About

Who we are

We are a NYC-based team of passionate people with experience in impact investing, cleantech finance, private equity, sustainability, engineering and investment management. To us, investing is about more than money—it’s about creating a stronger economy, environment, and society.

Team

Core Team

Umber Bawa

CEO
Founder, wayward economist, visceral realist

Umber Bawa led project finance and strategic initiatives at Spirae, a Colorado-based cleantech firm. There, he oversaw the creation of financial models for renewable-based microgrid and smart city projects, and led smart city initiatives in North America and Europe. He has served on the New York REV Market & Technology Design Working Groups and participated in the Maryland Microgrid Resiliency Task Force. Among his friends, Umber is known for preparing a mean cup of tea and adorning unwitting sentences with Bowie lyrics.

Katryn Bowe

Co-Founder & Head of Impact
Novice homesteader, painter, urban farmer

Katryn joined rabble with an international development background spanning foreign assistance policy and development finance. Katryn has worked on impact investing issues at the Emerging Market Private Equity Association, a social-impact investment firm in Mexico, and the International Finance Corporation. Prior to receiving her MA in development economics from Johns Hopkins SAIS, Katryn focused on water & sanitation challenges at several non-profit and multilateral organizations. She is working towards Level II of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) program.

Ted Chang

Head of Investments
Foodie, comedy movie lover, gadget geek

Ted has over 16 years of combined experience in the financial industry and high-tech industry. He has background in analyzing real estate backed fixed income trading and investment portfolios for large financial institutions (Fortune Global 500 firms). His previous experiences also include banking regulatory risk capital analysis. Earlier in his career, he built large-scale statistical analysis tools for the high-tech industry. He is now leveraging these skills to advise rabble to build a robust business model that generates sensible returns while creating a positive impact for the communities across America.

Matt Chiste

CTO
Boating enthusiast, home automation guru, Internet of Things blogger

Matt is a serial entrepreneur in the IT field who brings an extensive background in technology startups to rabble. Previously, Matt co-founded TriActive Technologies, a venture-backed IT startup that develops SaaS solutions, and the IT consulting firms Integryst and Function1. Matt also served as the Worldwide Technical Manager at BEA Systems (later acquired by Oracle), where he advised dozens of public and private sector clients on complex enterprise architecture issues.

Erin Bellsey

Director of Marketing
Cheese connoisseur, master multi-tasker, hip-hop impresario

Erin Bellsey is the Director of Marketing at Rabble. Erin joined Rabble with a background in digital marketing and brand strategy at top consumer brands. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Davis, she joined Google from August 2008 to October 2013, where she managed YouTube and Display marketing strategies for retailers, built and trained a local team in Brazil, and co-launched the BrandLab, a digital marketing think tank for brands at YouTube headquarters. After leaving Google, Ms. Bellsey worked on business development projects for Eataly, an Italian food and wine marketplace and as an MBA Business Development Intern at PayPal. Erin also led brand strategy for top luxury and tech companies at Millward Brown Vermeer, a marketing consultancy firm. Erin holds a Masters in Business Administration from INSEAD in France.

Margaret Thomas

Social Enterprise Manager
Country music lover, outdoor cooking expert, returned Peace Corps Volunteer

Maggie is a graduate student at Columbia University’s School of International Public Affairs studying Economic and Political Development with a background in community development in Central America.

Advisors

Rory Christian

Director, New York Clean Energy, Environmental Defense Fund

As EDF’s Director, New York Clean Energy, Rory Christian focuses on energy and clean air in the New York region. Rory currently leads EDF’s work scoping smart grid development in New York City and other high-density urban settings, developing opportunities for financing energy projects and the NYC clean heat campaign.

Before joining EDF, Rory was the Director of Energy Finance and Sustainability for the New York City Housing Authority. Prior to his role at NYCHA, Rory worked to develop the Public Sector Business unit of Constellation Energy, where he developed new business products and tailored internal operations to effectively pursue opportunities with federal, state, and local government agencies.

Patricia J. Lancaster

President, The Lancaster Group; Professor, NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate

Patricia J. Lancaster, FAIA is the President of The Lancaster Group, a capital program management and consulting firm, and a full Professor in the Masters Program at NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate. She is a New York State Registered Architect with more than 25 years’ experience in public/private real estate partnerships, teaching, and public service for the City of New York. From 2002 to 2008, she was Commissioner of the New York City Department of Buildings. As Buildings Commissioner, Lancaster was responsible for setting local construction standards, enforcing the Building Code and Zoning Resolution for more than 975,000 buildings, and regulating New York City’s $35 billion per year construction industry.

Patricia Lancaster is the author of Construction in Cities: Social, Environmental, Political and Economic Concerns. She earned her Master of Architecture degree from the University of Washington in Seattle and her Bachelor of Arts in Art and Theology from Linfield College in Portland, Oregon. In addition to being a Registered Architect, Lancaster is a licensed real estate broker and a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Construction, and the American Institute of Architects.

