Our Team

Steering Committee & Management Directory

Karen Keating Ansara

Karen Keating Ansara

Steering Committee Member

Fund Advisor, Ansara Family & Haiti Funds at the Boston Foundation

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Karen and her husband Jim began making small grants to end poverty in 1999 and now recommend grants via a staffed donor advised fund at the Boston Foundation with a focus on Haiti, Ecuador, Peru, Nicaragua, Nepal and Afghanistan.

In addition, Karen co-founded New England International Donors, a peer-learning network, with John Harvey of Grantmakers Without Borders and other funders in 2008.

Most recently, Karen issued a challenge grant two days after the earthquake and established the Haiti Fund at the Boston Foundation. With over 1,400 donors including many community groups, the fund is focused on long-term reconstruction and human rights with Haitian citizens and Haitian Americans at the helm. Now guided by a Grantmaking Committee and a 35-member Advisory Council, primarily Haitian, the Haiti Fund is making grants over five years.

 

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Marty Cordes (Co-Chair)

Steering Committee Member

Co-Founder, Cordes Family Foundation

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Marty Cordes is Co-Founder of the Cordes Foundation, which she created with her husband Ron in 2006. She directs the activities of the Foundation focused on global human rights and empowering women and girls, including initiatives in education, health care and job training. She also serves on the Boards of Ripple Effect Images and the Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of the Pacific. Previously, she enjoyed a career in the banking industry, and served in several volunteer leadership capacities with social service organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area.

 

Ron Cordes

Ron Cordes (Co-Chair)

Steering Committee Member

Co-Founder, Cordes Family Foundation

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Ron D. Cordes has enjoyed a 30-plus year career in the investment industry, having co-founded and then sold AssetMark Investment Services to Genworth Financial in 2006. He is currently co-chairman of Genworth Financial Wealth Management, which is responsible for over $25 billion in assets under management for individual and institutional clients.

He is co-author of “The Art of Investing & Portfolio Management,” published in 2004 by McGraw Hill, and was recognized as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2005. He holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of California, Berkeley.

He is a co-founder with his wife, Marty, of the Cordes Foundation and a regent for the University of the Pacific, as well as chairman of the advisory board for the University’s Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship. In addition, he serves on the boards of FairTrade USA, the Sarona Frontier Markets Fund, and the East Bay Community Foundation.

 

Saul Garlick

Saul Garlick

Steering Committee Member

Founder & CEO, Think Impact

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Saul began his journey into social entrepreneurship at 17 years old. First, it was through a high school club. Then he founded a non-profit called Student Movement for Real Change that had campus chapters at 25 universities across the United States that was endorsed by President Nelson Mandela. In 2011 Saul launched ThinkImpact Company, where he is Founder and CEO. His work has led to over 50 development projects in health and education in Kenya and South Africa and the creation of path-breaking experiential education programs across Africa.

Saul serves on the Board of Directors for Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, an international organization with 8,000 members worldwide, the Board of Stakeholders for the University of the Pacific’s Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship, and the Board of Directors of iOnPoverty.

In 2011, Saul was recognized as a top 9 Young Foreign Policy Leader under 33 by the Diplomatic Courier and is a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council. He is an internationally renowned speaker and International Speaker Specialist for the Bureau of International Information Programs at the Department of State. He blogs regularly for The Huffington Post and his work has been featured in Inc., Entrepreneur, Fast Company, The Next Web, Business Insider, Portfolio.com and The Washington Post. A Truman Scholar, Saul graduated from Johns Hopkins University and John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). An avid runner, skier and Broncos fan, Saul lives in Denver with his wife Emily.

 

Gerald Hildebrand

Gerald Hildebrand

Steering Committee Member

Executive Director, University of the Pacific Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship

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As the Executive Director of UOP’s Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Jerry develops and oversees University social entrepreneurship programs, including international mentorship and internship programs, and the first community-based microfinance fund in California’s Central Valley. Previously, Jerry was the CEO of the Katalysis Partnership, a microfinance organization providing training, technical assistance, and credit to MFIs in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador. He also directed a socio-economic development program for ten newly independent island-nations in the Eastern Caribbean, and worked in grassroots economic development in chronically depressed Appalachia, West Virginia.

