Nick is the Founder and Portfolio Manager of Precocity Capital, an asset manager which specializes in the energy sector. Prior to Precocity, Nick founded Sustainable America, a nonprofit dedicated to making our nation's food and energy systems more sustainable through education and impact investing. Nick’s desire to give back married with an increasing concern about the vulnerable state of our food and fuel systems led him to create Sustainable America and put these intertwined issues on a national stage. Sustainable America, although a public charity, believes in utilizing the capital markets to accomplish its charitable mission. Accordingly, one hundred percent of Sustainable America’s assets are invested in impact-aligned investments, including both public securities and direct investments in private companies that are driving real change in the charity’s area of focus.
From 2002-2013, Nick managed a Long/Short Equity and Commodity Portfolio for SAC Capital Advisors. Over his tenure, he helped build the energy franchise from a two-person effort to ten portfolio teams and thirty investment professionals. From 1998 to 2002, Nick worked at Fidelity Management & Research. Nick began as a Food Sector Analyst, then an Energy Analyst. Nick became the Portfolio Manager of the Fidelity Select Energy Services Fund when he was 27. The fund outperformed its benchmark each year under his management. Nick earned his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1998. While there, Nick earned the Dean’s Award for leadership and community service by co-founding the Harbus Foundation, a grant-making, student-run organization dedicated to improving literacy, education and journalism. He received a BA from Boston College in 1996 while working full-time for Fidelity Investments.
Nick was named the Wall Street Journal’s “Donor of the Day” for his venture philanthropy with the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. He serves as a Director on the Board of Trustees of the Nature Conservancy, Connecticut. Nick grew up in Springfield, Ohio, where his family now owns and preserves hundreds of acres of farmland.
Adam Dell is the founder of SharedEarth.com, an online platform for those who wish to farm with those that have available land. Shared Earth is merging with Sustainable America in 2014.
Adam joined Austin Ventures as Venture Partner in May 2010. Adam has been a successful entrepreneur, academician, and has more than 12 years of experience in the venture capital industry. He focuses purely on early-stage venture investments in the information technology and business services areas.
Most recently, Adam was Founder and Managing General Partner of Impact Venture Partners, a venture capital firm focused on information technology investments. Prior to founding Impact, Adam was a partner with Crosspoint Venture Partners in Northern California, and a Senior Associate with Enterprise Partners in Southern California. Prior to becoming a venture capitalist, he worked as a corporate attorney in Austin, Texas, with the law firm of Winstead, Sechrest & Minick.
His prior investments include OpenTable (OPEN), Buzzsaw (ADSK), Ingenio (T), and Hotjobs (YHOO). Dell founded and served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of MessageOne, which was acquired by Dell, Inc. in 2008. Adam teaches a class on the role of law in innovation at the University of Texas School of Law.
Ken Grewal has deep domain expertise in capital markets. Most recently, Ken was a Managing Director, Canadian Institutional Equity Sales, at BMO Capital Markets where he had extensive relationships with many of the world's premier macro and long/short equity hedge funds. Prior to joining BMO in 2009, Ken was a core partner for seven years at UBS Securities Canada where he quarterbacked the firm’s New York City sales effort. He also led Credit Suisse First Boston’s Canadian Equity Capital Markets Group from 2000 to 2002, where he advised many of Canada’s leading companies on cross-border equity, debt, and M&A transactions. Ken began his career in corporate finance at Scotia Capital in 1996 after he graduated from Queen’s University in Canada (Dean’s List) and currently serves as Chairman of the US Foundation for Queen’s University. Ken was named a "Community Hero" by the Toronto Football Club in 2008 and the Big Brother of the Year (In-School Mentoring Program) for the City of Toronto in 1999.
Lisa Kelley Van Doren
Lisa Kelley Van Doren is vice president and chief of staff for government affairs at the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC). She directs NCFC’s public policy agenda and serves as NCFC liaison to the Congressional Farmer Cooperative Caucus.
Previously, Lisa served as director of public policy for the National Corn Growers Association. She also served as professional staff for the House Committee on Agriculture where she worked on the 2002 Farm Bill and managed key legislative issues including food safety inspection programs, crop protection regulations, marketing orders for fruits and vegetables, energy, clean air, nursery crops, and forest management. Lisa also worked in the personal office of former Rep. Charles Stenholm (D-TX) as a legislative assistant and was an intern for former Rep. Ciro D. Rodriguez (D-TX).
Lisa was raised on a beef cattle and horse ranch in Hondo, Texas. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a BS in agricultural development and earned a MS in environmental sciences from The Johns Hopkins University.
Jeremy Kranowitz is the past President of Sustainable America, where he implemented its strategic plan to raise consumer awareness around sustainable food and fuel issues, and to support entrepreneurs working on these issues to make our nation more efficient, resilient and sustainable. Prior to Sustainable America, Jeremy worked for a decade at The Keystone Center on the nation’s toughest energy and environmental issues as a mediator, facilitator, and educator. Jeremy worked for the Izaak Walton League on a clean air campaign on behalf of hunters and fishers, and helped launch Forest Trends, an international sustainable forestry non-profit. He also worked for five years at McKinsey & Co in its environment practice, working with Fortune 500 companies. He has an MS in Environmental Science and BA in Social Sciences from Johns Hopkins University, and an MPA in Environmental Policy from New York University.
Erin Fitzgerald Sexson
Erin Fitzgerald Sexson (@fitzisit) is senior vice president, global sustainability for the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy®, a forum for the dairy community to work together pre-competitively to foster research, measurement and innovation for sustainability from farm to table. Under Erin’s leadership, the Innovation Center conducted environmental impact assessment studies which led to an industry-wide voluntary carbon reduction goal and tools and resources to measure and track progress. She is currently leading the effort to enhance dairy’s contributions toward a more sustainable food system by examining the intersection between nutrition, health, hunger, food waste and environmental impact.
Sexson previously served as senior manager, business development at Lowendal group, a European operational cost reduction firm. She also led multiple projects at Cardinal Health in Chicago, and Maurepas, France, where she received the Chairman’s award for integrating a pan-European business plan for sales and marketing measurement.
Sexson is an Aspen Institute First Movers Fellow, Crain’s Chicago 40 under 40 recipient, and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. Erin strives to enable sustainable food systems for the 21st century. She loves food and working in partnership with farmers on sustainability. Erin is passionate about connecting our dinner plates back to our farms and believes everyone can make a difference through small steps, #fork2farm.
Michael Evan Webber, Ph.D.
Michael Webber is the Josey Centennial Fellow in Energy Resources, Co-Director of the Clean Energy Incubator at the Austin Technology Incubator, and Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, where he trains a new generation of energy leaders through research and education at the intersection of engineering, policy, and commercialization. He has authored more than 150 scientific articles, books, and book chapters, including a compendium of his commentary titled Changing the Way America Thinks About Energy (2009); his expertise and research have been featured in numerous media outlets.
Michael has given more than 175 lectures, speeches, and invited talks, including testimony for hearings of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee and lectures at the United Nations. He is on the board of advisors for Scientific American, holds four patents, and is one of the originators of the Pecan Street Project, which is a $30 million public-private partnership for smart grid innovation and deployment.
Prior to joining The University of Texas at Austin, Michael studied issues relevant to energy, innovation, manufacturing, and national security at the RAND Corporation and was a Senior Scientist at Pranalytica.