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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). Together, these organizations are supporting the development of the Exchange.    

Growth Philanthropy Network

Duke University - Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society, Sanford School of Public Policy

  • Joel Fleishman – Professor of Law and Public Policy Studies and the Director of the Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Center for Ethics, Public Policy, and the Professions
  • Edward Skloot - Director, Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society and Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Studies

Duke University - Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE)

  • Paul Bloom - Faculty Director and Adjunct Professor of Social Entrepreneurship and Marketing
  • Cathy Clark - Adjunct Assistant Professor
  • Matthew Nash - Managing Director

Growth Philanthropy Network

Alexander Rossides, President

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.


Karen Epstein, Vice President

Karen Schub Epstein came to GPN back in 2005. She had previously worked in the private sector where she focused on operations, finance and accounting. Karen is a CPA who started her career in public accounting at Ernst and Young. She left to join Bohbot Media and Entertainment, a children’s entertainment company then contemplating an initial public offering. After guiding them through that process, Karen joined The Interpublic Group of Companies where she spent the next eight years in various roles, including CFO of an international sports and entertainment company, and Vice President of a $500 million holding company which she helped launch. During her time at Interpublic, she focused on mergers and acquisitions, investor relations, financial analysis, human resources, systems implementations, business development and strategy.

Ms. Epstein devotes considerable time to volunteer activities. She is currently the Treasurer of the Chatsworth Avenue PTA and on the Board of the Mamaroneck Schools Foundation. She was previously the Chair of the Steering Committee of the Larchmont Temple Nursery School and served on the Board of the Larchmont Newcomers Club, in addition to having chaired numerous UJA events. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with degrees in accounting and psychology, and graduated from the Executive MBA program at Columbia University with honors.


Christal M. Jackson, Senior Manager

Christal M. Jackson has nearly twenty years of experience in the non-profit philanthropy sector focused primarily on serving underserved communities, communities of color, women, and children. 

Her professional career in the field started as a graduate student at Duke University School of Divinity when she had the opportunity to participate in the National Capital Semester for Seminarians in Washington, DC at the Children’s Defense Fund. She has served as Development Officer, Executive Director, Strategic Advisor, and Consultant for a number of philanthropists and organizations across the United States and abroad. Her love for Haiti and unique background in the sports arena and public policy afforded her the opportunity to create a unique collaboration between President William J. Clinton and the NBRPA-National Basketball Retired Players Association. 

In addition to holding a Masters in Theological Studies, Christal earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Religion from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. She sits on a number of boards and has received several awards and honors, including Ebony’s Magazine 30 Future Leaders of America.

Nicole Kindred, Coordinator

Nicole Kindred joined GPN in August of 2010 and brings a wealth of experience in both in the nonprofit and private sectors. She has worked and volunteered for a variety of non-profit organizations around the world that are dedicated towards environmental, social, and economic development and has a great deal of interest in the potential of social media and online tools in sharing and growing non-profits. Prior to joining GPN, she worked in Vancouver, BC with an organization dedicated to networking and bringing together non-profit organizations and individuals interested in international development. She also volunteered extensively with Oxfam Canada as the Advocacy and Outreach Campaign Coordinator and is currently an organizer with Oxfam Action Corps NYC. Nicole serves on the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network NYC Board of Directors as the Vice Chair of Technology and is a member of the EcoHealth Alliance Young Professional's Council.

Nicole holds a BA in International Relations from Boston University and a Master’s of International Development and Environmental Analysis from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.


Antoinette La Belle, Managing Director, Network Partnerships

Antoinette (Toni) 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.


Cynthia Massarsky, Vice President and Director, Social Impact Exchange

Cynthia W. Massarsky comes to GPN with a 35-year history in the nonprofit sector, where she has been at the forefront of the social enterprise and entrepreneurship movement. Most recently, she directed the Yale/Goldman Sachs National Business Plan Competition for Nonprofit Organizations - a program she created for the Pew Charitable Trusts, Goldman Sachs Foundation, and Yale School of Management. The program involved three annual competitions that provided significant monetary awards and consulting services to leading nonprofit organizations in social enterprise. In all, she managed an operation that evaluated more than 1,500 entrants, selected 24 award recipients, supervised 470 evaluators and consultants, designed a website of resources for the field, and held three annual conferences attended by more than 1,200 nonprofits, grantmakers, and academic scholars.

