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Founding Partner and CEO

Kelly Shim is a proven entrepreneurial executive and a leading innovator with over 15 years in education platforms, strategic business modeling and execution (domestic and international), and predictive analytics for outcome driven ventures.


Ms. Shim has extensive experience in inter-company collaborations for the strategic implementation of new business innovation models. Ms. Shim is a Managing Partner of The WheelHouse, a project management firm that leverages existing partnerships with multiple anchor companies driving new sustainability and social impact across diverse industry sectors including next generation agriculture, water purification, alternative energy and STEM education.


Ms. Shim is focused on the business of people, curating human-centric unified innovation models focused on generating working solutions to global concerns. During her 15- year social entrepreneurship career, Ms. Shim’s accomplishments include the founding of a nationally recognized non-profit, as well as various executive positions and advisory roles focused on social impact ventures.  


Ms. Shim earned her M.A. in International Politics from The Catholic University of America, as well as another M.A. in Political Economy from Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea.


Ms. Shim is a board member of The Permanent Legacy Foundation, in their Non-Profit Legacy division, as well as The Pawtricity Foundation. Ms. Shim is also an accomplished classically trained pianist. She has performed as a Solo Pianist in Salerno, Italy, National Symphony Orchestra masterclasses, as well as with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra. 


Founding Partner

Rachel Waddick is an experienced strategic communications professional skilled in traditional and new media outreach strategy, and high-profile event management and promotion. Formerly at the Brookings Institution, Ms. Waddick led the inter-departmental coordination efforts toward strengthening the institution’s visibility.  Under Ms. Waddick’s leadership, The Pawtricity™ Foundation focuses on providing resources and education programing to the community through the mutual love of pets.  


Ms. Waddick earned her M.A. in strategic communication at American University in Washington, DC, and her B.A. in political science and journalism from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. 


Executive Vice President

George W. Brown’s distinguished 45-year career covering accomplishments in both the public and private sectors.


Mr. Brown is a graduate of Howard University and received his J.D. from Georgetown University.  He has received many honors, which include the highest meritorious service awards from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the District of Columbia. From 1991 to 1994, he served the District of Columbia government, first as the Deputy Director for Business and Economic Development and then, beginning in 1992, as Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. In 1976, Mr. Brown was nominated by the Secretary of HUD and selected by President Jimmy Carter as a Presidential Executive, working with Bank of America in developing its community reinvestment program. 


Mr. Brown also served as Senior Vice President and Director of the Center for Community Self Help (SH) and the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), Washington, D.C. offices.  Self-Help is the nation’s largest nonprofit community development lender, creating and protecting ownership opportunities for low-wealth families through home and small business ownership. Self-Help has provided over $3.5 billion in financing to help more than 30,000 low-wealth borrowers buy homes, build businesses, and strengthen their communities.


Mr. Brown has also served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Neighborhoods with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development   He authored the Section 202 Elderly Housing Program. He has lectured on Special Housing Needs at Yale and Columbia University, and was a delegate to an UN-sponsored conference on special housing needs in The Hague.


General Counsel 

Phillips Lytle LLP, Law Firm.  


Mr. Portnoy has a diverse corporate, intellectual property and real estate practice, and has played a significant role in many high profile projects throughout the United States.  Highlights among Ian’s background are major economic development and infrastructure development and finance projects, including public/private joint ventures, in conjunction with airports and mass transit facilities throughout the U.S. and extensive work regarding public private partnerships involving privatization of facilities on military bases.  These projects often involved extensive coordination with federal, state and local governmental authorities including having the local laws changed to accommodate the projects.  Several of these projects also involved the development of energy generation facilities, including green energy.

Ian acts as outside counsel to large and small technology companies coordinating their intellectual property assets with their business objectives and assisting with complex contract and intellectual property issues involving cyber security.

