Avary combines training as a genetic engineer and geobotanical field ecologist with an MBA in Sustainable Enterprise to lead impact focused startups from idea to reality. She has worked on Impact Metrics with HIP Investor, the IFC, and other corporate clients. She is the co-founder of Impactalpha an Impact Media Enterprise. She was the CFO and CEO of The Happiness Institute (a community video production studio in San Francisco) and VP of Operations for Puzzlebox. She has reincorporated her love of ecosystems through her role as Executive Director of Conveners.org a registered non-profit serving impact focused conveners and accelerators.
She has 4 years of soft-systems and complexity facilitation training with Bruce McKenzie of the Systemic Development Institute in Australia, and has organized over 40 events in her role as President of the Dominican University of California Net Impact Chapter and Air-Traffic-Controller (aka. President) of the Net Impact San Francisco Professional Chapter when we won Chapter of the Year. Finally she has served on the leadership team of the Greenermind Summit for the last 6 years organizing a 100 person sustainability unconference in the Mendocino woodlands. She is an expert in experience design combining elements of neuroscience, behavioral psychology, and human centered design to craft participatory conference experiences in the impact sector.
Director of Membership & Advisory Services
Sujatha thrives on connecting people, organizations, and communities to convene and collaborate around shared initiatives for social good. One of her biggest joys is to support diverse actors in thinking creatively about how to design effective, efficient partnerships that produce deep social impact. In this vein, Sujatha’s role at Conveners.org focuses on recruiting and welcoming new members to the Conveners.org community, as well as supporting existing members with advancing their work through Conveners.org’s diverse initiatives and services.
Sujatha brings a rich background in entrepreneurship, economic development, microfinance, and impact investing to her position. She has worked in the field of community development in New York City and several countries in Central and South America. In addition, Sujatha has extensive experience in strategic planning, capacity building, and nonprofit program design and management. She received her Bachelors of Arts from Bryn Mawr College and completed her graduate studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
Director of Marketing & Communications
A trained journalist with an MBA, Nayelli also writes about social enterprise and sustainable business trends for a variety of publications, including Triple Pundit, Sustainable Brands, and GreenBiz.
She holds a certificate in big data analytics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio Graduate School. She received undergraduate degrees in history and journalism from Boston University, as well as graduate degrees in history and education from the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University, respectively.
Topher has been convening and connecting people for the purposes of social change for over a decade, starting with co-founding the Highland City Club, a membership community of 300 change-makers in Boulder, Colorado, to managing Dunton Hot Springs, one of North America’s top all-inclusive resorts and retreat centers, to leading the Opportunity Collaboration, a global network of 1200 nonprofit leaders, for-profit social entrepreneurs, grant-makers, impact investors, corporates and academics building sustainable solutions to poverty, and finally with creating Conveners.org, a group of over 150 fellow conveners and accelerators in the impact space.
His purpose is to convene and connect nonprofit leaders, for-profit social entrepreneurs, grant-makers, impact investors and all other agents of positive change, thereby building the ecosystem for the social sector and creating greater opportunities for international social and economic justice.
SaraJoy’s investment in this space is largely selfish. Winning Brigham Young University’s Social Venture Competition in 2009 formally introduced her to the impact ecosystem and she has navigated (with varying degrees of success) the often baffling array of impact convenings and accelerators as a social entrepreneur for the past 5 years. She has facilitated evaluations, delivered training and developed curriculum (both academic and professional) on three continents, built one of the first impact-focused crowdfunding platforms with an active online community of 5,000+ donors, and is completing a dissertation on novice/expert differences in problem anticipation among social entrepreneurs aimed at uncovering key opportunities for education, training and support (ie acceleration) of those entrepreneurs.
Conveners.org is an opportunity to leverage her experience (from international needs assessment for an addiction recovery program to user experience at a data visualization startup) to help nurture the diversity, transparency, innovation and, well, impact of the impact ecosystem.
David’s entrepreneurial endeavors focus on leveraging hospitality to promote environmental impact and social impact. Hospitality, Real Estate, Energy and Community Development push the envelop, going from Green to Sustainable to Regenerative, and leveraging Whole Systems Thinking. Background in media and technology.
In 2001, with wife Sandra, formed Amigos de Calakmul, protecting over 350,000 acres of jaguar habitat in one of Mexico’s largest private reserves. At the same time, built Casa Viva Troncones, an award winning B&B and later built Playa Viva, a Sustainable Boutique Hotel, both located in the Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa area. Delegates love to stay at Playa Viva or Casa Viva before and after OC!
David heads up the local engagement efforts of Opportunity Collaboration, pushing the envelope from a “feel good moment” for attendees to creating real Collective Impact with the local community, and serving as a “Petri dish” model for sharing lessons learned across communities.
David’s best day is one spent with his family which includes two teen-aged children.
Jessica joins the Board with a decade of experience in community organizing and social entrepreneurship. Currently she facilitates convenings for Toniic, the global action community for impact investors. With a background in building social impact initiatives and fostering cultural awareness, she is inspired to help other business leaders redefine business success beyond profit. Since 2010, Jessica has been actively supporting social entrepreneurs through organizing events, fundraising, recruiting mentors, and facilitating workshops. Alongside these activities, she directed the operations of The Future Leaders Institute and the establishment of SoBiz: Beyond Profit.
She received her MBA from Hult International Business School, and BA from University of Richmond with studies in Rhetoric & Communication, Music and Arts Management. She has lived in various parts of the UK, Mexico and Indonesia, and currently resides in Oakland, California where she also enjoys salsa dancing, training capoeira and gathering together movers for peace from around the world.
Mark is Director of Impact Strategies for Womble Carlyle, where he is helping launch an Impact Economy practice and develop an integrated Impact Team that is dedicated to supporting the growth of businesses and entrepreneurs in the Impact Economy.
Mark is also Managing Director of Impact Strategies for 5 Stone Green Capital, an emerging green real estate firm. At 5 Stone, Mark leads the firm’s “layered impact” strategy, incorporating impact principles into each project, in ways that support bottom-line financial returns while producing tangible external benefits. He also served as Chair of the Design Committee for the Inaugural Global Innovation Summit, a gathering of global thought leaders organized by T2 Venture Capital. Mark was previously a Senior Policy Advisor at the US Small Business Administration, where he helped lead impact investing policy efforts and the Startup America: Reducing Barriers series as part of his high-growth entrepreneurship and innovation portfolio.
Prior to his time at SBA, Mark was a post-Katrina Advisor to the New Orleans City Council, focusing on big picture policy issues in the recovery. Currently based in Washington, DC, he has written occasional opinion pieces for various outlets, including the recent Spectrum of Impact in America, and advises several high-growth, high-impact startups. Mark holds a BA from Tulane University, a JD from Tulane Law School, and was a Visiting Student at Harvard Law School.
Pamela is currently the Senior Director of the Global Social Benefit Institute at the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University. She has worked with and for early stage software companies as a business and marketing strategy leader, helping founders create, refine, and execute their business strategy and go-to-market plans. She has over 20 years of experience growing teams and delivering products for both large and start-up software companies, working in various managerial capacities as business unit manager, vice president of marketing, COO and CEO.
Some of the companies Pamela has worked with include: Amdahl, Pure Software, Rational Software, 555-1212.com, Consera, Zend, and AppFirst. Pamela has been a mentor for the GSBI for 5 years. She also serves on the board of Conveners.org, as well as Pact, an international NGO that benefits communities by promoting healthy lifestyles, decent livelihoods, and sustainable natural resources. Pamela also serves as board chair for Livelyhoods, an organization that creates jobs for youth in slums.