Board of Directors
Patrice Kunesh is the former director of the Center for Indian Country Development at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. She has extensive experience representing American Indian tribes throughout the country. Patrice, who is of Standing Rock Lakota descent, began her legal career at the Native American Rights Fund. She then served as in-house counsel to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and on the faculty at the University of South Dakota School of Law. Most recently, Patrice held appointments as the Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and as the Deputy Solicitor for Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Patrice received a Juris Doctor from the University of Colorado School of Law and a Master of Public Administration from the Harvard School of Government.
Cassie Landers is an assistant professor of population and family health at the Columbia University Medical Center. Since 1985, she has worked with UNICEF and other international agencies to promote policies and programs in support of young children and their families. Landers has provided technical assistance and support to child development programs in more than 60 countries throughout Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. Landers has extensive experience in the design, implementation and training of practitioners at all levels, developing global interventions ranging from parenting education to developmental pediatrics. She has participated in rapid assessment missions in areas of conflict and has designed interventions for children in conflict and post conflict situations. She also brings her international expertise to young children and families throughout the United States through an early literacy initiative in collaboration with Head Start National Literacy Center. Landers received a doctorate in education and a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Pete Mahoney is an Account Manager at Clearwater Analytics in Boise, Idaho. Previously he was the managing partner and co-founder at Arise Capital, a Portland, OR-based impact investment firm which develops and manages regionally-focused investment products to promote positive economic development. Prior to launching Arise Capital, Pete worked for Morley Capital/Principal Global Investors, a stable value investment management firm in Portland. Positions Pete held included fixed income trader where he was responsible for managing and trading corporate, government, and structured product securities, as well as assistant portfolio manager and performance and trade analyst. He also served as an operations and trade support analyst for UBS Investment Bank in London. Pete was a long-time director of Enkel Foundation, and served as its chair for three years. He currently serves on the GHR Foundation Board of Directors and Program and Results Committee. Pete also has been active with De La Salle North Catholic High School, Financial Beginnings Oregon, and previously served on the University of Portland National Alumni board. Pete earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Portland, a certificate in international business practice from Cambridge International Examinations in London, and is currently pursuing a certificate in social innovation and entrepreneurship from Portland State University School of Business.
Taylor Mahoney is currently the Owner and Principal Designer for Tailored Design Studio, an interior design studio that works in residential and commercial design. Prior to working for Tailored Design Studio she worked for the Opus Group and Baker Associates as a Commercial Interior Designer. She received her Associate of Applied Science in interior design from the Art Institutes International Minnesota in 2011. Prior to that she attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and studied Consumer Science, Retail. She currently serves on the Enkel Foundation board and lives in St. Louis Park, Minnesota with her husband and children.
Having worked for over 10 years in program efficacy in PK-12 education systems, Gia brings a great deal of passion and background knowledge with her about improving the lives of children wherever she goes. Most recently the Senior Data Analyst for the New Haven School District in Union City, California, Gia focused on building statistical analysis skills and knowledge of assessments while supporting several projects including conducting the data collection and analysis for both the $30 million Race to the Top District grant and a $3 million California Math & Science Partnership Grant. Prior to working for NHUSD, Gia worked at Gibson & Associates, an Oakland based consulting firm focused on the education sector. For G&A, Gia developed evaluation and training tools, provided evaluation services for several early literacy programs, and worked on a wide range of projects for school districts and education non-profits. She holds a Masters of Education degree (MEd.) from Marymount University in Arlington, VA as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration degree (BBA) from the University of Notre Dame. Gia has taught in two states and multiple grade levels, as well as volunteered for several years as a faith formation and catechism teacher at her parish. Gia previously served as a board member for the Better Way Foundation from 2004 – 2010 and 2012 – 2013, service which included chairing the domestic (education) committee.
Karen Rauenhorst serves as the Vice Chair of the Catholic Relief Services Foundation. She is the secretary of Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities. She is also a board member of the National Catholic Education Association and Aim Higher Foundation, which supports Catholic Schools needs in St. Paul and Minneapolis. Rauenhorst focuses much of her volunteer time on helping families and children access educational and health opportunities in their communities.
Sarah Rauenhorst, Chair of the Board of Directors
Sarah is currently the Co-founder and Director of Operations of Launch Network, a non-profit that partners with public schools to create holistic, whole child, whole family learning environments for students and families failed by the traditional public-school classroom. Sarah is a lifelong educator dedicated to closing opportunity gaps in partnership with schools, families, and communities. Before Launch, Sarah served as an educator and instructional coach in Denver Public Schools for six years. Sarah has a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Denver and an M.Ed. in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Nat Robinson is the Co-Founder and CEO of Leaf Global Fintech, a company providing mobile financial services to the stateless and excluded on a blockchain platform. Leaf is developing secure cross-border transactions to refugees in the DRC and Rwanda with plans to expand globally. Nat previously served as the CEO and founder of Juhudi Kilimo Company Ltd., which provides micro-asset financing to rural smallholder farmers in Kenya. Juhudi Kilimo was recognized in 2011 at the World Economic Forum with the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award and by CIO Magazine on the 2013 CIO 100 list of companies using innovative technology to deliver business value. Juhudi Kilimo is supported by impact investors such as the Acumen Fund, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Grameen Foundation, and the Soros Economic Development Fund. Nat worked as a consultant at Accenture in the Washington D.C. area and has traveled, worked, or studied in over 65 countries across six continents in business, nonprofit, and government. Nat is the author of a book entitled Creating a Cash Cow in Kenya and has lectured at Stanford Graduate School of Business, Harvard Business School, the Wharton School, Columbia Business School, Vanderbilt Graduate School of Management, and the United Nations Development Program. Nat has a JD and MBA from Vanderbilt University in Tennessee and is a licensed Colorado lawyer.
Ian Widmer serves as the President & CEO of Progression Brands Group, an advisory and operating company that focuses on unlocking value in early stage active lifestyle brands. Prior to taking on this role, he held senior leadership positions in North America and Europe at Canada Goose from 2009-2017. Ian holds a Bachelor’s degree in American History and Political Science from Colorado College and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Colorado, Leeds School of Business, where he also received a Certificate in Financial Strategy and Valuation.