Staff

Turner Family Center for Social Ventures

Mario Avila

Director

Bio

Mario Avila

Director

Mario serves as the founding Director of the Turner Family Center for Social Ventures at Vanderbilt University, a new hub that serves as a resource and thought leader for people across the university interested in combining revenue-generating businesses with social impact objectives. Most recently, he was the CEO of Emerge and founder of Contigo Financial, a socially-responsible consumer lender headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. His management experience includes finance, education and consulting in three different countries. He was a Fellow of Vanderbilt University’s Cal Turner program for Moral Leadership in the Professions and helped develop a hybrid housing-microfinance model to finance mortgage needs of people at the base of the pyramid in Central America. Mario serves on various boards including Conexión Americas and is Chairman of the Nashville Social Enterprise Alliance. He earned an AB from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Vanderbilt University.

Turner Family Center for Social Ventures

Grace Fletcher

Graduate Assistant

MPH / M.A. (CLAS) '17

Bio

Grace Fletcher

Graduate Assistant

MPH / M.A. ’17 | Public Health & Latin American Studies

I’m from Houston, Texas, but went to school at Davidson College in North Carolina, where I first developed an interest in the intersection between global nutrition and the social sciences like anthropology. After working as a project manager for large research grants and doing public outreach for the public library, I returned to graduate school at Vanderbilt to pursue a dual degree in Global Health and Latin American Studies. While at Vanderbilt, I’ve done internships in Guatemala and New York City, conducted qualitative research with pregnant Latina women, and served as the managing editor of a global health website, but my involvement with the TFC has been the highlight. Learning about how business can contribute to the social issues that I care about has been really exciting. I served on the inaugural TFC Programming Board and then transitioned to a staff role for this year. Here at the TFC, I manage projects, get things done, and try to keep up with Mario.

Kathleen Fuchs

Manager

Bio

Kathleen Fuchs

Manager

Manager

I am grateful to serve as the Manager for the Turner Family Center for Social Ventures, where emerging leaders have common ground to explore and integrate their desire for meaningful and sustainable social impact with practical business strategy. Prior to joining the TFC staff, my work focused on college access for first generation immigrant students to pursue higher education, leadership development, and career success here in Nashville with the YMCA Latino Achievers program. Vanderbilt first brought me to Nashville, when I studied here as an undergraduate in Human & Organizational Development and Spanish. After several years in non-profit work, I received a Master’s in Civic Leadership from Lipscomb University’s Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership. I am also member of the Nashville Mayor’s New American Advisory Council. My work in Nashville reflects my deep passion for creating sustainable and strategic partnerships across sectors for community impact on both the individual and collective level. I am excited partner with our amazing graduate students through the TFC to advance this work and cultivate strong leaders in systemic change.

 

Advisory Board

Turner Family Center for Social Ventures

Bart Victor, Ph.D.

Bio

Bart Victor, Ph.D.

Dr. Victor is the Cal Turner Professor of Moral Leadership Across the Professions for Vanderbilt University. He joined the Owen faculty from the Institute for Management Development International (IMD), in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he was Professor of Management and Director of the Program for Management Development. Prior to IMD, Dr. Victor was on the faculties of the University of North Carolina and the University of Nebraska. In addition to serving on the Advisory Board for the Turner Family Center for Social Ventures, Dr. Victor leads the Project Pyramid program.

Turner Family Center for Social Ventures

Jacob Hill

MBA '15

Bio

Jacob Hill

Jake received his undergraduate degree from Centre College in Danville, KY. He began his professional career in McAllen, TX as a high school teacher at PSJA High School while serving in Teach for America. He continued his career as an educator at KIPP Academy Nashville before entering the corporate world as a recruiter at Asurion. While at Owen, Jake served as President of Project Pyramid, was active in Net Impact, and served as Chairman of the Honor Council. He graduated from Owen in 2015 and is currently a Senior Consultant in Human Capital at Deloitte.

Turner Family Center for Social Ventures

Kathleen McKissack

M.Ed., IEPM, '15

Bio

Kathleen McKissack

Kathleen was first exposed to issues of global poverty when she took a semester off from her undergraduate studies at Clemson University to live and work in rural Uganda. There she became interested in issues of educational access, quality, and innovation in developing countries. After finishing her B.A. in Psychology, she entered Vanderbilt’s masters program in International Education Policy & Management where she explored the intersection of education, poverty, social enterprise, and product design. Kathleen was delighted to be a part of the group of students who initially designed and raised funds for the Turner Family Center for Social Ventures, and currently serves on the TFC Advisory Board.

