PODCAST: S3:EP1–Joanne Pasternack, Oliver+Rose, The Golden Heart Fund


Join us for S3:EP1 of the Sports Philanthropy Podcast as Joanne Pasternack, President & Chief Impact Officer, Oliver+Rose and Executive Director, The Golden Heart Fund, sits down with our host, Roy Kessel, to discuss her work with the San Francisco 49ers, Golden State Warriors, Special Olympics and much more.

Through her work with Special Olympics athletes and professional athletes, vulnerable youth and privileged youth, small non-profits and multi-billion dollar global corporations and, more recently, the rapid advancement of her father’s early onset Alzheimer’s disease, Joanne is more inspired than ever to apply her professional skills, experience and passion to inspire others to find (and use) their voices to create impact.

With a core belief in the importance of aligning organizational and individual giving, Joanne is committed to a personalized, conversational and authentic approach to amplifying the impact of her clients’ charitable efforts. White-boarding, laughing, and spreadsheeting her way to solutions to even the most seemingly intractable issues, Joanne’s mantra is “Find a Way to Say YES.” As a retired competitive figure skater, mother of two, world traveler and recovering attorney, she truly believes that nothing is impossible if you set your mind to creating a path towards achievement.

Oliver+Rose began nearly a decade ago as a concept based on raising the voices of individuals and organizations seeking to inspire progress and change. Named to honor the memory and legacy of Joanne’s grandfather-in-law (Oliver “Ollie” Bardin) and her grandmother (Rose Nemerov Galfand) and their namesakes – Joanne’s children, Kira Rose and Reid Oliver – Oliver+Rose is based on the philosophy that we all have the power to make a lasting impact. Ollie and Rose lived dramatically different lives with unique challenges and obstacles. Regardless, no matter how many times they were knocked down, they got back up again and continued to move ahead. 

Oliver + Rose is a consultancy focused on amplifying impact and inspiring change. This is achieved through a series of strategic planning conversations, exercises and conversations focused on identifying and implementing your unique philanthropic mission statement, vision and pathway. Whether you are at the beginning of your journey, have an established portfolio of charitable impact or are looking to shift gears, Oliver+Rose is there to elevate your charitable legacy while amplifying your brand. 

The Golden Heart Fund supported by 49ers ownership and lead by 49ers alumni, provide funding support and relief for alumni players in times of physical, emotional and financial need. It is undeniable the amount of stress that is overlooked after retirement from the NFL. Despite the duration of the career, the struggle with depression, aftermath of physical injury, self-identity and financial burden is real. The Golden Heart Fund seeks to not only help those who once represented the 49ers on the field but also to de-stigmatize asking for, seeking and receiving physical, mental and emotional support – because, no matter how big, strong, prominent or well known one may be, we all need a helping hand at some point in our journey. The Golden Heart Fund seeks to be that resource, bringing 49ers family together to lift those who once lifted their city.

Joanne Pasternack joins our host Roy Kessel on S3:EP1 of the Sports Philanthropy Podcast


  • 00:30 Background and ice skating career
  • 02:25 Developing her love for sports
  • 03:30 Initial work with Special Olympics
  • 04:15 Scope of work with San Francisco 49ers
  • 13:30 Creating the differentiation
  • 16:15 Kindergarden Kickoff with Joe Staley
  • 19:30 Dislike of attempts to put players in campaigns with no context
  • 20:45 Importance of sitting down with athletes to discover passion
  • 21:30 Frequency of calls for requesting player involvement
  • 28:00 Sparking wonder!
  • 34:00 Golden Heart Fund for former 49ers
  • 36:15 Weatherhead Institute of Harvard helping former players
  • 48:00 Joanne as head of Governing Body of Figure Skating


Kelsey Donnolo

Kelsey Donnolo

Sports Philanthropy Network

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