The NINE: US IMPACT

We are so excited at this amazingly diverse and successful group of women we have brought together to be the NINE for the Rising Tide US Impact Program!

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Wendee Wolfson, Washington, D.C.

Wendee is a Leadership Coach and Consultant to entrepreneurs, corporate executives, non-profit directors, and family business leaders. She has been investing in early stage, high growth companies since 1997. As a co-founder and part of the management team of both WomenAngels.net, a professionally managed fund of active women angel investors, and Women’s Growth Capital Fund, a venture capital fund that invested exclusively in women entrepreneurs, Wendee has worked closely with entrepreneurs of high-growth, startup companies, advising them on business models, financing, and a variety of management challenges. She served on the board or as board advisor to several portfolio companies. She served as one of the nine of the lead angels of the inaugural Rising Tide US Fund and as an LP in the inaugural Rising Tide Europe Fund.

She remains actively involved with organized angel investing groups, currently as a member of New Dominion Angels, in northern Virginia, and as co-chair of the International Exchange, an annual gathering hosted by the Angel Capital Association to strengthen the network and share effective practices among group leaders and investors in developed and emerging countries. At Wealthbridge Partners, she consulted to families in business together, creating and facilitating programs for family members and wealth managers on family dynamics, communications, leadership development, and leadership transitions between generations. In an independent practice, she has worked with non-profit boards to develop strategic initiatives and implement leadership transitions as a consultant and as a board member. Wendee began her career and spent several years in the financial services industry. She has an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a Certificate in Leadership Coaching from Georgetown University.

 

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Marcia Dawood, Dallas, Texas

Marcia is a managing partner at BlueTree Capital and a managing director of Golden Seeds – New York and Dallas. She also serves on the board of the Angel Capital Association with a Vice-Chair position on the membership committee. Marcia evaluates and mentors startup companies and investment opportunities with a clear emphasis on women led businesses.  She served on the board of directors of a company where she was a founder and legal/compliance/financial director giving her experience as an entrepreneur. Previously, Marcia spent 16+ years with Kaplan Higher Education Campuses (KHEC), serving as Vice President of Career Services and also in sales and marketing, operations, and compliance. She is a graduate of the Global Executive MBA program at UNC’s Kenan Flagler’s School of Business.  Marcia was one of the LPs in the inaugural Rising Tide US Fund.

 

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Janine Firpo, Seattle, Washington

Janine is currently the Deputy Director on the Financial Services for the Poor team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she and her team design philanthropic and impact investments to bring poor people out of poverty by including them in the formal economy. Janine has more than 35 years of experience in information technology with the last twenty focused on using information technology and business thinking to solve challenging social and development problems. Through her work, Janine has gained expertise in a range of sectors including financial services, health care, and education. She has led initiatives around the globe, but with particular emphasis on Africa and Asia. In Indonesia, Janine served as Executive Director for XSProject, a non-profit business that transformed trash into consumer products. On a personal level, Janine has been tracking the social entrepreneur and impact investing spheres for at least 15 years. She has made a commitment to move all of her personal investments into asset classes, funds, and private placements that align with her values. As such, she is a founding member of the Seattle Chapter of Toniic, a global action community for impact investors. Janine has served on the boards of what is now the Presidio Graduate School and Water.org. She was also an early advisor to Kiva.org, and was one of the LPs in the inaugural Rising Tide US Fund.

 

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Jodi Pederson, Jackson, Wyoming

Jodi consults for both for-profit and non-profit organizations working across multiple industries on projects for operational improvement, communication and change management.  She is an advisor and Board Chair to Empowering Youth in Cambodia, an NGO based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia working to improve the lives of young people and their communities. She has worked for Accenture, LivCor (a Blackstone company), Crown Media International, Newmont and various start-ups in industries ranging from multi-family (including water and energy conservation projects at properties), media, real estate, oil & gas, mining and telecommunications.  Jodi is involved in various organizations to support women in their entrepreneurial endeavors – both from the entrepreneur and investor perspective. She holds a BS from the University of Wyoming and now resides in Jackson, Wyoming. She was one of the LPs in the inaugural Rising Tide US Fund.

