Bringing more than 20 years of proven expertise in the full range of human capital management and an expert in developing highly effective organizations, Beth Gifford has delivered proven results in privately held as well as Fortune 500 companies, with responsibility for locations throughout the United States, Canada, Central America, Europe, and Asia.
An expert in facilitating strategic planning, and the mechanics of organizational behavior, Beth is proven to be highly innovative in the application of multiple methods and tools designed to achieve desired and sustainable results. Beth holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Mount Vernon Nazarene University, a Master's in Business Administration from Franklin University, is a certified Change Management Practitioner, and earned her LEAN Six Sigma Black Belt from The Ohio State University.
Beth has taught at the University of Kentucky, and Ohio Dominican University. She is currently a member of faculty at Cedarville University where she has been involved in MBA course development and is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Business Administration.
It is this vast experience as a business executive and employer that differentiates Beth's work to impact poverty through job readiness training and strong employer partnerships. Born out of the heritage of her parent's years of service on the south side of Columbus, Beth leads from a heart for people living in poverty and a unique business perpective, Beth is expertly equipped to lead Columbus Works, Inc., right here in her own home town. Beth is involved in ministry with her husband, the Pastor at Crossroads Community Church, and enjoys kayaking, quilting, and preparing for her next 5K.
Fred Brothers, Chairman
Fred Brothers has participated in $27 billion of capital markets transactions, worked with dozens of growth-stage companies, and been part of multiple exits - including an IPO and a unicorn.
His experience is a combination of serial entrepreneur, innovator, investor, company builder, board member, developer of leaders, driver of social change, and senior corporate executive. Prior to founding Uprising Capital, Fred served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer at FIS, a $10 billion revenue, Fortune 500 provider of financial technology. FIS has 20,000 clients in 130 countries, 55,000 employees worldwide. Fred was a member of the senior executive team, and with corporate responsibility for driving innovation and growth within FIS and its clients through internal reinvestment, corporate development, strategic partnerships, acquisitions and venture investments. He managed FIS’ venture capital portfolio, was a member of the company’s development investment committee and represented FIS on corporate boards. Prior to leading Innovation, Fred was Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy, with responsibility for strategy across the company worldwide.
Prior to FIS, Fred was founder and Managing Partner of eCom Advisors, a strategy consulting firm focused on financial technology. eCom’s clients include many of the largest banks and credit unions, solution providers and investors in the industry. eCom was sold to FIS in early 2010. Before eCom, Brothers headed strategy, product, relationship management and customer operations for CheckFree, which he helped to grow from $2 million in revenue to $1 billion in revenue. The company IPO’d in 1997, and was acquired by Fiserv for $4.2 billion cash in 2007. Fred holds a business degree in finance and marketing from The Ohio State University.
Tom Feusse, Director
Tom Feusse is Chief Executive Officer and co-owner of Wallick Communities. In that role, he concentrates on: defining the firm’s strategy, supporting the leadership team, focusing the organization on being customer service centric, and developing growth opportunities. He joined the company in 2005.
Before joining Wallick, he spent 15 years with The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company where he served in a variety of leadership positions. There he managed the company’s largest business with $1 billion in revenue, as well as overseeing their Growing Media business, with 25 production facilities and 1,000 associates. Tom was the Corporate Controller of Hyponex Corporation and he began his career in public accounting at Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
As a life-long learner, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Central Michigan University, a Master’s Degree from Otterbein College, an abbreviated executive MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School at Northwestern University, and is an alumni of the executive real estate program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. He has served on the faculty of Ohio Wesleyan University, and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Active in his profession and community, Tom serves on the Advisory Boards of Kellogg Garden Supply, Inc., and Huntington University. He was formerly the President of the Ohio Housing Council. He regularly volunteers in service projects, including helping to build homes for impoverished families in Mexico. A resident of Dublin, Tom spends time with his family, his church and works on his tennis game, when not at the office.
Kristy A. Michel, Director Kristy A. Michel is a licensed attorney and Equal Justice Works Fellow working for The Legal Aid Society of Columbus (LASC) and sponsored by The Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation. Her fellowship project is focused on providing education, representation and advocacy support to low-income individuals regarding federally-funded workforce programs. Previously, Ms. Michel volunteered as a pro bono attorney with LASC and has over twelve years of human resources management experience in manufacturing.
Kristy is a graduate of Capital University Law School and earned both her Master’s Degree and Bachelors of Science Degree from The Ohio State University.
Katie Robinson, Director
Katie Robinson is currently Senior Vice President of Uprising Capital, a social impact investor that brings together market needs, passionate people, investment capital, management expertise, an extensive network, and technology to achieve economic gains and social good. Katie is also Vice President of Marketing for Clarivoy, a Rev1 backed start-up where she has responsibility for Branding, PR, Digital Marketing and Inbound Sales.
Katie has a background of proven success in marketing, product development, innovation and investment in the retail, financial services, and automotive industries. Prior to joining Uprising Capital, Katie was Senior Vice President of Strategic Innovation at FIS, the world’s top provider of technology, processing and services to the banking and payments industry. Katie’s responsibilities included driving growth and innovation organically within FIS, as well as externally through strategic partnerships, acquisitions and investments. Katie identified high-potential growth-stage companies, invested in them, mentored the leadership team, and facilitated commercial partnerships to distribute their products to FIS clients.
With more than 20 years of experience, Katie’s track record of success also includes previous positions at Alliance Data’s Retail division; where she developed and managed integrated credit, marketing, and loyalty solutions for some of the most recognizable brands in North America.
Katie holds a degree in Women’s Studies from The Ohio State University.