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Gender Equality for a Sustainable Future (Ep. 63)



Supporting women extends beyond bridging the gender inequality gap. It is also critical to support women to create sustainable developments and social change.

In this episode, Kimberly Griego-Kiel talks about the importance of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. Along with that, Kim highlights the different ways it relates to impact investing. 

Kim teaches you how important it is to focus on breaking down female inequality for the sustainable development of the world and discusses several impactful leaders who are driving change in the financial industry.

Kim discusses:

  • The importance of celebrating women in March — and every day!
  • The interconnective nature of climate change and female inequality globally
  • Influential women in the impact investing space
  • How we can make an impact through different lenses in ESG investing
  • And more!

Resources:

Connect with Kimberly Griego-Kiel


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Environmental Difference Makers in the Markets with Vicki Benjamin (Ep. 62)



It’s no secret that we rely on nature to survive.

Hence, putting in measures to save our environment and allow the cycle to continue is extremely important for not only our own future, but also for the future of the generations to come.

In this episode, Kimberly Griego-Kiel sits down with Vicki Benjamin, co-founder and CEO of Karner Blue Capital. Vicki explains what her company does for nature and the environment and how they are utilizing data collection and their own ESG process to combat nature and biodiversity loss around the world.

Vicki discusses:

  • The impact of the palm oil industry on nature, the environment, and the markets
  • The five drivers of nature and the impact of biodiversity loss 
  • How Karner Blue is utilizing in-depth data collection practices to redefine ESG investing
  • A new ecosystem service that will value land based on its positive effects in the public markets   
  • And more!

Resources:

Connect with Vicki Benjamin:

Connect with Kimberly Griego-Kiel:

About Our Guest:

Vicki Benjamin is the co-founder and CEO of Karner Blue Capital, an SEC-registered investment adviser dedicated to investing in biodiversity protection, environmental stewardship, and animal welfare. Before establishing KBC, Vicki served as President, COO, and CFO for Calvert Investments, an industry leader in socially responsible investing. Vicki was a partner of a “Big 4” accounting firm for more than ten years before joining Calvert.

 


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ESG vs. Impact Investing — Here’s the Difference (Ep.61)



2021 was a great year for sustainable and ESG investing and its ability to outperform traditional markets.

However, it is important to understand the difference between ESG and impact investing when creating your portfolio.

In this episode, Kimberly explores the main differences between SRI, ESG, and impact investing. Plus, she explains the importance of understanding their roles in the market when building your portfolio.

Kim discusses:

  • Differentiating impact and ESG investing and ways they work together
  • How to measure and evaluate the impact of your investments with both strategies
  • How to investigate the companies you are supporting in your 401(k) investments
  • Ways Horizons Sustainable Financial Services can help guide where YOU choose to invest
  • And more!

Connect with Kimberly Griego-Kiel

 


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Looking Towards a Positive 2022 with Aarón Garza and Johann Klaassen (Ep. 60)



As the new year brings you new opportunities and goals, remember to look toward the positive in both your personal and professional life.

In this episode, Kimberly Griego-Kiel sits down with Aarón Garza, vice president for operations and compliance at Horizons Sustainable Financial Services. Kim and Aarón discuss his family, his professional background, and ways his new role will contribute to the team at the office. 

Additionally, the firm’s chief investment officer, Johann Klaassen, sits down with Kim to review the economic and market data from 2021 and what’s to come for 2022. 

Kimberly, Aarón, and Johann discuss:

  • Their exciting goals, projects, and potential professional and personal opportunities for 2022
  • Aaron’s background, family, and role
  • Potential for 2022 based on the economic and market standpoint successes of 2021 
  • Positive indicators of clean energy and its performance compared to carbon energy
  • And more!

Resources:

Connect with Aarón Garza 

Connect with Kimberly Griego-Kiel and Johann Klaassen:

About Aarón Garza:

Aarón joined Horizons Sustainable Financial Services from the world of higher education administration, where he was involved in making sure that the offices, departments, and activities of a large university remained in compliance with all state and federal laws and regulations related to non-discriminatory practices. 

