Dan Apfel, Executive Director
Dan is an expert at supporting and implementing responsible investment strategies on campus. He works with allies in advocacy organizations, industry, and the university community, to learn about and stay on top of the newest strategies in responsible investing. Dan’s work on responsible investing has been covered in Institutional Investor Magazine, Forbes, Chronicle of Higher Education, and GOOD, among others. Prior to joining the REC Dan served as a Program Officer at the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, where he worked with credit unions serving diverse low- and moderate-income communities around the country. He managed a coalition of 16 credit unions running free tax-preparation sites that filed over 3,500 returns for low-income people in 200 and co-administered the New York State Coalition of Community Development Financial Institutions. While living in Rochester, NY Dan also lived in and served on the boards of two student housing cooperative.
Dan is passionate about creating democratic institutions that serve their communities. He loves the outdoors, and aside from changing the way the world invests its money, Dan dreams of sailing around the globe.
Get in touch with Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @danapfel.
Rose Espinola, National Organizer
Rose Espinola began organizing around endowment issues as a student at the University of Pennsylvania. She successfully organized for her university to end investment in the hotel-management company HEI Hotels & Resorts. Beginning her first year of college, Rose also organized with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, founding the ally group Philly Fair Food and being part of Burger King, Trader Joe’s, and Aramark victories. Rose is from the South Florida suburbs/swamplands and identifies as xicana. She is a proud MEChA alumna and has also been involved in School of Americas Watch, Alta Gracia, and the Workers Rights Consortium. Rose has traveled extensively throughout Latin America, living, learning, and organizing as an ally to sibling movements.
Rose is especially interested in collective liberation, corporate campaigns, and movement messaging. Some of her other favorite things include long walks, raw veganism, and (non-raw vegan) ice cream. Contact Rose at email@example.com.
Annie McShiras, Development Director
Annie is the development director of the Responsible Endowments Coalition. She works with REC staff, board, student organizers, and allies to direct all of REC's fundraising initiatives. Annie has been organizing and promoting movements for economic justice and systems change for the past seven years. In 2007, her vision of the world shifted when she learned of the realities of modern day slavery while working with Bolivian immigrants at a community organization in Argentina. Since then, and never forgetting the struggle of the people she met, Annie has worked in organizations on issues ranging from sustainable agriculture to homelessness prevention to the solidarity economy; from Vermont to NYC. Annie is most interested in transforming the economic system both through shifts in investments and through the creation of alternatives. She has written and edited for Grassroots Economic Organizing (GEO) and is a former member of SolidarityNYC. In her free time, Annie loves talking food politics, dancing capoeira, and cooking. Contact Annie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lauren Ressler, National Organizer
Lauren currently supports the national student responsible investment movement as National Organizer for the Responsible Endowments Coalition. Originally from Seattle, Washington, Lauren worked with the Cascade Climate Network and Sierra Student Coalition to oppose the development of coal export facilities along the Pacific Northwest coast. In addition to this work on coal exports, Lauren has worked on ending the student loan debt crisis and making higher education affordable for all. She currently organizes with more than 20 campuses across the U.S. campaigning for fossil fuel divestment and reinvestment and the emerging prison divestment campaign.
Lauren enjoys spending her free time creating incredible vegetarian meals, exploring new communities, and brushing up on her salsa dancing. Contact Lauren at email@example.com or find her on Twitter at @laurenressler.
Board of Directors
Kate is a student representative on the board who has been involved with endowment issues since her first semester at Swarthmore College. She is a member of Swarthmore Mountain Justice, a group pressuring the college to divest its holdings in the fossil fuel industry. In addition to climate justice work, Kate is an active member of the Swarthmore Labor Action Project and an intern with Movement Catalyst, a movement support group for community-based social justice organizations working primarily on housing rights. A senior at Swarthmore, she is a History major and Political Science minor.
Vonda Brusting is the Director of the Capital Stewardship Program at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
Patricia Estevez works at Change to Win, a labor federation, on corporate governance, shareholder and labor issues since November 2008. Prior to this, she worked on Wall Street as a financial analyst. Patricia has been active with NYC area organizations that empower young people from low income communities to find their paths to success. She grew up in Queens, New York.
Beth Herz is Associate Program Officer at the Surdna Foundation, a New York-based family foundation that supports sustainable and just communities in the U.S. In this role, Beth works with Surdna’s program staff and board to ensure collaboration and impact across the foundation’s three areas of work – sustainable environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures. Beth joined Surdna as a member of the Sustainable Environments team, where she contributed to grantmaking and strategy development in climate change, transportation systems, and the green economy. She previously worked in community organizing and advocacy, including at WE ACT for Environmental Justice in Manhattan.Beth received a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an M.S. in Natural Resources and Environment from the University of Michigan. In addition to the Responsible Endowments Coalition board, Beth sits on the Board of Advisors of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy.
Maura Rendes, Chair
Maura began working with REC as a freshman at Seattle University when she led the formation of the Committee on Responsible Investment (CRI). She served as the REC Northwest Student Organizer and a Steering Committee member from 2008-2010 and started a community investment program and a revolving fund for energy-saving sustainability projects at Seattle U. After living, working and studying in Ecuador, Dominican Republic and Costa Rica, Maura returned to Seattle where she now works for PCC Farmland Trust– a non-profit land conservation organization that preserves and stewards organic farmland throughout WA state. Outside of her local food/economy passions, Maura loves experimenting in the kitchen, capturing moments with her trusty Nikon, running around and climbing things, traveling to meet new people and places – anything that involves adventure. Maura is delighted to have served on the board since late 2010, and is honored to help guide the organization that was so integral to her commitment to the movement.
Mary Schellentrager works at Energy Action Coalition as Divestment Campaign Coordinator, supporting students campaigning for fossil fuel divestment and sustainable reinvestment nationwide. She began working with REC in 2007 when she advocated to establish a committee on responsible investment and sustained investment in the DC community while studying at American University. She served on REC’s Student Steering Committee and as Mid-Atlantic Student Organizer from 2009-2011. While at AU, she co-coordinated the Community Action and Social Justice coalition, helped win union recognition for the university’s shuttle bus operators, and organized for affordable housing and reproductive rights in DC. She loves working in close partnership with REC at the intersection of environmental and economic justice and is honored to have contributed to the strategic growth of the organization since she joined the Board in 2010. In her free time she adores taking road trips, camping, seeing live music, and spending time with family.
Jérôme Tagger serves as Director of Membership and Operations at the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN). In this role, Jérôme oversees the strategy, member services, recruitment, and programming for both the Investors’ Council and Network Membership initiatives, as well as certain GIIN operations.
Jérôme has an extensive background in non-profit management with global organizations in the fields of sustainable and responsible finance. He served as the Chief Operating Officer of the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment, where he worked for five years. Prior to that, he was Head of Research at Eurosif, the European Social Investment Forum. Jérôme is a graduate of Essec Business School in France.
Sam Wohns is a student at Harvard University, where he studies political economy. As a sophomore in college, Sam founded the Responsible Investment at Harvard Coalition with the goal of making his university’s endowment the most responsibly managed in the country. The Coalition launched the Fair Harvard Fund as a mechanism for students and alumni to support the creation of a Social Choice Fund within the endowment by donating to a responsibly managed escrow fund.
Sam’s commitment to social justice has led him to organize rural residents to protect the Tangle Lakes in Alaska from large-scale development, train volunteers to empower youth living with diabetes in Ecuador, and co-found a student think-and-action-tank called Economy Futures. Although he is usually down to Earth, Sam is on cloud nine when eating wood-fired pizza, listening to street musicians, or backpacking between snow-capped peaks.