Editor’s note: Startland News, in its capacity as a nonprofit digital magazine, is financially supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
Two high-powered women are expected to bring diverse business, investment and education backgrounds to the table of one of Kansas City’s leading entrepreneurship engines.
Susan Chambers, a five-time “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” honoree by Fortune Magazine, and Miriam Rivera, co-founder of a top seed stage venture fund in Silicon Valley focused on information technology startups, are set to join the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s Board of Trustees in June.
“We conducted a comprehensive search to find the right candidates who would add diverse and talented voices to our board to help the Kauffman Foundation eliminate barriers to entrepreneurship and education, starting first in Kansas City,” said Janice Kreamer, chairman of Kauffman’s board, in a press release. “We believe Susan and Miriam will help us carry out Mr. Kauffman’s intent and legacy, ensuring that anyone, regardless of background, can achieve success.”
Eleven Kauffman trustees advise on the foundation’s initiatives to support education in Kansas City and spur entrepreneurship locally and beyond. The nonprofit uses its more than $2 billion in assets to collaboratively help people be self-sufficient, productive citizens, the press release said.
Chambers currently serves as board chair for William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in systems and data processing, as well as serving on the Arkansas State Board of Education.
She previously worked for Kansas City-based Hallmark for 14 years, and recently retired from her role as executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Walmart — a position that reported directly to the CEO and was responsible for managing, attracting and retaining the world’s largest private workforce, according to Kauffman.
As co-founder and managing director of seed stage fund Ulu Ventures, Rivera is dedicated to increasing diversity in both the entrepreneurial and investment communities, Kauffman said. Ulu’s entrepreneurs are diverse by industry standards including about 30 percent women CEOs, 30 percent minority CEOs and 10 percent minority co-founders, according to the press release.
Rivera previously served as vice president/deputy general counsel at Google, which she joined in 2001 as the second attorney, helping build and lead an award-winning global legal department. Rivera also is the co-founder, former co-president and on the board of Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs. She is a Kauffman Fellow in venture capital, and worked for Ariba as counsel, after having co-founded angel and then venture-backed Outcome Software.
As a first-generation college student and scholarship recipient, Rivera graduated from Stanford University and continued her commitment to promoting education to low-income families, Kauffman said. She has helped raise $250 million for need-based undergraduate scholarships and endowed a scholarship fund for low-income or undocumented students at Stanford. She currently serves on Stanford’s Lead Council and the Stanford Law School Venture Fund, and previously served on a number of other Stanford boards.