Ian Fisk leads the Mentor Capital Network — a group of more than 1,000 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. Seven of those ventures lasted for at least a decade. Mr. Fisk has an MBA from the Yale School of Management. He teaches improvisation and storytelling for entrepreneurs.
Our Board of Directors
Dr. Wayne Curtis is co-founder and Managing Partner of Curtis Concepts, LLC, an advisory services firm providing executive-level expertise in raising capital, 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. Dr Curtis is currently the Director of Center for Urban Entrepreneurship, as well as an Adjunct Professor at the School of Business and Public Administration, both with the University of the District of Columbia. 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 and served as Deputy Executive Director of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority in the late 1980s. Dr. Curtis was Executive Director of the Business Relocation Advisory Commission, and as Executive Director of the Urban Park Rangers, established the first professionalized park service unit within Parks Department, both with New York City government. 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.
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.
Dawn Edwards is currently leading Pomegranite Consulting, Dawn has over 20 years of institutional capital markets experience. In 2006, Dawn co-founded and became the President of AltruShare Securities, LLC, the first institutional brokerage firm specializing in community investment, and the first nonprofit owned brokerage firm. AltruShare combines comprehensive and competitive institutional brokerage services, a unique research product, an experienced management and trading staff. A for-profit venture, AltruShare’s profits support the AltruShare Opportunity Funds, which benefit locally based community programs addressing youth development, education, and economic opportunity.
Mitra Ardron (Clean Tech Adviser) is the co-founder of Lumeter Networks. He brings decades of business savvy and technical skills, as well as thorough knowledge of issues creating barriers to economic development in emerging economies. Previously, Mitra supported and incubated innovators’ ideas that have practicable potential to achieve significant impact to alleviate poverty and environmental harm in both the developed and developing world. Mitra has previously managed a solar company that pioneered community purchasing in Australia; developed core protocols for the internet; and has two decades of cleantech, internet, and emerging market commercialization experience.
Dr. Matthew Lee (Research Director) is a professor at INSEAD, a leading global business school, where he teaches the core MBA course on strategy. His teaching and research address topics related to hybrid organizations, sustainability, healthcare innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership. His research has been published in leading journals including the Strategic Management Journal, California Management Review, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and the Academy of Management Annals, and has been featured by Harvard Business Review, CBS News, and the World Bank, among others.
Prior to joining INSEAD, he received a doctorate at Harvard Business School, where he received the Dean’s Award and the Wyss Award. He was a consultant with the Bridgespan Group, a spin-off of Bain & Company providing strategy consulting to non-profit organizations, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Malaysia.
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 the 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.
Tami Kesselman is a Harvard-trained strategist and former Bain consultant and a thought leader in impact investing & taking social enterprises to scale, filling gaps in strategic rigor that held these sectors back from mainstream success. The founder of TBL Alpha Advisory & SolveForGood, Tami is known for her work creating innovative alliances between MNCs, government agencies, entrepreneurs & funders, advising clients on capacity building & structuring investments for heightened success, both in financial & impact metrics. She serves on the Steering Committee for Nexus’ Impact Investing Working Group, is a Council Member for GLG, and is a frequent participant in think tanks on growing SRI & responsible investing.
A dynamic speaker, Tami has keynoted at the UN, co-curated the inaugural TEDxUNPlaza & addressed audiences at the World Forum at the Hague, Opal Financial Group in NYC, and +SocialGood on global livestream. She’s lectured at Yale, Penn, MIT, Harvard, and served on the UN Transformational Leadership course faculty curriculum committee for staff from across agencies & continents, teaching modules inspiring leaders to move innovation & impact beyond current frameworks. In the US, Tami helped shape the Growing the Impact Economy Summit at Harvard, paving the way for broader regulatory reforms. She is a founding member of Mentor Capital Network and a judge for business plan competitions including the HBS New Venture Competition & the President’s Challenge.
