The EIF investment team comprises James Everett, Devin Whatley, Geoffrey Eisenberg, and Sasha Brown. The team members have complementary skills and backgrounds and take responsibility for leading different areas of the fund’s work. James uses his extensive sector knowledge and investment analysis experience to lead EIF’s research, due diligence, and strategy development. Devin draws upon significant financial training along with more than 20 years experience managing operations and start-up ventures to lead finance and operations-focused due diligence; he also manages the EIF’s day-to-day operations. Principal Geoffrey Eisenberg works with James on investment due diligence and strategy development. Sasha supports due diligence, strategy development, firm operations, and financial structuring.
One of the EIF’s key points of differentiation is each team member’s demonstrated passion for sustainability. The team has not happened upon cleantech as the next hot investment thesis, as have many investors competing in the space. Rather, each member of the group has been personally committed for many years to the mission of identifying and promoting environmentally sustainable, profitable businesses.
James Everett is a partner at the Ecosystem Integrity Fund, where he leads the investment team. His responsibilities include setting strategy, leading research, overseeing the investment due diligence process, and generating deal flow. James is also actively involved in the ongoing management of the fund’s investments, and currently serves or has served as a director on the boards of Zep Solar, Clean Fund, T-Rex, SynchroNet, and iVeridis. He is a board observer at Synova, OneEnergy Renewables, and Complete Solar.
James has been a student of sustainability for more than 20 years. During that time, he has held a range of professional positions related to conservation, natural resources, and investment analysis.
Before co-founding the Ecosystem Integrity Fund, James served as Director of Research and then Partner at Aquillian Investments beginning in early 2007. At Aquillian, James led all investment research, due diligence and strategy development. Prior to joining Aquillian, he was Conservation Finance Manager for the Pacific Forest Trust, where he conducted financial analysis of forestland acquisition opportunities and led marketing of carbon offsets generated from sustainable forest management. James managed integrated conservation and development projects as a Natural Resource Management Specialist for the World Conservation Union in Iran. Previously, James worked in commercial finance with GATX Capital, where he conducted financial analysis and due diligence on investments in rail, air, marine, distributed power generation, telecommunications and natural resources.
James has also worked in timberland investment and management with Wagner Forest Management; led a research and demonstration center for sustainable and renewable technologies; worked for a photovoltaic systems integrator on installation of some of the first grid-tied PV systems in the San Francisco Bay Area; and has run his own arboricultural consulting business. He is additionally an ISA-certified arborist and has been a passionate organic gardener and naturalist since early childhood.
James holds a Master of Forestry degree from Yale University and a BS in Environmental Policy and Management from Humboldt State University; he also completed the UC Berkeley Venture Capital Executive Program.
Devin Whatley is a partner at the Ecosystem Integrity Fund, and leads deal structuring and negotiations, assists with the fund strategy, and is also responsible for much of the firm’s financial and operations-focused due diligence. Given his background, Devin is actively involved with the management and oversight of the Ecosystem Integrity Fund’s portfolio companies. He serves as a director on the boards of KeVita, Synova, OneEnergy Renewables, Complete Solar, and GLUKOS. He is or has been an observer on the boards of Zep Solar, Clean Fund, iVeridis, and SynchroNet.
Devin’s background is as a sustainability-focused entrepreneur, with significant experience in operations, sales, and finance. He began his career in the film business, where he developed and honed his operations and cost-management skills as the producer of more than 50 large-budget commercials and music videos. During this time, he nurtured a growing fascination for environmental sustainability, and became a passionate student of green business.
Looking for a way to use his diverse skill set as a “triple-bottom-line” entrepreneur, in 2000 Devin launched a gourmet, organic home delivery and packaged food business that catered to the Hollywood elite. From an initial $10,000 investment, Devin rapidly grew the firm, exiting it within three years to a larger natural food manufacturer in the region. Subsequently, Devin was the general manager of a start-up organic winery that he grew to profitability and also developed and ran a luxury yoga retreat business near Santa Barbara.
After a brief stint at his family’s award-winning mutual fund, where he worked with the investment team and institutional sales group, Devin became a partner at Aquillian Investments and subsequently at the Ecosystem Integrity Fund.
Devin is a CFA Charterholder and has an MBA from Wharton. He graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA’s Honors Division, where he was both an Alumni Scholar and Regents’ Scholar, earning a joint degree in Business and East Asian Studies.