 

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Tracie Hugdins

Director of Registrations, Opportunity Collaboration

Phone: (602) 647-9121
Email: thudgins@opportunitycollaboration.net

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Tracie Hudgins has been working in the field of microfinance and poverty alleviation for the past four years as the Operations Manager for MicroCredit Enterprises. She has been a member of the Opportunity Collaboration team since its inaugural year. Previously, she was the Executive Assistant for iNation, VistaCare and the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

 

Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg

Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg

Steering Committee Member

Founder & Director, Akili Dada

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Working at the intersection of academia and social entrepreneurship, Wanjiru is passionate about the synergy between rigorous academic analysis and committed social activism. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Akili Dada, a leadership incubator investing in high-achieving young African women from underprivileged backgrounds with a demonstrated passion for social change. Wanjiru is also an Assistant Professor in the Politics department at the University of San Francisco, where her work centers on the politics of philanthropy, gender, Africa, ethnicity, and democratization, and on the role of technology in social activism. Originally from Kenya, she holds a Ph.D. in Political Science. In her dual roles, Wanjiru divides her time between the U.S. and Kenya, where Akili Dada is based.

Most recently, she was named a “Champion of Change” by the Obama administration and was honored at the White House.

 

Randall Kempner

Randall Kempner

Steering Committee Member

Executive Director, ANDE

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Randall has nearly twenty years of experience in the field of national and international business/economic development. Currently, he is the Executive Director of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), a global network of organizations that propel entrepreneurship in emerging markets. The network’s members provide critical financing and business support services to small and growing businesses (SGBs) that create significant economic, environmental and social impacts in developing countries.

Most recently, Randall served as Vice President for Regional Innovation at the U.S. Council on Competitiveness. Prior to joining the Council, Randall was co-founder of OTF Group, an international consulting firm that advises regions and nations on how to create competitive advantage. He is frequent speaker on entrepreneurship-based economic development strategies.

 

Ramon Leon

Ramon León

Steering Committee Member

President and CEO, Latino Economic Development Center

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Ramon has been an entrepreneur and business owner from a young age, in both Mexico and the United States, an active social justice leader in his community, and one of the early faith-based Latino organizers in the Twin Cities through “Interfaith action” and “Isaiah.” He is also one of the pioneers of the economic development movement in Minneapolis and was the first president of the founding board of directors of “Cooperative Mercado Central”, an economic justice, community based cooperative project that-sparked the revitalization of Lake Street in Minneapolis.

He is co-founder of the Minnesota Collaborative of Latino Non-profits, and also serves as the chair of the economic development committee of the National Association for Latino Asset Builders (NALCAB). During his chairmanship, he has pushed for an asset based and wealth building economic development agenda that includes Latinos in both urban and rural areas.

 

Jonathan Lewis

Jonathan Lewis

Steering Committee Member

Chief Executive Officer, iOnPoverty

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Jonathan C. Lewis is the founder and president of the Opportunity Collaboration.He is also the founder and board chair of MicroCredit Enterprises – an innovative social venture which leverages private capital to make tiny business loans to deeply impoverished people, mostly women, in developing countries. Jonathan is a Lecturer at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, University of California, Berkeley. He blogs weekly at the Huffington Post and the Skoll Foundation’s Social Edge and is a frequent public speaker on economic development issues, social entrepreneurship and social change. Jonathan is a recipient of the Social Venture Network Innovation Award.

 

Chid Liberty

Chid Liberty

Steering Committee Member

Chief Executive Officer, Liberty & Justice

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Liberty & Justice is the first Fair Trade Certified apparel manufacturer in Africa. A Liberian native, Chid left Africa as an eighteen month old baby when his father became Liberia’s Ambassador to Germany. Chid lectures on social entrepreneurship and innovation, serves as Entrepreneur in Residence at the Monrovia Business Startup Center at the University of Liberia, and sits on Fair Trade USA’s Fair Trade Certified Apparel Multistakeholder Group, which guides certified fair trade apparel policy for the United States.

 

Rema Nanda

Steering Committee Member

Senior Advisor, The Karuna Fund
Founder, JAGRITI Youth

 

Jan Piercy

Jan Piercy

Steering Committee Member

Senior Advisor, Enclude

 

Denielle Sachs

Steering Committee Member

Director of Social Impact, McKinsey & Company

 

Diana Samarasan

Steering Committee Member

Executive Director, Disability Rights Funds

 

Regina Starr Ridley

Regina Starr Ridley

Steering Committee Member

Publishing Director, Stanford Social Innovation Review

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Prior to joining Stanford Social Innovation Review in 2006, Regina had a 22-year career in for-profit media. As a group president at CMP Media, she ran a $150 million division of tech magazines, websites, and conferences. Regina has a Master’s in International Management from the Thunderbird Graduate School of Global Management and a Bachelor’s in political science from the University of Connecticut.

