About Us

Welcome to the A-Mark Foundation.

A-Mark Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit incorporated on February 27, 1997. From the beginning, A-Mark made grants to various organizations, including ProCon.org, a website used by as many as 27 million people annually that has been operated by Britannica since August 2020. A-Mark also published unbiased research about many topics, which can now be accessed in our Previous Content section.

In May 2024, given our successful partnership with the LA Press Club, the A-Mark Board of Directors decided to focus its grantmaking on organizations that provide awards for excellent reporting.

Our new mission statement is:

Making Focused Grants to Organizations That Offer Awards to Promote and Encourage Journalism and Investigative Reporting.

Our team

CEO
Rob Eshman

Rob joined A-Mark in 2022 after a 27 year career in journalism. Rob was the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Tribe Media, and National Editor of the Forward. His journalism has won numerous local and national awards. He is a Los Angeles native and a graduate of Dartmouth College.

Vice President
Tracey DeFrancesco

Before joining A-Mark, Tracey was Managing Editor at ProCon.org.  She has a Masters in Public Policy from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and a Bachelor’s degree in International Communications from Pepperdine University.

Senior Researcher
Kate Wraith

Kate joined A-Mark in February 2022 after previously working as a researcher for ProCon.org in Los Angeles and the Omega Research Foundation in the UK. She holds a Masters of Law in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law from Lancaster University and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Bath.

Our board

Founder and Chair Emeritus
Steven C. Markoff

Steve Markoff is an American entrepreneur, film producer, author, and educator. He is the founder of the A-Mark Financial Corporation, a financial services firm based in Santa Monica, California that originally traded in rare coins and precious metals. He founded A-Mark Foundation in 1997 to provide nonpartisan information about a wide range of social and political topics. In 2004, the foundation funded the creation of ProCon.org, a pioneering internet site that presented all sides of controversial issues. Steven grew the site to tens of thousands of monthly page views before donating it to brittanica.com in 2020.

Board Chair
Justin Jampol

Justin Jampol is the founder and current executive director of The Wende Museum of the Cold War, an art museum, historical archive, and educational institution in Culver City, California. A Los Angeles native, he  attended graduate school at Oxford University where he received a Master of Philosophy in Russian and East European Studies, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Modern History. In addition to his leadership role at The Wende Museum, Jampol is adjunct professor at Claremont Graduate University and a frequent commentator on art as well as East European and Russian design.

Robert Frcek

Robert J. Frcek, CPA, CGMA is the Chief Financial Officer of A-Mark Financial.  Prior to joining AMF, Robert served as an Audit Manager with Miller Kaplan Arase. Robert is also the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Benefit Plan Audit Services.

Mike Gatto

Michael Anthony Gatto is an American public official. After being elected to the California State Assembly in a special election, he served four terms, representing Los Angeles, Glendale, and Burbank. The Sacramento Bee concluded that Gatto was one of the most independent lawmakers. Gatto is known for authoring and passing the first California Rainy Day Fund and a 2019 statewide ballot initiative to comprehensively address the state’s homelessness crisis.  Now an attorney in private practice, Gatto is a frequent guest analyst on television news programs, is a member of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, and a Captain in the California Guard.

Jeannie Gorman

Jeannie Gorman has been a federal prosecutor enforcing labor and employment laws that secure wage dignity and safety protections for the American workforce for over 25 years. A Los Angeles native, she attended Los Angeles City College, San Francisco State University, and Willamette University College of Law. Jeannie: successfully challenged Seattle’s anti-sitting law; mentored first generation high school students into college; established a volunteer program providing street law to the homeless; was a legal observer during large and small demonstrations; served for many years on the selection committee for a local union scholarship awarded to college-bound high school students; and currently serves on the Selection Committee for the Federal Bar Association’s Pro-Bono Committee.