Geoffrey Eisenberg is a Principal at the Ecosystem Integrity Fund, and has been a member of the EIF investment team from its inception. His responsibilities include investment due diligence, sector research, strategy development, and deal sourcing. Geoff also works directly with EIF’s portfolio companies on strategy, corporate finance, and business development. Geoff serves as a board observer for T-Rex.
Prior to joining EIF, Geoff worked as a Senior Consulting Associate at Cambridge Associates, a global institutional investment consulting firm. While at Cambridge, he provided investment counsel to institutional, pension, and ultra high net-worth clients. Geoff also conducted due diligence on investment managers, and helped clients build diversified and sophisticated portfolios across asset classes. He initiated the firm’s 2007 white paper on cleantech investing for institutional clients, and conducted extensive research on the cleantech industry, including company and venture capital/private equity fund analysis.
In addition to his role at EIF, Geoff is a mentor for the Hawaii Energy Exelerator, helping clean energy start-ups scale. He also serves as a director to the Forsythia Foundation, a non-profit focused on the commercialization of safer green chemistry replacements for toxic chemicals in our products and environment.
Geoff holds a BA in History and Philosophy from Bates College in Lewiston, ME.
Sasha Brown is a Principal at the Ecosystem Integrity Fund. Her responsibilities include investment due diligence, strategy development, process management, deal sourcing, and portfolio company support. She assists with system and sector analysis, firm operations, and financial structuring.
Prior to joining EIF, Sasha was a Principal at NewWorld Capital Group, where she co-led investments of more than $100M into growth-oriented companies in residential solar, diesel pollution reduction, and power electronics. In her role, she focused on origination, diligence, closing, portfolio management, board activities, and fundraising. Her deals included SolarEdge Technologies, which had a successful IPO in 2015, and Astrum Solar, which was sold to Direct Energy.
Drawing on her industry background, Sasha has developed specialized expertise with respect to residential solar, the built environment, HVAC, and environmental consulting and engineering. She also led the establishment of the firm’s institutional practices for growth investments and processes for continual improvement.
Before joining NewWorld, Sasha worked in J.P. Morgan’s Natural Resources Group, and previously for Environmental Capital Partners, a private equity firm investing in middle market companies in the environmental industry. Prior to Environmental Capital Partners, Sasha worked at Atelier Ten, an environmental design firm providing consulting services to the building industry. At Atelier Ten, she focused on building energy models to optimize the energy cost and consumption patterns of buildings. She also worked on general environmental design consulting, including systems performance analysis, benchmarking, and strategic sustainability planning.
Sasha serves as Board Director at PosiGen Solar Solutions, a provider of integrated solar and energy efficiency services to low-to-middle income homeowners in Louisiana, Connecticut, and New York. She also co-founded the Discovery Circle, a network of family and friends of children and adults with disabilities.
Sasha received a BS in Environmental Engineering from Yale University and holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management. While at Yale, she Co-Chaired the university’s Private Equity Conference and completed a research thesis evaluating sustainability metric systems for the built environment.
Christina Zimmermann is an Associate at the Ecosystem Integrity Fund. Her responsibilities include sector research, deal sourcing, investment due diligence, and portfolio company development.
Most recently, she served as a strategic advisor on sustainable investment at New Mountain Capital, a private equity firm investing in defensive growth sectors. Previously, as Managing Director, Christina led ESG strategy at Wellington Management Company, where she and her research team helped identify and assess environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities within investable companies alongside portfolio managers. While at Wellington, Christina met with the senior management teams of hundreds of portfolio companies to encourage them to improve their ESG practices and implement innovative solutions for addressing environmental challenges related to climate change.
Prior to joining Wellington in 2011, Christina worked at the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), an initiative of the United Nations. As one of the PRI’s first employees, Christina played a key role in growing the organization, which now includes 1,800 signatories representing over $70 trillion in assets under management. Christina was also instrumental in educating pension funds, family offices, and endowments across the globe on incorporating ESG considerations into their investment plans.
Christina received a B.S. degree in economics from Trinity College and an M.B.A. from the MIT Sloan School of Management. While at MIT, Christina pursued her passion for exploring how emerging technologies can help solve the world’s most pressing challenges. She presented at the MIT Sustainability Summit, collaborated with Harvard’s Next Gen Impact Investing Program, and contributed to Sloan’s first class on artificial intelligence.