OUR TEAM

The Impact Finance Center team is an exceptional assembly of individuals dedicated to education, research and proving concepts in the area of impact finance and philanthropy.

STAFF

Nicole Brajevich, Executive Assistant

After serving the IFC as a fellow, Nicole’s eager passion and interest in impact finance and international development has led Nicole to her position with the Impact Finance Center as Executive/ Development Assistant. Nicole works at the intersection of development, events, and special projects keeping the Impact Finance Center on track with respect to its donors and clients. She also devotes significant attention to operations and event management. She received her B.A. in Political Science at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada and her M.A. at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies in Global Finance, Trade, and Economic Development with a business certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility. Her passion to help others comes from her experiences from living overseas in Africa, Canada, and volunteering in Central America.

John Cleland, Operations Manager and Sponsorship Lead

John is a technology and financial services sector expert and entrepreneur with a passion for social, environmental and sustainable initiatives. John is a Chicago native, and prior to joining IFC spent the last 10 years managing multiple futures brokerage operations and initiatives. After starting his own brokerage in 2009, John managed operations, compliance, and IT while raising 20 million in assets. John is a Michigan State graduate with degrees in Business Administration and Communications.

Karen Eller, Senior Philanthropic Advisor

Drawing on 15 years of fundraising experience working with nonprofits such as The Nature Conservancy and FoodCorps, Karen advises IFC's philanthropic vision, including donor strategy, grant writing, and systems building. When not working with IFC, Karen serves as an independent fundraising consultant, assisting clients on fundraising planning, infrastructure, and major gifts.

Kristin Giant, J.D., Director of Strategic Partnerships

Kristin assists corporate and nonprofit clients with a variety of matters, including the formation of new entities, corporate and nonprofit governance, strategic planning, social media marketing and web analytics, fundraising, and social enterprise. She brings nearly a decade of experience in fundraising, marketing and nonprofit management, paired with legal expertise and a passion for applying for-profit efficiencies to nonprofit ventures. Kristin attended the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, MN. Kristin has been a director, board member, and volunteer of arts nonprofits of all stages in Minnesota, South Carolina, and Indiana. Before attending law school, Kristin was a performing musician and the director of a musical theatre company in Charleston, SC. She received her bachelor of arts in music composition from the College of Charleston. 

Stephanie Gripne, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director

Stephanie is the creative force behind the Impact Finance Center. As an academic entrepreneur, philanthropic advisor, researcher, and educator in the field of impact investing, Stephanie sets the vision and provides leadership for the entire organization while focusing on business development, client engagement, and industry thought leadership through her research, writing, and speaking. For Dr. Gripne’s full bio and CV, click here.

Jennifer Kelly, Writer-Editor

Jennifer is a marketing communications professional with more than 20 years of experience helping nonprofits and for-profits achieve their goals and communicate their brand. As a grant writer and editor for IFC, she brings deep knowledge of diverse sectors with special interest in education, arts and culture, and social justice. Her clients have included the Colorado Education Initiative, Breakthrough Kent Denver, More Than Me, KIPP Colorado Schools, the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Tremendous Hearts, and the Art Students League of Denver, among others. Jennifer is a graduate of Haverford College with an M.F.A. from USC’s School of Cinema-Television.

Greg Sherman, Senior Operations Advisor

For the past two years Greg has provided guidance to the Impact Finance Center in the areas of operations, team dynamics, and leadership development. Outside of IFC Greg advises small businesses and startups on successful growth, managing competing personalities, and staying sane in the face of entrepreneurial challenges. Greg was the John E. Jeuck Distinguished Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business where earned his M.B.A. with High Honors.

SENIOR ADVISORS

Nicole Bagley, Senior Advisor

Nicole supports the Impact Finance Center in the area of strategy, communications, fundraising and education. Nicole is a experienced entrepreneur, philanthropist, and impact investor and is the President of the Brenn Foundation, Vice President of the Arca Foundation, and serves as a trustee for the Sapelo Foundation. The Brenn Foundation  and Musgrove Conference Center convenes meetings for non-profits in a unique environment that encourages action through open conversation and the building of strategic partnerships.  

Nan Christianson, Senior Advisor

Andrew C. Currie, Senior Advisor

Andrew provides leadership for the Impact Finance Center in the area of Environment and Conservation and is an experienced entrepreneur, start-up business leader and impact investor passionate about helping endangered wildlife and the people who live with them. He does this via a portfolio of activities including impact investing in land conservation for wildlife habitat, supporting pro-Nature election work and democracy reform, engaged philanthropy, business consulting for wildlife NGOs and policy advocacy.

Holmes Hummel, Senior Advisor

Holmes provides critical thought leadership in the areas of strategy and energy for the Impact Finance Center in fundraising and field-building initiatives. Holmes Hummel is the founder of Clean Energy Works, which connects champions of energy efficiency and renewable energy with resources that accelerate investment in the deployment of clean energy solutions. In addition, Dr. Hummel is on the Global Advisory Committee of Cornerstone Capital Group, which is among the world’s leading voices in the field of sustainable investment and finance. Dr. Hummel also serves on the board of Cleantech Open, the world’s largest accelerator built to find, fund, and foster the most promising cleantech startups.

