The Dakota Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 1997 by A. Bart Holaday to focus his philanthropic efforts on initiatives that foster social entrepreneurship and enhance self-sufficiency initially in the states of North Dakota and New Mexico. From 1997 through 2010 it was managed by Holaday and his wife, Lynn, who served as foundation executive director, and his sister, Janet, foundation secretary-treasurer. Lynn was instrumental in the growth and development of the Foundation but died October 1, 2010 after a valiant fight with ALS (please find a wonderful tribute to Lynn here). Her strong support led to the Dakota Foundation making the lead gift to build the Holaday Athletic Center at the US Air Force Academy, which is named for Lynn and Bart.
Bart Holaday grew up in Jamestown, N.D., and graduated from high school there in 1960. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy and, afterwards, received a Rhodes Scholarship that took him to Oxford University in England for three years of graduate study. From Exeter College, Oxford, he earned a master's degree in politics, philosophy and economics. He also earned a law degree from George Washington University. In 2006 he received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University of North Dakota (UND), Grand Forks.
In his career, Bart spent time in both the public and private sector serving seven years in the Air Force and in senior management positions in the Defense Department, the Department of Interior and the Federal Energy Administration. In 1992 he became one of the original members of Investor’s Circle, a group of private individuals who sought to invest in companies that achieved social objectives as well as delivered a sufficient financial returns. This was the beginning of impact investing, and Holaday served on the board and vice chairman of the organization. A Chartered Financial Analyst, he retired in 2001 after 20 years in the venture capital industry as managing director of the Private Markets Group of UBS Asset Management in Chicago, where he and his team managed $19 billion in venture capital, buyouts, real estate, oil, gas and timber. Bart served as Treasurer and board member of the National Venture Capital Association, and chaired an industry task force to establish the first valuation and performance measurement standards for the industry.
Bart serves on the board of Jamestown College in his home town. At the University of North Dakota he has chaired the Center for Innovation Foundation and is involved with the university's entrepreneurship program. He also serves on the boards of Alerus Financial, Adams Street Partners in Chicago, the Air Force Academy’s Endowment and the Falcon Foundation. An energetic man with wide-ranging interests, he established the Dakota Foundation "to address social issues and enhance human capabilities through activities that combine business discipline with charitable intent."
In addition, the Dakota Foundation funds a post-graduate fellowship at Exeter College of Oxford University that each year sends a top graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy to Exeter for two years of graduate work. Holaday is recognized as one of Exeter College's top benefactors and is a member of the Court of Benefactors. At the Air Force Academy Bart was founding chairman and a board member of the U.S. Air Force Academy Endowment. As a North Dakota native, Holaday has a deep affection for the state and for the special values he describes as "a strong work ethic, personal integrity, self-reliance and straight-forward dealing." Similarly, he is committed to the people and communities of his adopted state of New Mexico where he and Lynn spent much of their time. Since 2009 he has lived in Colorado Springs and is increasingly focusing Dakota Foundation activities on suitable projects there. In 2013, he married Cathy Nolan, who serves as Vice-Chairman of the Dakota Foundation. An energetic man with wide-ranging interests, he established the Dakota Foundation "to address social issues and enhance human capabilities through activities that combine business discipline with charitable intent to help people help themselves."
Bart is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), former Air Force officer, federal civil servant, venture capitalist and philanthropist. As a cadet at the USAFA, he was a varsity athlete, class president, Cadet Wing Commander and earned a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University. In more than 20 years as a venture capitalist, he was an industry leader ultimately serving as an officer and board member of the National Venture Capital Association. He co-chaired an industry task force that established the first portfolio valuation and performance measurements standards for private equity. In these positions he advanced his vision of building the American economy based on innovation, entrepreneurship, investment and hard work. As a philanthropist, he founded the Dakota Foundation, a foundation dedicated to funding entrepreneurial, non-profit organizations that help people help themselves in achieving greater economic self-sufficiency.
Cathy grew up in Colorado and loves outdoor sports. She graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1973 and began a business career. When, in 1986, her third child, Kelsey Nolan, was born, she left the work world to raise her children and become actively involved in the community as a volunteer. She currently serves on the board of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Widowed twice, she married Bart Holaday in 2013.
