BOARD OF DIRECTORS

KIMBERLY O. DENNIS, CHAIRMAN

President & CEO, Searle Freedom Trust

Kim Dennis has served as president and CEO of the Searle Freedom Trust, a grantmaking foundation established by the late Daniel C. Searle to support public policy research, since 1996. For five of those years, she also directed the National Research Initiative, a Searle-funded program of AEI. Kim first began working in the grantmaking arena in 1980 as a staffer for the John M. Olin Foundation, and later became the first executive director of the Philanthropy Roundtable. She co-founded and serves as chairman of the board of DonorsTrust. She has also served on the boards of the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation, the Earhart Foundation, the W. H. Brady Foundation, the Philanthropy Roundtable, the Property and Environment Research Center, and George Mason University.

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. Jim is also a senior fellow at The Manhattan Institute in New York where he is director of the Center for the American University. Jim was executive director and trustee of the John M. Olin Foundation from 1985 until the end of 2005 when, following longstanding plans, the foundation disbursed its remaining assets and closed its doors. Jim is the author of several book including Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism (Encounter Books, 2007). He serves on the boards of several other tax exempt institutions, including: The Pinkerton Foundation, the TWS Foundation, the Center for Individual Rights, The Philanthropy Roundtable, the Foundation for Cultural Review, and Donors Trust. Jim earned a B.A. degree (1968) and a Ph.D. degree (1973) in Political Science from Michigan State University. He lives in Sleepy Hollow, NY, with his wife, Patricia, and son.

LAWSON R. BADER

President and CEO, DonorsTrust

Since 2015, Lawson Bader serves as president and CEO of DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund. Before coming to DonorsTrust, he amassed twenty years’ experience leading free-market research and advocacy groups including the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He began his career in DC in as special assistant at the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, then worked as a legislative analyst/paralegal with Pierson, Semmes & Finley, and managed government relations at SRI International. He is a former weekly columnist with Human Events, and serves on the governing boards of the Atlas Network, State Policy Network, Oakseed Ministries International, and Solers, Inc. Lawson earned a BA in political science from Wheaton College (IL) and an MA in public policy from The Johns Hopkins University.

THOMAS E. BEACH

Founder & Managing Director, Beach Investment Council

Tom 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. Tom 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.

STAFF MEMBERS

LAWSON R. BADER

President and CEO

Since 2015, Lawson Bader serves as president and CEO of DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund. Before coming to DonorsTrust, he amassed twenty years’ experience leading free-market research and advocacy groups including the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He began his career in DC in as special assistant at the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, then worked as a legislative analyst/paralegal with Pierson, Semmes & Finley, and managed government relations at SRI International. He is a former weekly columnist with Human Events, and serves on the governing boards of the Atlas Network, State Policy Network, Oakseed Ministries International, and Solers, Inc. Lawson earned a BA in political science from Wheaton College (IL) and an MA in public policy from The Johns Hopkins University.

GORDON CUMMINGS

Philanthropic Advisor

Gordon Cummings joined DonorsTrust in January 2018. His focus at DonorsTrust is to help increase our impact by helping develop and implement new ways to engage with both our clients and grantees. Prior to joining DonorsTrust Gordon spent 19 years in various fundraising positions throughout the liberty movement. He was the Director of External Affairs at National Taxpayers Union and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Director of Development at Capital Research Center and held various development positions at the Cato Institute. He also served on the Europe/Eurasia Advanced Area Studies team at the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute. In addition Gordon ran a successful fundraising consultancy for several years. Cummings received a Bachelor’s of Arts in English from the University of Virginia. Gordon lives in the DC area and is an avid Caps fan.

STEPHANIE GIOVANETTI LIPS

Philanthropic Advisor

Stephanie Giovanetti Lips joined DonorsTrust in 2018 as a philanthropy advisor with a general focus on planned giving.  Before joining DonorsTrust, Stephanie led the events department at Atlas Network, leading its international expansion to organize annual events in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. She also took on major gift officer responsibilities and headed up its planned giving program. Stephanie has consulted on events and fundraising for organizations such as The American Spectator, the Future of Freedom Foundation, National Association of Chemical Distributors and Johnson and Johnson. Stephanie attended Marymount University and has a B.A. in English Literature. When not working for DonorsTrust or mentoring think tank leaders from within the Atlas Network or speaking on topics close to her heart, like planned giving, Stephanie loves listening to the giggles of her children and the panting of her dog, Scooby Doo.

PETER A. LIPSETT

Director of Growth Strategies

Peter Lipsett joined DonorsTrust in 2014 as director of growth strategies. He oversees DonorsTrust’s marketing, client outreach, and prospect cultivation efforts. He also leads the Novus Society, DonorsTrust’s network of donors under 40 committed to growing their philanthropic network and know-how. Previously, Peter spent nearly a decade within the Koch organizations helping build a unique donor network. Originally from Marietta, Georgia, Peter graduated from Davidson College and has an MBA from George Mason University. He, his wife, Ann-Bailey, and their two little girls live in Springfield, Virginia.

LYDIA PITEA

Marketing Associate

Lydia Pitea joined DonorsTrust in July of 2016 as a participant in the Koch Associate Program and serves as a Marketing Associate. Her primary responsibilities include assisting with all aspects of marketing and donor outreach. Prior to joining DonorsTrust, she worked for PSEG, the major utility company of New Jersey, with the Public Affairs team and the Customer Technologies team. Lydia is a graduate of Montclair State University in New Jersey where she received her B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Political Science.

ROSEMARY PURPLE

Grants Administrator

Rosemary Purple joined DonorsTrust in February 2018. She is assisting in the grants administration and general office management areas at DonorsTrust. Rosemary is a native of Alexandria and has extensive office administration experience having worked as the Assistant to the CEO and President /office & security manager at a local bank; assistant and paralegal at several law firms with many areas of interest, and other corporate environments. Rosemary most recently spent over three years as the office and facilities manager at the Charles Koch Institute.

JEFFREY A. SELLAZZO

Executive Assistant

Jeffrey Sellazzo joined DonorsTrust in February 2018. His responsibilities include executive assistant duties to the CEO and aiding with contribution and grant filing. Prior to joining DonorsTrust, Jeffrey worked for Rare as office manager for their international headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. Before that he worked for the Department of Natural Resources in South Carolina and Georgia performing near-shore fisheries surveys. He holds a B.S. in Biology from Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia.

JEFFREY C. ZYSIK

Chief Financial Officer & Chief of Information Technology

Jeff 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, Jeff 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, Jeff 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.

FOUNDING PRESIDENT

WHITNEY L. BALL

President & CEO, 1999-2015

Ms. Ball served as founding President and Chief Executive Officer of DonorsTrust from 1999 until August, 2015. 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, Whitney consulted with a number of nonprofit organizations and served on governing boards and committees of local volunteer organizations, including Donors Capital Fund, the Foundation for Teaching Economics, and the State Policy Network.  After a long battle with cancer, Whitney passed away August 17, 2015.  For more on her life and work, please see Remembering Whitney Ball.