Akasha Absher is the Chief Consulting Officer for Syntrinsic Investment Counsel in Denver, CO. Syntrinsic Investment Counsel is a boutique investment consulting firm with $1.5billion in assets under advisement. The firm partners as a fiduciary with nonprofit organizations and philanthropic private clients to develop, implement, and monitor customized investment portfolios. Akasha is charged with overseeing the firm’s efforts to create enduring strategic partnerships with clients and craft best in class stewardship platforms that will allow them to have a meaningful impact in the community. She also serves as Consultant on client relationships and provides investment advice and strategic guidance to foundations, public charities, and philanthropic private clients. In addition, she is a voting member of the firm’s Investment Committee and Chair of the firm’s Impact Investing Committee.
Akasha currently is serving as a Board Member of The Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, the Secretary of the Board of Colorado Charter Facility Solutions, a Board of Advisors Member of Colorado Succeeds, and a Member of Rose Community Foundation’s Professional Advisors Council.
Dana Lanza, CEO, Confluence Philanthropy
Dana launched Confluence Philanthropy in August of 2009 after serving as the executive director of the Environmental Grantmakers Association (EGA). While at EGA, Dana provided networking services to over 250 grantmaking organizations from across North America and Europe.
From 2009-2011 Dana served as the Program Director and Board Advisor at The Swift Foundation while launching Confluence. Prior to Philanthropy, Dana founded Literacy for Environmental Justice (LEJ), an environmental education and youth empowerment organization for at risk youth. While there, she acted as a lead organizer in the closure of San Francisco’s infamous Hunters Point Power Plant; raising funds to supplant it with the region’s first off-the-grid educational Eco Center. She has been a fellow at the Donnella Meadows Program in Systems Theory and the California Women’s Foundation Policy Institute.
Dana has also lived and worked among the Samburu (Maasai) in northern Kenya for many years; the Cheyenne River Lakota; and Roma refugees in Europe.
Matt Patsky, CEO, Trillium Asset Management
Matthew Patsky is CEO, Managing Partner, and a Portfolio Manager at Trillium Asset Management. He leads Trillium’s Sustainable Opportunities strategy and has over three decades of experience in investment research and investment management.
Matt began his career at Lehman Brothers in 1984 as a Technology analyst. In 1989, while covering emerging growth companies for Lehman, he began to incorporate ESG factors into his research, becoming the first sell side analyst in the United States to publish on the topic of socially responsible investing in 1994. As Director of Equity Research for Adams, Harkness & Hill, he built that firm’s powerful research capabilities in socially and environmentally responsible areas such as renewable energy, resource optimization, and organic and natural products. Matt was most recently at Winslow Management Company in Boston, where he served as Director of Research, Chairman of the Investment Committee, and Portfolio Manager for the Green Solutions Strategy and the Winslow Green Solutions Fund.
Matt is currently on the Boards of the Environmental League of Massachusetts, Shared Interest and Pro Mujer. He has also served on the Boards of US SIF and Root Capital. He is a member of the Social Venture Network (SVN) and the CFA Society Boston. Matt holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Diana Trump, Trustee and Treasurer, Penney Family Fund, Confluence Board Member
Diana Trump is a Trustee and the Treasurer of the Penney Family Fund, a Berkeley-based foundation supporting human rights advocacy, government accountability, and environmental sustainability. The foundation’s main focus is on green jobs creation and youth-led efforts to improve the health and sustainability of local communities. As Treasurer, Diana has overseen the transition of the foundation’s corpus to a fully screened portfolio devoid of carbon-intensive assets. In her professional life, Diana is a Marketing Manager with the venture-backed analytics startup, Heap. Diana is based in San Francisco and received her B.A. from Duke University.
Sonja Velez, CFO, The San Francisco Foundation
Sonja Velez is CFO of The San Francisco Foundation, where she oversees financial planning and analysis, accounting, tax, investment administration, and impact investments. Prior to joining The San Francisco Foundation, Sonja worked as an independent management consultant for mission-driven organizations including her previous employer, The Democratic Voice of Burma, where she served as CFO while living in Burma. Earlier, Sonja spent 13 years at Charles Schwab in San Francisco in a variety of roles including overseeing corporate planning and analysis, managing the firm’s capital and liquidity, and leading analysis of client acquisition, retention, and operational strategies. She holds an MBA from UC Berkeley, an MFA from the University of San Francisco, and an undergraduate degree in International Relations from UC Davis.