Directors

 

Brett Hickey
Founder & President
Sergio Fernandez De Cordova
Director
Dr. Safi Bahcall
Director
Katherine Kennedy
Director
Max Lugavere
Creative Director
Gary Finiguerra
Legal Advisor
Dr. Brian Kantor
Director
Caitlin Paulsson
Executive Director
 
Brett Hickey
Founder & President

Brett Hickey is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and private equity/small business investor. He is the Founder and President of Availor Philanthropy Corp., a New York-based 501(c)3 and an active member of the global community volunteering his time across many charitable and non-profit organizations. Professionally, Mr. Hickey has been structuring, analyzing and managing private equity, mezzanine and U.S. Government sponsored investment funds for over a decade and is the Senior Managing Director at Star Mountain Capital, LLC, a private equity investment management company focused on U.S.-based lower-middle market mezzanine investments. Previously, Mr. Hickey formed and ran a multi-manager platform including 4 U.S. state sponsored small business investment funds through which he made over 50 investments in small and medium-sized businesses. He also has a broad array of investment banking and transactional experience completing over $8 billion of financing transactions and $16 billion in mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Hickey hopes to leverage his experience in the private sector to help improve society and the lives of the less fortunate. 

Mr. Hickey is also the Chairman of Availor Group, LLC, which includes a Social Impact Investing Fund focused on building innovative, for-profit technology-enabled companies that can make a substantial positive impact on society.  

Brief Personal Background: Mr. Hickey grew up in a city of 10,000 people in Northern British Columbia, Canada. He lost his mother to cancer at the age six and worked on the oil drilling rigs for a year in order to finance his college education. In sports, Mr. Hickey set a Canadian record in speed skating, was a Canadian gold medalist and North American bronze medalist. As a result of his experiences and passions, he decided that he wanted to make a significant contribution to society with the view that charity and “giving-back” does not need to wait until retirement. 

In 2009 Mr. Hickey committed to and launched a $100,000 education scholarship endowment for McGill University in Canada, the “Brett Hickey Best in the West Scholarship” where he completed his undergraduate degree. This scholarship was inaugurated with hopes of inspiring students and business leaders to “maximize their impact” (see official press release at www.mcgill.ca/campaign/news/newsletter3/hickey).

In 2008 he received the Pathfinders to Peace award from the Shinnyo-En Foundation alongside Morgan Freeman, Mira Sorvino and Marc Ecko for his local community service (see press release at www.prweb.com/releases/2008/03/prweb783904.htm).

In 2008 he also received the Guiding Star Award from AYUDA for the Arts (www.AYUDAfortheArts.org).

In 2006 he received the McGill University President of the Year Award for his contributions with the alumni association including founding the New York Young Alumni Association in 2002 (see official press release at www.mcgill.ca/news/2006/summer/activities/honours).

Current Philanthropic Activities Include:
Board member of the Quebec City Conference (fka the North American Venture Capital Summit), a non-profit organization which manages one of the largest invitation-only investor forums in the world focused on sustainable investing (www.QuebecCityConference.com).

Board of Advisors for the Redwoods Initiative, a non-profit venture focused on family sustainability through wealth education (www.Redwoodsinitiative.org).

Board member of the Canadian Association of New York including Chairman of the 2008 Maple Leaf Ball, the association’s most prestigious annual charity event (www.CanadianAssociationNY.org).

Board member of the McGill Alumni Association of New York and Co-Chair of McGill’s Tri-State Capital Campaign as part of the largest Canadian university fundraising campaign (http://aoc.mcgill.ca/newyork).  

Former Philanthropic Activities Include:
Former Board member and the Chairman of Networks for the New York City Chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization (www.YPO.org).

Former Member and Director of Sponsorships for the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (www.EO.org).

Former founding board member of the Young Canadians in Finance. A non-profit network focused on helping younger Canadians interested in the finance industry (www.YCIF.org).

Former Director of Sponsorships and Board member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization of New York (www.EONYC.org).
 
Education:
Brett studied business and entrepreneurship at Mount Royal College in Calgary, Canada while on the Canadian National Speed Skating Training Team; McGill University in Montreal, Canada where he played rugby and received a Bachelor of Commerce with Distinction majoring in finance and receiving a concentration in accounting.  He is also a graduate of Harvard Business School through the Owner/President Management Program for distinguished business owners with a proven track record of successfully building and managing companies.

He has completed many other business programs including "Building Your Business Through Transformational Leadership & Innovation" at the Innovatrium at the University of Michigan's campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is a frequent guest lecturer and panelist at entrepreneurial events and academic institutions such as NYU and Fordham.