Aarón is from El Paso, Texas. He earned his B.A. from St. John’s College and his J.D. from the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah. Aaron is also a former U.S. Army infantryman and a combat veteran of the Persian Gulf War.

About Johann Klaassen:

Johann is Horizons Sustainable Financial Services’ executive vice president and chief investment officer. Here he develops asset allocation strategies and oversees investment policy for Horizons’ individual and institutional clients. As a passionate advocate for SRI, a skilled navigator of its intricacies, and an enthusiastic early adopter of just about every new communication tool and technology, Johann is informed, informative, and far more accessible than his many commitments might imply. He directly serves clients across the nation, tending to specialize in serving unusual and special circumstances or needs.


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59. Empowering & Educating Girls for a Stronger Community With Priscilla Plummer



Have you ever dreamed about changing careers and moving across the world?

Priscilla Plummer, the founder of Global Sojourns Giving Circle (GSGC), made that dream her reality in 1990 when she moved across the world and traveled throughout the African continent. Using her travel experience and passion for philanthropy, she works to create an effective impact on Western and African female communities.

In this week’s episode, Priscilla joins Kimberly Griego-Kiel to detail her journey from working for a magazine to founding and running Global Sojourns Giving Circle, a successful non-profit organization. Priscilla highlights GSGC’s mission and ways they focus on sustainably supporting girls around education and empowerment.

Kimberly and Priscilla discuss:

  • Priscilla’s journey to South Africa and how she built Global Sojourns Giving Circle
  • The organization’s female-focused approach
  • The importance of learning and understanding cultural differences when working alongside GSGC
  • How deep and impactful change starts with women but must be continued by  men 
  • And more!

Resources:

Connect with Priscilla Plummer

Connect with Kimberly Griego-Kiel

About our Guest:

Board Member USA & Southern Africa, Priscilla Plummer is the founder of Global Sojourns Giving Circle (GSGC). Priscilla followed her passion to Africa more than 30 years ago, and nothing makes her happier than to connect travelers with her favorite people and places. Her MS in International Development underlies our deep commitment to culturally sensitive travel and philanthropic work.


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58. Bridging the Gap Between the ESG Investing and the Financial Industry With Jim Horlacher and Reem Fatayerji



The gap between the mainstream financial world and the socially responsible investing arena may seem vast. 

But, believe it or not, there are ways to bridge the two. This is exactly what Kimberly Griego-Kiel discusses with her guests in this fourth and final episode of the ESG for Impact! miniseries.

This week, Kimberly sits down with First Affirmative Financial Network’s investment advisor, Jim Horlacher, to outline how the financial industry is blending into the socially responsible investing field, the reasons why he’s passionate about the industry, and how the ESG for Impact! conference is shaping the future of ESG investing.

Duke University MBA student Reem Fatayerji also joins Kim to highlight ways the ESG investing arena can be more impactful and the barriers the industry needs to overcome to grow its impact.

Kim, Jim, and Reem discuss:

  • The cultural differences between the financial world and the socially responsible investing field
  • Why impactful investing can be rewarding for you and your client
  • Three ways ESG investing can be more impactful
  • The interesting conversations and relationships built throughout the ESG for Impact! conference
  • And more!

Resources:

Connect With Jim Horlacher:

Connect with Reem Fatayerji:

Connect With Kimberly Griego-Kiel:

About Jim Horlacher:

Jim helps socially and environmentally conscious investors manage their money to make a positive impact on their lives and our whole world. With over 25 years of experience, he is deeply committed to social justice and sustainability. Jim is focused on helping clients develop clear, disciplined financial strategies that take into account our shared Triple Bottom Line of People, Planet, and Profits. He holds an AIF Professional, Accredited Investment Fiduciary, an MBA from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland, UK), and a BS in Business, Economics, and Computer Science, Baker University (USA). Jim also volunteers with and financially supports a wide variety of progressive organizations and campaigns locally, nationally, and internationally, and has served in leadership positions in many of them. He participates in several networks including, the First Affirmative Financial Network, LLC, Green America / Green Business Network, US SIF, The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment.

