DonorsTrust Officers & Directors


Whitney L. Ball, President President & CEO, DonorsTrust

Ms. Ball is President and Chief Executive Officer of DonorsTrust, a donor-advised fund and community foundation established to promote liberty through limited government, personal responsibility, and free enterprise. Before launching DonorsTrust, Ms. Ball served as Executive Director of The Philanthropy Roundtable, as well as Director of Development at the Cato Institute. She was also Director of Finance for the Education and Research Institute and Circulation Manager of Consumers' Research Magazine. Additionally, Ms. Ball has consulted with a number of nonprofit organizations and served on governing boards and committees of local volunteer organizations. Currently, Ms. Ball serves on the boards of Donors Capital Fund and the State Policy Network.

Kimberly O. Dennis, Chairman President & CEO, Searle Freedom Trust

Ms. Dennis is President and CEO of the Searle Freedom Trust, a private grant making foundation supporting research and education on public policies that promote individual freedom and personal responsibility. From 2002 to 2006, she also served as director of the National Research Initiative, a Searle-funded program at the American Enterprise Institute. From 1991 until 1996, Ms. Dennis served as the executive director of The Philanthropy Roundtable. Her previous experience includes over five years with the John M. Olin Foundation and with multiple nonprofit educational and policymaking organizations, including the Institute for Humane Studies and the Pacific Research Institute. Ms. Dennis currently serves on the boards of Donors Capital Fund, George Mason University, the Earhart Foundation, the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation, and the Property and Environment Research Center

James Piereson, Vice Chairman President, William E. Simon Foundation

James Piereson is president of the William E. Simon Foundation, a private grantmaking foundation located in New York City. The foundation has broad charitable interests in education, religion, and problems of youth. He assumed this post in 2006. Mr. Piereson is also a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute in New York where he is director of the Center for the American University and Chairman of the Selection Committee for The Veritas Fund which allocates grants to programs on college and university campuses. Mr. Piereson was executive director and trustee of the John M. Olin Foundation from 1985 through 2005 when, following longstanding plans, the foundation disbursed its remaining assets and closed its doors. The John M. Olin Foundation maintained program interests in the areas of public affairs and public policy, and awarded grants in these areas to support research, fellowships, books and journals, and television documentaries. Most of its funds were allocated each year to major universitites and private research institutions. Mr. Piereson joined the John M. Olin Foundation in 1981 as a program officer, and was appointed executive director in 1985. He was elected to the Board of Trustees in 1987. Prior to joining the Foundation, he served on the Political Science faculties of several prominent universities, including Iowa State University (1974), Indiana University (1975), and the University of Pennsylvania (1976-1982), where he taught courses in the fields of United States government and political thought. Mr. Piereson is also trustee of the William E. Simon Foundation. He serves on the boards of several other tax exempt institutions, including: The Pinkerton Foundation, the Thomas W. Smith Foundation, the Center for Individual Rights, the Philanthropy Roundtable (Chairman, 1995-99), the Foundation for Cultural Review (Chairman), the American Spectator Foundation, the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and DonorsTrust. He is a past member of the Board of Trustees of The Manhattan Institute. He is a member of the selection committee for the Clare Boothe Luce Program for Women in the Sciences, Medicine, and Engineering administered by the Henry Luce Foundation of New York City. He is chairman of the selection committee for the Hayek Book Prize. He is a member of the Executive Advisory Committee of the Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester, of the Board of Visitors of the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University, and of the Advisory Council of the Henry Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom at Claremont McKenna College.

Mr. Piereson is the author of Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism (Encounter Books, 2007). He is also the author (with J. Sullivan and G. Marcus) of Political Tolerance and American Democracy (University of Chicago Press, 1982). He is the editor of The Pursuit of Liberty: Can the Ideals that Made Amerca Great Provide a Model for the World (Encounter Books, 2008). He has also published articles and reviews in numerous journals, including Commentary, The New Criterion, The American Political Science Review, The Public Interest, the Journal of Politics, Philanthropy, The American Spectator, The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, and National Review. Mr. Piereson earned a Ph.D. in political science from Michigan State University. 

Thomas E. BeachFounder & Managing Director, Beach Investment Council

Thomas E. Beach is the founder and Managing Director of Beach Investment Counsel, which manages the financial assets of high net worth families and foundations. Prior to forming Beach Investment Counsel he held various portfolio management and executive positions with a major institutional investment management firm. He served as chief executive officer of its mutual funds and as a member of its three person management committee.

