Jeff Garvey is the founding and current chairman of the Board of Directors of the 16-year-old LIVESTRONG Foundation. Jeff is a pioneering venture capitalist, nationally recognized philanthropist and active contributor in the Austin community. He helped lead the Foundation’s growth from two employees and $10,000 in 1997 to a successful non-profit renowned for its innovative business approach and global brand and widely credited with changing the way the world views people affected by cancer. Jeff played a key role in recruiting the Foundation’s Board of Directors and launching its first major fundraising initiative, the Founder’s Circle, which served as the organization’s original seed money and allowed it to blaze a trail in the field of cancer survivorship. As a member of the Founder’s Circle himself, Jeff remains one of the LIVESTRONG Foundation’s largest individual donors.
Jeff and his wife of 43 years, Bonita, each lost both of their parents to cancer. Those experiences led him to a deep and abiding belief in the importance of patient-centered cancer care such as support services to help people navigate the financial, emotional and practical challenges that accompany a cancer diagnosis. As Board Chair, he has worked tirelessly alongside the Foundation’s senior leadership to emphasize and continuously improve the quality of the organization’s governance, its accountability to its donors, its transparency with the public and the effectiveness of its programs. These efforts have helped the Foundation earn its reputation as one of the most highly-rated cancer non-profit organizations in the United States, with a four-out-of-four star rating by Charity Navigator.
Jeff is the co-founder of Austin Ventures, one of the largest and most active venture capital firms in the U.S. From 1979-1999, he served as the firm’s first investment professional and a general partner and leader of the company through its first six investment funds, focusing on equity investments in media, communications and health care services.
He actively participated as a board member with a variety of portfolio companies, many of which eventually became publicly held entities. Previously, from 1971-1979, Jeff held several senior lending and management positions at PNC Bank, in both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
Jeff’s enduring commitment to guiding and supporting a range of causes has earned him many accolades. In 2004, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School awarded him with the “Charles Alan Wright Excellence Award,” which recognizes individuals in the St. Andrews community whose lives are distinguished by a quest for excellence. The Association for Professional Fundraisers also presented Jeff with their “Outstanding Volunteer Fund Raiser of the Year” in 2000. In 1999, Prevent Blindness of Texas honored him as its “Person of Vision.”
The organizations in which Jeff has served as board member, adviser or donor over the years include KLRU Public Television, The Center For Childhood Protection, The First Tee of Greater Austin, Helping Hand Home, Children’s Medical Center Foundation, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Settlement Home for Children, The Association for Professional Fundraisers, Gladney Home For Adoption, West Austin Youth Association, St. Andrews Episcopal School, Deerfield Academy and St. Edward’s University.
Jeff and his wife have two children, Gyllian Conner Garvey, a graduate of The University of Texas, and Sloane Miller Garvey, a graduate of St. Edward’s University.
Jeff received his B.A. in economics from St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y. and graduated from Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Mass.