With an ability to detect issues early on & aptitude for bringing people together for quick resolution, Tami serves on multiple boards, including chairing the Governance Committee for the board of AIESEC US. She has also been an advisor to AT&T for youth outreach & to the UN Office for Partnerships for civil society collaborations. Tami has additional advisory roles with the Mentor Capital Network, HBS’s Center for Entrepreneurship, and as member of the Policy & Strategy Group for the UN’s SDG Action Campaign.
Scott Leonard leads Indigenous, a pioneering company immersed in sustainability & fair trade fashion. Scott was responsible for spearheading and actualizing a revolutionary production financing model for Indigenous fair trade knitting cooperatives through Root Capital, Finance for Communities and Conservation, Cambridge, MA. He continues to collaborate with an array of investors and financial institutions to scale positive impact globally,primarily in economically marginalized communities.
Scott has helped nurture supply-chains and Artisan networks/groups into thriving enterprises that are able to scale intact as beneficial models of community Fair Trade. The use of natural and organic certified fibers,along with offering access to training opportunities to elevate has been a core value.
Scott brings vast experience, to improve Artisan skills and understanding of quality control measures,as well as the support systems/organizations that enhance community development activities.
Founding Members of the Mentor Capital Network
When the William James Foundation became the Mentor Capital Network in 2014, several individuals and organizations stepped up to make sure our transition was a financially stable one. They are listed below.
Jim Davidson, Eileen Fisher Foundation, Ian Fisk, Aaron Lamstein, Henry Manice, Garrett Melby, Janet Morgan, Linda Welch & Anonmyous.
Donors: $250 – $999
Richard Ambrose, Sherry Altman, Kaylene Alvarez, Allison Archambault, Brian Baker, Amanda Barrett, Hugh Blodget, Mrim Boutla, Allen Bromberger, Cameron Burgess, Serena Cheng, Sarah Cooke, Fred Cooper, Wayne Curtis, Sai Krishna Dandamudi, Rebecca Darr, Alix Davidson, David Deal, Jessica Doerr, Jimmy Edgerton, Glen Fernandes, Vikki Frank, Stefan Friedman, Seth Goldman/Honest Tea, Rachel Goldstein, Lisa Gurwich, Ed Herold, Investors’ Circle, Avary Kent, Tami Kesselman, Arthur Lazerow, Charles Lief, Alex Lovell-Troy, Mark Marosits, Paul Martin, Dawn McGee, Christine Mendonca, Monisha Merchant, John Nelson, Lynn O’Connell, David O’Leary, Paxton Law Group, Lara Pearson, Charles Planck, Ben Powell, Adam Rasmussen, Deborah Santos, Todd Schechter, Michelle Schwartz, Shannon Sentman, Monika Shepard, James Stroiney, Rob Thomas, Andrew Tulchin, David Witzel, Jennifer Woofter, & Timothy and Rose Penelope Yee.
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. He has two sons and three grandchildren. Chuck has been an active tennis player for more than 75 years.
John E. Nelson is the co-founder of William James Foundation and the co-founder and director of Wall Street Without Walls. Mr. Nelson had always worked in community development and environmental preservation and was frustrated at the way most nonprofit groups faced an erratic funding stream from foundations and government grants. In 1998, at a Rockefeller Foundation gathering on ways to link nonprofits to capital markets, he met Greg Stanton, a Wall Street investment banker, who had founded an organization of financiers eager to donate their Wall Street expertise. Mr. Nelson has engaged national financial institutions including the Federal Reserve Bank system to give non-profits access to more than $1 billion of new mission capital since 2000. More than 2,500 professionals and 1,000 community organizations have taken on projects such as financing 1,000 units of workforce housing in Washington DC; creating a mortgage loan system for immigrant home purchasers; leveraging under-used federal assets to back a $1.1 billion infrastructure bond in New Orleans; and designing a national investment fund for micro-enterprise organizations.