management services for various private and public organizations. He is particularly passionate about working with early stage companies that have a clearly defined positive social impact. Specialties: Business Strategy, Corporate Strategy, Business Operations, General Counsel, Complex Transactions, Government Relations.

 Ambassador- Gifford

Gifford has been an organic dairy farmer, a blacksmith, an author, an innovation consultant, software CEO, an angel investor and a school president. He has published three books. Intrapreneuring, which introduced a new way of fostering innovation by creating space for innovators to express their entrepreneurial spirit within existing organizations, was a bestseller in 15 languages. The Intelligent Organization, written with his wife, Libba, took self-organization a step further, to include the everyday work of ordinary employees. Pinchot & Company, which he runs with his wife Libba, has served half of the Fortune 100 and helped them to launch over 700 new products and businesses. In 2008, Executive Excellence named him number 32 on the top 100 leadership thinkers. He has a Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa from U. of Puget Sound. In 2009 he was awarded the Olympus Lifetime Education Award and in 2010 he and his wife were named Purpose Prize fellows. Gifford graduated with honors from Harvard University in 1965 with an honors degree in Economics, then completed his coursework for a Ph.D. in Neurophysiology at Johns Hopkins University. Learn more about BGI.

 Ambassador- Jon

Jon Kroman recently established his own law and consulting practice after 28 years with the Seattle-based law firm of Garvey Schubert Barer, including over 20 years as partner.  For many years, Jon has been heavily involved with sustainability in the regional business community. A central element of the transition to his own practice is the opportunity to provide cost-effective professional support to small and medium sized companies  and other organizations defined by products, services and practices reflecting a fundamental commitment to social and environmental responsibility.

Jon's experience, and the services he offers a wide variety of clients, include advice and deliverables supporting clients in their important relationships with other organizations, individuals and governmental authorities, and including internal relationships within for-profit and nonprofit entities. As an independent professional, Jon offers rates associated with virtually no overhead and greater flexibility on fee arrangements.

 Ambassador- Maryann

Maryann Nelson founded C-Level Consulting in Seattle Washington in 1999. Maryann has worked with companies in multiple sectors and of myriad size. She will work with you to solve the problems encountered in all businesses, from staffing through quantifying new strategic objectives. With experience as a CFO, a COO, and a CEO, Maryann understands the unique challenge of integrating priorities between intercompany disciplines, and is laser focused on improving financial results inside of ethical corporate cultures. 

 Ambassador- Shaula

Shaula Massena is an analytical thinker who brings a blend of financial and social experience from her work as a private equity investor and as a foundation grant maker.  Shaula completed the Sustainable MBA program at the Bainbridge Graduate Institute in June of 2008 where her capstone project was on community economic development. During her degree program she worked as a Portfolio Analyst Intern for Good Capital where she did market research & financial analysis. Shaula has also done research on small business capital for Michael Shuman. Read more.

 Ambassador- Tim

Tim Crosby, Director of Slow Money NW, works in the Pacific Northwest on the logistics, policy, and financing of the regional food system. Tim is on the Steering Committee for the Sustainable Agriculture and Food System Funders Network. Previously Tim coordinated the development of the Puget Sound Food Network and helped develop the Good Food Coalition a multi-issue coalition focused on state food policy.  He lives in Edmonds with his wife and two daughters, and coaches two soccer teams in his spare time. Tim holds an MBA in Sustainable Business from Bainbridge Graduate Institute.