Board of Directors

J. Alexander Sloan


Alex has served as Chairman and President of the Excelerate Foundation and its predecessor nonprofit organization since 1991.

Beyond his work with Excelerate, Alex has spent his entire career investing in and successfully growing entrepreneurs in both for-profit and non-profit settings. Alex currently serves as Director of Strategic Partnerships at Tides, which facilitates effective grant-making programs for individual donors and institutions and also provides infrastructure and nonprofit management services to hundreds of nonprofit social ventures nationwide. Alex was previously Director of Innovation Investments and Portfolio Director at the Skoll Foundation.

Prior to shifting full-time to the philanthropic sector, Alex spent 18 years as a venture capitalist, investing in high growth companies from seed stage through IPO/acquisition in a variety of sectors, including Clean Technology, eBusiness services, enterprise software and communications services at leading venture firms Expansion Capital Partners, JPMorgan Partners and Hambrecht & Quist’s venture unit. He started his venture career at the Vietnam Fund Management Company, managing one of the first venture funds in Vietnam based in the firm’s Hong Kong and then Ho Chi Minh City offices. Alex began his career as a Presidential appointee serving as Aide to the Administrator at the US Agency for International Development.

Alex currently serves on the Steering Committee of the EYElliance, a collaborative effort by leading non-profit and for-profit actors in the eye care industry that is targeting market expansion for low-cost eye care and glasses for Base of the Pyramid consumers. Alex is also a board member of the Grass Roots Gay Rights Foundation in San Francisco.

Alex often lectures and speaks on industry panels on venture capital financing, social entrepreneurship, impact investing and sustainable technologies. Alex earned a B.A. degree in International Relations and Asian Studies from Tulane University, studied at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and holds an MBA from Cornell University.

Ernest Lewis


Ernie has been a member of the Board and the Excelerate Foundation since its inception, serves as its Secretary and served for many years on the board of its predecessor nonprofit organization.

Ernie is an ordained priest and serves as an Associate Priest at St. Martin“s Episcopal Church in Davis, California. Ernie serves on the boards of several philanthropic and cultural nonprofit organizations in the Sacramento/Davis area.

Ernie was a member of the faculty of the School of Medicine at Emory University for many years and later, until his retirement in 2001, of the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine. The author of publications in medical education, Clinical urology and basic research, Ernie is Emeritus Professor of Clinical Urology and Emeritus Associate Dean for Medical Education and Student Affairs at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine.

Ernie received the A.B. degree from California State University in Fresno and the M.D. degree from Washington University in Saint Louis. He completed his post- graduate training at Emory University in Atlanta and is certified by the American Board of Adult and Pediatric Urology, is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society.

Edward Dadakis


The Honorable Edward Dadakis has served as a member of the Board of Excelerate since its founding. He was also a founding director and officer of its predecessor nonprofit organization.

Ed is an Executive Vice President with Aon Risk Services in Stamford and New York City where he structures and develops comprehensive insurance and risk management programs for large corporate clients.

A Justice of the Peace and 30 year town legislator in Greenwich, Connecticut, Ed was first elected to the Greenwich Representative Meeting as one of its youngest members. Active in Republican party circles he is a former Chairman of the Greenwich Republican Party and currently represents Connecticut’s 36th Senatorial District on the Connecticut Republican State Central Committee, the steering organization for the Connecticut Republican Party.

Ed earned a BA in economics from the University of Connecticut.