No.1

Stuart Landesberg

Grove Collaborative

Sustainable home and personal care products marketplace

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Being an impact leader is about three things in my experience: First, creating a strategy where business success and mission success are self-reinforcing. We cannot get better as a business without also getting better at our impact, and getting better at our impact makes us a better business. Second, creating a team of exceptional mission-driven professionals. Success is all about people, and missionaries are the best teammates. And third, creating a platform from which the team and industry can deeply understand the change one seeks to create, and can buy in.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

My personal mantra is ‘the only way out is through.’ It’s been my experience that when trying to create impactful innovation that moves an industry forwards, it is inevitable and necessary that we try, fail, and try again.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Grove Collaborative’s vision is that consumer products can be – and must be – a positive force for human and environmental health. The company creates and curates high-performance, deeply sustainable, and broadly affordable home and personal care products, bringing them to several million consumers every year.

No.2

David Simnick

SoapBox

 Buy-one, give-one hair and body product  

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Being an impact leader means building for better – better for those in need, better for the amazing team we have, better for our incredible consumers, and 

What quote best exemplifies your leadership style?

“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” – Harry Truman

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

For every personal or hair care product sold at Soapbox, the company donates a bar of soap to someone in need – and those bar soaps are often paired with essential hygiene education. Soapbox products give consumers an easy way to give back and make a difference, while shopping for something that is already on their list to buy.

No.3

Steve McDougal

3Degrees

Pioneers in climate solutions

What quote best exemplifies your leadership style?

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” – Peter Drucker

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

Addressing climate change is complex, and our space has evolved significantly. Our clients are setting more aggressive goals, requiring more sophisticated strategies to achieve them. We’ve gotten comfortable making pivots and rethinking how we can better serve our customers as their needs evolve…Every iteration is an opportunity to rethink and improve our impact.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

Operating in more than 65 countries, 3Degrees makes it possible for businesses and their customers to take urgent action on climate change. The company helps organizations around the world achieve renewable energy and decarbonization goals through its work with global Fortune 500 companies, utilities, and other organizations that want to join the fight against climate change.

No.4

David Bronner

Dr. Bronner’s

Responsible soap and personal care products producer

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

We don’t think of ourselves as a typical company or a conventional company. So, when it came time to take on the role of CEO, I didn’t want my title to be typical or conventional, either. So, we came up with the title “Cosmic Engagement Officer.” It speaks to my primary role of envisioning, directing, and implementing the meaningful and impactful engagement I seek to lead within our company and in the world at large.

What did the challenges of the COVID pandemic teach you?

From the start of the pandemic, we felt a responsibility to do everything possible to make sure we are helping our employees stay safe. We provided increased PTO for all our staff and gave additional appreciation pay to our on-site workers. We increased our annual childcare credit from $5,000 to $7,500 and maxed out ick days to as many as people needed. We also gave a $5,000 additional bonus for everyone in 2020, to share profits from the exceptional year we had. We’re all connected and need to look out for each other, now more than ever

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

Dr. Bronner’s is an independent, family-owned business committed to making socially and environmentally responsible products of the highest quality. The company, which places the concept of regeneration at the center of its global supply chain, dedicates all profits not needed for business to progressive causes, including regenerative organic agriculture, animal advocacy, community betterment, criminal justice reform, drug policy reform, and fair pay and fair trade.

No.5

Amy King

Pallet SPC

Rapid shelter solutions provider

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Impact leadership means elevating the voices of the underserved and the historically marginalized. It also means leading from the bottom-up as opposed to top-down… [Our work should] make the entire community better.

What quote best exemplifies your leadership style?