Janet Holaday received a bachelor's degree in French and Spanish from Colorado College and a master's degree in accounting and business law from the University of North Dakota. She became a CPA and joined the accounting firm founded by her father, Sidney E. Holaday. It was the first father-daughter CPA firm in North Dakota. She has provided both professional and pro bono accounting and auditing services for numerous non-profit organizations in central North Dakota. She was a chapter and state officer of the North Dakota State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution for over 20 years. She is currently state registrar and genealogical consultant for three other hereditary societies and is active in organizations supporting higher education, historical preservation and genealogical research.
Edie Rossborough graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a bachelor’s degree in Communication and a minor in Business Administration. For the last twelve years Edie has been employed part-time in an administrative capacity for a small strategy consulting firm. Most recently, Edie helped to co-found greenestbeans.com, an early-stage start-up supporting the healthy-eating evolution. Greenestbeans.com is an online food networking resource that matches the consumer’s healthy eating desires to specific foods that meet their criteria. Edie is currently a member of the Communications Committee for the Education Foundation of the Kennebunks and Arundel and serves on the Board of Directors of A Place to Start, a non-profit that works with families living with Alzheimer’s. She lives in southern Maine with her husband and four children.
Justin Bronder is a Distinguished Graduate from the US Air Force Academy, where he had the good fortune to earn the first Alberta Bart Holaday Scholarship to attend Exeter College, Oxford. After completing his DPhil in Astrophysics, Justin went on to Air Force assignments at the Air Force Research Laboratory and deployed to the Middle East to support rapid acquisition programs for US Special Operations Command. In 2010, Justin graduated from the USAF Test Pilot School and then led test programs on the CV-22 and various C-130 aircraft while being named Air Force Materiel Command’s Flight Test Engineer of the Year in 2013. Selected for the Olmsted Scholarship that same year, Justin and his family moved to Poland, where he is currently studying at Adam Mickiewicz University. Justin has been an active volunteer in science education outreach programs for both children and adults throughout his career.
Erin Finger grew up in Louisville, KY and graduated from the US Air Force Academy with a major in Political Science and a minor in Spanish. She attended the University of Oxford as a Holaday Scholar, earning an M.Phil. in Comparative Government. Erin served in the active duty Air Force as a Special Agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, leading federal investigations and specializing in major procurement contract fraud. Erin transitioned to civilian life in 2012 and is currently working in Global Financial Crimes Compliance at Bank of America, in Charlotte, NC. Erin has played the cello since the age of four and enjoys traveling, yoga, and cooking. She is an Afghanistan war veteran.
Katrina Hancock is a Strategy and Fundraising Consultant working with a number of UK based charities which are aiming to set up or develop their strategic philanthropic initiatives. Clients include those in the Higher Education, Healthcare, and Children's Services sectors and her work includes mentoring, capacity building, and strategy development and implementation. She was previously the Director of Development and Alumni Relations at Exeter College, Oxford, Oxford where she raised over £50m which has funded the creation of a portfolio of student scholarships and bursaries, an endowment for teaching and research posts, and the creation of the new Cohen Quadrangle which provides 90 student study bedroom and 21st century teaching facilities. Under her leadership there, the undergraduate alumni participation rate rose to 49% in 2014, the 700th Anniversary Year. - the highest globally in Higher Education outside the USA She is a strategic thinker and leader who is passionate about enabling individuals and organisations to partner together and transform the lives of others through effective philanthropy. She serves as a trustee and Board Member of her local branch of the UK initiative, Street Pastors, and theological college (seminary), Wycliffe Hall.
Brett Holaday comes to us with a background in Real Estate and event planning. She studied US History at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and is a member of the Delta Gamma Sorority. She also has her private pilot’s license, and enjoys flying when she has the time! Brett has traveled to 22 countries and is now happily settled in Dallas with her fiancé. She grew up in a family where giving was always a priority, no matter what level. She has been a Big Sister in the Big Brother/Big Sister program, is a volunteer docent at the Dallas Arboretum, and sits on the Host Committee for the Nexus Foundation in Dallas, Texas.
