Ben Walton is a father, architectural designer, investor, philanthropist, and co-founder of ZOMALAB.
He is deeply committed to the communities where he and his wife, Lucy Ana, grew up and now raise their children: Colorado and Chile.
With Lucy Ana, Ben co-founded ZOMALAB where he focuses on creating economic opportunities through workforce development; catalyzing and investing in scalable solutions that advance energy and water efficiency; and improving perinatal mental health screening and support.
Ben works intentionally to bring partners together to enable coordination and increase capacity to address the challenges his home communities face. With partners, he played a leadership role in bringing City Year to Denver, spearheaded the launch of TechStars’ workforce and sustainability accelerators, and created ZOMALAB’s first-ever SyncUp Colorado Workforce Design Challenge. Ben is also a founding partner in Enduring Earth, a nonprofit partnership with Pew Charitable Trusts, The Nature Conservancy, and World Wildlife Fund, committed to accelerating large-scale nature conservation and community economic development worldwide through the Project for Permanence (PFP) approach.
Ben is Chairman of the board at Walton Enterprises, Inc. and has been active on the boards of City Year Denver (past co-chair), Denver Children’s Advocacy Center, Children’s Hospital of Colorado, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Sustainable Settings, Graland Country Day School and Choate Rosemary Hall.
Ben studied Psychology and Economics at Georgetown University and holds a degree from the University of Colorado in environmental design with a focus in architecture.
Lucy Ana Walton
Lucy Ana Walton is a mother, child psychologist, philanthropist, investor, and co-founder of ZOMALAB.
With her husband Ben, she co-founded ZOMALAB where they focus on issues that reflect their passions and personal experiences in the places they call home: Colorado and Chile.
Motivated by her own experience with perinatal mental health and confronted with a system not designed to provide comprehensive care, for over a decade, Lucy Ana has focused on parental support from conception to five. More specifically, she is dedicated to promoting perinatal mental health through timely universal diagnosis and access to the necessary care and support during this crucial stage. Lucy Ana is also committed to improving access to quality resources and support to help parents be well informed about their child’s development, and to help children and families heal from the trauma of abuse and neglect. To address these issues and others on the ground in Chile, Lucy Ana founded Fundación Viento Sur in 2014.
Lucy Ana is also focused on driving social and environmental impact through scalable investments in sustainable consumer products and solutions that benefit local communities through a circular and regenerative economic model.
Lucy Ana serves as board chair for Fundación Viento Sur, as a board member for Socialab in Chile and previously volunteered as a therapist at the Denver Children’s Advocacy Center, caring for Spanish-speaking children who have experienced maltreatment.
She is a licensed child psychologist in Chile and received a psychology degree from The Universidad del Desarrollo.
Chief Executive Officer
Valeria Alberola serves as the Chief Executive Officer of ZOMALAB, the family office of Ben and Lucy Ana Walton. As CEO, Valeria Alberola leads and oversees all the family office’s initiatives, including investments and philanthropic efforts to accelerate progress in the areas of workforce, energy, water, community economic development and early childhood development in Colorado and Chile.
Valeria brings over 25 years of international experience in corporate finance, investment banking, operations and strategic management consulting. Prior to joining ZOMALAB, Valeria was the CFO of Bridge Education Group, an international education company, where she helped scale the organization to 10 locations in the USA and Latin America to serve over 3,000 students annually. Previously, she was a partner at Q Advisors, a Denver and San Francisco-based investment banking firm, where she executed over $800 million in private and public transactions, including mergers and acquisitions and debt and equity financings for technology and telecommunications clients in the U.S. and internationally. Prior to Q Advisors, Valeria was the Director of Business Development for VeloCom, an international telecommunications company, where she participated in acquisition and capital raising activities exceeding $2 billion. Prior to VeloCom, Valeria was a strategic management consultant with McKinsey & Company in Santiago, Chile, and an equity analyst with Citigroup in São Paulo, Brazil.
Valeria serves on the board of Clarivate (NYSE: CLVT), a global information services and analytics company, and on the board of Vantage Data Centers, an international hyperscale data center provider. Valeria is also a founding board member of Endeavor Colorado and a past board member of Colorado’s Technology Association, Graland Country Day School, OpenWorld Learning and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver.
Valeria received a B.S. in Economics and Business Administration from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where she was a Fulbright scholar. She is fluent in four languages, including Spanish, French and Portuguese.
ZOMA Capital Team
Managing Director, ZOMA Capital
Ryan Smith is a Managing Director at ZOMA Capital where he leads the investment strategies across the energy, water and community economic development sectors.
Prior to ZOMA Capital, Ryan was a Director of the Customized Fund Investment Group (“CFIG”) at Credit Suisse and GCM Grosvenor. CFIG is one of the largest global investors in private equity, with $20 billion under management. In this role, Ryan was responsible for establishing the firm’s alternative energy practice, as well as for leading the impact and sustainability verticals.
Ryan currently serves on the advisory board of Riverstone Pattern Energy II, L.P., and as an observer to the boards of Jetti and OnPoint Medical Group. Previously, Ryan served as an observer to the board of directors of Crystal IS, Invenergy, Pinova, SmartSynch, SolarReserve, TAS Energy and Zeropoint. He also served on the limited partner advisory board of Energy Capital Partners, US Renewables Group, and Cortec Group.
