Joanna Rees is committed to changing what historically has been deemed impossible in the world of startups and venture capital. As a seasoned brand marketer, company builder and investor, she has spent her career embracing the idea that “the best way to change the future is to create it”. Joanna supports entrepreneurial leaders at the intersection of brand creation, company scaling, and growth.
In addition to her work at West, Joanna currently serves on the board of FICO (NYSE: FICO), Tentrr, Prelude Fertility, Boon Supply, and Perch. Joanna has previously served on numerous boards including Care.com (NYSE: CARE), Leapfrog (NYSE: LEAP), Quinstreet (Nasdaq: QNST), The Coppola Company, National Venture Capital Association, Endeavor Global, New Schools Venture Fund, and as a Senior Partner of the B Team. Joanna was also a candidate for Mayor of San Francisco in 2011––a first-hand exercise in building a personal brand. Joanna was named a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum and a Henry Crown Fellow by the Aspen Institute, where she now moderates the Henry Crown Fellowship.
Joanna brings significant experience in venture capital, finance, and investment banking––as the Founder of VSP Capital along with roles in investment banking doing M&A and private placements––to West. With deep roots in marketing and branding, she has held several senior marketing leadership roles at Danone and DMB&B. She previously led the formation and capital raise for Endeavor Catalyst, Endeavor Global’s impact investment fund.
Joanna isn’t afraid to turn things upside down having been a gymnast at Duke University where she earned a BS in Psychology and her MBA in Finance at Columbia University. Joanna strives to create opportunities for women as the Board Chair of The Representation Project and on the board of Him For Her and its affiliated public benefit corporation, Illumyn. She loves to cook, especially when she can use the ingredients from her garden. She and her husband, John Hamm, talk leadership, play golf and bike ride, having (hopefully) successfully raised their four children.