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.
Nicole Brajevich, Executive Assistant & Business Development
A former IFC Fellow, Nicole now works at the intersection of development, events, and special projects keeping 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.
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. She has a B.A. from Trinity University.
Wayne Farmer, Senior Strategy Advisor
Stephanie Gripne, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director
Dr. Stephanie Gripne is an academic entrepreneur, impact investor, researcher, educator & the creative force behind Impact Finance Center and CO Impact Days and Initiative. Stephanie founded Impact Finance Center in 2012. Stephanie is the creative force behind the Impact Finance Center. 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.
Jeremy Harkey, Senior Fellow
Jeremy has worked throughout the world on development, human rights and humanitarian issues before returning to the U.S. 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. He has helped IFC build its Colorado presence and operations, while supporting its PR efforts, fundraising, and the production of CO Impact Days.
Tiffiny Harrows, Finance and Operations
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 writer and editor for IFC, she brings deep knowledge of diverse sectors with special interest in education, arts and culture, and social justice. Jennifer is a graduate of Haverford College with an M.F.A. from the University of Southern California.
Kerianne Leffew, Strategic Partnerships
Kerianne has a passion working with startup companies. She works with high-growth companies and small businesses on finding them the best location, growth strategies and digital marketing. Kerianne is a community builder and enjoys making connections for entrepreneurs to resources like their next coworking space, mentors, and investors. Kerianne has a vast background in operational leadership and planning/executing major events such as the CO Impact Days and Colorado DEMO Day in Silicon Valley, both events successfully connecting Colorado startups to 100s of accredited investors. Kerianne has built and managed operational budgets and P&Ls of $2M annually, formed numerous strategic partnerships with Fortune 500 corporations, nonprofits, and governmental entities and raised a $1M angel round, leading investor communications, pitch development and pitch delivery.
Carl Palmer, Senior Advisor
Carl is the founder of LegacyWorks Group, which facilitates collaborative efforts and mobilizes capital to achieve positive impact within communities. As an IFC Senior Advisor, he leverages his experience in impact investing, nonprofit leadership, ecological restoration, strategy development, entrepreneurship, investment management and place-based education. In 2005, he co-founded Beartooth Capital, an impact investment firm investing in ranches around the American West to generate financial returns, conservation results, and community benefits. Prior to Beartooth, Carl was President and CEO of Greenbridges, an impact investment firm focused on agricultural property with high conservation value. He received a dual B.A. in Architectural Studies and Environmental Studies from Brown University, and an M.B.A. from Stanford University.
Tony Macklin, Senior Advisor
An IFC Senior Advisor since 2015, Tony has worked for 25 years at the forefront of translating meaningful giving into community results. As an independent consultant, he advises clients about philanthropic purpose, use of resources, action planning, and learning. Tony served as executive director of the Roy A. Hunt Foundation and spent twelve years at the Central Indiana Community Foundation. In his work for IFC, he draws from his own civic involvement, serving on numerous boards and as a peer reviewer for The Foundation Review. Tony earned an M.A. from Butler University and a B.A. from Manchester College.
Connie Rutledge, Senior Operations Advisor
Christine Sanwald, Senior Operations Manager
Christine is a global process leader with an ASQ certified six sigma green belt. At IFC, she is taking a lead in event planning, leveraging her five years of operational experience at BCD Meetings and Events. Previously, she taught English to young adults in Ecuador and helped raise funds for individuals participating in the World Teach program there. Christine has a B.A. from the University of Central Florida and is completing her M.B.A. at the University of Denver.
Greg Sherman, Senior Operations Advisor
Since 2012, Greg has provided guidance to 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.
Barry Seidenstat, Senior Conference Producer and Project Manager
A certified professional project manager (PMP), six-sigma quality green-belt, Barry produced IFC’s CO Impact Days 2017, and continues to support IFC through his strategic communications solutions. Barry specializes in complex event production and management, professional marcomm project management and six-sigma based process change for communications success and improved marketing communications.
Andrea Atwood, Senior Design and Art Advisor
Ryan Boggs, Senior Technology Advisor
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.
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.