About Reem Fatayerji:

Reem is completing her MBA at Duke University, where she is a speakers/events coordinator for the impact investing cohort after earning her bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Economics at the University of California, Davis. She previously worked in a consulting firm supporting nonprofits in impact management, finance, and strategy, and as an analyst with an investment consulting firm.

 


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57. Sustainable Shareholder Advocacy with Leslie Samuelrich, Sam Adams, and Sarah Adams – Part 3



For this episode of the four-part ESG for Impact! miniseries, Kimberly invites three difference-makers in sustainable shareholder advocacy to outline their unique focus on ESG investing and mutual funds.

This week, Leslie Samuelrich, the president of Green Century Funds, and Kim explore plastic pollution, recycling, climate change, sustainable supply chains and how Leslie’s campaigns are pushing for change in these areas.

Additionally, Vert Asset Management’s Chief Executive Officer, Sam Adams, and Chief Sustainability Officer, Sarah Adams, join Kim to explain how they work together to drive change with sustainable real estate with companies that are either constructing or maintaining buildings.

Kim, Leslie, Sarah, and Sam discuss:

  • The plastic we consume and waste we create due to improper recycling practices
  • Ways Green Century Funds’ approach to supply chains and the disposable economy 
  • How to make real estate more sustainable
  • Ways the ESG For Impact! conference has contributed to the sustainable and  collaborative investment arena
  • And more!

Resources:

Connect with Leslie Samuelrich:

Connect with Sam Adams:

Connect with Sarah Adams:

Connect with Kimberly Griego-Kiel

About Leslie Samuelrich:

Leslie leads Green Century Capital Management and focuses on the firm’s investment strategies, business development, and impact investing program. The Green Century Funds have experienced 570% growth under her leadership. Ms. Samuelrich has more than 25 years of experience in ESG investing, corporate engagement, and environmental and public health advocacy. Her comments have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, the New York Times, Responsible Investor, Barron’s, and many other outlets. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (US SIF) and the Advisory Board of the Intentional Endowments Network. 

About Sam Adams:

Sam is the CEO of Vert Asset Management.  Sam is an environmentalist and a capitalist passionate about preserving and defending nature and has worked as an investment professional. He has 20 years of experience at Dimensional Fund Advisors, where he learned the power of the markets as an Investment Professional. Sam is passionate about making sustainable investing easier for financial advisors and their clients. He also holds a BA from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and an MBA from UC Davis Graduate School of Management. 

About Sarah Adams:

Sarah is the Chief Sustainability Officer and Co-founder at Vert Asset Management. Sarah leads on the engagement processes to define how the company operates, ways to influence the financial services sector, and ways shareholders can be active stewards of capital for ESG and better business practices. She started in financial services at a boutique brokerage firm during the late 90s dot-com boom.  

 


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56. Leadership & Community Investments as Crucial ESG Components — Part 2



In October 2021, Kimberly Griego-Kiel took part in the ESG For Impact! Conference in Colorado Springs. 

Now back with part two of her ESG for Impact! miniseries, Kim welcomes George Gay, the CEO of First Affirmative Financial Network, and Ebony Perkins, Self-Help Credit Union’s Vice President and Director of Investor Relations. 

George and Kim explore George’s military background and ways to gain leadership within the environmental, social, and governance investing arena, while Ebony reviews everything you need to know about community investments. Plus, she shares how Self-Help Credit Union can support you when you need it the most. 

Kim, George, and Ebony discuss:

  • How leadership skills are transferable from industry to industry
  • How 9/11 and the 2008 Market Crisis affected perceptions of success 
  • The lending business during the pandemic
  • The importance of understanding where your money ‘sleeps’
  • And more!

