Biographies

The Board of Directors is the primary policy and fundraising group for NW Venture Philanthropy (NWVP).

Dr. Jerry Barney, Founder

My reasons for starting NWVP are threefold:

  • I have the requisite time, education, experience and skills.
  • I am being encouraged by my good friend, Doug Miller, a philanthropist and founder of the venture philanthropy movement.
  • I want to set up a foundation for my own philanthropic endeavor.

My long affiliation with Olympia Kiwanis and my wife and daughter’s affiliation with the Junior League of Olympia make children’s social service a logical first choice for funding.

  • MBA, Technology and Entrepreneurship, Rensselaer University, 1997
  • Ed.D, Systems Analysis, Design and Evaluation in Education, Columbia Univ, 1975
  • MA, Education, Columbia Univ, 1970
  • BS, Education, Univ. of Kansas, 1967
  • 2002 – 2012: Director, Barney Family Companies, Houston, TX [Office buildings, oil/gas properties, land, stock/bond portfolio]
  • 2002 – 2009: President; Mark I Management, Houston, TX
  • 1995 – 2002: President; BusinessWebMaster, Olympia, WA
  • 1986 – 1995: State, County and Private Positions; Social Service Organizations, Olympia, WA
  • 1976 – 1986: Consultant, Staff and Management Positions; Oilfield Service Companies, Houston, TX
  • 1972 – 1976: Consultant; Management/Marketing Training and Development Companies, Washington, D.C.
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Organization Research/Development
  • Website Design
  • Financial Management
  • Business Analysis
  • Mental Health Services
  • Continuous Quality Improvement
  • Market Strategy Planning
  • Management Training
  • Sales Training
  • Property Management
  • Portfolio Management
  • Counseling/Group Therapy

Secretary of State Sam Reed

We are honored to announce that Sam Reed has accepted our request to be a Director of NWVP. Given the demands on his time after concluding his tenure as Washington State’s 14th Secretary of State, and the many requests he is receiving for his attention during retirement, we are extraordinarily excited about his faith in this endeavor.

Sam Sumner Reed is Washington’s 14th Secretary of State.

As the nation’s most accomplished Secretary of State in the field of elections, Sam Reed is hailed by the people of Washington for protecting their right to vote for the most qualified candidates running for public office. Reed, with the State Attorney General, took the people’s case for a wide open, Top Two Primary to the United States Supreme Court, and won. Voters can now choose any candidate on the primary ballot, regardless of political party.

Secretary Reed is widely recognized for sweeping improvements to the voting process following Washington’s contested 2004 gubernatorial race, the closest in U.S. history.

Honored with a Gonzaga Law Medal for his fair handling of the election and resulting court cases, Reed immediately championed major election reform including a new statewide voter registration system that prevents opportunity for fraud. Under new laws proposed by Reed, the Secretary of State is now authorized to thoroughly review each county’s elections procedures and correct problems. Reed successfully advocated for moving the date of Washington’s late Primary from September to August – allowing more time for staff to prepare for an election, and for ballots to reach military and overseas voters. Selected unanimously by the YMCA Youth and Government Board, Secretary Reed was a recent recipient of the Robert F. Utter Award for his servant leadership and commitment to civic engagement for youth.

Since taking office in 2000, Sam Reed has led the State of Washington into the 21st Century and secured its legacy. In 2004, he launched the nation’s first state government digital archives to rescue disappearing electronic history.

Reed fought and won the battle to save the Washington State Library, the State’s oldest cultural institution. The State Library is now a division of his office.

Throughout Reed’s past two terms in office, the Secretary has worked diligently to make Washington a more business-friendly state by allowing corporations to file electronically. Under his leadership, Washingtonians who give to charity will be better protected from scams. Thanks to Reed’s efforts, new laws are in place to strengthen transparency, accountability, and trust in charitable organizations.

Prior to his service as Secretary of State, Reed was elected Thurston County Auditor five times and served as the Assistant Secretary of State under Lud Kramer and Bruce Chapman. Governor Dan Evans appointed Reed Director of the Urban Affairs Commission and the Constitutional Reform Commission.

Secretary Reed is past President of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS). Reed also served as an advisor to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission from 2005 to 2007. Secretary Reed is currently a member of the Olympia Kiwanis Club and sits on the Washington State Historical Society Board of Trustees, TVW’s Board of Directors, the YMCA Youth and Government Board, Advisory Board for the Washington Campus Compact, and the State Capitol Committee. Secretary Reed, whose family lived in Washington in territorial days, grew up in Wenatchee. His family later moved to Spokane where Reed graduated from Lewis and Clark High School. He attended Washington State University where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Studies and Master’s Degree in Political Science.

Secretary of State Sam Reed and his wife Margie make their home in Olympia. They have two adult children, David and Kristen, and two grandchildren.


Doug Miller

Doug Miller is an American, but has lived the last 30 years in London. He has been active in the finance industry for over 35 years with senior positions in commercial lending, international leasing, investment banking and private equity. For the last 20 years, he has run his own company, International Private Equity Limited, which specializes in raising capital from institutional investors for private equity funds.

Doug was Founding Chairman of the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA) from 2004 to 2008. Doug’s charitable activities prior to EVPA have focused on international development projects, mine-clearing projects in Vietnam, Laos and Sri Lanka and minority education projects in the US and recently in England. He was also a founding trustee of Impetus Trust in the UK. Doug is presently doing initial work on launching the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) which will be a sister organization to EVPA.

Doug has pledged a substantial 5-year financial commitment to NW Venture Philanthropy.

Here is a video interview of Doug by Bloomberg News.

Liz Davis

Liz Davis is the Community Coordinator for Thurston Thrives, a collaborative initiative to improve public health and safety in Thurston County, Washington. As the co-founder and CEO of Northwest Venture Philanthropy, she also provides leadership to several other collective impact efforts at the local, regional, and state levels – including Essentials for Childhood and the Cascade Pacific Action Alliance.

Liz has more than 18 years’ experience across multiple disciplines in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, including work in the Governor’s office, the high school classroom, and the Fortune 500.

She currently serves on the executive boards of the United Way of Thurston County and the Child Care Action Council. She is a longtime member and Past President of the Junior League of Olympia and a past board member of the Association of Junior Leagues International. Additionally, she serves on the Advisory Councils of the Boys & Girls Club of Thurston County, the Community Care Center, and the Secretary of State’s Charities Division. She is a member of the statewide NEAR Speakers Bureau, focused on community education about neuroscience, epigenetics, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and resiliency.

Liz is an active volunteer and a passionate advocate for children. In 2015, she was honored as a Champion for Kids by TOGETHER! and was named one of the 40 Under Forty by the Business Examiner.

She holds a BA in English, magna cum laude, from Washington State University and a Master in Teaching from The Evergreen State College.