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 the Vanderbilt University Credit Union, Conexión Americas, the Nashville Food Project, and formerly the Nashville Social Enterprise Alliance. He earned an AB from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Vanderbilt University.

Kathleen Fuchs Hritz

Assistant Director

Bio

Kathleen Fuchs Hritz

Assistant Director

Assistant Director

Kathleen serves as the Assistant Director for the Turner Family Center for Social Ventures, where emerging leaders have common ground to explore and integrate their desire for meaningful, sustainable social impact with practical business strategy. Kathleen leads the TFC’s Emerging Impact Leaders program and facilitates Vanderbilt’s engagement with the Stanford-based University Innovation Fellows program, and Owen’s Board Fellows program through 100% Owen.

Prior to joining the TFC staff in 2016, Kathleen’s work focused on college access for first generation immigrant students to pursue higher education, leadership development, and career success in Nashville with the YMCA Latino Achievers program. Vanderbilt first brought Kathleen to Nashville, when she studied Human & Organizational Development and Spanish. After several years in non-profit work, Kathleen received a Master’s in Civic Leadership from Lipscomb University’s Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership. She is a member of the Nashville Mayor’s New American Advisory Council and participated as a Fellow in the Nashville Institute for Faith & Work’s Gotham leadership program.

Kathleen’s work in Nashville reflects her deep passion for creating sustainable and strategic partnerships across sectors for community impact on both the individual and collective level. For these reasons, she loves to partner with amazing TFC students to advance this work and cultivate strong leaders of systemic change.

Megan Skaggs

Graduate Associate

M.Ed. and M.A. Latin American Studies '21

Bio

Megan Skaggs

Graduate Associate

Though raised in a small town in Kentucky for much of adolescence, Megan’s formative years were spent abroad – from Sri Lanka to Tunisia. This early interest in culture followed her to her collegiate years. In 2014, she spent six weeks completing an internship at an orphanage in Guatemala, where she became intrigued by the role NGOs and nonprofits play in improving educational opportunities for children in impoverished regions. Upon her graduation from Western Kentucky University with B.A.s in both International Affairs and English in 2016, she spent a year as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Esquipulas, Guatemala, where she worked with the Access English Microscholarship Program. Her time there further solidified her desire to explore ways to improve access to quality education for those most marginalized via governmental and non-governmental programs.
At Vanderbilt, she is pursuing her M.A. in Latin American Studies and her M.Ed. in International Education Policy and Management, and works as the Graduate Associate for the Turner Family Center for Social Ventures. Having served in Guatemala and conducted research in myriad countries in Central America, she is interested in how businesses can balance creating a sustainable social impact with a successful business model, and the role that education has as a means to alleviate the poverty pervasive in many such areas. Through her experiences, she has recognized the impact that a successful social venture could have on communities not only in Central America, but across the world.

Niccolo Roditti

Graduate Associate

M.Ed. Community Development and Action '22

Bio

Niccolo Roditti

Graduate Associate

Niccolo’s approach to any project or job is centered around the notion that mutual care is violence prevention. This stems from early interest in violence free living while studying abroad in Paris and supporting refugee housing and food distribution to their most recent work at a domestic violence/sexual assault organization in Durham, NC as a Rape Prevention Education Coordinator. They believe that any action can have unintended impacts on individuals, communities, and systems. Acknowledging what power dynamics are at play and how does that influence action within any system or organization is critical to sustainable changes and outcomes. Niccolo has worked within various coalitions and non profits tackling issues such as gender variance, systemic racism, homelessness, immigration and liberation education.

Niccolo is an incoming M.Ed. Community Development & Action student, as well as, their first semester serving as a Graduate Associate for the Turner Family Center for Social Ventures – with a focus on the Center’s Social Impact Certificate. Having completed an international social enterprise forum through Stanford, they’re excited to bring an intersectional lens on how businesses are analyzing their impact on communities and how to be apart of inclusive social change. The concept of a social venture and their framework used to invest in people through the alleviation of an obstacle or barrier is groundbreaking.

