[San Francisco, CA. April 17, 2023] – Gratitude Railroad, a community-driven impact investment firm, is pleased to announce that Rebekah Saul Butler, formerly the Chief Investment Officer and Co-Executive Director of the Grove Foundation, will be joining the firm as Managing Partner on April 17th, 2023. Rebekah brings expertise in a range of executive functions spanning finance, strategy, governance, and management, including a decade of experience in impact investing.
During her tenure at The Grove Foundation, a private foundation established by the former CEO of Intel Corporation Andy Grove and his wife Eva, Rebekah co-managed all aspects of the organization’s growth, professionalization, and impact. In her role as CIO, she led transition of The Foundation’s $150M portfolio to 100% mission alignment and the deployment of 21 direct company and fund investments through an $18M programmatically aligned impact investment carveout, establishing The Grove Foundation as a leader in impact investing.
Rebekah’s work included forging relationships with a range of mission aligned companies and asset managers such as Amalgamated Bank, Mission Driven Finance, Navajo Power, Calvert Impact Capital, and Trillium Asset Management.
“There is something special about the Gratitude community, their collaborative approach, and action orientation” says Rebekah. “At a time when we urgently need to scale solutions to social and environmental problems, their commitment moving capital toward impact is inspiring. I’m excited to join a team I have tremendous admiration for, and to help expand the Gratitude investment platform and community.”
In her new role as Managing Partner and Co-CEO at Gratitude Railroad, Rebekah will work collaboratively with Managing Partner Thomas Knowles, who has been with the firm since 2015, in co-managing the organization and driving Gratitude’s market leadership as a community-driven impact investment firm. Her breadth and depth of cross-sector and organizational expertise will be instrumental in advancing the firm’s mission of growing a diverse and committed community of investors leveraging their intellectual, social, and financial capital to create enduring and equitable impact.
“Rebekah’s experience as an advisor over the past three years has been invaluable to Gratitude,” says Thomas Knowles, Managing Partner of Gratitude Railroad. “I am confident that Rebekah will have a tremendous impact on the organization’s future. We have been working closely together over the past six months, and I have seen the value of her complementary skills, strategic insights, experience, and networks. I look forward to leading Gratitude together.”
“We are so excited to have Rebekah join us full time as Managing Partner and CO-CEO,” Eric Jacobsen, co-founder of Gratitude Railroad, adds. “She has been a great partner and friend for a long time. Over the years, she has personally taught me so much about impact, investing, and making a difference in the world. To have her head and heart fully dedicated to Gratitude’s mission is an honor.”
Gratitude Railroad has been a leading force in the impact investing movement since 2013. The firm has established deep relationships within the impact ecosystem and has a long track record of identifying and investing in startups and funds that deliver significant impact and returns. Gratitude works primarily with high-net-worth individuals, family offices, private foundations, and other impact ecosystem builders to share, learn, and execute on investment diligence. Their work has resulted in catalyzing over $500M in funding for over 30 early-stage companies and a dozen emerging impact funds, cementing their standing as trailblazers in impact investing.
Gratitude Railroad benefits deeply from the collective wisdom and knowledge of their Board of Advisors, who provide strategic guidance and advice to the firm’s leadership team based on their own experiences as seasoned investors, operators, and business leaders.
“It has been a privilege to watch as Rebekah has contributed her expertise and recommendations to Gratitude as an Advisor over the last few years,” shared fellow Advisor, Jane DiRenzo Pigott, Managing Director of R3 Group LLC. “Over that timeframe, the firm has strategically built the platform necessary to positively contribute to the impact space. Rebekah’s addition to the existing stellar team will allow those efforts to produce leveraged results, both in measured impact and financially.”
Prior to Gratitude, Rebekah has also held the position as co-Managing Director of Grove Action Fund, a 501(c)4 that directly effects positive policy changes by providing grants to organizations working on civic engagement, climate justice, immigration, and reproductive health. Earlier in her career, she worked for a Washington, D.C. -based think tank and in management and strategy consulting in the U.S. and abroad. Rebekah has held myriad board and leadership positions over time and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Sierra Club Foundation, where she is Investment Committee Chair and a member of the Executive Committee. Rebekah holds an MBA and MPH from the University of California, Berkeley and a BA from Stanford University. Rebekah is also a Certified Investment Management Analyst® professional.
About Gratitude Railroad
Gratitude Railroad is a community-driven impact investment firm championing innovative solutions for planetary health and social well-being. Since 2013, the mission driven firm has convened thousands of investors, operators, and subject matter experts to discuss critical issues facing the planet and people and where private capital can play a role in advancing solutions.
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