Erika Norwood serves as Executive Director of Gray Matters Capital. Erika brings a personal vested interest in increasing diversity within the social sector and strengthening the presence of women's leadership in the social enterprise space. She began her impact career at GMC in 2006. During her eight year tenure, Erika managed the foundation’s programmatic and grant-making efforts, oversaw the development of pilot programs across India and focused on cultivating global partnerships and ecosystem outreach for GMC's affordable private school initiative.
Before re-joining the foundation, from 2014-2016 Erika served as Executive Director for IDEX Accelerator & Global Fellows Program, a social enterprise focused on developing intrapreneurs who'll support, lead and advance the work of social enterprises as well as strengthen the presence of women’s leadership across the social impact space. While at IDEX, Erika is the founded the InvestWISE Scholarship Fund which focuses on promoting balanced leadership and diversity within the social sector.
In addition to her work at GMC, Erika serves on the Board of Directors for VOICE for Girls and Caleb Christopher Foundation and on the advisory commitee for Georgia Tech University's Women's Enterpreneurship Institute. Erika currently resides in Atlanta, GA with her son Caleb and their adorable puppy Thursday.
Bob is an entrepreneur. He likes to start stuff. Some folks find him permanently outside the box. In real estate he pioneered the "STCDE" shell, a spec building concept that took Robert Pattillo Properties to 8th on the list of the largest industrial developers in the United States. He began working in microfinance in 1998 and sold a 54 year old business in 2003 to focus solely on impact investment and enterprise development. A steady stream of great mentors advised Bob as the portfolio grew.
Per Bob, "The world's future rests in the emergence of investable enterprises that serve the 4 billion people living on $2 a day. The customers of these enterprises require goods and services they value at a price they can afford. The work brings out the best in people, the most creativity, relentlessness, and care, from the founders to the folks working in the marketplace to the investor putting her capital at risk. And, it so happens that the human capital drags the financial capital along for a surprisingly profitable ride.
Anna co-leads GMC’s coLABS global initiative, a new R&D portfolio to invest in bold, early-stage, and innovative social enterprises with the potential to dramatically improve the lives of women and girls around the world. Anna’s role includes partnership outreach, business development, and supporting entrepreneurs with pilot seed investment capital, rapid prototyping, and advisor support. She has a diverse background in youth development, international education, U.S.-Japan relations, global health, and cross-sector diplomacy; the one common thread is a passion for helping people. She was previously the Program Manager for the U.S.-Japan Council in Washington, DC and has experience in Japan, South Africa, Uganda, Nicaragua, India, and Indonesia. She recently co-founded an international philanthropy consulting firm to support faith-based organizations and philanthropists in translating good ‘intentions’ to global ‘impact’. In 2007, Anna was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct cross-cultural sociological research regarding the U.S. military in Japan. She has a Masters of Public Health specializing in global health practice from the University of South Florida and a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology from Centre College.
Sebastian is the Latin American Portfolio Manager. Based in Mexico City, he focuses on maximizing impact and value for Gray Matters Capital’s education investments in the region.
Leveraging a rich cross-cultural background, Sebastian has developed a solid expertise in international business as an executive, consultant and serial entrepreneur. He has been involved in distinct business ventures, including a hotel, an events and lighting company, and a global online university to bring quality education and an empowering mindset to the less privileged.
He co-founded the Nexus Mexico chapter in 2012, where he seeks to leverage the relationships established between education, philanthropy, and social enterprise to foster a more sustainable and humane world.
Sebastian holds a BA in Languages and International Business from the University of Savoie and a Masters in International Business from the Grenoble Graduate School of Business.
Joe Iarocci is a founding partner of the Cairnway Center for Servant Leadership Excellence. He started Cairnway in 2014 after two years as CEO of the Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership. Before joining the Greenleaf Center, Joe spent thirteen years with CARE USA, one of the world’s largest international non-governmental organizations dedicated to ending extreme poverty. Joe joined CARE in 1998 as General Counsel and also served CARE as Chief Financial Officer and Chief of Staff. During that time, Joe spent a year managing CARE’s external relations team, which included fundraising, advocacy, marketing and communications.