Mr. Beach earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

He currently serves as Chairman of Reason Foundation and also of The Property and Environment Research Center. He is a director of Pennsylvania Lumberman’s Mutual Insurance Company and previously was a Director or Trustee of the Haverford School, Eisenhower Fellowships, Philadelphia Youth Tennis, the Laurentian Capital Corporation and The International Lawn Tennis Club of the United States.

William J. Hume Chairman of the Board, Basic American, Inc.

Mr. Hume is the Chairman of Basic American Inc., an international leader in the dehydrated foods market. Mr. Hume serves as Chairman of the Foundation for Teaching Economics and is a member of the boards of the Heritage Foundation, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, the Hoover Institution, and The Foundation for Educational Choice.

Jeffrey C. Zysik, Secretary-Treasurer Chief Financial Officer & Chief of Information Technology

Mr. Zysik is an attorney and accountant with fifteen years of tax planning experience, focusing primarily on sophisticated estate and income tax concepts. Before joining DonorsTrust, he was managing-director and co-founder of Charitable Entity Administration, LLC (CEA). Before launching CEA, Mr. Zysik served as Director-in-Charge of strategy development at myCFO's national tax group. He also spent five years with KPMG LLP--one year in a tax practice office, three years with the firm's Washington National Tax Personal Financial Planning practice and a final year serving as Director-in-Charge of the firm's South Florida Personal Financial Planning practice. Admitted to the New York State Bar, Mr. Zysik holds a Bachelor of Accountancy degree from George Washington University, a Master in Public Accounting-Tax degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and a JD degree from George Mason University. 


DonorsTrust Officers Staff


Whitney L. Ball, President President & CEO, DonorsTrust

Ms. Ball is President and Chief Executive Officer of DonorsTrust, a donor-advised fund and community foundation established to promote liberty through limited government, personal responsibility, and free enterprise. Before launching DonorsTrust, Ms. Ball served as Executive Director of The Philanthropy Roundtable, as well as Director of Development at the Cato Institute. She was also Director of Finance for the Education and Research Institute and Circulation Manager of Consumers' Research Magazine. Additionally, Ms. Ball has consulted with a number of nonprofit organizations and served on governing boards and committees of local volunteer organizations. Currently, Ms. Ball serves on the boards of Donors Capital Fund and the State Policy Network.

Jeffrey C. Zysik, Secretary-Treasurer Chief Financial Officer & Chief of Information Technology

Mr. Zysik is an attorney and accountant with fifteen years of tax planning experience, focusing primarily on sophisticated estate and income tax concepts. Before joining DonorsTrust, he was managing-director and co-founder of Charitable Entity Administration, LLC (CEA). Before launching CEA, Mr. Zysik served as Director-in-Charge of strategy development at myCFO's national tax group. He also spent five years with KPMG LLP--one year in a tax practice office, three years with the firm's Washington National Tax Personal Financial Planning practice and a final year serving as Director-in-Charge of the firm's South Florida Personal Financial Planning practice. Admitted to the New York State Bar, Mr. Zysik holds a Bachelor of Accountancy degree from George Washington University, a Master in Public Accounting-Tax degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and a JD degree from George Mason University. 

Peter A. Lipsett Director of Growth Strategies

Mr. Lipsett joined DonorsTrust in 2014. His focus at the Trust is to develop new ways to engage potential and existing clients and to further increase the organization's impact. Before joining the DonorsTrust team, Mr. Lipsett worked for nearly a decade in donor development in various capacities at the Charles Koch Foundation and Koch Industries. Most recently he served as vice president of special projects at Freedom Partners. He holds dual B.A.s in Political Science and Theatre from Davidson College in North Carolina and an M.B.A. from George Mason University in Virginia.  

Christopher D. Renner Grants & Accounting Manager

Mr. Renner joined DonorsTrust in December 2012. His responsibilities include assisting with the maintenance of DonorsTrust books, reconciliation of accounts, and fulfilling grant requests from our fund advisers.  He has experience in a wide variety of industries, most recently as a business manager for Fru-Con Construction and as a small business (automotive electronics sales and installation) owner; prior to this he worked as a production team leader at a General Motors stamping plant. He holds a B.S. in Economics and Business from the University of Pittsburgh and is in the process of completing course work in accounting that will allow him to sit for the CPA exam.

Lauren V. Skiver Outreach Manager

Ms. Skiver joined DonorsTrust in June 2009 and serves as the organization's Outreach Manager. Her primary responsibilities include managing client relations and assisting with all aspects of marketing and donor outreach. Before joining DonorsTrust, Ms. Vander Heyden worked as a grants coordinator and policy analyst with the Charles Koch Foundation. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Grove City College in Pennsylvania.