“A leader is best when people barely know [s]he exists, when [her] work is done, [her] aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.”  — Lao Tzu

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Pallet builds dignified individual shelters that can be shipped 30-to-a-truck and built within 30-60 minutes with minimal tools required. Currently, the company has deployed over 67 sites across the United States where individuals experiencing homelessness have been able to move into their own shelter with a locking door, climate control, and safety features within communities that provide 24/7 service provisioning

No.6

Christina Keller

Cascade Engineering

Positive impact engineering company

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Being an impact leader is about three things in my experience: First, creating a strategy where business success and mission success are self-reinforcing. We cannot get better as a business without also getting better at our impact, and getting better at our impact makes us a better business. Second, creating a team of exceptional mission-driven professionals. Success is all about people, and missionaries are the best teammates. And third, creating a platform from which the team and industry can deeply understand the change one seeks to create, and can buy in.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

My personal mantra is ‘the only way out is through.’ It’s been my experience that when trying to create impactful innovation that moves an industry forwards, it is inevitable and necessary that we try, fail, and try again.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Grove Collaborative’s vision is that consumer products can be – and must be – a positive force for human and environmental health. The company creates and curates high-performance, deeply sustainable, and broadly affordable home and personal care products, bringing them to several million consumers every year.

No.7

Russell Diez-Canseco

Vital Farms

Ethically-produced food

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

We practice servant leadership at Vital Farms, which is a philosophy in which the goal of the leader is to serve. Instead of the people working to serve the leader, the leader exists to serve the people.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

I often refer to myself as a ‘recovering MBA student.’ I spent the first part of my career thinking business existed to maximize profits for shareholders. It was not until I joined Vital Farms that I experienced a different approach – a business model that prioritized all stakeholders…This does not mean we’re a charity disguised as a business, which is an assumption I hear often. We just believe that when you’re guided by purpose and prioritize all the groups that touch your business, you’re able to deliver stronger outcomes for everyone over time.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

Vital Farms’ mission is to bring ethical food to the table. Whether it is supporting family farmers or debunking misleading animal welfare claims, the company is focused on improving the lives of people, animals, and the planet through food.

 

No.8

Hassan Sachedina

BCP (BioCarbon Partners)

Mission-driven forest conservation company

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Being an impact leader is about being purposeful beyond yourself. My purpose is to accelerate the planet’s transition to a climate and conservation positive economy. The most important factor is to lead with people: your employees, communities, and stakeholders. A company’s purpose should be to benefit society and the environment, where profit is thus an imperative.

What did the challenges of the COVID pandemic teach you?

At BCP, our mantra was ‘people before profit.’ Instead of focusing on external fear, we focused on internal well-being. In spite of recession and impacts to our business model, we didn’t hunker down: we ramped up investments in our staff’s protection and to maintain a positive working environment. We kept hiring and building capacity. COVID also taught us how important carbon finance flows to communities are when tourism collapsed.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

I stepped down as CEO at the end of 2021. In 10 years, our incredible team built ​​BCP into one of the world’s leading and most impactful forest carbon project developers by social, environmental and financial impacts. We also built BCP into the largest forest carbon developer in Africa by hectares. I am pleased that the new management team is pursuing our “30 Cubed” strategy to 10X in the next decade in line with BCP’s mission of making conservation of wildlife habitat valuable to people. By 2030, BCP aims to be the most impactful forest carbon developer globally.

No.9

Priscilla Sims Brown

Amalgamated Bank

America’s socially responsible bank

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

For me, being an impact leader means helping others—including organizations, businesses and individuals—achieve strong, profitable growth while advancing positive social and environmental change. At Amalgamated Bank, we lead by example and are the first U.S. bank to have our greenhouse gas emission reduction targets approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative. Our greatest impact and success is in helping our clients build a better world.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

As America’s socially responsible bank, we serve a client base that cares about the impact of their money in the world. We raise our voice and invest our talent and resources in creating a more economically, environmentally and racially just society. Our clients are progressive change-makers, and it is our mission to help them make a difference by increasing access to affordable housing; championing women’s, immigrants’, LGBQT and workers’ rights; and creating a greener, more sustainable planet.

No.10

Sergio Radovcic

DYPER Inc.