Resources:

Connect with George Gay:

Connect with Ebony Perkins:

Connect with Kimberly Griego-Kiel

About George Gay:

George has worked at First Affirmative Financial Network since 1986, serving as the CEO since 1999. First Affirmative is a leading provider of professional services to investment professionals who focus on socially responsible investing, sustainable investing, ESG investing, and/or Impact Investing. Through their managed account service, Sustainable Investment Solutions TM, they currently manage roughly $1 Billion for clients around the country. Geroge is recognized as an industry role model and mentor. He’s a highly sought-after speaker, panelist, and counselor. He is a past recipient of the industry’s “SRI Service Award.”

About Ebony Perkins:

Ebony is a dedicated, solution-oriented social entrepreneur with a passion for community investing. In her career, she has scaled operations across 70 individual branches and 800 employees to grow cash investments in the social impact space, nearly doubling investments YoY from 2020 – 2021.  She has participated on a leadership team that has led overall deposit growth from $1.2B to $2.5B over five years through strategic planning, business development initiatives, and mergers and acquisitions. Ebony was elected to the Board of US SIF in 2020, the leading voice for sustainable investing across all asset classes. She has secured $250M + in community investments by engaging foundations, high net worth individuals, and Fortune 100 companies across industries, including tech, consumer goods, and financial services.

 


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55. How we can Create a New Economy With Rex Raimond — Part 1



In October 2021, Kimberly Griego-Kiel took part in the ESG For Impact! conference in Colorado Springs. 

During this two-day conference, Kim attended sessions focused on SRI investments, strategies, and concepts while connecting with like-minded professionals and industry leaders. 

One of those leaders was Rex Raimond, the director of The Transformational Investing in Food Systems (TIFS) Initiative.

In the first part of the ESG for Impact! miniseries, Rex joins Kim to explain everything around investing in global food systems. They explore how food growth can impact our health and the environment and outline ways we can get into a new sustainable economy.

Kim and Rex discuss:

  • How food systems fit within the ESG arena
  • The destructiveness of the agricultural system
  • The financial component of growing food system operations
  • Consequences of not managing our land properly
  • And more!

Resources:

Connect with Rex Raimond

Connect with Kimberly Griego-Kiel

About Rex Raimond: 

Rex Raimond has more than 20 years of experience developing strategies and building effective partnerships for sustainable and equitable food systems. He applies his partnership-building skills to help build a movement among concessional, impact, and commercial investors, companies, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders to increase investment in principles-aligned food system businesses that are economically viable and deliver sustainable impact. Rex has worked on many aspects of food and agricultural systems transformation, including sustainable finance, crop insurance, and agricultural policy, market incentives for soil health practices, sustainable supply chains, food safety, science and emerging technologies, sustainable landscape planning, and climate change. 

 


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54. 2021 Year-End Planning With Kimberly Griego-Kiel and Johann Klaassen



Yes, it’s that time of the year already. It’s time to think about year-end planning! 

To kick-start your year-end planning, join Kimberly Griego-Kiel and Johann Klaassen for this information-packed episode as they discuss why a yearly plan is so important for your finances. With rules constantly changing, find out the benefits of having review sessions with your financial advisor to ensure you are not being penalized. 

Plus, discover why early retirement planning is your ticket to becoming financially free in the future!

Kimberly and Johann discuss:

  • How to make the most out of your retirement account
  • Efficient ways to save on taxes
  • The two certain things in life
  • Reasons to have a will in place
  • And more!

Connect with Kimberly Griego-Kiel and Johann Klaassen:

About Johann Klaassen:

As Horizons Sustainable Financial Services’ Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, Johann supports investors who focus their efforts on environmental, social, and corporate governance issues. He also helps clients vote with their dollars for a positive transformation of our economy and society toward a socially just and environmentally sustainable world.