Rupal Patel, MPP
Founder and Principal
Private equity executive with emphasis on financial inclusion
- 12 years private equity experience managing $150 million in renewable energy and agricultural capital investments; 10 years organizing and advocacy experience focused on poverty, labor and immigration issues;
- Developed 1.6 GW of renewable energy projects, including the 579 MW Solar Star Project, ranked in the top 10 largest photovoltaic projects in the world;
- Developed and managed an inaugural Corporate Social Responsibility program for one of California’s largest table grape producers gaining awards and recognition from Walmart, Costco, and Fair Trade USA;
- Originated the first employee benefit company in the U.S., California Harvesters, of which Rupal is Co-founder and Board Member. Four years after launch, California Harvesters provides quality jobs to over 1,200 farmworkers in California’s Central Valley.
- Holds a BA in Sociology and Masters in Public Policy from U.Michigan.
Karlo Marcelo, MPP
Founder and Principal
Business Strategist and Recruiter with emphasis on building teams
- Sourced, recruited, and trained a national membership talent network of political candidates, elected officials, federal policymakers, and political consultants on national security issues at the Truman National Security Project;
- Managed a $15M public-private partnership portfolio at the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles focused on youth jobs and public safety & security, gaining recognition by U.S. HUD; established new partnerships with LA Chargers and Disney to fund programs;
- Developed national microfinancing benchmarks and microbusiness outcomes for CDFIs and other alternative community lending institutions to evaluate their success and sustainability at The Aspen Institute;
- Millennial market researcher and vote expert during the 2006 and 2008 elections; provided Millennial marketing advice and research to campaigns and collaborated with Rock the Vote and WWE to produce Millennial engagement marketing materials.
- Holds a BA in Economics and Government from U.Maryland and a Masters in Public Policy from U.Michigan.
Sabrina Charles, JD
Director, Legal Strategy
Legal Strategist and Policy Administration Expert
- Practiced law at Wachtell, Lipton & Katz and Ropes & Gray LLP in New York City advising diverse clients, including banks, hedge funds, manufacturers, large hospital systems, and small, not-for-profit health care providers, on transactional, regulatory, securities, and enforcement matters;
- Developed an active pro bono practice, representing people before the Social Security Administration and advising a not-for-profit community health care provider on compliance matters;
- Clerked for the Honorable Barrington D. Parker of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit;
- Doctoral candidate in Sociology at New York University focusing on law and society, the sociology of knowledge, and social theory; spent three years observing immigration court hearings and interviewing people about how immigration court proceedings impact people and their families for dissertation research;
- BA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Phi Beta Kappa and with High Honors and Distinction; J.D. from Yale Law School; MPA from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government; and MPhil in Sociology from New York University.
Advisor, Capital Markets & Finance
Strategic Finance & Planning Advisor
- Seasoned private equity and investment banking professional with over 20 years experience;
- $2 billion of transaction experience in M&A, capital markets, and leveraged finance across multiple sectors;
- Led acquisition, strategic planning, financial operations, turnaround and divestiture efforts for multiple vertically integrated portfolio companies resulting in outsized returns to principal investors;
- Extensive on-the-ground asset management experience in small- and medium-sized enterprises, including establishing and growing organizations, recruitment and training of employees, and developing efficiency maximizing operating procedures;
- Holds a BS in Economics, Finance & Business Management from U.Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.
Technology executive with emphasis on new business creation
- 18 years of software/tech experience as product manager and senior manager of software engineering, data science, and UX design; including formative PM experience at Amazon.com and 5+ VC-backed startups;
- Co-founded Fernish—a circular economy, DTC furniture subscription service—as Chief Product Officer; including raising $35MM in equity capital and 2x+ that in operating lease and AR-backed debt capital, growing a team to 100+ distributed across 6 major metros, creating a purpose-built ERP system, and serving 10k+ customers via $50MM+ in furniture & moving services.
- Led process to bring two new products and one new product category in the digital music and consumer cloud storage spaces to market at Amazon circa ‘07-’11, including owning the “PR+FAQ” proposal and ultimately presenting to & receiving approval from Jeff Bezos and a wide group of S-team members, including current CEO, Andy Jassy, and former Consumer CEO, Jeff Wilke (who later invested in Fernish).
- As an operator, Lucas has experience including ownership over business intelligence, marketing, BD, strategy, People Ops; spanning the pre-revenue stage, to acquisition, to scale-ups, and everything in between across adtech & martech, to ticketing, geolocation services, digital music, and cloud storage as retail and SaaS implementations. His angel investor/advisor engagements further expands his experience surface area into CPG, govtech, legal tech, CRM & customer support, and multi-sided marketplaces.
- Holds a BA in Political Science and Political Science from U.Washington, where he was a founding member of UDoves—Students for Peace in Israel & Palestine, Affordable Tuition Now, and Rainy Dawg Radio (the school radio station).