Will Kusler grew up in Kulm, ND and attended the University of North Dakota for both his undergraduate Finance degree and M.B.A. While attending UND, he was a member of their football team and contributed to a national championship and national runner-up. Additionally, Will was one of the original five managing and founding directors of the Dakota Venture Group. Through this organization, he was introduced to the Dakota Foundation and has served as its North Dakota representative for several years. Currently, Will is the Location Manager at Markit County Grain, LLC. He is a very active volunteer for his local Special Olympics chapter, serving as the head powerlifting coach for the last five years. Will lives in Grand Forks with his wife and two children.
Kelsey attended Cate School, a boarding preparatory high school in Santa Barbara, then graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Art History and Economics at Scripps College in Claremont, CA. She spent her Junior year of college studying abroad in Rome, Italy, indulging in her love of international travel. A Colorado Springs native, Kelsey returned to the activity-luring mountains with a job in Corporate Event Management at Destination Services (DSC). Her position as Account Manager enables her to promote and nurture Colorado’s hospitality industry, managing local vendors and hoteliers to create successful company product launches, retreats, conferences, meetings and the like. Kelsey’s nascent philanthropic interest began as a volunteer for the City CDBG Fund Allocations Committee via the Pikes Peak United Way in 2012, and will continue to burgeon as she serves on the Advisory Board for the Dakota Foundation.
Andrew Sellers grew up in Colorado Springs and graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy as the valedictorian of his class. He attended the University of Oxford as a Holaday Scholar and a Truman Scholar, earning both a Master's degree and a PhD. Andrew served as a U.S. Air Force Senior Cyberspace Operations Officer with expertise in large-scale heterogeneous network design, deep-web data extraction, and data theory who led enterprise network modernization and design efforts for the Air Force and large Dept. of Defense initiatives. He concluded his Air Force service as an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He is an Iraq war veteran. Andrew is a Co-Founder at Fractal Industries where he is the Chief Technology Officer.
Originally from Albuquerque, NM, Peter B. Villella currently lives in Greensboro, NC, where he teaches History at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. He holds a Ph.D. from UCLA and a B.A. from the University of Virginia, and has authored several works on Latin American history. He has lived, worked, and volunteered throughout the world, including Mexico, Spain, Brazil, Ecuador, and the UK, and speaks Spanish and Portuguese.
Ron founded Bancroft & Company in 1985 to provide strategic consulting to medium-sized growth companies. Earlier in his business career, Mr. Bancroft spent twelve years learning the ropes of strategic consulting with McKinsey & Company. While at McKinsey, he was part of the team that collaborated with Tom Peters and Bob Waterman in the work that led to the management classic In Search of Excellence. Leadership and service have been consistent themes throughout Ron's life. He is an honors graduate of the United States Naval Academy, where he commanded the Brigade of Midshipmen. A Rhodes Scholar, Ron earned a Master's Degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Oxford University. Ron resides outside Portland, Maine with his wife, Sally. They are active in their church and their community.
Bruce Gjovig is CEO, entrepreneur coach, and founder of the UND Center for Innovation Foundation, a program focused on innovation, entrepreneurship, private investment and entrepreneur ecosystem, Launched in 1984, the Center has been actively involved in over 740 entrepreneurial ventures and product introductions, raised over $200M in entrepreneur capital, and their entrepreneur clients have created more than 6,800 jobs in North Dakota and Northwest Minnesota. In 2008, Sir Gjovig was presented with the Knight of the First Class, Royal Norwegian Order of Merit by HM King Harald V of Norway. In 2014 he was presented the national Ronald Reagan Award by CPAC for his 30 years of promoting free enterprise, innovation and entrepreneurship. He is included in Who’s Who in Finance & Industry and Who’s Who in America.
Warren Langley is a consultant and private investor in San Francisco with interests in trading and market structure in electronic markets and the strategic use of technology in shaping businesses and e-commerce. He was the Managing Principal of the GuruWizard Fund, LLC, an early-stage venture fund, investing in businesses related to the individual interest of one of the Fund’s three Principals from 2001 until 2013. He is a part of the growing community of investors who integrate impact investing and market-based mechanisms to solve critical societal issues with special emphasis in education, health, and economic development for low-income populations. Mr. Langley is a 1965 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, holds a Masters degree in Astronautical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology obtained in 1966, and received his Ph.D. in Operations Research from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1973. He is married to Ann Tonkin, and is the father of two daughters: Anne Langley of Baltimore, and Kasey Langley of Seattle.