New Directors Join Spark Board
With only four full-time employees, Spark’s board members play an incredibly important role in expanding our capacity as an organization. That’s one reason we are very excited to have added four new directors in the last year. Let us introduce you to them….
Jeff Plaisted has supported Spark since the beginning days of the organization. He and his wife Jeanne live in the Chicago area and recently spent their 15 year anniversary on a trip with Spark to Nicaragua and are bringing back their two sons this August on Spark’s first ever family-focused trip. Jeff is a seasoned executive with over twenty years of experience in Telecommunications, Technology and Digital Media, and was recognized by Business Insider as one of the most Influential People in Mobile Advertising in 2012. Jeff will be serving on Spark’s Program Committee advising on issues related to trips, evaluating Spark’s partner programs, and the launch of Spark’s local programming efforts.
Marisa Daley is Spark’s first board member from the East Coast. She currently lives in Great Fall, VA with her family. She has been in the management-consulting field for more than 16 years. In 2002 she founded HPT Advisory Services where she serves as president. Marisa has already jumped in on the Fundraising Committee with both feet and will be hosting an event for families in northern Virginia later this spring.
Jochen (Joe) Renz was introduced to the organization by current board Chair, Tasha Seitz. Joe attended a Taste of Spark event earlier this year and then met with Spark CEO Rich Johnson to discuss what board service entailed. Joe was born and raised in Germany and currently resides in Chicago, IL. He founded SalesEnablers in 2014 and prior to that served as the Vice President of Sales Enablement at CA Technologies. Joe is joining Spark’s Business Advisory Committee, which works specifically with Rich and Lucy Jodlowska, Spark’s Director of Partnerships on the business investments we’ve made in Zambia (poultry farm) and the 2014 launch of an agribusiness in Nicaragua.
In addition to helping raise the critical funds necessary for Spark to accomplish its mission, board members also provide strategic guidance on finance, operations, HR and more. Sparks’ board meetings quarterly in Chicago, and all directors serve on at least one or two committees that have quarterly calls. All directors are major financial supporters of Spark Ventures and advocate for the organization within their spheres of influence. Many host events in their homes and travel to visit Spark’s partners in Zambia and Nicaragua. If you’d like to learn more about all of Spark’s directors, the bios of all current board members can be found on our website and if you would like to learn more about what is involved in serving on Spark’s board, please contact Patti O’Neil, the Chair of our Board Development Committee.