Board of Directors

Waitt Foundation

Ted Waitt Ted Waitt
Founder & Board Chairman

Ted Waitt, co-founder and former chairman and CEO of Gateway, Inc., helped revolutionize how people use technology to live, work, and play through pioneering the direct marketing of personal computers. Labeled a maverick by national business publications, he has since gone on to form multiple enterprises: Avalon Capital Group, Inc., Avalon Pictures, Waitt Foundation, Waitt Institute, and Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention. Ted oversees all Waitt Foundation and Waitt Institute efforts and is actively engaged in each project from conception to completion. He meets regularly with the board of directors and staff to ensure the organization’s philanthropic goals are met effectively and efficiently.


Cindy Waitt
Board Member

Cindy serves as executive director of the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention and is a board member of the Waitt Foundation, serving as director for 15 years. She previously worked with at-risk youth and their families at the Boys and Girls Home, and with Family Services of Sioux City for eight years as a casework director for residential treatment. Cindy serves on the National Advisory Board for the Family Violence Prevention Fund’s International Center to End Violence, has been a member of the Clinton Global Initiative since 2005, and served as a judge in the Ashoka Changemaker’s 2007 competition “No Private Matter.”


Hailey Waitt
Board Member

Hailey recently graduated from college earning her bachelor’s degree at the University of Southern California, where she studied history and psychology. Hailey has prior non-profit operations experience as a part of the team at CONNECT, a San Diego based organization dedicated to promoting innovation in the region.  She is an active community volunteer, having dedicated her time to charities such as Becky’s House, Voices for Children, Promises 2 Kids, and Rebero - an orphanage in Rwanda.  She provides strategic advice and a fresh perspective to the board.  Hailey currently is employed by Suja, a cold-pressured organic juice company based in San Diego.

Dave Russell
Vice Chairman & Board Member

Joining Avalon Capital Group, Inc., in 2005, Dave is currently the firm’s executive vice president and serves as a board member and vice chairman for the Waitt Foundation. Avalon Capital is a wholly-owned private investment company owned by Ted Waitt, co-founder and former chairman of Gateway, Inc. Prior to Avalon, Dave worked at Gateway from 1988 until 2005 in a variety of positions, including director of procurement, senior vice president of procurement, senior vice president - supply chain, and general manager of digital television. He joined Gateway’s Board of Directors in February 2007, leaving when the company was sold. Since 2006, Dave has also served on the board of privately-held, a Web-based direct marketing company in Scottsdale, Arizona. Currently, Dave serves on the board of directors of Vizio, Inc., America’s fastest-growing HDTV and consumer electronics company.

Shane Hartnett
Board Member

Shane is currently the president of Avalon Capital Group, Inc. and has been with the organization since 2007. Closely involved in the strategic and operational oversight of Avalon’s portfolio companies as a manager of the Avalon Properties Opportunity Fund, Shane also serves on the Waitt Foundation Board of Directors. Prior to joining Avalon Capital Group, Shane was a vice president at Gateway, Inc., holding numerous positions in operations and supply chain management during his 20-year tenure. Notably, he developed, launched and operated Gateway’s manufacturing facilities across Asia and North America.


Jacob James
Board Member

Jacob James, Managing Director of the Waitt Foundation, focuses on novel approaches to philanthropy and public-private partnership. Joining the enterprise in 2009 as policy advisor and executive assistant to Waitt Foundation Founder and Chairman Mr. Ted Waitt, Jacob has served as the primary public liaison for Mr. Waitt¹s global companies, staff, public policy, and philanthropic activities. Today, he is also a member of the Waitt Foundation¹s Board of Directors and provides stewardship to the Waitt Institute. Drawing from his public affairs experience in the U.S. and abroad, Jacob¹s approach to philanthropy and public policy is rooted in pragmatism and results. Jacob holds a bachelor¹s degree in biology from Point Loma Nazarene University and a master¹s degree in government from Georgetown University. On behalf of the Waitt Foundation, Jacob serves as an advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative and is a member of the Board of Governors at The San Diego Foundation.