Root Capital is pleased to welcome two new additions to our global leadership team: Amy Mullen, Chief Development Officer, and Steve Nocka, Chief Lending Officer. We recently sat down with both of them to learn more about their backgrounds and what drew them to the work of Root Capital. First off, meet our new Chief Development Officer, Amy Mullen…
Amy joins us from Oxfam America, where, from 2008 to 2018, she managed relationships with foundations, corporate funders, and bilateral and multilateral institutions to secure more than $30 million annually for the organization’s work in the US and around the globe. Her most recent role was as Director of Institutional Support, leading a team primarily focused on restricted funding for long-term development and humanitarian response programming. Prior to Oxfam, Amy was Director of Institutional Giving at the national headquarters of The Trust for Public Land (2002-2008) and managed donor relations at Sierra Club (1998-2002). Collectively, she has more than two decades of experience securing vital financial resources from a wide range of funders.
As Root Capital’s new Chief Development Officer, Amy will oversee fundraising and communications with the goal of generating broader support for our transformative work with agricultural businesses. Please join us in welcoming Amy Mullen to our global team!
What drew you to Root Capital?
I’m excited to join Root Capital because of its unique model of being both a social impact lender and technical advisor. We’re reaching agricultural businesses that would otherwise fall through the cracks—too big for microfinance but not big enough for commercial lending. As I learn more about the organization’s impact, I see the direct link to thousands of small farmers who benefit from the relationship between their co-op and Root Capital. I’m also inspired by the way Root Capital implements its work while building a knowledge base that feeds learning and impact measurement. This is critical to our ability to respond to changes at the local level. Root Capital’s relationships with clients enable us to understand the challenges that small farmers are facing and create initiatives that can help address those challenges.
What unique skills or perspectives do you bring to the table?
I’ve been working with mission-driven nonprofits for my entire career. Starting with the Sierra Club in 1998, I saw the vital role that funding and donor stewardship plays in the success of an organization and, most importantly, its ability to accomplish its mission. As I moved from Sierra Club to The Trust for Public Land and then on to Oxfam America, I knew that my greatest contribution to mission-driven work would be through fundraising, especially institutional support. My experience spans a variety of issue areas, such as environmental conservation, international development, humanitarian response, and advocacy/campaigning. In each organization, I worked across departments, with senior leadership and with satellite offices, to unite everyone around a common cause. My goal, always, is to build partnerships with supporters in order to obtain sustainable resources for our work and achieve real, lasting impact.
What are you most excited to work on?
I’m really excited to support the deepening of Root Capital’s work on climate resilience. In each of my previous organizations there was a focus on the intersection between the environment and people. For years, Root Capital has been working with clients to promote the social and environmental aspects around lending. With farmers facing increasing climate vulnerability, it's imperative that we support clients and farmers through technical assistance as they build their resiliency in order to maintain their livelihoods. Donor support will be absolutely critical to that endeavor.
What else should we know about you?
I love to travel, especially discovering new places and countries either for vacation or to see program results firsthand. I have trouble choosing a favorite trip, but the Maasai Mara Reserve in Kenya; Angkor Wat in Cambodia; Kyoto, Japan; and Washington’s North Cascades National Park are all at the top of the list. Closer to home, I enjoy exploring Boston, hiking throughout New England, and visiting friends and family.