I am a woman. I am Black. I am an American. I am an immigrant. I am an investor. We are Impact America.
Kesha is passionate about helping the next generation of founders navigate the challenges that inevitably arise when building a business—even when the idea is great, the model is strong, or funding is abundant. She was recently named one of Fast Company's "100 Most Creative People in Business" and is the subject of a Stanford Graduate School of Business case study on forming a successful impact venture capital firm. She has nearly a decade of experience in impact investing; at Jalia Ventures, a $5 million fund that she co-founded with Josh Mailman, she made seed investments in mission-driven companies including Red Rabbit, Schoolzilla, and ConnXus. She was also an investment associate at Bridges Ventures in the UK. Prior to this, Kesha worked as an operational consultant to small businesses in inner-city Los Angeles and as a mergers and acquisitions analyst at Merrill Lynch. She currently serves on the board of directors of CareAcademy, and is an elected member of the SEC Small Business Capital Formation Advisory Committee. She received her M.B.A. from Columbia University and her B.A. in Applied Mathematics from UC Berkeley.
Brittany brings deep expertise in due diligence and organizational design to her work at IAF. She first joined the firm as a graduate fellow in 2017, helping to shape the overall strategic direction, and is now an Investment Associate with a particular interest in unlocking asset ownership for communities of color. Prior to joining IAF, she worked as a management consultant in the strategy practice at KPMG, focusing on mergers and acquisitions for large corporate clients, and on financial process improvement for clients at Accenture. She received her M.B.A. from the Chicago Booth School of Business and her B.S. in Business Administration from Hampton University.
Melissa is a strategic communications expert with long-held interest in the connections between culture, community, and social justice. She joined the team in 2013 and has helped craft IAF’s impact research and the firm’s approach to impact measurement and management. Throughout her career as a writer, producer, and strategist, Melissa has worked for a wide range of companies from small, independent businesses to Time-Life Music and Microsoft. She won five Pollie Awards from the American Association of Political Consultants for her work with Cerillion N4 Partners and co-founded Axcess Magazine, which was purchased by Ken Goffman of Wired. Melissa is currently pursuing a degree in Ethnic, Gender, and Labor Studies and Urban Studies from the University of Washington.
Yui is a strategy and ops professional whose experience spans tech, media, investing, government, and the law. She joined IAF in 2019 to manage the firm’s operations and strategic initiatives and is particularly interested in the convergence of people, products, and policy to advance the common good. Previously, she was VP of Strategy & Business Development at Nickelodeon/Viacom, where she focused on strategic planning and innovation for the multibillion-dollar business. She also worked in business development at Palantir Technologies, where she oversaw growth for an enterprise healthcare customer. Prior to joining the private sector, Yui served in various roles at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, including Chief of Staff to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and Head of Press & Public affairs. Yui received a B.A. in Political Economics from Barnard College of Columbia University.
Stefanie brings years of transactional experience and a devotion to driving more equitable capital in venture to her work at IAF. She joined the firm in 2015 and is particularly interested in the network effects that propel bootstrapped entrepreneurs—a focus inspired by her father who overcame tremendous challenges as a low-income business owner. Prior to joining IAF, she co-founded Quarterback Impact while also managing fund development for an impact investment evergreen project. In 2014, she led a 6,000-mile road trip across the US to meet and work with entrepreneurs who are focused on making an impact in their local communities. Before the switch to venture, Stefanie served as a Vice President in Citigroup's global banking division. She received her M.B.A. from the Ross School at the University of Michigan and her B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Kaiton is a Silicon Valley engineer turned Human-Computer Interaction researcher. He joined IAF in 2018 with a particular interest in the challenges of connecting community-oriented research and design with scalable technology production and investment. Previously, Kaiton held senior engineering and architecture roles at Microsoft for over a decade, where he helped build and manage early web applications for billions of users. He then went on to earn his Ph.D. in Information Science from Cornell University, where his ethnographic research focused on the experiences of tech entrepreneurs building products for and from communities outside of Silicon Valley’s "normal." Kaiton also received his B.Sc. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Morgan State University.