Match Foundation Board of directors
Mr. Balson is the former CEO of Match Beyond. Prior to joining Match, he worked at Bain Capital, LLC from 1996-2013. During his thirteen year tenure as a Managing Director, Mr. Balson was responsible for leading private equity transactions and monitoring portfolio companies, including Applied Systems, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Burger King, Domino’s Pizza, Dunkin’ Brands, Fleetcor, Bloomin' Brands, and UGS. He has a long commitment to education reform and to the mission of Match Education. He has served as Chair of the Board of Citizen Schools and as a Trustee at The Roxbury Latin School. Mr. Balson earned his A.B. from Princeton University and MBA from Harvard University.
Mr. Beecher is the CEO of Cartera Commerce, a venture-backed, Boston-based loyalty marketing company. Cartera creates shopping portals that drive loyalty for its partners, which include large banks like Citi and JPMorgan Chase, and major airlines, including American, Delta and United. Prior to Cartera, Tom was CFO and later CEO at Imagitas and a consultant at Bain & Co.
Mr. Beecher attended Dartmouth College and Harvard Business School.
Mr. Cortez is a partner at New Profit Inc., a nonprofit social innovation organization and venture philanthropy fund, where he leads their Reimagine School Systems domain. He joined New Profit after multiple roles with the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP). Most recently, he has served as Chief of Staff, Strategy and Execution on the leadership team of KIPP Houston Public Schools. In this role, Alex led the region in creating a new long-term growth plan to double the number of schools in Houston, as well as to develop its systems and practices in annual priority-setting and data-driven management. Prior to KIPP Houston, Alex served at the KIPP Foundation as a Regional Director of Network Growth and Sustainability, working with leadership teams across the country in both large and small regions to help them respond to their biggest challenges to and opportunities for growth, performance, and sustainability.
Prior to his work with KIPP, Alex was a Manager at The Bridgespan Group where he led a variety of client engagements in education, youth development, and philanthropy. While at Bridgespan, Alex also authored several nonprofit case studies and research into mergers and collaborations in the nonprofit space. Alex started his career in for-profit management consulting working for clients in financial services, telecommunications, private equity, and state government.
Alex graduated with a B.A. in political science from Columbia University. He received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and M.P.A. from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Since 2004, Mr. Strigler has served as Vice President at Esplanade Capital, a Boston-based private investment partnership. He leads the research efforts across Esplanade’s core investment sectors: consumer products/retail, education, and solar. Prior to joining Esplanade, Mr. Strigler worked as a strategy consultant for LEK Consulting where he was exposed to a broad spectrum of industries and strategic issues. Previously, Mr. Strigler was an investment banker for Credit Suisse and JP Morgan.
Mr. Strigler is a graduate of the University of Chicago and London School of Economics and Political Science.
Mr. Vettel is a managing partner at Great Hill Partners, investing in a variety of industries, including education, healthcare, media, software and transaction processing. Prior to Great Hill Partners, Mr. Vettel was an associate at GTCR Golder Rauner, a multibillion dollar private equity investment firm, and served on the boards of companies in the technology, healthcare and media sectors. Before that he was a Senior Associate at Accenture and a founding member of PureSpeech, Inc., a speech recognition software company acquired by Voice Control Systems.
Mr. Vettel holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Management from North Dakota State University and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.
Mr. Watkins is Vice President for Programs at The Boston Foundation, where he oversees a discretionary grants fund of roughly $16 million and leads a Program Department staff of two dozen people who work across five core grant-making impact areas – Education, Health and Wellness, Jobs and Economic Development, Neighborhoods and Housing, and Arts and Culture – and two crosscutting strategy areas, Nonprofit Effectiveness and Grassroots.
Formerly Executive Vice President at Match Education, Mr. Watkins has over 20 years of experience developing and strengthening educational and community-based organizations. Prior to joining Match, he held the position of Senior Director at The Boston Foundation, with responsibility for developing philanthropic partnerships with like-minded foundations and donors who are interested in strengthening communities through data driven, high impact initiatives. Before joining The Boston Foundation, he served as Chief Development Officer for BELL, a leading national education organization. Prior to BELL, he spent several years as Vice President of Programs for the Greater New Orleans Foundation, including the years immediately following Hurricane Katrina.
Mr. Watkins is a graduate of Morehouse College and a recipient of the prestigious Echoing Green fellowship.