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Paul Richardson, CEO & Co-Founder
Paul is CEO of the Renewal Funds. Prior to launching Renewal2, Paul co-managed the Renewal Partners’ venture portfolio from 2003-2009. In that time, Renewal was active in over 20 significant transactions with companies in its portfolio. From 2004 to 2006, Paul also led an international consortium of philanthropic foundations and private investors in successful negotiations with the Federal and Provincial governments and the Coastal First Nations to structure a financing deal that supported the conservation of the Great Bear Rainforest, the largest intact, coastal temperate rainforest left in the world.
Paul brings both legal and business experience to Renewal Funds. He practiced law at Fasken Martineau in Toronto for four years before leaving to become a senior partner at Strathy & Richardson, a leading Canadian litigation firm in Toronto, where he continued his legal practice for eight years. Paul is a graduate of Queen’s University (Biology) and the University of Toronto (Law) and is active on a variety of Renewal2 investee company boards, including Better Energy Systems, Elevation Brands and Sensible Organics, as well as the boards of the Coast Opportunities Funds (Vice Chair), and is the past President of Ecojustice Canada.
Joel Solomon, Chairman & Co-Founder
Joel is Chairman for Renewal Funds and President and CEO of Renewal; he brings a vast network and wealth of deal experience to Renewal2. Joel was instrumental in the development of Renewal Partners and the Endswell Foundation and has led them since their inception in 1994. Renewal Partners has invested in over 75 companies that share its commitment to socially responsible growth.
Prior to founding Renewal, Joel spent ten years building businesses in Nashville’s decayed urban core where he co-founded Village Real Estate, CORE development, the Bongo Java chain of coffee houses and roasters and 32 West Corp. (a chain of three independent restaurants). Joel is a founding member of Social Venture Network (SVN), Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), and Tides Canada. He is Board Chair of Hollyhock Foundation, and sits on numerous other boards and civic engagements. He is a Senior Advisor to RSF Social Finance in San Francisco and is a member of the SVN Hall of Fame. Joel represents Renewal2 on the board of Spud.
Carol Newell, Co-Founder
Carol Newell, C.M. is the investing founder of the Renewal family of companies, which includes Renewal Funds.
Carol’s vision has long been to utilize great wealth boldly to help restore natural balance. To this end, Renewal’s evolution is a calculated, long-term experiment to deploy her discretionary capital in a specific region. This strategy integrates business, philanthropic, and collaborative-inducing investments to address common purpose. Over the past 20 years she has deliberately activated the vast majority of her wealth – well over $60 million - to help catalyze organizations, individuals and businesses working toward sustainable economic development, social and environmental justice, and local resiliency.
Carol is the co-founder and co-host of Play BIG, a series of informal conferences to share insights and encourage other wealth holders to activate their resources for social change. She also speaks publicly across North America to promote whole portfolio activation and innovative approaches to social investing. Carol has received many honours including a Lifetime Achievement award by Vancouver Women in Finance, the Women in Philanthropy award from Minerva Foundation, and a Doctor of Humane Letters from St. Lawrence University. In 2007, she was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada.
Nicole Bradbury CFA, Vice President
Nicole joined Renewal Funds in 2008 as a member of the investment team from Phillips, Hager & North Investment Management Ltd. (PH&N), where she managed private client portfolios and was responsible for building their external distribution channel. Nicole brings over 15 years experience as a portfolio manager for institutional and private clients with Merrill Lynch in London and Geneva, AllianceBernstein in New York, and PH&N in Vancouver. Nicole is a CFA charterholder, holds an MBA from Columbia Business School (Finance focus on Value Investing), and a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours, Co-op) from Memorial University. In her personal time Nicole volunteers on the Finance Committee of Canadian Memorial United Church and the Pacific Parklands Foundation and is a past member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Family Services of Greater Vancouver. Nicole is a Board Observer for Renewal2 investee Rustic Crust and is a board member of Elevation Brands.
Mike Cormack, Venture Partner
Mike is a key member of the investment team and brings with him significant U.S. deal experience. Prior to joining Renewal Funds in 2008, Mike oversaw planning and acquisitions for the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). He was the President of Archipelago Holdings, an electronic trading company, which in 2006 executed a historic merger enabling the NYSE to become a public company. At Archipelago, Mike was responsible for sales and operations, successfully executed several mergers, and took the firm into the public markets in 2004. He graduated from the Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and currently sits on the boards of Recovery Point Systems and Ecojustice Canada and on Renewal2 investee boards Aquatic Informatics and Spud.
Catherine (Kate) Storey, Senior Associate
Kate joined the Renewal Funds investment team from CIBC World Markets where she spent four years as an Associate working in both the equity and debt capital markets. During her time at the investment bank, Kate was involved in over $120B of public and private financings for corporate and government clients. Kate is responsible for assisting with Renewal 2’s investment screening and analysis, deal sourcing, due diligence and deal execution. Kate holds an MBA (Finance) from Dalhousie University, a B.Sc (Honours, Biology) from Mount Allison University and a Certificate in Carbon Finance from the University of Toronto. Kate volunteers with the Aboriginal Mothers' Centre in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side.
Valerie Raynard, Office Manager & Special Projects
Valerie joined Renewal Funds in December 2012 after completing her Master’s Degree in the United Kingdom. Prior to this, Valerie worked as an Executive Assistant at the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast B.C.. She has also worked for the London School of Economics and the University of British Columbia as a Research Assistant. Valerie holds a MSc. (Economic Development) from the London School of Economics and a B.A. (Economics) from the University of British Columbia. She volunteers with the WISH Drop-in Centre in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.