Gratitude Railroad | Team GRR
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OUR TEAM

HOWARD FISCHER

CO-FOUNDER

Howard I. Fischer is co-founder and chief evangelist of Gratitude Railroad. He is also the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Basso Capital Management, L.P. a convertible securities hedge fund management company. Additionally, Mr. Fischer serves as Chairman of the Investment Committee where he is responsible for strategy allocation and risk management, as well as portfolio manager for the firm’s dedicated SPAC fund.

Previously, Mr. Fischer was the senior trader and co-head of the institutional convertible trading desk at Smith Barney with primary responsibilities in market making, new-issue pricing and proprietary trading. Before Smith Barney, Mr. Fischer was a convertible trader at Drexel Burnham and at Cohen Feit & Company. Prior to his trading career, Mr. Fischer was a Certified Public Accountant in both public and private practice.

Mr. Fischer serves as the CFO of the Board of Trustees of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA)
He also serves on the Boards of Directors of Innovation in Action/the Center for Entrepreneurship and DoneGood.DoneGood is a mobile app that makes it easy to go green, shop organic, buy local, support workers and more. He holds a B.S.E. in Accounting and Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and was a fellow in the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University.

 
About:
Iconoclastic, Curious, Cyclist & Compassionate Capitalist; less meat & more veggie; less fish & more oysters; ask why rather than accept the norm; books vs. tv; outside vs. inside; conversation vs. party; quiet vs. loud; uphill vs. downhill; disagree vs. agree; 30 degrees vs. 70 degrees; mountains over beach; why be normal?
 
Why Gratitude Railroad:
 Because of you. You’re curious, you’re passionate about the challenges facing mankind, you’re smart, successful, thoughtful and want to do your part. GRR is here to help, to inspire and catalyze your actions.

ERIC JACOBSEN

CO-FOUNDER

Eric Jacobsen is co-founder and conductor of purpose of Gratitude Railroad, a community of investors committed to helping solve environmental and social problems through the profitable deployment of capital into conscious businesses. He is also co-founder of Dolphin Capital, a private equity firm which invests in high growth companies in the Mountain West region, in Utah. Previously, Jacobsen was the founder and CEO of TNT Sound which was sold in 1983, Vice President of MECA Software which went public and was sold to H&R Block in 1994, and Founder and President of Home Financial Network which was sold to Sybase in 2000. 

Jacobsen chairs the boards of Ragnar Events and Winder Farms. He also sits on the boards of Innovation in Action’s Audacious Institute & Frank Hervey Cook Scholarship. Jacobsen received a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and is a graduate of Harvard University’s Advanced Leadership Initiative, The intersection of Compassion and Capitalism.
 
About:
Email vs. phone; mornings vs. evenings; a few good friends vs. lots of friends,;jeans vs suits; together vs. alone; motion vs. relaxation; dogs vs. cats; mountains vs. ocean; west coast vs. east coast; summer vs. winter

JOSEPH HAMMER

BOARD MEMBER

Coming Soon 

SARAH BERNER

BOARD MEMBER

Sarah has spent the majority of her adult life trying to bridge the worlds of capitalism and mindfulness. She currently heads business development at Aristeia Capital and, since 2006, has worked in the hedge fund and family office space in NYC, Geneva or Hong Kong. In her personal time, she enjoys helping social entrepreneurs, activists, and well-intentioned capitalists. Prior to moving to Manhattan, Sarah lived in Paris and the Middle East working in media and journalism. Sarah is a Milken Institute Young Leader and serves on the Advisory Board for The Resolution Project. She graduated from McGill University with an Honors B.A. degree in Political Science. Sarah is an avid believer in the merits of conscious and mindful capitalism as a force for good.
 
About:
My preferences always change; I like nearly everything except violence, laziness, ignorance, Donald Trump, meat, and most country music (sorry, Thomas!)
 
Why Gratitude Railroad:

The world faces many challenges, and I believe we need to work with what we have to effectively address them. What we have today is capitalism. What if we could successfully address global challenges with capitalism, rather than a revolution? What if, instead, we peacefully shifted to a new state of knowledge and awareness? This is happening. And it starts with taking ownership, and being acutely aware of our thoughts, words and actions. We know that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. In capitalism – every dollar has an impact.

When business leaders, investors, consumers, innovators, policy makers, sales people, entrepreneurs, NGOs, and every single one of us begins to truly think consciously about the power of money and how we engage this power, “impact investing” will finally be called “investing.” Capital is a potent tool, and we are all connected by it and through it. Today the world is too connected to ignore this truth. Even when making small shifts of heightened awareness, the subsequent action leads to great results.

Gratitude Railroad brings together elite, seasoned, successful investors and business leaders who work to solve major global challenges mindfully and without sacrificing the bottom line. It is also a supportive investment community. We need this level of intention, investment acumen, business know-how and knowledge-sharing to fully shift capitalism toward the conscious.

THOMAS KNOWLES

MANAGING PARTNER

Thomas Knowles joined Gratitude Railroad in January 2015 as managing partner. Gratitude Railroad is an investment partnership created by proven entrepreneurs, operators and investors with a common belief that business and capitalism can be a force for helping solve critical social and environmental issues. In collaboration with our investor community, we are identifying investment opportunities that generate top tier returns and positive societal impact. Prior to GRR, Thomas led corporate development and strategy for a leading outdoor ecommerce company, Backcountry, and a publically traded software as a service company, Liveperson (NASDAQ:LPSN). He also spent five years in investing roles with SVB Capital, the venture capital arm of Silicon Valley Bank. Thomas graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in Economics. Raised in Seattle and a 10 year stint in San Francisco Bay Area, Thomas now lives in Park City Utah with his wife Jessie and their daughters Dayna and Kira.
 
About:
Quiet vs. loud; beer vs. wine; leading vs. following; Montana vs. California; country music vs. anything els;, family vs. friends; rain jacket vs. swim suit, non-fiction vs. fiction
 
Why Gratitude Railroad:
We are striving to prove that capitalism and business can help solve social and environmental issues. And disprove the idea that intentionally focusing on ventures that incorporate a mission to provide positive societal impact in their business model results in an economic trade-off for investors. That mission drives me every day. We see this thesis as not a limiting factor to our investable universe or return potential but a clarity in our investment approach and an true ability to connect and support the companies/leaders that will build the next generation of leading and enduring businesses. GRR will serve as the next generation investment firm that offers financial success, intellectual competence and curiosity, and a meaningful role in helping solve social and environmental challenges.