Joanna Rees is a Managing Director at Soda Rock Partners LLC, supporting entrepreneurs to build leading high-growth companies and organizations. Joanna is also leading the formation and capital raise for Endeavor Catalyst an impact investment fund supporting high-impact entrepreneurs in emerging markets.
Joanna currently serves on the corporate board of Leapfrog Enterprises (NYSE: Leap) and Hickies Inc., a private company. Joanna also serves on non-profit boards including the New Schools Venture Fund and Endeavor Global. She previously chaired the Bay Area board for the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship.
Joanna was a candidate for Mayor of San Francisco in November 2011.
Previously, Joanna founded VSP Capital, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm where she led investments and served on the board of more than 25 venture-backed companies across a broad range of industries including Danger Inc (Acquired Nasdaq: MSFT), Sabrix (Acquired NYSE: TWX), Quinstreet (IPO Nasdaq: QNST), Stonyfield Farms (Acquired Groupe Danone), Account Now (Private), Mirra (Acquired NYSE: STX), Posit Science (Private), Post Communications (Acquired Nasdaq: NCNT). She also served on the Board of the National Venture Capital Association (“NVCA), the Coppola Companies (Francis Ford Coppola), and as Chairman of the USA for Madrid-based FON. Joanna was the co-creator of the Build Brand Value CEO forum which she ran from 1997 to 2003 as part of VSP Capital.
Joanna spent her early career in advertising and brand management. She oversaw multiple brands at Groupe Danone and also was head of new product development in the US. She started her career at Benton & Bowels (now DMB&B) working on multiple consumer brands.
Joanna is an Adjunct Professor at Santa Clara University where she teaches Leadership in the Leavey School of Business. She is a moderator at the Aspen Institute for the Henry Crown Fellowship, the Pahara Education Fellows and the Aspen Seminar. She is also a Senior Mentor in the Henry Crown Fellowship.
Joanna was selected as a Global Leader for Tomorrow by The World Economic Forum, a Henry Crown Fellow by the Aspen Institute, and a Rising Star Entrepreneur of the Year by NAWBO.
She earned her MBA from Columbia University and a BS from Duke University.