Daniel LoFrisco, PE, LEED AP

Senior Associate, WB Engineers + Consultants
CrossfFit aficionado, urban explorer, unabashed nerd

Professional Engineer and Project Manager with 10 years of experience related to land development and building infrastructure systems. Dan leads multi-discipline teams to complete complex projects. As director of projects for Rabble, Dan is responsible for vetting project feasibility and due diligence coordination, as well as monitoring the design and construction phases.

I am driven to apply my technical knowledge and construction experience towards meaningful projects which benefit the community.

Tom Lemmo

General Counsel, Gin Lane
Semi-pro Big Green Egg cook, automotive enthusiast, Husky lover

Tom started off his career with a background in Mechanical Engineering, which quickly morphed into an interest in intellectual property law. Shortly after graduating law school he joined a small boutique firm that specialized in all matters related to the tech/VC space. While at the firm Tom worked as an outside general counsel to many tech start-ups in NYC, and also assisted various companies and funds with matters related to venture financings. After fours year in the firm world, which included becoming part of the largest firm in the world, Dentons, Tom left to become general counsel of Gin Lane, which is a design and development agency in Downtown NYC. His day-to-day at Gin Lane is spent on our in house legal matters, along with many different operational and management matters, which includes the formation of Gin Lane’s new venture arm.

I joined rabble because I am intrigued by its unique use of cutting edge fundraising technologies mixed with smart, thoughtful revival/creation of real projects that will affect our everyday lives.

Jason Morganroth

Partner, Capital Solutions

Jason is an adviser and co-founder of rabble. In addition to advising the team on creating financial instruments and investment vehicles for new investments, Jason is also the resident executive chef and sommelier for the firm. He enjoys long philosophical conversations on the future of urban spaces with the CEO and Head of Impact (especially while walking on the beach).

Jason is partner at Capital Solutions, Inc. and is focused on originating and structuring principal investments and creating new partnership; he has expertise in acquiring and financing institutional quality real estate across the medical office and life science, retail, multifamily, and senior living sectors.

Signe Nielsen

Principal of Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects; Fellow, ASLA; Professor of Urban Design and Landscape Architecture, Pratt Institute; President, Public Design Commission of the City of New York

Signe Nielsen has been practicing as a landscape architect and urban designer in New York since 1978. Her body of work has renewed the environmental integrity and transformed the quality of spaces for those who live, work and play in the urban realm. Key threads of her work are to create new open spaces within challenged communities and to improve access to recreational resources. A Fellow of the ASLA, she is the recipient of over 100 national and local design awards for public open space projects and is published extensively in national and international publications. Ms. Nielsen believes that advocacy and education are critical avenues to address change in the urban environment and has served on numerous task forces and authored many position papers.

In addition, Ms. Nielsen is a Professor of Urban Design and Landscape Architecture at Pratt Institute in both the Graduate and Undergraduate Schools of Architecture and currently serves as President for the Public Design Commission of the City of New York. Born in Paris, Ms. Nielsen holds degrees in Urban Planning from Smith College; in Landscape Architecture from City College of New York; and in and in Construction Management from Pratt Institute.

Nicole Pontes

Strategist, BBMG
Brazilian fire-cracker, bike enthusiast, zero-waste guru

Nicole has a background in sustainability, branding and innovation. She works with mission-driven companies to scale their impact and with Fortune 100 companies to embed purpose into their DNA and help transform the way they do business. She advises rabble on branding and marketing.

The current skepticism around “big money” and the momentum around alternative, sustainable business models all indicate the time is ripe for an idea like rabble. Investors are looking for solutions that align with their values.

Mathew Sachs

VP of Distributed Energy Development, National Grid

Mathew is driven by the opportunity to play a small part in the big changes undergoing how we use, produce and store energy. He is currently the Vice President, Distributed Energy Development at National Grid, where he is responsible for developing and evaluating opportunities to further the deployment of distributed energy assets. Previously, Mathew led originations for KRoad DG, a PE platform focused on monetizing new business models that employ energy storage and other dispatchable DERs.

Mathew first entered the energy industry as a founding member of Yingli Green Energy’s American subsidiary, where he severed on its leadership committee through its rise to world’s largest solar panel manufacture. At Yingli he built and led the sales and operations teams and later spearheaded corporate development efforts. Prior to solar, he led teams within PwC’s Strategy Group in the formulation of growth strategy, facilitation of new market entry and evaluation of strategic acquisitions for leading private equity firms and Fortune 500 clients.

Mathew also worked at Honeywell (NYSE:HON), Praxair (NYSE:PX), and semiconductor equipment manufacturer Heller Industries, focusing on business development and product design. He holds an MBA from Cornell University and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from SUNY Buffalo. Mathew lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two daughters, who consistently remind him that anything is possible.