Bruce Hutton, Senior Advisor

Dean emeritus and Piccinati Professor in Teaching Innovation, R. Bruce Hutton, PhD, is the Daniels College of Business director of Ethics Integration for the College. He has received numerous local, regional and national honors for his contributions in business education, applied market research and community service. In 2005, his body of work in the areas of corporate citizenship and sustainability were included in the Faculty Pioneer Featured Collection, in CasePlace.org of the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program.

Doug Johnson, Senior Advisor

Doug supports the Impact Finance Center in fundraising and field-building initiatives. He is the Colorado Chair of TIGER 21, a peer-to-peer learning network for successful wealth creators. Doug brings extensive experience in investor relations, coordinated fundraising activity and new business incubation having served at both Innosphere and Acutator, a program he co-founded. He currently serves on the Regional Development Committee for the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado. He earned his BA from Colorado State University.

Tony Macklin, Senior Advisor

Tony has worked for 25 years at the forefront of translating meaningful giving into community results. As an independent consultant, he advises clients about purpose, use of resources, action planning, and learning. He served as executive director of the Roy A. Hunt Foundation and spent twelve years at the Central Indiana Community Foundation. Tony earned a Masters degree from Butler University. and B.A. from Manchester College.

Kathy Merchant, Senior Advisor

In May 2015, Kathy Merchant stepped down from The Greater Cincinnati Foundation after 18 years as its president/CEO. Prior to joining the Foundation in 1997, Merchant was director of The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Neighborhood Preservation Initiative and a partner in the New Haven-based consulting firm Holt, Wexler & Merchant. She is a Senior Fellow for the national StriveTogether cradle-to-career network where she serves as advisor to communities devoted to increasing the pace and scale of student success. Returning to consulting, Merchant specializes in impact investing, collective impact, community development and other areas of strategic philanthropy. She also serves as Senior Advisor for executive leadership institutes for community foundations offered by CFLeads. Merchant currently serves on the national board of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the Duke Energy Class Benefit Fund for Southwest Ohio. She graduated from Indiana University (BA) and the University of Connecticut (MSW) with degrees in social work.  She also holds a Diploma in Wine & Spirits (DipWSET) from the London-based Wine & Spirit Education Trust.

Will Morgan, Senior Advisor

Will Morgan is a Colorado native and has lived everywhere else, but always comes back to Colorado.  Currently, he is Director of Impact at Sonen Capital, an investment management firm dedicated to impact investing.  Will has also worked for several foundations and in international development and business planning.

Craig Muska, Senior Advisor

Craig develops tools, platforms, and strategies that leverage investment capital to strengthen communities. Most recently, Craig founded and served as president of Canopy, a new model to promote impact investing, cross-sector regional capital formation and, economic development. Prior to founding Canopy, Craig served as Director of Investments for Threshold Group’s Foundation Services, where he launched and developed the firm’s impact investing program.  He has over 20 years of experience working with leading private foundations, institutional investors and asset managers to develop impact aligned investment strategies and collaborations. Craig earned a BA in finance from Northern Illinois University and a MS in public administration from the University of Illinois, Chicago.

John O’Halloran, Senior Advisor

John O’Halloran is a Senior Vice President and Institutional Client Advisor with U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, where he works closely with institutions and non-profit organizations to help them fulfill their mission. John is actively involved with the institutional and non-profit community, serving on numerous boards and committees including. Prior to joining U.S. Trust, John was Chairman and CEO of Rainier Funds in Seattle, Washington. Prior to joining Rainier, John spent 20 years with Columbia Management Group in Portland, Oregon, serving institutional clients.

Cindy Willard, Senior Advisor

Cindy is a Colorado thought leader in philanthropic strategy, grant making, and program development. She founded Full Potential Philanthropy, where she serves as an advisor and strategist for foundations and individuals. Cindy was Vice President of Community Initiatives and Investments at The Women’s Foundation of Colorado and served as a Senior Program Officer for the Johnson Foundation. Cindy received her undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas and is a graduate of the Master of Nonprofit Management program at Regis University.

IMPACT FINANCE CENTER FELLOWS

Jeremy Harkey, Fellow

Jeremy worked throughout the world on development, human rights and humanitarian issues before returning to the United States to work in impact investing. Jeremy leverages this field-based, global perspective when helping investors conduct due diligence, create impact monitoring and communication systems, perform Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) analyses of investments, and manage portfolios through his business, Harkey International Consulting.

Hadleigh Seely, Fellow

Joshua Gonzalez, Fellow

Matthew Rhodes, Fellow

Matt serves the IFC as communications fellow. His work consists of supporting IFC’s public persona as well as internal operations. A classically trained violinist, Matt believes impact investing compliments his passion for music by serving as a vehicle for advancing arts and education. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, Matt’s studies have lead him to working with people from all over the world, most notably in Salzburg, Austria.

Trey Taylor, Fellow

Jackson Daily, Fellow

 

CONTACT US

E-mail
info@impactfinancecenter.org

Phone
303-900-2060

Address
Impact Finance Center & CO Impact Days and Initiative
C/O Rose Community Foundation
600 S Cherry St #1200
Denver, CO 80246