Board Member Profile: Alex Wellins
By Heidi James, Vice President of Development
I recently had the opportunity to interview Board Member Alex Wellins, Co-founder and Managing Partner at The Blueshirt Group. Alex has been an invaluable board member since 2017 and has contributed greatly to Bread & Roses Presents since then.
Q. What is your background overall and how did you first come to Bread & Roses?
A. I grew up in the Boston area and attended the University of Michigan, which is where I started to develop my love for music. I saw Ray Charles perform live in Ann Arbor and the experience really opened my eyes to a different style of music. Seeing Stevie Wonder in Detroit play for such a passionate crowd is something I will never forget. After college I moved to San Francisco, expecting to move back to the East coast after a couple of years. I fell in love with the city, the music scene and ended up getting married and starting a family here. I began my work on the west coast working for a number of startups and then got the entrepreneurial bug myself and started The Blueshirt Group in 1999, which provides IPO advisory and related services to growth companies globally. I was pleased to celebrate our company’s 20th anniversary a couple of years ago with a live music event that benefited Bread & Roses! I was introduced to Bread & Roses years before coming on to the board. My first experience was in the late 1980s attending shows at the Greek Theatre with acts like Jackson Browne, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, and Robin Williams as the emcee. My son, Max, also played shows for Bread & Roses with his high school jazz band. Former board member Chris Gorog contacted me, officially introduced me to Bread & Roses and I later joined the board.
Q. What makes you passionate about our mission?
A. I am passionate about music and have seen firsthand how it positively affects peoples’ lives. We learned a strong lesson from the Covid-19 pandemic when we all experienced a sense of isolation and the inability to be with other people. The power of the mission of Bread & Roses, to provide hope, healing and joy through live music to isolated audiences, has never been made more important or more clear.
I have seen the power that live music brings, both personally and with other people. I truly believe it helps to change lives for the better. A relatively simple performance can bring joy to an audience – that is what sold me on becoming a part of the organization as it is aligned with my personal interests and beliefs.
Alex Wellins (right) with his son Max Wellins at "Night On the Lawn" House Concert, 2021. Photo by Marian Hubler.
Q. Can you talk about other contributions you have made as a board member?
A. I do whatever I can to help raise awareness for Bread & Roses, whether that is introducing new individuals to the organization or offering my expertise in sharpening the presentation of the brand. We were fortunate to have Salesforce develop a website for us and we also presented some concerts to raise awareness with some of the technology companies in San Francisco. I have enjoyed producing recent benefit house concerts, as we shifted from our model of indoor fundraising concerts to smaller outdoor concerts to stay within COVID guidelines. They provided a wonderful sense of community, gave us the ability to make new friends, and raised money!
We are grateful to Alex for sharing his time and talent with us! He is an exemplary board member. Executive Director Dave Perron noted, “Alex's contributions have been extraordinary. His passion for music combined with his knowledge of the Bay Area and the national music scene has been integral to many of our fundraising efforts. His knowledge combined with his vast network, marketing acumen and generous support has made a powerful imprint upon Bread & Roses."