Julia Iyo

MBA '17

Bio

Julia Iyo

MBA ’17 |

I graduated from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication for Social Development. My passion for communications and strategy led me to pursue a career in the human resources and corporate social responsibility fields. In Peru, I spent four years helping organizations to become more efficient and sustainable by implementing change management projects.

Eileen Remley

M.Ed., IEPM '17

Bio

Eileen Remley

M.Ed. ’17 | International Education Policy and Management

I graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.A. in English and International Studies. Due to a formative study abroad experience in Costa Rica I wanted to further explore international education and accepted a position teaching English in Madrid, Spain. From there, I moved to Zonguldak, Turkey on a Fulbright grant to work in the English Preparatory program at Bulent Ecevit University. My experiences abroad furthered my passion for exploring experiential learning and the impact it has on the growth of individuals. I returned to Vanderbilt University to earn my M.Ed in International Education Policy and Management to further pursue my interest in driving economic development and innovation in education.

Finding the TFC has had the greatest impact on my learning experience thus far at Vanderbilt. I was initially drawn to the TFC due to my interest in social enterprise and innovative solutions to poverty alleviation, but I’ve become deeply invested because of the truly interdisciplinary approach and passion that all those involved have for social ventures. It is exciting to be a part of a center that strives to educate students, faculty, and the community on how market-based solutions can be used to achieve social impact. My experiences within Project Pyramid and on the Special Projects and Consulting team have only re-enforced my drive to understand how innovative solutions can lead to sustainable change.

 

Programming Board

Eileen Remley

Board Chair

M.Ed., IEPM '17

Bio

Eileen Remley

Board Chair

M.Ed. ’17 | International Education Policy and Management

I graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.A. in English and International Studies. Due to a formative study abroad experience in Costa Rica I wanted to further explore international education and accepted a position teaching English in Madrid, Spain. From there, I moved to Zonguldak, Turkey on a Fulbright grant to work in the English Preparatory program at Bulent Ecevit University. My experiences abroad furthered my passion for exploring experiential learning and the impact it has on the growth of individuals. I returned to Vanderbilt University to earn my M.Ed in International Education Policy and Management to further pursue my interest in driving economic development and innovation in education.

Finding the TFC has had the greatest impact on my learning experience thus far at Vanderbilt. I was initially drawn to the TFC due to my interest in social enterprise and innovative solutions to poverty alleviation, but I’ve become deeply invested because of the truly interdisciplinary approach and passion that all those involved have for social ventures. It is exciting to be a part of a center that strives to educate students, faculty, and the community on how market-based solutions can be used to achieve social impact. My experiences within Project Pyramid and on the Special Projects and Consulting team have only re-enforced my drive to understand how innovative solutions can lead to sustainable change.

Todd Borgen

Education

MBA '17

Bio

Todd Borgen

Education

MBA ’17 | Operations and Strategy

I grew up within an hour of Milwaukee and Madison in Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin. Upon graduation, I implemented supply chain software before moving to a role as a supply chain manager at an eCommerce company. While I enjoyed the work I was doing, I couldn’t see being in that role much longer and came back to get my MBA to further my management skills as well as take a step back to assess exactly where I wanted to go in my career.

As a supply chain manager I was able to see how first-hand how business decisions can create problems in the specific regions they operate in when social impact is not considered. I came to Owen with a focus on sustainability within supply chains and hope to run my business within a short time of graduation. Prior to business school, I assumed that my work in business would be separate than my work trying to do social good. Since coming here, classmates have helped demonstrate that these two worlds do not need to be separate. Upon this realization, I dove head-first into working with the TFC and it has been a great experience.

Paul Finelli

Events

MBA '17

Bio

Paul Finelli

Events

MBA ’17 | Finance

I attended the University of Tampa for my undergraduate career where I earned my Bachelor of Science in Marketing. Following this, I was commissioned into the United States Army as a Second Lieutenant. During my time in the military, I served as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer stationed out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA. I left the military as a Captain and transitioned to Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management where I am concentrating in Finance and Operations.

While spending time in Haiti and in Afghanistan, I saw how the lack of industry could have devastating economic effects and I wanted to support the mission of bringing opportunities back to these communities. During an independent study I realized the power that social enterprises have to drive their own fundraising through success in the consumer markets. As a result, they did not need to rely on donors or giving campaigns to continue their efforts. I was inspired by the ability to use business to drive social impact.

Khaliungoo (Hailey) Ganbat

M.A., GPED, '17

Bio

Khaliungoo (Hailey) Ganbat

M.A. ’17 | Graduate Program in Economic Development

I am a Fulbright Scholar from Mongolia, pursuing a Master’s degree in Economic Development. I have experience working with diverse communities in remote locations across Mongolia, Australia and West Virginia, USA on poverty and community development issues, especially in mineral extractive industry. I hold a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from KDU College, Malaysia. As my home country is facing a mining boom, I hope to find the most appropriate sustainable economic development models for mining communities in Mongolia. I am specifically looking into the role of social entrepreneurship and technology in sustainable development and poverty alleviation.

