Joel Solomon is a key figure in the U.S. Tides Foundation and Tides Canada. He describes himself as a social venture capitalist and has allowed himself to be portrayed as "a millionaire philanthropist" and "a modest version of the later generations of the Kennedy/Rothschild/Rockefeller class." But U.S. tax returns tell a somewhat different story.
Over the years, Joel Solomon and his company have been paid at least $979,527 by the Endswell Foundation, tax returns show. Endswell also paid the salaries - to the tune of $2.3 million - of the staff at Renewal Partners, an investment firm in which Mr. Solomon's has an equity interest, tax returns say. In addition, Endswell paid $1.4 million to Interdependent Investments Ltd. Mr. Solomon says in this speech that Interdependent is the name of his family's holding company but its not clear if he is referring to Interdependent Investments Ltd. or, perhaps, to another company named Interdependent.
For at least 15 years, the president of Endswell has been Joel Solomon. What this means is that Mr. Solomon has paid himself nearly a million dollars from the charity of which he was president.
Mr. Solomon is also a long-time director of the Tides Foundation and has been chairman of the board and vice-chair of Tides Canada.
If Mr. Solomon comes from money, as he says in his TEDx speech (see video above), why the need to pay himself and his companies millions of dollars from the charitable foundations with which he is involved as a director?
Of the $979,527 that Joel Solomon was paid by Endswell, $598,031 was explicitly paid to Joel Solomon. A further $256,491 was paid to Joel Solomon Co. In addition, Endswell paid $125,000 to "JSCO" which appears to be an abbreviation for Joel Solomon Co. Assuming that all of these amounts were paid to Joel Solomon, then the total amount that the Endswell Foundation paid Joel Solomon is at least $979,527.
President Jimmy Carter's Campaign
In his TEDx speech, above, Joel Solomon says that he was invited to join President Carter's presidential campaign. He doesn't say in what capacity nor by who. He does say that around the same time, he was diagnosed with kidney disease and that he "ran away" and didn't join Carter's team. That may be true but again, there's more to the story. According to People magazine, Joel Solomon (age 24), his sister and their mother were volunteers on President Carter's campaign, not paid staff. It was Joel's father, Jay Solomon, who joined the Carter administration as chief of General Services Administration. But apparently that didn't go so well. Jay Solomon was fired after a short time on the job. Read about that here.
Hollyhock - $967,468
Most recently, tax returns for the U.S. Tides Foundation also show that in 2011, Tides paid $967,468 for shares of Hollyhock Farm Ltd. That money - nearly a million dollars - was paid by Tides to the Nextwave Foundation, another charity in the Tides network.
As far as I can tell, Hollyhock Farm Ltd. is a for-profit company that provides, among other things, the Bodywork (spa services) at the Hollyhock retreat centre, an ocean-front facility on Cortes Island, which has received substantial funding from both Tides and Tides Canada. A past treasurer of Hollyhock Farm Ltd. is Gregor Robertson, Vancouver's current mayor.
Mr. Solomon is president of Nextwave and is or has been president of Hollyhock Farm Ltd. What this means is that while Mr. Solomon was chair of Tides, Tides paid nearly a million dollars for shares in a company of which Mr. Solomon is or was president, and that this was paid through Nextwave, yet another charity where Mr. Solomon was also president.
Update, January 26, 2017