Jim Villanueva, Executive Director: Jim Villanueva has a long track record of entrepreneurship and investment in growth companies, as well as working extensively with a number of philanthropic organizations. Over the course of his investment career, Jim was a partner in several private equity partnerships, investing in multiple industries across North and South America. His experience ranges from serving as Vice President of Bastion Capital Corporation focusing on middle market management buyouts to being a founding Partner in Crescent Ventures investing in technology, media and natural resource development. Previously, he co-founded and sold a Spanish-language media company and a national Hispanic marketing and public relations firm.
Jim led the restructuring of a non-profit retreat and conference center in Santa Barbara, repositioning it as The Eleos Foundation. In 2010, he took a leave from Eleos’ board to join its social enterprise investment activities as Investment Director, and in 2013 expanded his role to serve as Executive Director. Jim holds an MBA degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and graduated with honors from Harvard College.
Karla Newendorp, Operations Director: Karla joined the Eleos team in 2012. Previously, she was a Research Analyst at the New York based NGO, Peace Dividend Trust an organizations focused on economic development in post conflict areas. Karla has worked directly with social entrepreneurs throughout Africa, Latin America and most recently in Afghanistan.
Prior to Peace Dividend Trust, Karla worked for a Communications firm dedicated to the promotion of socially responsible businesses, the World Affairs Council and the United Nations. She has a Masters Degree in Development Economics and International Cooperation from the University of Rome, Italy and a Bachelors Degree in International Relations.
Rakesh Apte, Investment Associate: Rakesh Apte joined the Eleos team as Investment Associate in 2013. Previously, Rakesh was a Strategy Manager at Microsoft in their emerging technologies corporate strategy division focused on server and cloud computing infrastructure investments around the world. While at Microsoft, Rakesh also spent time working with the Middle-East and Africa team based in Turkey.
Early on in his career Rakesh worked with a New York based quantitative hedge fund, The D.E. Shaw Group, and more recently gained experience in the impact investing sector working with H2O Venture Partners focused on the East Africa region. While completing his MBA degree, Rakesh consulted for a number of international development and social sector clients. Rakesh has received an MBA degree from the University of California - Berkeley and holds Bachelors Degrees in Finance and Economics from the University of Texas - Austin.
Cayla Hill, Office Manager: Cayla joined the Eleos Foundation in 2013. She brings three years of administrative experience providing capable administrative support to offices throughout the Bay Area. Cayla has worked with conservation efforts in the Solomon Islands. Primarily dealing with human and environmental interactions she conducted surveys to assess the ecological and social effects of the 2007 tsunami and fluctuating climate.
Cayla received her Bachelors in Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and is currently pursuing her Masters in Environmental Management and Planning with an emphasis in Sustainability at American Public University.