Joanna Rees

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Joanna Rees
Joanna Rees.jpg
Joanna Rees at the Moët Hennessy Financial Times Club Dinner, San Francisco, on September 2011
Born November 14, 1961
Montclair, New Jersey
Occupation Venture Capitalist
Employer VSP Capital
Spouse(s) John Hamm
Website
VSP Capital

Joanna Rees (born November 14, 1961 in Montclair, New Jersey) is a venture capitalist at VSP Capital [1] in San Francisco, California.

In addition to her role as the managing director at VSP, Rees filed campaign papers announcing her intent to run for Mayor of San Francisco [2] in the November 2011 election.[3]

Early life[edit]

Rees was born in Montclair, New Jersey, the daughter of Joan Rees (née Pernetti) and John Rees. Rees graduated from Montclair High School and attended Duke University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She earned her MBA at the Columbia Business School.[4]

Career[edit]

In 1985, Rees joined Groupe Danone until leaving in 1989 to attend business school at Columbia University. She graduated from Columbia and then took over a family-owned hotel business bringing her back to her hometown of Montclair, NJ.[5] After growing and selling that business, she moved to San Francisco, California in 1993 and opened Eric Restaurant in San Francisco with her now former husband, Eric Gallanter.[6][7] Rees spent eight years in investment banking with Vrolyk & Co and BA Securities.[8] In 1996, Rees formed Venture Strategy Partners. The firm's first fund was $25 million followed by $190 million and $175 million funds.[9]

Rees is Chairman of the USA Advisory Board for FON[10][11] and also serves on the boards of NewSchools Venture Fund,[12] the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship's Bay Area Board, and Duke University's Annual Fund board.[13] She previously held a 4-year term with the National Venture Capital Association. Rees is also a Lecturer of Management at the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University.[14]

Rees, along with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and fellow Silicon Valley venture capitalists John Doerr and Bill Gurley recently hosted screenings of the new educational documentary "Waiting for Superman".[15]

Rees currently serves on the Board of Directors of Endeavor, an international non-profit development organization that finds and supports high-impact entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

Wrongful conduct controversy[edit]

In 2005, VSP Capital former General Partner Matt Crisp accused Joanna Rees and Jon Hamm of misconduct at the venture capital firm. The scandal shook up Silicon Valley and investors who presumed the firm was close to collapse.[16]

In 2008, the dispute was settled. Matt Crisp said, "This brings an end to an unfortunate episode in our lives. Having had an opportunity to explore the issues in the case and reflect upon the evidence after discovery, I regret making various statements and allegations that Ms. Rees and Mr. Hamm had engaged in theft, embezzlement and certain other wrongful conduct. Those statements turned out not to be factually based. I believe we all think that it is time to move forward with our lives and careers." [17][18][19]

References[edit]

External links[edit]