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Key Players


Gareth Schweitzer

final_Gareth_Schweitzer_headshotGareth is DFB’s Co-Founder, and serves as President of the Board.  Along with his lifelong friend Nick Bernthal, Gareth has shaped this organization from its inception.  His leadership has been critical to taking DFB from a dream to a reality and helping it to grow into a vibrant national network of engaged philanthropists.  In his professional life, Gareth is the President and founding partner of Kelton Research, a market research company based in Culver City, CA, serving an impressive client list of Fortune 500 companies.  A former political journalist, Gareth was one of the youngest members of the White House Correspondents’ Association and served as an embedded reporter in Iraq.  Born in India, Gareth grew up in London and Washington, DC, lived for a year in Chile, and completed his Bachelor’s degree at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.  Owing to his travels and experiences living overseas, he is especially inspired by DFB’s international projects and the opportunity to help alleviate pressing human needs around the world.

Nick Bernthal

Nick_speaking_at_Nikkis-1Nick is DFB’s Co-Founder and has played an indispensable role in the creation of the organization, project fundraising, and chapter development.  The idea for DFB originated with Nick’s experience volunteering as a surgeon at a rural hospital in India.  When he discovered that the hospital in Orissa, India desperately needed an expansion in order to safely and effectively serve the community that depended on it, he resolved to do something to help.  Reaching out to his friends and networks, Nick formed DFB in partnership with Gareth Schweitzer, and they launched a successful fundraising campaign that enabled the hospital to build a dormitory to house visiting medical staff.  Ever since that first project, Nick has been proud to help the organization grow its impact upon a variety of causes.  A graduate of Cornell University School of Medicine, Nick is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in oncology at UCLA Medical Center.

Chapter Leaders

Kai Sakstrup

Kai_Sakstrup_-_older_headshotKai is Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Ameriprise Financial.  At Ameriprise, he leads organic and inorganic growth strategy initiatives for the Asset Management, Insurance, Annuity and Retail Adviser businesses.  Kai earned an MBA with distinction from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Kai got involved with DFB after attending and being inspired by the inaugural DFB event in Los Angeles and created the first local chapter in Minneapolis.  DFB Minneapolis continues to focus on making a tangible difference in its community, and has had a particularly strong impact upon youth organizations in the Twin Cities through its funding and its social venturing program.

Vivien Schweitzer

Vivien_Headshot1CROPPEDVivien is the sister of DFB Co-Founder, Gareth Schweitzer, and is a music critic and culture reporter for publications including the New York Times and The Economist. She also works as a writer and editor for Kelton Research. Vivien studied piano performance, languages and literature at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, the University of Sussex in England and the University of Seville in Spain, and trained as a journalist at the London College of Communications.  She still enjoys playing the piano and indulging her wanderlust with frequent travel.  An integral member of the New York Chapter, she was excited to help organize DFB's inaugural event in NY, a benefit for Saving Mothers, and is looking forward to many more successful fundraisers. 

Teddy Shin

T_Shin_Bio_PicTeddy works in Finance at Cisco in San Jose, CA in the Corporate Financial Planning group.  Before Cisco, Teddy received his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and his JD from George Washington University Law School.  He decided to get involved with DFB after learning about the charity's successes from DFB's founders.  Along with a few of his close friends, he decided to create a local San Francisco Bay Area chapter in the hopes that he can positively impact areas of social need in the community.




Explore success stories »

The DFB Community has funded some amazing projects, making a life-changing impact on people in need around the world.