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 his wife, 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 strategically 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 the education nonprofit 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 by mobilizing nearly $4 billion through the Project Finance for Permanence (PFP) approach.
Ben was most recently 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 earned 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. She is dedicated to helping find solutions to key issues facing Colorado and Chile, the communities she and her husband Ben call home.
With her husband, Ben, she co-founded ZOMALAB where she focuses on issues that reflect her passions and personal experiences including early childhood development and community economic development.
Motivated by her own challenges with perinatal mental health in a health a system not designed to provide comprehensive care, Lucy Ana has focused on parental support from conception to five for more than a decade. 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.
Additionally, Lucy Ana is committed to driving social and environmental impact through investments in sustainable consumer products and scalable 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 where she cared for Spanish-speaking children who experienced maltreatment.
Lucy Ana is a licensed child psychologist in Chile and earned a psychology degree from The Universidad del Desarrollo.
Chief Executive Officer
Valeria Alberola is the Chief Executive Officer of ZOMALAB, the family office of Ben and Lucy Ana Walton. As CEO, Valeria leads and oversees all family office 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 financing 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 earned 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.
Vice President of Operations
Libby Morris is the Vice President of Operations at ZOMALAB where she focuses on driving operational excellence across the entire organization. This includes implementing operations processes, procedures, and systems to strengthen efficiency, effectiveness, and compliance.
Libby brings 20 years of experience in banking, lending, microfinance and fintech. Prior to joining ZOMALAB Libby worked for Funding Circle, a global fintech small business lender, where she ran U.S. Operations and served as site leader for the Denver Office. Libby previously served as President of Discovery Charter School for five years where she focused on creating equity in systems. She also served on the board of Denver-based nonprofit, Teach by Tech.
Libby earned a B.A. in education from Cal-Poly Humboldt.
ZOMA Capital Team
Senior Managing Director
Ryan Smith is a Senior Managing Director at ZOMA Capital where he leads investment strategies in energy, water, and community economic development.
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 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, U.S. Renewables Group, and Cortec Group.
Ryan earned a B.A. in American Studies and Psychology from the University of Notre Dame.
Laura Pinnie is a Director at ZOMA Capital, where she primarily leads investment strategies in workforce development.
Prior to 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 earned a B.S. in Business 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 and community economic development.
Prior to joining ZOMA Capital, Seth was an investor at Advantage Capital, a leading provider of equity and debt financing for companies located in communities underserved by conventional sources of capital. Prior to Advantage, he was Chief of Staff at ConData Global where he co-led sales and marketing efforts. Before ConData, he was an Associate at Kingfish Group, where he sourced, evaluated, and executed investment opportunities. Before Kingfish, he was a Strategy Analyst at Accenture, 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.
Seth earned a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations, with honors, from Cornell University and studied abroad at Oxford University (Pembroke College). He earned an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is a CFA® charterholder.
Jared Bell is a Senior Associate at ZOMA Capital where he supports workforce development investments.
Prior to joining ZOMA Capital, Jared was a consultant at EY-Parthenon where he worked in corporate strategy and commercial diligence groups supporting corporate and private equity clients. At EY-Parthenon Jared developed growth strategies, performed pre-acquisition due diligence, and advised on mergers for clients in the consumer and advanced manufacturing sectors.
Before EY-Parthenon, Jared worked in the Valuation, Modeling, and Economics group at EY.
Jared earned a B.A. in Economics from Colorado College.
ZOMA Foundation Team
Director of Programs
Blake McKinley is the Director of Programs for ZOMA Foundation where guides the 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 ZOMA Foundation, Blake spent more than a decade working across social impact. He was a Manager at Prosono, where he provided strategy and operations expertise to nonprofits 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 earned 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 ZOMA Foundation where she manages the grants administration process and the grant portfolio in early childhood development.
Prior to ZOMA Foundation, 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.
Associate Program Officer
Casey is an Associate Program Officer at ZOMA Foundation where she manages grants in workforce development, community development, and energy.
Prior to ZOMA Foundation, Casey spent several years working in social impact. Most recently, she was a Program Manager at Arabella Advisors where she provided operations and grantmaking expertise to a portfolio of nonprofits working in clean energy and democracy reform.
Casey earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame.
ZOMA Holdings Team
Director of Finance
Janna Williams is the Director of Finance at ZOMALAB where she oversees all financial matters related to accounting, finance, and tax. This includes partnerships with and oversight of all third-party finance partners.
Janna brings over 25 years of experience in public and corporate accounting in a variety of industries, including financial services, technology, manufacturing, real estate, and non-profits. She also previously owned a small business in Denver.
Janna is a CPA with a B.S. and a master’s degree in accounting from the University of Denver.
David Halterman is the Ranch Manager for ZOMA Holdings, where he oversees the maintenance, management, development, and coordination of agricultural, riparian, conservation, and recreational/hospitality programs.
Prior to ZOMA Holdings, David managed private estates in California and Colorado for 10 years. He has over 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry, serving as Executive Chef in numerous restaurants across the country.
David earned a B.S. in Geology from Radford University in Virginia.
Steven Mullin is the Facilities Manager for ZOMA Holdings where he manages the appearance, maintenance, and remodels for facilities and grounds.
Prior to ZOMA Holdings, Steven owned and operated his own company, Proactive Home Solutions specializing in home remodels and repairs. Previously, Steven worked as General Manager for the Aspen-based Premier Property Management where he oversaw the management of 70 properties in the Aspen/Snowmass area and focused on preventative maintenance and effective sub-contractor management. Prior to that, he worked in commercial and residential management with Denver Rental.
Steven earned a B.A. in Digital Media Studies from the University of Denver.
Office and Property Manager
Elizabeth Troncoso is the Office and Property Manager for ZOMA Holdings’ operations in Chile.
Prior to 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 earned a B.S. in Economics and Business Administration from Universidad Andrés Bello.
Macarena Sotta is the Administrative Assistant for ZOMA Holdings’ operations in Chile.
Prior to joining ZOMA Holdings 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 earned a B.S. in Systems Analysis from Universidad de Ciencias de la Informática.