Expands committee with community members for oversight of investment affairs
March 23, 2022 (Gig Harbor, Wash.) – The Russell Family Foundation (TRFF) and its Board of Directors today announced the appointment of three new members to its Investment & Audit Committee (IAC), which provides oversight of the Foundation’s investment affairs, of which 90% are mission-aligned. The new members include Amrita Vatsal, owner and managing director of EcoTrust Forest Management (EFM); Robin Wang, founding principal, Vibrant Future LLC; and Georgette Wong, CEO of Correlation Consulting.
“These three individuals each bring unique perspectives and diverse experiences that will help TRFF continue to evolve in its investment strategies and uncover new opportunities,” said Kathleen Simpson, CEO at TRFF. “The Foundation is in a season of change as we refocus some grant portfolios to new impact areas. We look forward to how these new IAC members will influence our planning and support our vision of applying all philanthropic tools toward impact, including investment and grants.”
In their new roles on the IAC, Vatsal, Wang, and Wong will provide counsel on the strategic direction of the Foundation’s endowment, including identifying ways to increase the values alignment of TRFF’s investments. TRFF’s financial portfolio reflects the Foundation’s dedication to positive social and environmental impact worldwide and close to home.
“Growing the IAC is an exciting next step for the future of TRFF and how we continue to center on mission-aligned investments,” said Sarah Cleveland, IAC committee chair. “These new members add various skills and qualities that elevate and diversify our committee’s expertise.”
Vatsal joins with an investment and environmental issues background. At EFM for more than a decade, in her current management role, Vatsal shapes the company’s growth and impact investment strategies managing fund structuring and investor recruitment. Prior to EFM, Vatsal spent five years at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, during which time she developed a strong interest in forests and helped develop a carbon project on 200,000 hectares of pristine tropical peat forest. Vatsal is also a fellow of the Erb Institute.
“The Russell Family Foundation has set the bar high for impact investors and foundations nationwide, and I’m honored to serve and help steward the resources of the organization towards greater impact for our planet and community,” said Vatsal.
Wang is a social entrepreneur, investor, and community leader who in addition to serving as an interim director at Oregon Consumer Justice, runs a capital consulting services firm addressing climate action, economic and social justice. Wang consults with The Seattle Foundation in developing policies for their outside managed funds and the launch of their Evergreen Impact Housing Fund. Previously, Wang was the executive director at Ascent Funding, a nonprofit CDFI. As an immigrant to the U.S. at an early age, much of Wang’s career working to advance economic justice and financial wellbeing has been influenced by his personal experience.
“As a social entrepreneur who is passionate about deploying capital for the benefit of the greater good, I am excited to be a member of the IAC and look forward to helping The Russell Family Foundation deepen and broaden its impact in the community,” said Wang.
Wong has a track record in the impact investing space, presenting to influential audiences including the U.S. Senate, U.S. State Department and the U.N.-backed Principles for Responsible Investment. From 2007 to 2012, she convened and curated the Take Action! Impact Investing Summit. Prior to her career in investing, Wong worked in civil rights and social justice at Asian Americans Advancing Justice/Asian Law Caucus and was on the Board of CAA, one of the co-founders of #StopAAPIHate. She is the current Vice Chair of Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) and volunteers for Orcas Island Montessori Public.
“The Foundation has been a leader in impact investing for decades. I am honored to join the IAC and am looking forward to working on this next chapter,” said Wong.
The new committee members will serve a three-year term.
“Each one brings a commitment to advancing inclusion, diversity, equity and access and the intersection with climate justice, a net-zero transition, active ownership and sustainable agriculture investing,” said Brad Harrison, managing director at Tiedemann Advisors. “I am enthusiastic about their shared values and what we can accomplish together.”
In mid-December 2021, TRFF issued an open call for IAC candidates. It received an outpouring of exceptional, qualified and diverse applicants. Later this spring, the Foundation will share key learnings on its open and inclusive recruitment process.
For more information on TRFF’s investment strategy, visit https://trff.org/impact-investments/
About The Russell Family Foundation
The Russell Family Foundation (TRFF) is a multi-generational family foundation who seeks to contribute to a sustainable and peaceful world for people, places, and communities. We serve as a partner for grassroots leaders and community organizations in Pierce County and the broader Puget Sound region. Impact investing has been an integral part of our giving model since 2004. Since our beginning in 1999, we have focused on stewarding all our resources toward collective, community-driven impact at every level – individual, group, organizational, institutional, and societal. Toward this end, we are engaged in values-based investing with the goal of strengthening communities and promoting economic vitality.