University of Southern California

USC Society and Business Lab Brings Thought Leaders in Social Innovation to Campus
USC Marshall Center Appoints Senior Fellows to Mentor Aspiring Social Entrepreneurs
September 29, 2010 • by News at Marshall

In its ongoing effort to bring together the best minds in social innovation to USC's campus, the Society and Business Lab (SBL) - a USC Marshall School of Business Center for Excellence dedicated to applying business models to change the world, has secured top talent to serve as its inaugural team of Senior Fellows.

Six Senior Fellows who have demonstrated great leadership in the fields of education, social venture development and investing, technology for change, and corporate social responsibility will support the SBL's existing suite of academic, internship and mentoring programs for aspiring social entrepreneurs. The Senior Fellows will participate in the SBL's signature "Lunch and Learn" visiting-speaker series and the Center's Scholars Mentoring program, guiding USC Marshall students who are aiming to leverage their business skills to impact education, arts and culture, the environment, human services, international relief, nonprofit consulting, community development, and other social initiatives.

"Having these outstanding leaders available to teach and mentor our students will further our efforts to graduate business students who will grow to be critical world changers," said Professor Adlai Wertman, Founding Director of the Society and Business Lab. "We are honored to have them associated with USC Marshall and with our Lab."

SBL Senior Fellows for the 2010-2011 academic year are:

Steve Barr, Founder, Green Dot America and Green Dot Public Schools
Steve Barr founded Green Dot Public Schools in 1999 with the vision of transforming secondary education in California by creating a number of high-performing charter high schools using available public dollars. Under Barr's leadership, Green Dot became the leading change agent in the region. In addition to leading Green Dot, Mr. Barr is a State Board of Education appointee to the Advisory Commission on Charter Schools, where he provides policy recommendations to the State Board of Education on charter school-related issues. In 1990, Barr co-founded Rock the Vote. He also led the successful effort to pass the Motor Voter Bill. Thirty million Americans have registered to vote via Motor Voter.

Ken Deemer, Founding Partner, Los Angeles Social Venture Partners
Ken Deemer is a founding partner and former Chairman of Los Angeles Social Venture Partners, a group of business professionals who contribute their time, money, and expertise to promote philanthropy in Los Angeles and to help nonprofits expand their capacity and effectiveness. Los Angeles Social Venture Partners currently focuses on organizations addressing education and the environment, and co-sponsors with USC on an annual Social Innovation Fast Pitch. Mr. Deemer was also a co-founder and former Chairman and President of the Tech Coast Angels, one of the largest and most active angel investor groups in the country.

Fran Seegull, Venture Partner, Funk Ventures
Fran Seegull serves as Venture Partner at Funk Ventures, an early-stage venture firm, engaging in venture capital investing and enterprise acceleration. In 2006, Seegull joined the firm as Managing Director and was named COO and Board Director in 2008. The firm invests in clean technology, sustainable living, health and wellness, and medical technologies - industries where it seeks to achieve market rates of financial return as well as social and environmental impact. Prior to her current position, Fran was a management consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and at her own firm. She was also a program officer at the Peter Nortan Family Foundation.

Paul Vandeventer, President and CEO, Community Partners
Paul Vandeventer is the co-author of Networks that Work: A Practitioner's Guide to Managing Networked Action and the President & CEO of Community Partners, a civic sector incubator and intermediary organization serving more than 135 projects and managing revenues of more than $15 million annually. Mr. Vandeventer serves on the expert review panel advising the Corporation for National and Community Service on proposals to the Obama Administration’s $50 million 2010 Social Innovation Fund. He serves on the membership advisory committee of Independent Sector, a national advocacy group comprised of foundations and large national and regional nonprofits, and as a board member and trainer with the leadership organization Coro Southern California.

David Washington, Consultant, Information and Technology Innovation Fund
David Washington is a philanthropy consultant based in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles overseeing "Partnerships for Purpose," an initiative focused on leveraging the resources of government, philanthropy and business for pro-social change. Prior to this endeavor, he served as the interim CEO of "Change the Equation," the science, technology, engineering and math nonprofit inspired by President Obama and founded by the CEOs of Xerox, Kodak, Time Warner Cable and Intel, as well as the Carnegie and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations. Previously, Dr. Washington served under President Obama as Associate Director for the White House Office of Public Engagement, where he assisted with public-private partnerships within the business and foundation communities. Before joining the White House, Dr. Washington had a long history of building bridges between the worlds of philanthropy and the private sector, including being a Senator Edward M. Kennedy health policy fellow and public policy advisor with The California Endowment.

Michelle Yates, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility, Warner Bros. Entertainment
Michelle Yates is Vice President Corporate Responsibility for Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., and is responsible for programs related to the impact that Warner Bros.’ businesses have on society and the environment, developing strategies to address these impacts, and implementing supporting programs. Ms. Yates also manages several Time Warner-wide initiatives such as the global Ethical Sourcing Program, stakeholder engagement, managing the depiction of controversial content issues in films and television productions, and multi-disciplinary diversity initiatives. Her previous experience includes strategic development work in London for Globalegacy, a social venture firm that brings government, the private sector and nonprofits together to comprehensively address urban poverty. Michelle also spent several years in the sustainable building industry.

About the Society and Business Lab at the USC Marshall School of Business The USC Marshall School of Business created the Society and Business Lab (SBL) in 2008 to develop new strategies for solving global and social issues and to provide support for students and faculty who want to use their business skills to save the world. Combining student programs, coursework, research, events, faculty and lab projects, and career development to bridge the gap between business and social enterprise, SBL has quickly grown into a force in the field of social innovation, engaging people and practices in the fields of social entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility, nonprofit management, and sustainability to address issues of poverty, education, health and the environment. In 2011, the SBL will graduate its first class of specialized MBA fellows dedicated to social change. The program offers courses for social entrepreneurship across USC's campus, awards subsidies for MBAs in nonprofit internships, has developed partnerships with prominent organizations such as the Clinton-Orfalea Fellowship Program and has created new opportunities for students at USC Marshall of Business via the MBA Enterprise Corps and the Global Business Brigades. http://www.marshall.usc.edu/sbl


About the USC Marshall School of Business
Consistently ranked among the nation's premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.