Joe practiced business law prior to joining CARE, representing individual entrepreneurs as well as multinational corporations. He was a partner in the Atlanta law firm of Lamar, Archer & Cofrin and associated with Shearman & Sterling in New York City. Joe is a regular speaker and teacher on the subjects of leadership and the practical intersection of public and private sectors.
Joe has served as a Fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Institute for Leadership and Entrepreneurship. He is also an adjunct professor at the Candler School of Theology, Emory University.
Joe currently serves on the boards of Social Accountability International, the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, Foundation Center-Atlanta and Gray Matters Capital. His past board service includes the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip, the MicroVest microfinance fund and the Piedmont Hospital Ethics Committee.
Joe received his A.B. magna cum laude from Brown University with honors, his J.D. from the Cornell Law School and was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar while attending the Columbia University School of Law as a visiting student. Joe also holds a Masters Degree in Theological Studies from the Candler School of Theology.
Joe and his wife, Laura, live in Atlanta and have three daughters.
Deborah is a high performing leader offering 10+ years of project management and leadership experience with expertise in team logistics, communications, organizational management, event planning, content creation, social media oversight, grant writing and relationship development. Deborah offers organizational consulting services to non-profits and small start-ups who are looking for insight into creating solutions and processes to better serve their targeted demographic and stakeholders. Deborah values the promotion of cross-sector solutions to obstacles challenging quality education, human rights, and world poverty. Deborah maintains a Bachelors of Science in Economics from Oglethorpe University, and lives with her husband, Jerome, and son Bennett in Atlanta, Georgia. Three phrases to describe Deborah are : Spry, Spunky, and a Creative Actionary
Anoop has joined Gray Matters Capital as the India Director of Operational Excellence and is responsible for the long-term success of our investees by providing management support to existing portfolio companies. His role involves building relationships with and on behalf of our investees, identifying key challenges within their enterprises and mobilizing resources to help them scale and grow their impact.
Anoop has over 20 years of experience across the corporate and development sectors. He started his career in IT and has extensive experience in technology management, consulting and outsourcing across industries and functions. In 2012, he transitioned to the development sector to align both his personal and professional interests.
Prior to GMC, Anoop worked with InDev, an advisory services and consulting organization, with the mission to catalyze inclusive development. At InDev, he developed and supported market-based models and solutions for financial inclusion and livelihoods inclusion. Previously, he worked with Accenture and Infosys, where he served multiple clients and led key technology programs and groups.
Anoop holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kerala.
Smita has 10 years of work experience in multiple countries in banking, social businesses and not-for-profit ventures. Her experience includes customer insights, research, product management, operations and new business launch.She has worked with SME, Corporate, Retail and unbanked customers.
She headed the Research and Performance Management for Community Banking in South Africa and hopes her work furthers the goals of inclusion and well being. Her specific areas of interest are building capabilities, social performance management and business model innovations to achieve twin goals of customer wellbeing along with profitability for the organization.
Smita has degrees in finance and engineering from India and has graduated with honors from University of Geneva’s MBA program that prepares managers for the development sector.
Jennifer co-leads GMC’s coLABS, which invests in innovative and scalable ventures that have the potential to dramatically improve the lives of women and girls around the world. Through coLABS, GMC provides seed funding of up to $100,000 USD to help launch investment-ready pilots. Jennifer’s role includes pipeline development, structuring investments, evaluating progress and impact, and supporting early-stage entrepreneurs. She also manages GMC’s Atlanta grants portfolio and alignment between investment and grants strategies. Jennifer joined the team in 2010 as Program Associate of First Light Ventures, one of our for-profit investment portfolios. Prior to GMC, she worked for the private equity firm BSE Management.
Laura serves as the Legal Advisor for Gray Matters Capital (GMC) and Gray Matters Charitable Foundation (GMCF). She joined the Gray Ghost Ventures (GGV) team in 2009, and has assisted GGV, GMC and GMCF with legal and compliance issues. She most recently worked with GMC in the establishment of the IDEX Fellowship in Social Enterprise. She received her B.S. from the Georgia Institute of Technology in History, Technology & Culture before venturing north to earn her Juris Doctorate from Vermont Law School.