While working with mining communities, I realized that Mongolia is not doing a very good job of adequately managing the mining revenues so that the socio-economic development and livelihood of local communities can be sustained even after the mines close. I believe that social entrepreneurship is key to supporting the realization of that long-term, sustainable future for these communities and am eager to learn more about it through engaging with TFC. As a new Programming Board member, I also hope to contribute in building a strong foundation for the TFC that will allow the Center to realize its mission and vision.

Sarah Imran

Communications

M.Ed, CDA, '17

Bio

Sarah Imran

Communications

M.Ed ’17| Community Development and Action

I am a first year graduate student at Peabody College pursuing a degree in Community Development and Action. I majored in Economics during my undergraduate program, while simultaneously interning with various NGOs. I am passionate about women’s rights, international development, and social enterprise and have been actively working in each of these areas since high school. Before coming to Vanderbilt, I served as the Community Development Manager at a social enterprise in Pakistan.

Through my experience as a Community Development Manager at a social enterprise in Pakistan, I witnessed firsthand the effectiveness of the social enterprise model and its ability to be a sustainable and scalable medium of development. Upon coming to Vanderbilt, I wanted to continue to be involved in the social enterprise sphere and became involved with the Turner Family Center for Social Ventures soon after my program started. Since January, I have been doing my practicum with the TFC, working to engage TFC and Project Pyramid alumni, assessing and evaluating the quality of Project Pyramid by examining the perspective and experiences of alumni.

Abigale Jasinsky

Sponsorships

MPP '17

Bio

Abigale Jasinsky

Sponsorships

MPP ’17 | Public Policy

After attending college in Gainesville, FL, I had an Eat, Pray, Love moment and moved to Napa Valley, CA where I attended the Culinary Institute of America and became a certified wine professional. This move paved the way a career in development and philanthropy, eventually landing me in Orange County, CA, where I had the opportunity to consult for some of the largest philanthropic funds and nonprofit organizations in the area. I believe strongly in the power of development and opportunity as a pathway out of poverty and enjoy connecting those in need with those with means. I founded a non-profit to empower high-risk teens and disadvantaged adults that I am in the process of redeveloping into a social enterprise.

The Turner Family Center embodies the philosophy that I have built my career around: market-based solutions are the most meaningful and sustainable pathways out of poverty. Using inquiry to identify and develop what is right with a community rather than what is wrong is my favorite way to solve problems. With deep roots in the Nashville area, I am excited to help develop the center to make Vanderbilt a nationally recognized hub for social ventures.

Kelsey Moore

Hult@

MSN '17

Bio

Kelsey Moore

Hult@

MSN ’17 | Nursing

A true Nashville native, I was born and raised in the Music City. I graduated from New York University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Following graduation, I joined the New York City Civic Corps as an AmeriCorps volunteer to start a non-profit program that recruited and trained older adults to serve as college mentors in under-resourced high schools. After expanding the program to reach over 1600 students, I moved to Austin, Texas to teach fifth grade for two years. Now, I have returned to graduate school to pursue my interest in healthcare with the ultimate goal of providing preventative health education and care to high-need families.

A common thread throughout my professional and educational career has been my desire to impact the lives of others by providing the resources, education, and care needed for them to achieve the life they want. While the nursing program has provided many of the clinical skills I will need to work effectively in that space, the TFC has offered the interdisciplinary, social enterprise-based opportunities that will help me develop other skills and strengths I will need. Competing in the Hult Prize in 2016 was an invaluable experience during my first year, and as a board member, I hope to engage other students from diverse backgrounds to learn more about social enterprise and bring their unique perspective to the TFC.

Jaime Rincon  

Careers

MBA '17

Bio

Jaime Rincon  

Careers

MBA ’17 |

I was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia. Before business school, I worked at Bancolombia. For 5 years, I worked to improve financial inclusion in Colombia. I collaborated on the creation of several products to increase financial inclusion such as a mobile wallet for informal workers and lower cost collateral to small businesses. I have also worked for Colombia’s government at the trade regulator, reviewing the antitrust effects of mergers and acquisitions deals, and have written several papers on Colombia’s financial regulation.

I believe that market solutions can be an effective way to alleviate poverty. The Turner Family Center gives me the opportunity to make an impact with business and contribute through actionable projects.

TFC intentionally builds relationships with businesses who are motivated to use their resources as a catalyst for the alleviation of poverty. Our partners in the local community, throughout the nation, and around the world help us increase our reach and change the status quo.

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