Ian also represents many not-for-profits (501-C3 and 501-C 6) including foundations on complex financial and project related issues.  He regularly acts as outside counsel to not-for-profits providing wide ranging advice on diverse matters including technology issues, contracts, preparation of policies and staff guidance including social medial policy, acceptable use policy and proper utilization of cloud based services.  Ian also regularly advises on board governance and board/staff issues, 501-C-3 compliance issues, and mergers and acquisitions of not-for-profits.

Ian has published many articles and regularly speaks to professional and technology audiences.  He was the senior editor of three major real estate publications.  Ian was a principal speaker at a conference in Japan for 350 Japanese CEO’s addressing the importance of effective communication for Japanese leaders in cross border transactions, including mergers and acquisitions and met with members of the Diet to explore these issues with Japanese government officials.

Ian is active in civic and cultural affairs.  He is the Chairman of the Board of The Embassy Series.  This internationally recognized institution constantly brings him in close contact with Ambassadors to the United States from many foreign countries He is also the Chairman of the Board of Dumbarton Concert Series, Chairman of the Board of InnerCity InnerChild, the Chairman of the Investment Committee and a member of the Executive, Audit and Finance Committees of WETA (public television and radio in Washington D.C.), a member of Leadership Washington and has been Chairman of the Section of the Potomac Conference concerned with the arts, culture, tourism and educational sectors of the Greater Washington economy and how those organizations may serve to foster economic development, use technology, better communicate with the public, their boards and other community organizations. Ian is also a board member of Sustainable Communities Award Foundation (associated with Nobel Prize Committee), a founder of the Not-For-Profit Leadership Circle (organization with over 600 not-for profits as members) at which he frequently presents issues of significance to the not-for-profit community.

Ian has been honored by the Big Brothers of the National Capital Area for his service to Big Brothers and to the Greater Washington community.  Prior to private practice in Washington, he was counsel to a major public company based in Philadelphia.


Senior Advisor

Darryl Vernon Poole is a highly respected executive, awarded many accolades for his work in acute change management, institutional leadership, experientially/student-based teaching in Higher & Graduate Education, crime &terrorism, intellectual capital, Governance, and risk management.


A practitioner with four decades of executive financial, CFO, and executive experience with private and public institutions, Mr. Poole is also the founder & chief strategist of The Cambridge Institute For Applied Research (cifar). In this role, he served as a private executive advisor for global change patterns, governance, critical decision & change management.


Now focusing primarily on matters of Governance, Mr. Poole is advisor to senior executives and confidential advisory to individuals, unique organizations, privately held corporations, law practices, specific government agencies, and academic institutions. For more than 10 years, Mr. Poole was also senior editor and publisher of cifar’s internationally distributed private executive publication, Institute Commentaries on World Change [United States Library of Congress NSDP Ref.: ISSN 1555-2349].


Mr. Poole has been honored by Federal, academic, and international organizations, and occasionally lectures for several such institutions. As an educator, for 10 years Mr. Poole served as visiting Associate Professor of Management for The University of the District of Columbia (School of Business & Public Administration) as well as for the Graduate & Executive MBA Program Faculty of the University of Memphis (Fogelman College of Business & Economics).


Career and special service assignments include Judiciary and Mediation Services/Endispute, Opportunity Funding Corporation, American Can Company/Primerica (now known as CitiGroup), and the United States Office of the President and Departments of Commerce, Defense, Transportation, State, and Energy. Additional professional assignments included senior advisory to the Office of the President at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland; lectures for Bentley University the University of the District of Columbia, Public Relations Society of America, and the AICPA of Chicago.


A retired Certified Internal Auditor, Mr. Poole has serve as Trustee & Trustee Emeritus at Bentley University (40-year involvement) as well as an honorary international Trustee for the Sugawara Institute, Sendai, Japan. He is cited in a number of industry publications and references and was recognized by the (now) U.S. National Institute for Standards and Technology for work during the 1970s in the determination of initial standard evaluatory criteria for computer systems security.


Mr. Poole is a graduate of Bentley University (B.A.), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (S.M., Alfred P. Sloan School of Management), and Columbia University (post graduate, Senior Executive Management Program). 

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