We focus on diverse founding teams that always include at least one female founder or one female in a key leadership position.
KATHRYN O'CONNOR GARDNER
With over 20 years of experience on Wall Street, Kathryn has a demonstrated focus on women, developing a program for high-performing females on the sell-side, actively collaborating with other women on the buy-side, and serving as an advisor for female-founded companies. She has experience serving as an advisor for startups on strategy, financial analysis and capital market transactions.
Kathryn is a Senior Analyst at Livello Capital Management. Prior to that, Mrs. O'Connor Gardner worked as a Senior Vice President and Corporate Credit Research Analyst within AllianceBernstein’s high-yield research group, focusing on the energy sector. There she oversaw all energy-related investments for traditional high yield portfolios with roughly $35 billion in AUM. Mrs. O'Connor Gardner was also an Investment Committee Member for the Energy Opportunity Funds at AllianceBernstein (2016-2019).
Prior to joining AB, Mrs. O'Connor Gardner was a Managing Director on the sell-side at Deutsche Bank where she covered industries including energy, automotive and aerospace & defense (2004-2015). Mrs. O'Connor Gardner started her career as an analyst at Deutsche Banc Alex.Brown in the Investment Banking division and worked in private equity prior to returning to Deutsche Bank in 2004 (1998-2003). Mrs. O'Connor Gardner holds a B.S. in economics and a B.A. in business administration (Walter A. Haas School of Business) from the University of California, Berkeley.
In 2019, Mrs. O'Connor Gardner was elected to the GSE Systems (Ticker: GVP) board as an independent member; she is the Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee and sits on is both the Audit and Compensation Committees. Mrs. O'Connor Gardner is a founding board member of the Haas Center for Gender, Equity & Leadership, which seeks to build the economic case for supporting workplace diversity, and is a member of the Haas Dean's Advisory Circle, which brings together the school's next generation of leaders. Finally, Mrs. O'Connor Gardner sits on the board of the CSNK2A1 Foundation, which is focused on finding a cure for an ultra-rare genetic disorder called Okur-Chung Neurodevelopmental Syndrome.
She currently resides in New York City with her husband, John Gardner, an entrepreneur and founder himself, and as well as their two children, Jack and Cole.
Jennifer Sills is the President and Founder of the CSNK2A1 Foundation. She was inspired to become an advocate for individuals and families affected by Okur-Chung Neurodevelopmental Syndrome (“OCNDS”) following the 2016 diagnosis of her daughter, Juliet (“Jules”).
For years, Jennifer and her family searched for a diagnosis to better explain the symptoms plaguing Jules since birth; some symptoms were similar to Autism while others were inexplicably different. With so few available explanations, the search to find ways to help Jules was an isolating and heartrending one. But in 2016, with the help of breakthroughs in the science of genetic testing, Jules was diagnosed with OCNDS, a rare genetic syndrome. At the time, Jennifer only knew of 5 other patients with OCNDS. Jennifer was determined to figure out how to further OCNDS research as well as find and support individuals with OCNDS. In 2018, Jen and her husband Jason launched the CSNK2A1 Foundation.
Prior to her work with the CSNK2A1 Foundation, Jennifer worked as an Estate Planning and Tax Attorney, advising local non-profit organizations on planned giving and fundraising. Jennifer is active in her own community and in other nonprofit organizations. She serves as Board Member for the Live Like Leo Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to giving young minds and their families opportunities to become global citizens, empowering them to lead their communities with compassion and inclusion in order to create a kinder and more connected world. She serves as a Board Member for BOK Ranch, a non-profit organization providing therapeutic horseback riding for clients with special needs. She also serves on the West Coast Advisory Board for the Child Mind Institute.
Jennifer received a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and her J.D. from Pepperdine University. She currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, Jason, their 2 children and their mini zoo consisting of 2 cats and 2 dogs.