Ms. Massarsky is also principal of CWM Marketing Group, a consulting firm she founded 18 years ago. Specializing in marketing, new business development, and evaluation services for nonprofits, foundations, and corporate philanthropy, Ms. Massarsky has served clients including Save the Children; Carnegie Corporation of New York, Covenant House; The Pew Charitable Trusts; Bank Street College; AmeriCorps; Ford Foundation; Families and Work Institute; Goldman Sachs Foundation; Aspen Institute, Association of Junior Leagues International; Nonprofit Finance Fund; John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts; AmFAR; The Rockefeller Foundation; and U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Previously, she held positions with Scholastic, Inc., Marlo Thomas' Free To Be Foundation at the Ms Foundation for Women, New Ventures (a consulting firm that guided nonprofits on earned income ventures), and The Foundation Center.

Ms. Massarsky has a number of publications to her credit, most recently, "Coming of Age: Social Enterprise Reaches Its Tipping Point" in Research on Social Entrepreneurship: Understanding and Contributing to an Emerging Field (ARNOVA Occasional Paper Series, Vol. III, June 2006); Generating and Sustaining Nonprofit Earned Income: A Guide to Successful Enterprise Strategies (Jossey-Bass Publishing, April 2004); and "Enterprise Strategies for Generating Revenue" in The Jossey-Bass Handbook of Nonprofit Leadership and Management (October 2004).

Ms. Massarsky earned a bachelor's degree from Simmons College and an M.B.A. from Cornell University.


Rochana Rapkins, Program Assistant
Prior to joining Growth Philanthropy Network in February of 2014, Rochana Rapkins was a Business Writer for Kaiser Permanente Hawaii. She has previously worked in arts publicity and for the Girl Scouts of the USA, where she coordinated federally funded initiatives that promoted science learning and youth-led social action in underserved communities. She holds a BA in English Literature from Columbia University and an MA from the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. 


Anne Sherman, Vice President, Nonprofit Strategy

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. 


Monica Ward, Nonprofit Initiatives Manager

Monica Ward joined GPN in August of 2012 as the Nonprofit Initiatives Manager. Prior to GPN she was the Deputy Director of the YouthBuild Newark Intermediary Initiative, where she managed the organization's replication efforts in New Jersey, as well as assisted with their strategic growth plan. Before YouthBuild, Ms. Ward spent over 12 years in the nonprofit sector working for national nonprofits and intermediaries, such as the Corporation for Supportive Housing and the Council of State Governments on a range of social issues including mental health, substance abuse, criminal justice and housing. Ms. Ward holds a Master's in Public Policy from The Johns Hopkins University and a B.A in Public Policy from Duke University.


Duke University- Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society, Sanford School of Public Policy

Joel L. Fleishman, Professor of Law and Public Policy Studies and the Director of the Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Center for Ethics, Public Policy, and the Professions at the Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University.

Professor Fleishman joined the Duke faculty in 1971, was the founding director of what is now the Sanford School of Public Policy, and has served the university as vice president, senior vice president, and first senior vice president. He took part-time leave from Duke from 1993 to 2003 to serve as president of the Atlantic Philanthropic Service Company, the United States program staff of the Atlantic Philanthropies.

He is author, co-author, or editor of numerous books and articles reflecting his long-standing interest in ethics, public policy, and nonprofit organizations, the most recent of which, The Foundation: A Great American Secret—How Private Money is Changing the World, was published in January 2007 by Public Affairs Books and has just been released in an expanded paperback edition.

Fleishman serves as chairman of the board of trustees of the Urban Institute and as a trustee of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America; Brandeis University; the Artscroll Mesorah Heritage Foundation; the American Hebrew Academy; and the Partnership for Public Service. He is also chairman of the visiting committee of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In 2003 he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In addition to his academic activities, Fleishman is a member of the board of directors of the Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation. For eight years he wrote a monthly wine column for Vanity Fair magazine.


Edward Skloot, Director, Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society and Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Studies at the Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University.

In June 2007, Professor Skloot retired as President of the Surdna Foundation, a family foundation headquartered in New York City. He was the first CEO of the $1 billion (2007) foundation and held this position beginning in 1989.

Before coming to Surdna, Skloot was founder and president of New Ventures, a nonprofit consulting firm that assisted other NGOs in earning income as a complement to fund-raising. Begun in 1980, New Ventures was the first organization to promote "social entrepreneurship". Skloot wrote the early literature and helped create the field of social enterprise. He has also served in senior posts in state and local government.

