Steering Committee

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Who We Are

San Diego Impact Investors Network (SDIIN) is a collaborative group of leaders from diverse public and private sectors that include funders and investors, technical assistance providers and nonprofit service providers to act as the advisory board and backbone of this effort. We are aligned in our desire to see a robust, richly promising pipeline of impact investment opportunities and to provide links to appropriate capital that values both impact and outcomes. We are identifying key stakeholders in other sectors, including academia, government and business, to participate in this collaborative effort as appropriate.  National experts working on efforts in San Diego are also included in our membership.

Steering Committee

Chief Community Officer, CollectiveSun® LLC

Lee Barken, CPA, LEED-AP is the Chief Community Officer at CollectiveSun LLC. He has broad industry experience in renewable energy project finance, environmental commodities consulting and public policy analysis. He is dedicated to helping nonprofits develop economically viable energy products. Lee writes and speaks on the topics of renewable energy project finance, social ventures and community financing. Lee plays an active role on the board of directors of CleanTECH San Diego, The San Diego Venture Group, and Grid Alternatives. Lee received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from San Diego State University where he graduated with honors and academic distinction.


Director of Impact Investments, San Diego Grantmakers

Robert Foster leads San Diego Grantmakers’ Impact Investing work. His past experience includes serving as the COO of ZipCap, a San Diego-based impact fintech company and as the Executive Director of Accelerating Market-driven Partnerships (AMP), an international impact investing initiative launched by Secretary Hillary Clinton and executed in collaboration with the U.S. Secretary of State, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Aspen Institute, and Fortune 100 companies. His past work has also included the development of social purpose investment vehicles with private investment firms, the creation of global market and policy strategies with foundations, and the implementation of market-based poverty reduction and biodiversity conservation initiatives in the developing world.

Robert is a former Women Effects Investments Fellow at the Criterion Institute, an adjunct faculty member of the University of San Diego School of Business, and has served as a Board Chair of the Social Venture Network. Robert currently serves on the board of KIT — a national nonprofit dedicated to inclusion — and the Kroc School of Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego. He holds an MSc from Oxford University. Robert lives in San Diego with his wife, Dr. Nadia Foster, and his two children.

Founder and Chief Impact Officer, Tablecloth Inc.

Nelli Garton. PH.D. is an accomplished strategist, problem-solver, and change agent. Dr. Garton is the founder and principal at Garton Strategy Group, strategic advisors for impact working to direct more capital towards improving our communities. She is also a founder and Chief Impact and Operating Officer of TableCloth, a civic technology company that provides a platform for the social sector to better tell its stories and to increase civic engagement by socially minded individuals. In the past she has consulted to a variety of clients on board development, evaluation and impact, program planning and assessment, policy analysis, organizational development and fundraising. Previously, she was a Senior Principal at LeSarDevelopment Consultants, Partner in Keel Asset Management, a Vice President at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, and Senior Researcher and Lecturer at the Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy at Brandeis University.
She is on the board of the Wilson Foundation and leads their strategic initiative on family homelessness, she co-founded and currently chairs the San Diego Impact Investor Network, is the secretary for the board of directors of San Diego Grantmakers and serves on the advisory boards of the Youth Development Office of San Diego and the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs. Dr. Garton holds a PhD. and MA in Social Policy from the Heller School at Brandeis University, an MPA from Cornell University and a BA in Sociology from Colorado College.

Community Engagement, Mission Driven Finance 

Lauren Grattan is committed to improving our communities through a strong and innovative social sector. She leads Community and Operations for Mission-Driven Finance which facilitates local impact investing by reducing legal and accounting hurdles. She shares her strengths in fundraising, communications, strategy and group facilitation to help social sector organizations become investment-ready and advance their missions. Lauren is also a Co-Founder and Board Member of Foothold Foundation, propelling collaboration; an active member of Women Give San Diego and San Diego Social Venture Partners; and former Board Chair of YNPN San Diego, the young nonprofit professionals network. She spent nearly 10 years in development for Natural High, UC San Diego, NAF (formerly National Academy Foundation), and select nonprofit clients. She grew up in Honolulu before succumbing to island fever and heading to Columbia University in New York to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy.

Investment Manager, The Price Group
CEO, Mission Driven Finance

David Lynn is a talented leader with technical expertise in information technology, finance and philanthropy. Mr. Lynn is currently the investment manager for The Price Group, and primarily oversees charitable funds.  His IT background includes comprehensive work with data analysis and web-based database applications in a variety of industries, including financial, distribution, and education, and provides services to mission-driven organizations through Ayamba, Inc. Mr. Lynn is a dedicated philanthropist, holding leadership positions in numerous nonprofits including San Diego Social Venture Partners and San Diego Grantmakers, and satisfies his entrepreneurial tendencies as a founding director for organizations including Mission Edge San Diego and the Education Synergy Alliance. Mr. Lynn received his B.A. in Mathematics from Whitman College.

Member At Large

Nancy Sasaki was previously the Executive Director of Alliance Healthcare Foundation (AHF) from August 2011 to May 2018. AHF works to advance health and wellness for those in need in San Diego & Imperial Counties by providing over $2.25M in funding each year. The target populations are: under 250% of poverty, uninsured/underinsured, homeless and children. Ms. Sasaki sits on the San Diego Grantmakers (SDG) Board of Directors and chairs the Funders Together to End Homeless-San Diego chapter. In addition, Ms. Sasaki sits on the Board of Directors of San Diegans for Healthcare Coverage and is a member of the Executive Team of San Diego Impact Investors Network. Prior to joining AHF she was the Executive VP of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest from 2004-2011. Her career with Planned Parenthood spanned 30 years, beginning as a Health Educator in Austin, Texas and included the CEO in Los Angeles and the interim CEO in Hawaii. A part of her work has been in developing social enterprise options for non-profit organizations. For a short time Ms. Sasaki also worked as the Executive Director of the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties. In addition to her love for improving the health of the community as a whole, Ms. Sasaki’s other loves are her daughter Kelly and playing beach volleyball & tennis.