 

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Sue Bevan Baggott, Cincinnati, Ohio

Sue is President of Power Within Consulting LLC, an insights-based strategy and innovation firm, which she founded in 2014.  Early in her career, Sue spent 18 years in Global R&D at Procter & Gamble, leading delivery of game-changing consumer product innovations across hair care (Pantene, Head & Shoulders), beauty/cosmetics (Cover Girl, Olay), and baby care (Pampers) categories.  Next, Sue joined SpencerHall, a boutique consulting firm providing market research, new concept development and innovation consulting services across a wide range of clients. Throughout her career, Sue has worked across numerous industry verticals spanning consumer goods, health care, telecom, automotive, financial services as well as academia and non-profits.

In 2015, Sue began working with Queen City Angels (QCA) on a strategy refresh project, which ignited her interest in angel investing and passion for participating in growing entrepreneurial ecosystem in Cincinnati. In late 2015, she joined the inaugural Rising Tide cohort and in 2016 became a member of QCA. Sue is active in screening and due diligence work, as well as co-leading QCA’s diversity/inclusion strategy pillar.  She thrives on mentoring and coaching entrepreneurs helping to guide consumer/customer insights, design thinking, lean startup, business planning and innovation strategies. Additionally, Sue is active in non-profit work as Board President of Women Helping Women, an organization focused on preventing gender-based violence and empowering all survivors with intervention and support services. She is a founding member and Past President of Impact 100, a women’s giving circle focused on encouraging women to collectively fund impactful community projects, which has expanded to 40 cities. Sue received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University.

 

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Elizabeth Crowell, New York City, NY

Elizabeth is a highly successful entrepreneur and angel investor whose purpose and passion is to help entrepreneurs start and grow their ventures. She has 20 years of experience building businesses, organizations and boards through leadership and creative problem-solving. Elizabeth is a founding member and market lead of Astia Angels, an international network of female and male angel investors that invests in women-led, high-growth ventures around the globe.  She also serves as CEO of Bpeace, a nonprofit network of business volunteers who work with entrepreneurs in violence-affected communities to scale their businesses, create significant employment for all and expand the economic power of women. She was also one of the LPs in the inaugural Rising Tide US Fund.

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Wingee Sin, San Francisco, California

Wingee is a global capital markets executive with 15 years of investing experience. Her passion in social impact sprouted from her undergraduate days at Berkeley, with a specific passion for aging, financial inclusion and security, and social enterprise business models.  Most recently, she co-authored “Impact with Wings: Stories to Inspire and Mobilized Women Angel Investors and Entrepreneur.”  Her chapter, “Angel Investing as Self Empowerment,” aims to inspire women to use their wealth to create an impact.  She was also a board member for Foundation for Sustainable Development for eight years, focusing on micro grants and grassroot development work.

Wingee has had a distinguished career in the capital markets.  Over the span of 15 years, she led the Global Product Strategy team within State Street Global Advisor’s retirement business; advised central banks, sovereign wealth, and pensions in non-Japan Asia; consulted institutional clients on alternative investments for Barclay Global Investor; and authored Equity Derivatives research at Goldman Sachs & Co. Wingee received her BA in economics and East Asian developmental studies from University of California at Berkeley. She has earned the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst and Chartered Financial Analyst Designations. She has been through the Pipeline Angels program and was one of the LPs in the inaugural Rising Tide US Fund.

 

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Kristina Montague, Chattanooga, TN

Kristina Montague is a Managing Partner with the JumpFund, which focuses on investing in women entrepreneurs. Kristina is a former Assistant Dean at University of Tennessee Chattanooga’s College of Business. She is an active member of Golden Seeds, the largest national network of angel investors investing in women-led companies, based in New York, NY, and serves as a regional representative of the Angel Capital Association, a nation-wide organization supporting angel investors. Kristina also serves on the board of the Company Lab, a local start-up incubator; the Enterprise Center, a key driver of regional economic development; and Launch Chattanooga, providing entrepreneurial skills and support to underserved communities.

