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Who We Are
The Social Impact Exchange was launched by the Growth Philanthropy Network (GPN), in partnership with Duke University - Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society (CSPCS) and its Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE).
Social Impact Exchange Staff
- Alexander Rossides - President and Co-Founder
- Brooke Beardslee - Senior Consultant
- Jennifer Cleghorn - Associate Vice President, Education
- David Persky - Special Assistant
- Antoinette La Belle - Co-President
- Nadia Farahan - Operations Coordinator
- Anne Sherman - Vice President, Nonprofit Strategy
- Nicolas Makharashvili - Senior Manager
About the Social Impact Exchange Staff
Alexander Rossides brings extensive experience as a social entrepreneur, business executive and investor to GPN. Mr. Rossides has led both nonprofit and for-profit organizations. He has experience managing the growth of organizations, raising capital, developing affiliate networks and partnerships, and developing systems and technologies that enable information and knowledge sharing. Mr. Rossides served as the CEO of Interactive Video Technologies (IVT), a company he helped found and grow into a leading provider of online video technology that was successfully sold. Prior to IVT, he served as Managing Director of Digital Evolution Venture Capital (DE), where he managed the operations of the firm, raised investment capital for portfolio companies, oversaw investments in healthcare, technology and media companies and served as a Board member in a number of DE portfolio companies. Prior to DE, Mr. Rossides served as a management consultant at Towers Perrin in the strategy and organizational effectiveness practice, where he focused on client engagements in the public, health and financial sectors.
In the social sector Mr. Rossides´ focus has been in the areas of civic engagement, and youth education and development. In 1990 Mr. Rossides founded and led the Corporate Community Initiative, a non-profit organization in New York City devoted to facilitating corporate volunteerism and delivering management assistance to nonprofits. In 1997 he initiated a college assistance program for students in inner-city Boston. Mr. Rossides has served in numerous volunteer and advisory positions with other nonprofits. He received his BA from Dartmouth College in 1986 and his MBA from Columbia Business School in 1996.
Jennifer Cleghorn - Associate Vice President, Education
Jennifer Cleghorn is Associate Vice President, Education at Growth Philanthropy Network/Social Impact Exchange. She brings extensive experience in working with foundations, nonprofits and government to further effective and impactful education programs and policies from early childhood through postsecondary education. With a strong understanding of strategy development, communications and management, Jennifer has advanced many educational efforts that work to fulfill the promise of educational opportunity for all students.
Jennifer has a deep background in bringing together government, nonprofits, practitioners, civic leaders, advocates, philanthropies and corporate executives to advance transformative initiatives in education. Most recently she served as a Senior Fellow at the Regents Research Fund, a nonprofit intermediary, and the Director of Education at the Team Pennsylvania Foundation. She also worked as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of Education at the Pennsylvania Department of Education and as a Program Officer at the Annenberg Foundation. Jennifer started her career as a teacher and youth development director.
Jennifer has an Ed.M. from Columbia University’s Teachers College in Curriculum and Teaching and a BA in Sociology and Anthropology from Earlham College.
Brooke Beardslee - Senior Consultant
Brooke Beardslee joined Growth Philanthropy Network/Social Impact Exchange on September 22, 2015. Previously she was Executive Director of Grameen PrimaCare, a primary care and health promotion program for underserved immigrant women in Queens, NY. Prior to that she was Chief Operating Officer of the Children’s Radio Foundation where she was responsible for managing and enhancing internal organizational processes and infrastructure. Brooke also worked for the International Women’s Health Coalition, the New York City Department of Health Bureau of Tuberculosis Control, the New York City Department of Homeless Services, and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger.
Brooke has a B.A. in Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and a Masters in Public Health from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Brooke is President of the Board of the American Friends of SOAS. Past Boards include the New York Women’s Foundation, Red Umbrella Project, Restaurant Opportunities Centers UNITED, Resurrection Episcopal Day School, and Volunteers of America.
Antoinette La Belle joined Growth Philanthropy Network/Social Impact Exchange in January of 2014. She comes to GPN most recently from Civic Ventures (now known as Encore.org), where she was a Senior Fellow focusing on corporate career transition models. She was also the East Coast Director with startup responsibility for the board-approved national expansion of the Encore Fellowship Program. She spent most of her career in the private sector as an executive working in the areas of organization development, strategic business and human capital strategies, and change management initiatives. She concluded her corporate career in 2007 as a Managing Director at Lehman Brothers to enter a doctoral program at Case Western Reserve University, Weatherhead School of Management and to continue her civic engagement endeavors. Her doctoral research was a comparison study of the professional and situational influences on nonprofit leaders’ effectiveness; articles based on her research have been featured by The Bridgespan Group and BoardSource.
Her “activist” philanthropic and volunteer involvement supports initiatives and organizations helping “level the playing field” by working for social and economic justice and well being for vulnerable populations. She is a past board officer of The New York Women’s Foundation, Taproot Foundation, and The Viscardi Center and currently serves on the board of the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York. In addition to her doctorate, she holds an MBA from Fordham University and a BS from Marymount College.
Anne Sherman is Vice President, Nonprofit Strategy at Growth Philanthropy Network. Before GPN, she was Director of Strategy at TCC Group, a consultancy that assists nonprofits, foundations, and corporate community involvement programs. Prior to TCC Group, she was community initiatives manager at Minneapolis Way To Grow, a citywide school-readiness initiative. Sherman holds a master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Minnesota Hubert H. Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs. Her volunteer work includes serving as chair of the governing body of the Center for Family Life in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and as a member of the board of SCO Family of Services. She also serves on the selection committee of the New York Community Trust-New York Magazine Nonprofit Excellence Awards. Sherman is the co-author of Building Nonprofit Capacity: A Guide to Managing Change Through Organizational Lifecycles, published in 2011 by Jossey-Bass.
Nicolas Makharashvili joined Growth Philanthropy Network/Social Impact Exchange in March of 2016 and brings extensive experience in strategic philanthropy education, nonprofit program development & strategy, capacity building, and evaluation for the social sector. Most recently, he served as the Program Director for Bolder Giving where he planned, managed and oversaw various philanthropic initiatives, including Environmental Justice and Global Givers projects, promoting individual philanthropy for social, racial, economic and environmental justice.
Previously, he served as the Deputy to the President & CEO and then as Deputy Director of Development for the Roosevelt Institute, a leading national policy think-tank. Earlier, Nicolas was the Marketing Operations and Finance Associate at the Philanthropy Workshop, worldwide leader in strategic philanthropy education, which gives individual high-net-worth philanthropists and their families the skills, knowledge and networks to increase the impact of their giving. Nicolas holds BBA in Finance & Investments from Baruch College.