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Introducing Two New Board Members

  |   Board of Directors, investor spotlight, organization, spark ventures, zambia
We are so thrilled to introduce two new Spark Ventures board members – Lisa Madonia and Doak Elliott. Check out this interview to learn more about what they’re most passionate about.


What drew you to Spark Ventures and our work? What motivated you to get involved?


Lisa: I was introduced to Spark by one of the founders, Scott Barbeau. After learning more about Spark from him, I knew that this was an organization that I wanted to be a part of in some way. There are so many organizations out there to become involved with. The work that Spark has done and all of the significant impacts that it has made on its partners was so inspiring to me and I quickly felt that I wanted to do more. I attended the Fall event in 2016 and when a 15 year old son of one of the Board members spoke about his experience traveling with Spark, it affected me greatly and I then firmly believed then that traveling to one of the partners and seeing the impact myself was something that I must do.


Doak, You started your journey supporting Spark Ventures as a member of our Associate Board. What was the most valuable part of that experience? What made you interested in stepping up to the Board of Directors?


Doak: It was a great experience to be a part of the launch of the Associate Board.  It has been very rewarding to see Spark continue to grow and evolve.  As I recently stepped into a new role in my professional career, I am also looking forward to the new role with Spark.


You have both traveled with us to see our work in Zambia first-hand. How has that impacted your view of our work?


Doak: Seeing the impact of our work first hand was life changing. It was amazing to see how the volunteer hours and donations had helped to build such a remarkable facility. It was great to see how many families had been impacted by Spark, both those working at the school and the students.


Lisa: When I tell others of my trip to Zambia, it is hard to put into words. When I heard that the trip would be “life-changing” I was not quite sure what to expect. Life changing it was! It turned my world upside down and from the moment I arrived in Zambia, I knew that I would never be the same. Spending time at Hope School and getting to know students, teachers, and staff was incredible. Despite living in extreme poverty, the hope, joy and love that exists in this community was so inspiring. The things that Spark has accomplished with its partner Hope in the last 10 years are absolutely amazing. I had heard all of the wonderful stories of those who had made the journey before, but it is truly something one has to experience firsthand. Since my return from Zambia at the end of January, I reflect on my time there quite often. In fact, almost daily there is something that sparks a reminder of my days at Hope School. I cannot wait to return and to also visit the other Spark partners.


What are you most looking forward to in the coming year as a member of the Spark Ventures Board of Directors?


Lisa: I am excited to increase the awareness of Spark Ventures and for others to experience the same incredible journey that I was fortunate to make. I am so grateful to be a part of such an inspiring organization.


Doak: Throughout its history, Spark has continued to pave the way for changing how we look at philanthropic giving. I am looking forward to helping Spark to continue to grow and evolve as an organization.