Skloot serves on the boards of directors of Independent Sector; Venture Philanthropy Partners, a group of venture capitalists helping youth-serving organizations in the Washington, D.C. region; Citizen Schools, an after-school program located in seven states; the Partnership for Palliative Care; and TROSA, the largest residential therapeutic community in North Carolina. He is a member of the advisory boards of the Bridgespan Group, a nonprofit consulting firm affiliated with Bain and Co., and of the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS Center), Stanford University.

Skloot has written and spoken widely on the subjects of nonprofit management, social venturing, and sectoral leadership. Surdna recently published a compilation of his recent speeches in a book called Beyond the Money. He also was the principal writer and editor of The Nonprofit Entrepreneur, published by the Foundation Center.


Duke University - Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE), Fuqua School of Business


Paul N. Bloom, Faculty Director and Adjunct Professor of Social Entrepreneurship and Marketing at Center for Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University.

Dr. Bloom leads CASE’s Scaling Social Impact research and teaches a course on Corporate Social Impact Management. He has had a long career researching how the field of marketing can contribute to societal welfare. He has examined how marketing thinking can help to design better consumer protection and antitrust policies and has also done considerable research on social marketing, which involves developing strategies to encourage people to engage in more socially-beneficial behaviors (e.g., healthier living). In recent years, he has been particularly focused on identifying ways to persuade young people to avoid smoking, drinking-and-driving, and unhealthy eating. He is also currently studying how to make partnerships between corporations and social causes more effective at mitigating social problems while at the same time helping the sales and profitability of brands. Throughout his career, Dr. Bloom has encouraged research by business scholars on social issues, chairing well-received conferences on the consumer movement, marketing and public policy, corporate social initiatives, and corporate responses to the obesity crisis. Dr. Bloom is the author or co-author of more than 100 published articles, papers, book chapters, and books; including the award wining article published in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing for 1987 to 1991 and The Handbook of Marketing and Society (Sage Publications, 2001). He formerly served as Professor of Marketing at the Kenan-Flagler Business School of the University of North Carolina (1984-2006) and held posts at the University of Maryland and the Marketing Science Institute. He holds a Ph.D. in marketing from the Kellogg School of Northwestern University an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.S. degree from Lehigh University.


Catherine Clark, Associate Professor and Director, CASE i3, Duke University.

Cathy Clark is a leading authority in the fields of for-profit social entrepreneurship, impact investing, and impact assessment. Currently Adjunct Associate Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at CASE at Duke, she directs the CASE i3 Initiative on Impact Investing. Prior to CASE, Cathy taught at Columbia Business School for 9 years. Before that, she was a professional impact investor, as Managing Director of the Flatiron Future Fund, and Vice President at the Markle Foundation, where she helped manage grants and PRIs for over 7 years. Cathy has been active in the development of both B Lab and GIIRS and currently serves on the GIIRS Domestic Standards Advisory Council. She is also board chair of SJF Institute and Investors’ Circle. Cathy holds a BA from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Columbia Business School. She has spoken widely about her work, including at the White House and in the US Congress.


Matthew T.A. Nash, Managing Director of the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

In addition to his development and administrative responsibilities, Matt leads the Fuqua On Board program, founded and directs the Global Consulting Practicum, advises student consulting projects and independent studies, and advises the student run chapter of Net Impact. Matt is also a visiting lecturer at Duke’s Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy, where he co-teaches an undergraduate course in entrepreneurial leadership and social innovation. Matt brings to Fuqua extensive domestic and international social and public sector experience in governance, strategic planning, organization development, performance measurement, business process transformation, and leadership development. Prior to joining the CASE team, he was a senior consultant in strategy and change management with the public sector practice at IBM Business Consulting Services (formerly PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting). In this position and previous consulting capacities, Matt served a diverse set of clients ranging from community-based organizations, including a nonprofit resource center, a community housing board, and a disabilities rights coalition, to large agencies such as World Vision, UNICEF and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Previously, Matt led the Leadership Institute at Yale's Center for Public Service and volunteered with the U.S. Peace Corps in Romania. Matt is a graduate of the Yale School of Management (MBA) and Yale College (BA), where he received the graduation prize for public service. A recipient of Vice President Al Gore’s “Hammer Award” for reinventing government, Matt was recently awarded the inaugural "Member Achievement Award" by Net Impact, the global network of business professionals seeking to use their skills for social, environmental, and economic impact.