Esther Yoon

Undergraduate Associate

B.S. Human & Organizational Development | B.A. Asian Studies '21

Bio

Esther Yoon

Undergraduate Associate

Esther is part of the Class of 2021 at Vanderbilt University studying Human Organizational Development and Asian Studies with a minor in Engineering Management. She takes great pride in beginning her life’s journey in the Grand Canyon State, Arizona, to which she also calls home, though currently residing in Dallas, Texas. Upon entering college, Esther, like many other incoming students, struggled to find her true interests and passions, but after hearing about the existence of a market-driven enterprise fueled by thoughts of social impact, Esther’s own social impact passions and curiosity were piqued. It wasn’t long until she found herself quickly immersed with the center as just a first-year. She became the Undergraduate Associate at the TFC aiding Megan with various works ranging from creative projects including video creation to operations assistance such as CRM management. On top of her involvement with the TFC, Esther boasts a wide range of activities as well some of which include the Vanderbilt Student Government, Women in Biztech, Circle K, and Chi Omega. Through these assortments of activities, she grew a passion for serving others’ needs as well as making real change in the world. The TFC has been a large part of her maturation during this growth helping her channel her ambitions through the lens of social impact. Her story and testimony stand as a success story for the work of the TFC and their mission.

Jax Collins

Program Development Specialist

MTS '20

Bio

Jax Collins

Program Development Specialist

A recent graduate of Vanderbilt Divinity School, Jax Collins currently serves as Program Development Specialist for the TFC. Jax hails from the small town of King George on the east coast of Virginia. Attending the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, she studied sociology and consequently developed a strong interest in institutions, power, and religion. Some of her most memorable experiences as a Wahoo were her time working with the University’s football team as an equipment manager and as an intern for a preservation team of a local historic African American cemetery. While indirectly related, these experiences fostered her interest in the power of storytelling– both individual and communal

Continuing her educational career, Jax moved to Nashville, TN in August of 2018 to begin her Master of Theological Studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School. As a part of her field education for her degree program, she partnered with the TFC and Owen to design a student-athlete leadership development program. When the world shifted in March of 2020, Jax leaned into the ambiguity of this space and curated a professional development program specifically for Vanderbilt student-athletes whose summer internships were cancelled due to COVID-19.

Currently, Jax is reimagining Project Pyramid, an Owen course which lays a 15-year foundation for the Turner Family Center for Social Ventures. Jax is using her student-centered expertise as the course’s underpinning to refresh the curriculum and course objectives. Jax is passionate about creating intentional spaces where all voices are heard, welcomed, and respected. Whether that be through higher education, athletics, or local organizing spaces, Jax sees it as her purpose to continue in the work of being with others.

Executive Board

Ariane Willson

Executive Board Chair

M.Ed '22

Bio

Ariane Willson

Executive Board Chair

After growing up in the Arizona desert, I attended Providence College for a year and then transferred home to Arizona State University where I studied English Literature and Economics but was particularly interested in researching the use of psychoanalysis to interpret identity and behavior in modern art and architecture. While in school, I was the Vice President and Operations Director of the Business of Fashion club at the business school. A pivotal moment in my life happened when I impulsively applied to teach English and lead outdoor activities at summer camps for children in the Jeollanam-do province of South Korea, many of whom came from foster homes, orphanages, or economically burdened households. It was there, covered in mosquito bites, wielding a megaphone, and communicating in a melange of Kor-English, that I first experienced the unadulterated joy of service and turning ‘the good’ into impactful action. This trip sparked in me a curiosity for the challenge of the unknown, which led me to live and work around the world for about three years.

In 2016, I received a Fulbright grant to serve as an English teaching assistant in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic; during that time, I found myself offering counseling and coaching to my students, many of whom felt the weight of a traditional repression of mental health, heightened by that rollercoaster that is tumultuous teenage emotions. From there, craving a new challenge to push myself to grow in places that were less comfortable, I moved to Hanoi, Vietnam for a fellowship in college consulting where I partnered with brilliant students seeking admission to US liberal arts colleges. Designing and teaching courses in art history and philosophy, Spanish and Latin, public speaking and interviewing, and SAT math and writing, I once again experienced that elusive thrill: the profound joy of service and self-discovery.

Upon returning stateside, I continued my work with high schoolers, counseling some students while developing a boarding campus for international high school students attending a US high school outside of Chicago and moved to Nashville in the summer of 2020. An interest in the micro-impacts on others’ sense of self and freedom to express and learn led me to seek out graduate programs that might give me the tools to answer the question: what makes people happy in their work?

