Amy is the Proprietor and President of Gemstone Vineyard, overseeing the production of their award winning Cabernet Sauvignon wines from its 17-acre estate vineyard. She is also the General Partner of Willowtree Venture Fund LP, a private family fund focused on investing in early stage consumer companies and funds that disrupt all areas of the consumer space including CPG, retail, apparel, dining and hospitality. With a guiding dedication to philanthropy, Amy serves as Co-Director of the Marks Family Foundation, which awards risk tolerant grants that focus primarily on disease research, education and the arts. Here she is working to establish a focus area on women and girls as it relates to international development issues. Amy brings her experience in risk tolerance investing and an entrepreneurial approach to pursue the path of advancement for young women.
of unmarried girls aged 15-24 have at least one unintended pregnancy in Vietnam.
At a time when adolescent pregnancy is declining globally, the rate of unintended pregnancy among girls and young women remains high in Vietnam. Considered an “acceleration market,” Vietnam has a young population, with 25% of the population aged 10 to 24, many of whom are healthy and have access to educational opportunities in urban areas that can provide a path to self-sufficiency and employment. While the GDP has increased tenfold in the past 30 years, there remains a widespread need for youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services. Family planning is needed to give women equal footing in this growth opportunity. Young women in Vietnam who become pregnant due to a lack of access to contraceptives, see their opportunities wane. There is an urgent need for more information about how to overcome these barriers. We aim to meet the sexual and reproductive health needs of girls and young women in Vietnam.
For this project, we will partner with young people in the design and delivery of programs relevant for their needs and stages of life, with support by their families and communities. Our user centered design approach seeks to build programs with the very population they are intended to serve in order to maximize the likelihood of adoption. Using an empathy driven approach, we will seek to uncover the various barriers young women face within their homes, communities and society at large, as well as identify opportunities to work within the health system that is currently not serving their existing needs.
The insights generated into the lives, hopes, and desires of young women in Vietnam will be shared in both the Human Centered Design (HCD) community and through advocacy for global family planning initiatives. This project will aim to conclude with initial prototypes that will be developed and tested for increasing the adoption of contraceptives. The objective is for these prototypes to be scaled up and deployed across the Southeast Asia region and beyond.