Ryan graduated with a B.A. in American Studies and Psychology from the University of Notre Dame.
Director, ZOMA Capital
Laura Pinnie is a Director at ZOMA Capital, where she primarily leads investment strategies related to workforce development.
Before joining ZOMA Capital, Laura worked on the Social Finance team at JPMorgan where she oversaw a portfolio of debt and equity impact investments with exposure to a range of emerging market geographies and sectors. Prior to joining Social Finance, Laura was a credit analyst covering government and non-profit clients at JPMorgan.
Laura currently serves on the advisory board of SemperVirens Capital Fund and TwoSigma Impact Fund, as well as the Programmatic Investment Committee of The Women’s Foundation of Colorado. Previously, Laura served as a board member of Techtonic Group and StartUp Colorado.
Laura holds a B.S. from Wake Forest University.
Seth Peyla is a Vice President at ZOMA Capital where he focuses on diligence and deal execution for investments primarily in energy, workforce, and community economic development sectors.
Seth was previously an investor at Advantage Capital, a leading provider of equity and debt financing to established and emerging companies located in communities underserved by conventional sources of capital. Prior to Advantage, he was Chief of Staff at ConData Global, the world's largest developer of freight and parcel audit technology solutions and a portfolio company of Chicago-based private equity firm NextGen Growth Partners. There he co-led sales and marketing efforts with the CEO and Director of Sales and Marketing. Before ConData, he was an Associate at the private equity investment and advisory firm Kingfish Group, where he sourced, evaluated, and executed investment opportunities alongside senior industry executives and Kingfish's co-investment firms. Before Kingfish, he was a Strategy Analyst at Accenture in San Francisco, where he advised technology and consumer products companies on growth strategy, cost reduction, and operating model transformation initiatives.
Previously, Seth was an ex-officio board member of Lawrence Hall, a community-based service agency committed to healing the effects of childhood trauma.
Seth earned a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations, with honors, from Cornell University and spent his junior year studying abroad at Oxford University (Pembroke College). He received an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is a CFA® charterholder.
ZOMA Foundation Team
Director of Programs
Blake serves as Director of Programs for ZOMA Foundation, guides the foundation’s philanthropic strategy and oversees the strategic direction of the foundation’s programs. He specializes in the development and execution of impact strategies and brings experience in education, workforce development, energy, community economic development, conservation, agriculture, and water and sanitation.
Prior to ZOMALAB, Blake spent more than a decade working across social impact. He was a Manager at Prosono, where he provided strategy and operations expertise to non-profits and social enterprises. Prior to Prosono, he co-launched a social enterprise and led market-based development projects for iDE, an international NGO working in Africa and Asia.
Blake has a B.A. in International Relations and a M.A. in Global Finance, Trade, and Economic Integration from the University of Denver. He is an alumnus of the American Express Leadership Academy and previously served as the Secretary of the Board for Elephant Energy.
Senior Grants Manager
Theresa Edwards is the Senior Grants Manager at ZOMALAB where she manages ZOMA Foundation’s grants administration process and the grant portfolio in Early Childhood Development.
Theresa is an experienced nonprofit manager who excels with systems and process improvement. Prior to her time with ZOMALAB, Theresa spent several years organizing nonprofit development teams, and strengthening new initiatives in the fields of fundraising, entrepreneurship, and youth development.
Theresa earned a B.A. in Psychology from Shippensburg University of PA, an M.P.P. from the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Kentucky, and an M.S. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Kentucky.
ZOMA Holdings Team
Senior Estate Manager
Tina Moodie is the Senior Estate Manager at ZOMA Holdings, where she leads the property management team and personal service infrastructure. Prior to ZOMA Holdings, Tina served as the Chief of Staff for a family office in San Francisco and brings over 18 years of experience in the hospitality industry including operations, project and asset management.
Tina graduated with an M.B.A. from the University of Alabama.
Office and Property Manager, ZOMA Holdings Chile
Elizabeth Troncoso is the Office and Property Manager for ZOMA Holdings’ operations in Chile.
Prior to joining ZOMA Holdings, Elizabeth worked as a senior bank relationship manager at Banco BCI for 11 years. At Banco BCI, Elizabeth was responsible for sourcing and developing new clients, managing a diverse portfolio of financial products, performing feasibility studies for small and medium enterprises, as well as supporting with financial planning and risk mitigation strategies for both companies and individuals. Elizabeth started her professional career working at BBVA.
Elizabeth received a B.S. in Economics and Business Administration from Universidad Andrés Bello.
Administrative Assistant, ZOMA Holdings Chile
Macarena Sotta is the Administrative Assistant for ZOMA Holdings’ operations in Chile.
Before joining ZOMA Holdings operations in Chile in 2014, Macarena worked at Pabellón de la Construcción for 10 years. During her tenure at Pabellón de la Construcción, she managed data bases, statistical analysis and supported the team as an administrative staff member.
Macarena received a B.S. in Systems Analysis from Universidad de Ciencias de la Informática.