Team

The Renewal Funds team has decades of experience in social venture investing and capital markets.

Please contact Emily (emily@renewalfunds.com) if you would like to reach any member of the Renewal Funds team. 

Paul Richardson, CEO

Paul is CEO of Renewal Funds.  Prior to launching Renewal Funds, 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). Paul is a Board Director for Renewal Funds on the Alter EcoElevation Brands, Opti RTC, Sensible Organics, and Sweet Earth Natural Foods boards. He is also a Board Observer on the Miovision board. Paul has considerable not-for-profit board experience, having served as Vice Chair of the Coast Opportunities Funds and is the past President of Ecojustice Canada. In 2013 Paul was named as one of Canada's Clean50.

Joel Solomon, Chairman & Co-Founder

Joel is Chairman of Renewal Funds and President and CEO of Renewal; he brings a vast network and wealth of deal experience to Renewal Funds. 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 Renewal Funds on the board of Spud and is an observer for Renewal Funds on the Farmhouse Culture board.

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, Senior 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. 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 Value Investing concentration), and a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours, Co-op) from Memorial University. In her personal time Nicole volunteers as Board Director of the 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 Renewal Funds investee Rustic Crust and is a Board Member of Elevation Brands and PRANA

Catherine (Kate) Storey, Vice President

Kate joined the Renewal Funds investment team from CIBC World Markets. At CIBC she worked in both the equity and debt capital markets and originated public market financings for corporate and government clients. Kate is responsible for assisting with Renewal Funds' investment screening and analysis, deal sourcing, due diligence, and deal execution.  Kate sits on the Board of the Georgia Strait Alliance and on an advisory board for the Aboriginal Mother Centre in Vancouver's Downtown East Side.  She 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 is a Board Member for Renewal Funds investee companies, Better Bean and a Board Observer for Sweet Earth Natural Foods

Geordan Hankinson, Associate 

Geordan Hankinson Geordan assists Renewal Funds with company research, due diligence and financial analysis. Prior to joining Renewal, Geordan worked at Ecotrust Canada where he helped to develop its sustainable business initiatives and provided financial advisory services to a variety of First Nations clients. Geordan has worked on a range of social and economic impact measurement projects, leading evaluations of investments in social housing and support programs for at-risk populations. Geordan has a BA in Sociology and an MBA from Simon Fraser University, where he was co-president of the school’s Net Impact chapter.  

 

 

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 of Renewal Funds investees Aquatic Informatics and Cascadia Windows.

Bernadette Feist, Operations & Administration Manager

Bernadette joined the Renewal team in November, 2014. Her extensive legal and business experience includes over 15 years as a paralegal, 10 years of senior management experience in a renewable energy corporation in British Columbia, five years as joint owner and operator of a health, wellness and yoga studio, and more recently on-the-ground experience in the organic food production industry in Cawston, B.C., in the Similkameen Valley, the "organic capital of Canada".  Bernadette is originally from Saskatchewan and grew up on an organic farm; she often remembers the words of her father—‘We can’t forget about our farmers and our land!'

Emily Danaher, Operations & Administrative Assistant

Emily joined the Renewal team in June of 2015, bringing with her a strong belief that  true success is based on the triple bottom line. Her background in general and administrative roles, along with extensive volunteer and work experience in values-based organizations, including the United Way, makes her a great fit for our team.  Emily holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from McMaster University, and continues to study Sustainable Development through elective coursework. Renewal Funds’ appeal to Emily is our strong environmental and social mission, an area of business that she strongly supports.

Elyse Crowston, Office Administration & Executive Assistant

Elyse is the newest member of the Renewal team, having joined us in November of 2015. Elyse’s passion for impact investing comes from the strong belief that economics and ecology are inherently linked, that dividing the two does not benefit people nor business. Elyse came to Renewal Funds after years of working with our environmental allies, Ecojustice. In addition to her years of fundraising and marketing experience, Elyse has a strong background in client relations and event management, with an emphasis on sustainability. Elyse holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of British Columbia in Environmental Geography, with a minor in Mandarin.