The Robert Toigo Foundation

The Team

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The Toigo team represents professionals with a long history of work within and service to the finance industry. Bringing tremendous enthusiasm and creativity into program development and delivery, Toigo has benefited from the talents each member brings and the collective impact of their work to provide support to program participants and maintain corporate engagement with the non-profit.

The ability to maintain and grow corporate engagement starts with Toigo’s consistent demonstration of accountability and excellence in its practice of cash management, always with a focus on the greatest benefit for its Fellowship participants.

MERCEDES ASKEW
Accountant
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MIKE MCFALL
Associate Director of Communications & Engagement
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NANCY SIMS
President And CEO
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ANGEL STEWART
Director of Talent Management
Angel

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NERISSA THOMAS
Director of Institutional Engagement

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Mercedes Askew

Accountant

Mercedes Askew joined Toigo in 2016 and serves as a member of the Accounting team.  In her role as Accountant, she manages aspects of the foundation’s internal accounting procedures including financial reporting, A/R & A/P, as well as the preparation and coordination of financial documents and data for the fiscal year independent audit and annual 990 filing.

Mercedes brings more than 30 years of professional accounting experience in both the private and non-profit accounting sectors including previous roles with investment management firm, Franklin Templeton, Golden Gate University and the Coalition of University Employees (CUE) to name a few.  

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Mike McFall

Communications Specialist

Mike joins Toigo as a Communications Specialist.  He has well over a decade of experience working in program management and communications in the nonprofit sector.  He has a BS in Community Development and Public Administration from Central Michigan University.  Prior to joining the Foundation, Mike served as the Communications Manager for a national health and advocacy organization.

Mike has always had a strong desire for helping people.  From working to eliminate poverty and hunger to helping give a voice to individuals and families affected by intellectual and developmental disabilities, his passion for social change has led to a life dedicated to making a positive impact in the lives of others.

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Nancy Sims

President and CEO

Nancy Sims brings 20-plus years of professional service to the financial industry within both for-profit and non-profit organizations, including her current role as President and CEO of the Toigo Foundation for more than a decade. She is recognized nationally as a passionate advocate for diversity, uncompromising integrity, transparency, collaboration and excellence in dealing across all sectors of finance, the pension fund community, academic institutions and thousands of diverse professionals.

With her groundbreaking approach to program development and delivery, Toigo has directly supported the advancement of 1,000+ minority MBAs as finance professionals and has significantly increased the brand impact of the organization, now in its 27th year of service. Through the recent launch of the Toigo Institute for Leadership Excellence Advancement and Diversity (I-LEAD) and other national programs, like Groundbreakers, Nancy has put forward initiatives that are designed to cultivate broader networking, career opportunities, leadership development and knowledge sharing among tens of thousands of women and minorities and the industry overall.

During Nancy’s tenure, Toigo has become a vocal advocate for multicultural diversity within all levels of leadership. Via coverage in media ranging from NPR, Businessweek, and The Wall Street Journal to speaking engagement and individual firm counseling, Nancy has presented the valued perspective of Toigo to industry and government on diversity practices within finance. In 2008, she was invited to testify before a U.S. House Financial Services Oversight Committee examining diversity practices with Wall Street. At the same time, Nancy’s relationship-driven leadership style ensures that she remains close to Toigo talent—and the issues minority professionals face as they mature as leaders in the industry.

Under Nancy’s leadership, Toigo has implemented a model 501(c)3 governance structure that includes engagement of a blue-chip board and operational transparency and compliance, making Toigo a standout among non-profits and mission-driven organizations. Prior to joining Toigo as its President and CEO, Nancy served as a member of the Board of Directors for five years, as a mentor to many early-stage Toigo Alumni. She served as Senior Vice President and Director of Institutional Marketing for McNeil Capital and as Vice President, Client Relations for the RREEF Funds. As Director of Human Resources at RREEF Funds, Nancy developed and launched a model program for implementing social responsibility across a range of initiatives, from minority vendor contracting to scholarships and internships.

Beyond her tireless service to Toigo, Nancy is a living example of her own “build yourself as a leader” philosophy with an unwavering passion and purpose for serving youth, including her previous role as Chair of two California non-profit organizations addressing the needs of children in the foster care system, and personally as a former foster parent to two children who remain in her life today as young adults.

Nancy received a dual Bachelor’s Degree in English and Administration and Legal Processes (pre-law) from Mills College.

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Angel Stewart

Director of Talent Management

Angel Stewart rejoined the Toigo Foundation in June of 2011 as the Director of Talent Management. Angel, who served as Executive Director of Toigo from 1993 to 1998, has remained an enthusiastic supporter and friend of the organization. At her new Toigo post, she leads the expansion of ToigoPRO™ (Professional Recruitment Opportunities)—our job placement platform—adding focused services on lateral talent placement and in growing the ToigoPRO team.

Before returning to Toigo, Angel led the recruiting efforts globally for the International Division of New York Life, recruiting for roles in New York, Hong Kong, Thailand, Korea, Mexico and India. Prior to that, Angel was the Vice President of Diversity at Morgan Stanley and later served as the Vice President of Investment Banking and Private Equity Experienced Hire Recruiting for Goldman Sachs. She has also worked as an independent consultant, advising finance firms in a mix of sectors on recruiting and retention strategies and providing executive search services. For the past three years, she has also served as an MBA Adjunct Faculty Advisor counseling students at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business about careers in finance.

Outside of work, Angel has been a volunteer in both Sacramento and New York with the NAACP ACT-SO academic olympic competition for high school students; she is the Vice President of the Board of St. Hope Leadership Academy Charter School in Harlem, and is a former board member of St. Hope Academy in Sacramento. She has also served as a Big Sister for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of New York City.

Angel is a graduate of UCLA and a native of Sacramento. She is based in New York City and works in the Oakland office each month.

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Nerissa Thomas

Director of Institutional Engagement

Nerissa Thomas joined the Foundation in October 2003 and currently serves as Director of Institutional Engagement. As a member of the Foundation’s management team, Nerissa focuses on the cultivation and participation of leading institutions via program marketing, communications, event planning oversight, and social marketing outreach.

Prior to this role, Nerissa served as Toigo’s Manager of Donor Relations and Special Events, including marketing, sales and planning for the Foundation’s annual Gala and other fundraising events. She works closely with the Foundation’s President, Board of Directors and the other members of the Toigo team to create, launch and manage institutional programs.

Before joining Toigo, Nerissa worked as an administrator and school district liaison at a nonpublic school in San Francisco focused on providing special education to emotionally disturbed children. She was previously the Development and Marketing Coordinator for the UCLA Alumni Association and a property manager for Spieker Properties, a large Bay Area-based real estate investment trust (REIT).

Nerissa is the proud mother of two.