Chris Garvin, Senior Advisor
Timothy Forbess, Senior Advisor
Tim is the Vice Chancellor of Institutional Advancement at Antioch University, and the lead in the school’s partnership with Impact Finance Center, as IFC scales it impact investing curriculum to an online platform. Previously, he served as vice president for institutional advancement at United Theological Seminary and president and CEO at The National Foundation for Alternative Medicine, where he created partnerships with major US universities to manage grants for research and findings. Tim has a B.A. in communications and journalism from the University of Memphis and a Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary in Dayton. Certified as Ordained Clergy through The United Methodist Church, Tim is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and the Development Institutional Advancement Professionals Association of Theological Schools, among other community organizations.
Holmes Hummel, Senior Advisor
Holmes provides critical thought leadership in IFC’s fundraising and field-building initiatives in the energy sector. Holmes 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, she 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. Holmes also serves on the board of Cleantech Open, the world’s largest accelerator built to find, fund, and foster the most promising cleantech startups. Holmes earned a B.S., M.S.E., and Ph.D. from Stanford University.
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.
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.
Krista Morgan, Senior Advisor
Krista Morgan is cofounder and CEO of P2Binvestor (p2bi.com), a marketplace lender that helps entrepreneurs and innovators transform their companies from sector newcomers to industry leaders. P2Bi partners with banks and investors, while also offering a robust crowdfunding platform, to provide affordable, flexible capital that evolves with business growth. Krista has quickly grown P2Bi into a multimillion-dollar company and one of the few tech-enabled commercial lenders that can rapidly underwrite and fund million-dollar lines of credit. In addition, she is cohost of the popular podcast, Women Who Startup Radio, a global networking and learning platform for female entrepreneurs and innovators. As an IFC Advisor, she brings her technology sector expertise to IFC’s new Impact Investing Education Institute. Krista earned a BA in Economics and Political Science from McGill University.
Will Morgan, Senior Advisor
Will is Director of Impact at Sonen Capital, an investment management firm dedicated to impact investing. As one of the earliest practitioners of Impact Reporting and Investment Standards, he has helped many large US and European foundations expand their internal impact evaluation systems. Previously, Will was Senior Associate at Virtue Ventures, providing management consulting to social ventures globally. He also served as a Program Officer at the Skoll Foundation. Will earned a B.A. in Latin American Economic Development from Franklin and Marshall, and an M.B.A. from the University of Denver.
Craig Muska, Senior Advisor
Craig develops tools, platforms, and strategies that leverage investment capital to strengthen communities. Most recently, Craig co-founded Tilt. Previously Craig 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
An accomplished executive and institutional investment management industry thought leader, John leads IFC’s governance, investment beliefs, and decision-based attribution evaluation efforts. The previous Chairman and CEO of Rainier Funds, a $20B institutional money manager, John now works tirelessly to promote IFC, help direct its strategy for growth, and develop its impact investing curriculum. He enjoys leading boards and investment committees to make better informed decisions through a process of defining success, choosing how they will implement, and who will make portfolio level decisions along with respective accountability measures.
Mei Ratz, Senior Designer Advisor
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.
Stephanie J. Wilson, Senior Advisor
As IFC Senior Advisor, Stephanie adds her renowned healthcare sector and commercial real estate expertise to the impact investing field. A successful 20-year entrepreneur in the medical real estate field, she is dedicated to the expansion of wealth opportunities and sustainable impact investments in Healthcare, primarily for women, millennials and minorities. Most recently, Stephanie founded ACCESS Medical INCLUSIVE Investments, an impact investing real estate firm that extends the invitation of private investment into Medical Real Estate Assets to women and minorities through direct investment alongside a robust Crowdfunding platform. Recent speaking engagements include the GlobalMindED Conference; the Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing Conference; and the Decade of Women Conference.
IMPACT FINANCE CENTER FELLOWS
Olivia Varghese 2018
Drew Hackman 2018
SEnior Fellow Alumni
Brandon Randash 2018
Kelly Franson 2018
Jackson Daily 2015-2018
Josh Gonzales 2016-2017
Christine Sanwald 2016-2017
Catherine Kauffman 2017
Trey Taylor 2015-2017
Matt Rhodes 2015-2016
Nicole Brajevich 2015-2016
Riley Sullivan 2015-2016
Hadleigh Seely 2014-2015
Impact Finance Center, CO Impact Days, CO Impact Investing Education Institute
C/O Rose Community Foundation
600 S Cherry St #1200
Denver, CO 80246