Her passions outside of work include travel and involvement in her community, global and local. She currently serves as president and board chair for Friends of Timboni Feeder School, a nonprofit she helped found in 2006 to bring water to a small school in southern Kenya. She is proud to say that this summer she climbed Mount Kenya with her son and reached the summit, 16,355 feet.

 

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Sam Vaghar

Steering Committee Member

Executive Director, Millennium Campus Network

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Sam Vaghar is the Executive Director and Co-founder of The Millennium Campus Network, empowering student leaders across the United States to be effective partners for global development.  In this capacity, Sam engages with numerous partners from Microsoft and The Jenzabar Foundation to the United Nations Foundation and HP.  Under Sam’s leadership, the MCN educates over 1,000 campus leaders through annual conferences, trains emerging leaders through an innovative fellowship program, and allocates Student Action Grants to support activism on campuses and overseas.

In 2011, Sam was invited by the State Department as the featured speaker in a tour across Bosnia and Herzegovina.  During that summer Sam met with President Barack Obama in the Roosevelt Room at the White House to share perspectives of US youth leaders.  The following year, Sam was selected for the 2012 list of the “Top 99 most influential foreign policy leaders under the age of 33″ by The Diplomatic Courier and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy.  In 2013, Sam delivered the Commencement Speech at Lynn University in Florida, the youngest in Lynn’s 50 year history.  He also served as the featured speaker on a tour for the State Department across Morocco.

Sam has addressed audiences at over two dozen institutions including talks at Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and at the United Nations.  He is a 2008 graduate of Brandeis University.

 

Jackie Vanderbrug

Jackie VanderBrug

Steering Committee Member

Managing Director, Criterion Ventures

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Catalyst. Connector. Curator. I work with organizations and individuals to drive the rate of social change. I bring the tools of finance, philanthropy, and field building to the table. My experience crosses all three sectors of our economy) public, government and non profit) and I’m most excited by the white spaces between these and the emerging fourth sector.

I’m passionate about the power of a gender lens in investing to drive financial return and social impact. To build the field of gender lens investing, I cultivate both investors and investment vehicles.

I am deeply immersed in networks reimagining the purpose of capital. Through my role in developing and facilitating Structure Lab© workshops, I have helped over 200 entrepreneurs and organizations think through their legal and financial structures.

 

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Jorian Wilkins

Chief Operating Officer, Opportunity Collaboration

Phone: (303) 905-1424
Email: jwilkins@opportunitycollaboration.net

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After beginning her career as a strategy consultant with Bain & Company and earning her MBA from Stanford University, Jorian launched her first social venture, a civic club in Boulder, Colorado self-sustained by members hosting hundreds of cultural and educational community events.

While becoming a mother to three sons, Jorian lived in Mexico, managed the #1 All-Inclusive Luxury Resort in the U.S., and eventually settled in California.

She is proud to now co-captain the Opportunity Collaboration as Chief Operating Officer.

 

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Topher Wilkins

Chief Executive Officer, Opportunity Collaboration

Phone: (303) 956-8431
Email: twilkins@opportunitycollaboration.net

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Topher Wilkins has been hosting people in collaborative environments for the purposes of social change for nearly a decade. Starting with the City Club, which he co-founded, in Boulder, Colorado, to managing Dunton Hot Springs near Telluride, Colorado, and finally with the Opportunity Collaboration, Topher is passionate about creating high-end, high-impact gatherings.

He and his wife, Jorian, live in Santa Cruz, California, where they are raising their family of three young boys ~ Booker, Dunton and Justus.

 

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Akaya Windwood

Steering Committee Member

President, Rockwood Leadership Institute

 

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Sakena Yacoobi

Steering Committee Member

Executive Director, Afghan Institute of Learning

 

Soushiant Zanganehpour

Steering Committee Member

Strategy & Operations Manager, Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship

 

Leadership Village Information

The Collaboration’s leadership village is rented from the Club Méditerranée corporation. Please remember to contact the Opportunity Collaboration for ALL hotel reservations.

Site Fax: (52) 75-55-52-01-42

Site Address: Club Med Ixtapa Pacific, Playa Quiet S/N 40 880, Ixtapa, GRO Mexico 40880.