After beginning my masters studies in Peabody College’s Leadership and Organizational Performance program, I quickly sought out connections with graduate students across Vanderbilt schools and found a home within the TFC. I love our center for the diversity of people attracted to serve within an organization whose purpose is to open doors for impactful, compassion-fueled entrepreneurs, educators, and community organizers. I am honored to work alongside the lionhearted changemakers represented on this TFC Board 2021-2022 as we implement the mission of the TFC: fostering social enterprise growth and creative solutions for poverty alleviation.

Caitlin Chin

Summit Chair

MBA '22

Bio

Caitlin Chin

Summit Chair

I am an MBA student at Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management concentrating in Healthcare and Operations & Analytics. Prior to moving to Nashville, I spent the last 12 years in Philadelphia. I studied Health and Societies at the University of Pennsylvania. During my junior year, I started volunteering with a non-profit organization called Back on My Feet, which helps people who are experiencing homelessness through running. I absolutely loved the empowerment that our members felt being a part of a team while running through the streets of Philly. I realized that things as simple as human connection and physical confidence have the ability to manifest confidence in other areas of a person’s life.

I took a full-time job with Back on My Feet after graduation and then went back to Penn for my Masters in Social Work. During my MSW program, I interned in a prison and a hospital, which is where I spent the next five years of my career working as a medical social worker. It was during this time that I realized that there is often a disconnect between the work that is done on the ground level and the decisions that are made at a management level.

For me, the TFC is the perfect bridge between these two worlds, connecting business-minded people to social impact initiatives. I’m excited to use this opportunity to learn more about the organizations within the city and to connect with the Nashville community.

Maria Sheridan

Brand and Marketing Chair

MPH'22

Bio

Maria Sheridan

Brand and Marketing Chair

I am fascinated by the power of storytelling. I geek out on any article, photo, interview, book, or Tiktok that can give me an inside look, a secret tid-bit, a peek into a person, place or thing.  As the TFC Brand and Marketing Chair, I hope to increase the center’s exposure through various channels of communications and break down sticky communication silos. My overarching goal is to share the TFC’s story in a new and innovative way that engages students, faculty, and stakeholders alike. I believe that the beauty of the TFC is truly found within its interdisciplinary nature. Sitting at a table (or on a zoom) with countless impatient optimists, across all Vanderbilt graduate programs, makes the TFC a remarkable center.

I am currently MPH candidate within the School of Medicine. My academic interests lie within improving the health and well-being of the global workforce. I’m obsessed with employee benefits and spend way too much time thinking about leave policies. Prior to coming to Vanderbilt, I worked at Wells Fargo on their US and International health and well-being team. I studied Sociology, Global Health and Markets and Management at Duke.

I am an aspiring florist, a podcast fanatic, Cameron Crazie, and prefer water to land. If you resonate with any of this- let’s meet up!

Tim Satterthwaite

Academics and Experiences

M.Ed '22

Bio

Tim Satterthwaite

Academics and Experiences

Greetings! I hail from the great state of Minnesota where I spent my winters frolicking in the sub-arctic temperatures and my summers pursuing mediocrity in various recreational sports. After high school I studied Civil & Environmental Engineering at Cornell University. Armed with my favorite mechanical pencil and trusty sidekick, Franklin (a TI-83 calculator), I emerged on the other side with an appreciation for problem solving and graph paper.

Post graduation, I moved out to San Francisco and worked on the sales team of an energy technology startup. After a year, I transitioned into outdoor and experiential education and spent the better part of four years teaching youth to be less afraid of bees and responsibility. My time spent on wilderness and international expeditions evolved into a deep belief in the power of meaningful experiences to facilitate personal development and collaboration.

I am currently a M.Ed student in the Leadership and Organizational Performance program and the Academics & Experiences Board Chair. When I first arrived at Vanderbilt, I was immediately drawn to the TFC due to its interdisciplinary and student led approach to positive change. As the A&E Board Chair, I will be focusing on building the TFC community, providing opportunities for connection and growth and continuing to build our Social Impact Certificate.

Shoot me an email! Let’s grab a beverage and talk about creating cohesive communities. Or about ants. Or bagels. Anything really. I’m here to connect you to the wonderful people within the TFC family!

