Investing for social impact. A passion for humanity and building great products/services that change the world. A collaborative and strategic leader successful in start-ups to large global businesses.
Nancy E. Pfund is Founder and Managing Partner of DBL Partners, located in San Francisco and Palo Alto. DBL Partners is a venture capital firm whose goal is to combine top-tier financial returns with meaningful social, economic and environmental returns in the regions and sectors in which it invests. As a leading player in the growing field of “impact investing”, DBL has helped to reveal the power of venture capital to promote social change and environmental improvement, and Ms. Pfund writes and speaks frequently on the field of impact investing. She sponsors or sits on the board of directors of several companies, including; Farmers Business Network, The Muse, Advanced Microgrid Solutions, Off-Grid Electric, Primus Power, and, prior to their public offerings, Tesla Motors and Pandora. She also served on the board of SolarCity, from 2008 until its acquisition by Tesla in Dec 2016, on both the audit and compensation committees and chairing its corporate governance committee. Ms. Pfund was featured #17 in the 2014 FORTUNE Inaugural World's Top 25 Eco-Innovators; and appeared on Fast Company’s 2016 List of Most Creative People in Business. She serves on the Advisory Council of the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University; the Advisory Board of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab); the UC Davis Center for Energy Efficiency; and co-chairs the Yale School of Management Program on Entrepreneurship. Ms. Pfund is also a Trustee of the National Geographic Society. She has been a Lecturer in Management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Yale School of Management; and is a C3E Ambassador to the U.S. Clean Energy Education and Empowerment Program, led by the U.S. Department of Energy. She is also a founding officer and director of ABC2, a foundation aimed at accelerating a cure for brain cancer. Ms. Pfund received her BA and MA in anthropology from Stanford University, and her MBA from the Yale School of Management.
Tony has held a number of Senior Leadership Roles in a number of industries from Power Generation, Marine, Automotive & Industrial, PV, Smart Battery Storage & Renewables as well as HVAC Heating & Cooling, working with the some of the worlds largest manufacturers such as Aggreko, Caterpillar, ZF, Perkins and most recently Mitsubishi Electric.
Tony started his career as a cadet in 1989, and, after spending a number years working in Technical Sales, Engineering and After-Market Product Support, went on to become General Manager at the age of 34.
Tony moved to New Zealand in 2002 to take up a position with Gough Power Systems (now Terra CAT) the Caterpillar Dealer for NZ, where he held several roles including Sales Manager, Commercial Manager and Division Manager Power Systems. In his time with Gough's his Team grew the Power Systems business by over 450%.
In 2013 he joined the Team at Aggreko New Zealand Pacific as Area General Manager. Over a 3-year period not only did his Team grow the business’ trading profit by 62%, it also became the most profitable area in AUSPAC having fashioned a comprehensive Team and dealer network throughout the Pacific, including PNG, Fiji and New Caledonia.
2016 saw Tony become the Managing Director Aggreko Sub Saharan Africa. The role didn’t come without trials, with over 43 countries making up SSA and many without regular or no access to electricity; the challenge could be described as daunting.
In three years Tony expanding the business’ footprint in Namibia, Angola, Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana. This approach had a positive financial impact; in the first year of trading the SSA business exceeded revenue targets and exceeded trading profits by 120% with CAGR growth of 69%.
In 2019 Tony joined ZOLA Electric as Chief Operating Officer with a mission to electrify the 680 million people in Africa with limited or no access to electricity. ZOLA have offices in Cote D'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda and Tanzania, Tony had a Team of four MD's and three VP's reporting to him during this time.
However, due to the impact of COVID Tony decided to return to his home in New Zealand to be closer to family.
In February Tony took up the role of General Manager Black Diamond Technologies. BDT is the exclusive supplier of all Mitsubishi Electric residential and industrial HVAC Heating and cooling products.
In his spare time, Tony enjoys hiking and exploring by 4WD, playing the guitar and golf.
Xavier Helgesen is the Co-Founder and CEO of Off Grid Electric, a leading distributed solar energy company focused in Africa. Off Grid Electric has raised over $100 Million to make solar energy & storage affordable to the mass market via pre-paid, plug and play technology. The company's investors include Tesla, EDF, Total, DBL Partners and Helios Partners. He is also the co-founder of Better World Books, a leading social enterprise that has raised over $20 Million for global literacy and donated tens of millions of books. He served as CEO of Indaba Systems, a multi-channel software company built from technology developed at Better World Books. In 2009, he was recognized as the Best Social Entrepreneur by Businessweek and given the Fast Company Social Capitalist award. Xavier holds an MBA from Oxford Saïd Business School, which he attended on a Skoll Scholarship, and a BA from the University of Notre Dame.
Andela, Bridge International Academies, Code.org, Imagine Worldwide, Kiva, Living Goods, and Teach For All
Advanced MicroGrid Solutions, BrightSource Energy, Ecologic Brands, Farmers Business Network, Muse, NetSchools Corporation, Pandora, Perks.com, PowerGenix, Primus Power, SolarCity, Solaria, and Wte Corporation
Better World Books, and Books for Africa