 

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Heather Henyon, Manchester, VT and Dubai

Heather has 18 years of experience in entrepreneurship, emerging markets, angel investing, financial technology, credit and impact investment. She is currently Founding Partner of Athena CFO, an outsourced CFO and finance advisory firm for start-ups, SMEs, growth companies and investors. Previously, she was Investment Director with Eureeca, a regulated global equity crowdfunding firm, where she was responsible for curation, products, and investments. Heather founded Balthazar Capital, a social enterprise investment advisory firm for the Arab region in 2010. As the founding general manager of Grameen-Jameel, a social business jointly owned by Grameen Foundation and Abdul Latif Jameel Group, she originated, structured and closed $44 million in leveraged commercial debt financing for microfinance institutions in Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. In 2013, Heather started the Women’s Angel Investor Network (WAIN), the first women’s angel investment group in the Middle East, and served as Interim CFO for Little Thinking Minds, one of WAIN’s first investments. She wrote a chapter on angel investing in the United Arab Emirates that was published in Angels Without Borders in 2016.

Heather left Wall Street in 2004 to venture into the social enterprise sector. Previously, she worked for Standard & Poor’s as a corporate bond ratings analyst in the capital goods and auto supplier sector. Over the last 20 years, she has lived and worked in the UAE, Egypt, Lebanon, and Palestine, and she speaks Arabic and French. Heather is the advisor to CoFund, a Dutch microfinance private equity fund, and a mentor for Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi entrepreneur members. She is an investor in Rising Tide Europe and Dubai Angel Investors, where she is also a Board Director and Investment Committee member, and a cofounder of Rhodium 45, an impact angel investor club in Dubai. She serves on the Advisory Council of BR Microcapital, Cornell University’s microfinance fund; is a Board member of the Cornell Club of the UAE and past Co-Chair of the Johnson Middle East Alumni Club (2011-13); served as the Middle East Advisor to Cornell’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Initiative (2014-15); is co-founder and past Chair of the Dubai Microfinance Club (2011-13). Heather represents Oikocredit’s investment on the Sekem Board of Directors.   Heather holds an MBA from the Johnson School at Cornell University, where she was a full-merit Park Leadership Fellow scholarship recipient, and a BA from Oberlin College. Heather studied abroad at The American University in Cairo (AUC), where she was a Presidential Fellow.

 

Founder of the Rising Tide Program and Network

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Alicia Robb, Durango, Colorado and San Diego, CA

Alicia is the Founder and CEO of Next Wave Ventures, LLC and a Senior Fellow with the Kauffman Foundation. She launched the Rising Tide Program in the US and Europe in 2015 and is now working with women around the globe in expanding the program to Africa, MENA, Latin America, and Asia. She is a Visiting Scholar with the University of California in Berkeley and the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is the Founder and past Executive Director and Board Chair of the Foundation for Sustainable Development, an international development organization working in Latin America, Africa, and India. Alicia received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has previously worked with the Office of Economic Research in the Small Business Administration and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. She is a prolific author on the topics of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial finance. In addition to numerous journal articles and book chapters, she is the co-author of Race and Entrepreneurial Success published by MIT Press and A Rising Tide: Financing Strategies for Women-Owned Businesses and The Next Wave: Financing Women’s Growth Oriented Firms published by Stanford University Press.

She is a Managing Partner of the Rising Tide US Fund I and the SCAPE Accelerator Fund in Colorado and an LP in other funds, including the Rising Tide Europe Fund I. Some of the boards and advisory boards she serves on include: the National Advisory Council for Minority Business EnterpriseGlobal Entrepreneurship Week, the Deming Center Venture Fund, and the Good Food Institute.  She is an angel investor, a mentor to various early stage firms, and a frequent speaker globally on the topics of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial finance.  She relocated to Boulder, CO in 2014 after 12 years in Marin County, CA and 5 years in Washington, D.C.  An avid animal lover and long time vegan, she is interested in supporting vegan entrepreneurs that are disrupting animal agriculture and removing animals from the supply chain. Alicia lives with her husband and their many 4-legged family members on 80 acres in Montezuma County, outside of Durango, Colorado.  They currently plan on splitting their time between Colorado and California.