Taryn McCoy

Project Pyramid Chair

MS '22 MTS '22

Bio

Taryn McCoy

Project Pyramid Chair

My name is Taryn and I am pursuing a dual degree master’s program in both Nursing and Theological Studies, with concentrations in global curriculums. Through the time in my career doing medical work globally, I have become very passionate about expanding understandings of how various cultures and people groups relate to healthcare, and the influences one’s value systems and historical context have on an individual.

In my time with Project Pyramid and the Turner Family Center, I have had the invaluable opportunity to expand my horizons by applying this framework outside of healthcare and onto to business models, economic policies, and organizational structures as well. I am inspired by the privilege to partner with and empower communities around the world, and working alongside organizations to assist in the development of intentional and sustainable global impact.

Vedanti Shah

Social Startups Chair

STEM MBA '22

Bio

Vedanti Shah

Social Startups Chair

I am Vedanti, an MBA student from India, pursuing a dual concentration in Finance and Strategy with an International Studies emphasis at Owen Graduate School of Management. Before business school, my career was a series of twists and turns from an education in biochemistry to working in in startups in the digital marketing space. Through it all, what kept me anchored was the time I used outside these hours to volunteer with non-profits in the child education and development space.

I joined the Turner Family Center to explore the juxtaposition of finance and social impact- and identify opportunities for their intersection. TFC was one of the USPs of Owen in my decision to pursue business school. My goal is to continue exploring social impact in financial services as I develop my professional career in the industry. As the Social Startups Chair, I hope to increase the offerings of my role and create sustainable programming for TFC in the startup space. In my free time, I like to travel on a budget, swim and read non-fiction books.

Read Ezell

Special Projects and Consulting Chair

MBA '22

Bio

Read Ezell

Special Projects and Consulting Chair

I am an MBA candidate in Vanderbilt’s Owen School of Management. Prior to starting at Owen, I worked as an independent consultant focused on fundraising and organizational strategy for social impact organizations and in government advisory consulting in Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Before I was a consultant, I was a researcher and social scientist in Cairo, Egypt and London, UK. I have a Masters degree studying the impact of globalization and immigration on religious and political identity.

I was attracted to the Turner Family Center because I believe that sustainable growth in the 21st century will have to prioritize human impact and shared value rather than profit alone. As Special Projects and Consulting Chair, I am excited to help amplify TFC’s ties to local issues and organizations.

Kristen Westerbeck

Net Impact President

MBA'22

Bio

Kristen Westerbeck

Net Impact President

I’m an MBA student at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management concentrating in Operations with an emphasis in Environmental Management. I grew up outside of Philadelphia and became a National Park enthusiast at an early age. Prior to business school, I worked as a marketing director for a co-founded female brewery in Nashville and implemented a zero-waste program in the production and taproom spaces. Though that experience I learned I loved operations, sustainability, and the impact that intersection had on customers.

The TFC was a big reason why I chose to attend Vanderbilt. The TFC’s commitment to “leave the world better than you found it” resonates with me, especially as I look to apply my new knowledge of social enterprise and impact to real world issues. As Net Impact President, I’m looking forward to highlighting the intersectionality between business and sustainability, while having a little fun at the same time. Outside of Vanderbilt I spend my time gaining as many new perspectives as possible, most often while traveling or trail running!

Hunter Bingham

Impact Investing

MBA '22

Bio

Hunter Bingham

Impact Investing

I am an MBA student at Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management concentrating in Finance and Strategy. I’m originally from Virginia Beach, VA but have spent the past few years in Texas after graduating Baylor University. Prior to Owen, I worked in corporate finance at American Airlines supporting the Cargo and International Flight divisions.

The TFC played a large part in my decision to attend Owen. I am attracted to the idea of combining traditional business practices and a heart for empowering others. I am thrilled to to have the opportunity to dive into and continue to be a part of a community who also passionate the intersection of enterprise and social impact.

Advisory Board

Bart Victor

Faculty Director

Owen

Bio

Bart Victor

Faculty Director

Cal Turner Professor of Moral Leadership Across the Professions for Vanderbilt University
Ph.D. Business Administration, University of North Carolina

Dr. Victor joined the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management 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.

Bio

Rachel Taplinger

Strategic Planning Director, Sustainable Manufacturing & Sourcing at Nike

Bio

Rachel Taplinger

Strategic Planning Director, Sustainable Manufacturing & Sourcing at Nike

Rachel Taplinger is an experienced sustainability professional with a demonstrated history in the consumer goods sector. She is currently the Director of Strategy for Sustainable Manufacturing & Sourcing at Nike. Prior to Nike, she developed foundational sustainability programs at both Revlon and The Estée Lauder Companies.

Prior to working at ELC, she spent three years working in education reform at The New York City Department of Education and its nonprofit arm, The Fund for Public Schools. She also worked at Edelman in communications.

 

Rachel has her MBA in sustainability and strategy from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University and a Bachelors in Psychology and Communications from Tufts University.

 

Matt Inbusch

Manager, Natural Capital Stewardship at International Paper

Bio

Matt Inbusch

Manager, Natural Capital Stewardship at International Paper

As Manager, Natural Capital Stewardship at International Paper, Matt works across teams to shape strategy and drive execution around environmental and social impact. Specifically, he leads IP’s water stewardship strategy as part of the company’s Vision 2030 goals. Earlier in his career, Matt served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru, and also did international economic development work based in Washington, DC. Matt has an MBA from Vanderbilt University, and a BA in International Relations from Colgate University. Travel, the outdoors, and music (hearing/seeing/making) are some of his favorite things. Matt lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

 

Peter Lavorini

Project Manager at OneGoal

Bio

Peter Lavorini

Project Manager at OneGoal

Courtney Watson

Co-Founder of Chestnut Catalyst Group

Bio

Courtney Watson

Co-Founder of Chestnut Catalyst Group

Courtney is a co-founder of Chestnut Catalyst Group, a woman-led company that through research, strategic capacity building, and investment works to advance social innovation for thriving, diverse, and sustainable communities. Courtney is a partner in Chestnut Opportunity Zone Fund, a qualified opportunity zone fund focused on community-aligned, real estate projects that have the potential to provide both financial and social value. She is also a partner in the Chattanooga Renaissance Fund, a venture capital firm that has invested in early-stage companies in the Southeast. Courtney serves on the board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chattanooga as well as The Enterprise Center.

Courtney received her Bachelor of Science in Commerce from The University of Virginia with a minor in French and a Master of Business Administration in Finance and Strategy from Vanderbilt University.  She is often found in the mountains, on a yoga mat, or watching her kids on the sports fields. Courtney lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Shani Dowell

CEO of Possip

Bio

Shani Dowell

CEO of Possip

Shani Dowell is the founder and CEO of Possip. A product of Houston public schools and a public school teacher and parent, Shani loves supporting the work of schools. She started her career as a consultant at Bain & Co. and helped launch the Boston office of the Posse Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to increase student retention and engagement on college campuses. She has also worked for Houston Independent School District, KIPP Foundation—a national network of charter schools, Teach For America, Bridgespan Group, and Relay Graduate School of Education. Shani earned her BA at Howard University in Washington, DC, and her MBA at Stanford University. In starting Possip, Shani seeks to support schools by elevating the ideas of parents, teachers, and students.

Corey Cleek

Affiliated Faculty

Owen

Bio

Corey Cleek

Affiliated Faculty

Corey Cleek is CEO of Uloop, Executive Chairman of ABLE, and Marketing Professor at Vanderbilt University.  Corey has spent the past 20 years at Online Media and E-Commerce companies including eBay, CitySearch, and Amazon.  Corey is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Bio

Dave Owens

Affiliated Faculty

Owen

Bio

Dave Owens

Affiliated Faculty

Professor Owens serves on the faculty at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management in the area of management and as Executive Director of The Wond’ry, Vanderbilt University’s center for creativity, innovation, design, and making. Specializing in innovation and new product development, he is known as a dynamic speaker and is the recipient of numerous teaching awards. He provides consulting services for a wide range of clients around the world, and his work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, London Guardian and San Jose Mercury News, as well as on NPR’s Marketplace. He has done product design work for well-known firms including Daimler Benz, Apple Computer, Dell Computer, Coleman Camping, Corning World Kitchen, Steelcase and IDEO Product Development. He has also served as CEO of a large consumer electronics firm, Griffin Technology.

Bio

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.

MEET OUR PARTNERS