Responsible diapering company

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

[Being an impact leader means] driving change by small increments that add up to a larger impact. It means re-thinking your supply chain, undoing established norms of doing business to discover opportunities to improve.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

I have always visualized the world as a small series of interconnected pieces – and breaking them down is an essential skill when tackling big challenges, like climate change or plastic impact.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

Dyper is a responsible diapering company for parents who are concerned about the impact of their diapering journey. The company makes sustainable, plant-based diapers and picks them up for responsible disposal to avoid landfills

No.11

Kevin Maggiacomo

SVN International Corp

Commercial real estate advisors

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?
Being an impact leader means starting with the question of – What good can I do for society using the assets that I have?  Not to be philanthropic, but to generate profitable revenue while simultaneously elevating humanity (essentially the opposite of the rigid and siloed “gain first” business logic that is all too prevalent today).

What quote best exemplifies your leadership style?

“I learned to always take on things I’d never done before. Growth and comfort do not co-exist.” –  Ginni Rometty

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

Throughout my career this theme of regeneration – of ‘breaking down to break through’ – has appeared time and time again. What I’ve learned is to consistently march in the right direction. Sometimes, that means stopping even when you have more to give; and sometimes, it’s giving when all you want to do is stop. But the march is consistent, and the pledge is to always keep marching.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

SVN is a full service commercial real estate company.  For over 35 years, our mission has been to create amazing benefits with our clients, colleagues, and communities.  By 2030, SVN will drive over $200 billion to underserved communities on 5 continents. We will do this through SVN’s Shared Value Network® of 300 locally owned and operated commercial real estate offices.

No.12

Melanie Dulbecco

Torani

Impact-minded flavor industry leader

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

“Being an impact leader means re-imagining the powerful economic and organizing force of business for wildly greater good. It means striving, learning with others in our community, and constantly taking a fresh go at it!” – CEO Melanie Dulbecco

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

“Every time we’ve navigated through a revenue hurdle – whether it was crossing $10M or $200M – we’ve hit a myriad of new challenges, needing new processes, systems, technology, and decision-making structures. And every time, this change needed to start with me. I’ve transitioned from a ‘hands-on’ leader to one who helps forge ways for our team members to grow and contribute at their fullest. We’ve built leadership and development practices that help us flex, navigate growth, and create on-ramps of opportunities for our diverse team. Each new stage of growth is a brand new entrepreneurial challenge to regenerate my leadership again and again!” – CEO Melanie Dulbecco

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Torani is an amazing flavor company based in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1925. Torani has enticed flavor adventurists with its popular syrups and sauces for decades, creating the world’s first flavored latte and putting Italian soda on the map in the U.S. Torani believes businesses should create more opportunity, and it is dedicated to helping all of the people, partners, and communities it touches thrive

No.13

Jonathan F. P. Rose

Jonathan Rose Companies

Affordable and mixed-income real estate company

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Being an impact leader starts with having a clear vision of what impact you want to create…As a leader, my job is to harness resources, people, and opportunities – and to grow an organization that can apply them towards accomplishing the mission

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

Our company was founded with the mission of regenerating communities. Every element of what we do is grounded in our environmental, social, and economic missions. I have been taking these ideas further recently by asking, ‘How can a business not only be a force for regeneration, but also be a regenerative business.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

Jonathan Rose Companies, an affordable and mixed-income real estate company, is focused on regenerating the fabric of communities. Through investment, acquisition, development and management, the Companies deliver high-quality, energy efficient, sustainable, and affordable housing and use this as a foundation to transform residents’ lives.

No.14

Rick Perez

Avangard Innovative

Recycling and waste management

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Being an impact leader means helping those around you find purpose and achieve growth. This can be both, at a personal or professional level, and can create an unstoppable massive movement. At Avangard Innovative, we’ve defined our common purpose as “believing in a world with zero waste”, and that defines every move we make as a company and as individuals.

What quote best exemplifies your leadership style?

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a true leader.” – John Quincy Adams.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

Regeneration or re-invention means challenging yourself every day to do better and be better. Growth starts with a decision to move beyond your present circumstances, and this applies to people and companies. Throughout the years, I’ve had to pivot and reinvent myself in order to advance our company forward. Just in the past 6 years, we’ve “regenerated” from being a recycling company, to being a technology company servicing the waste and recycling industry, to being a circular economy solutions provider. Essentially, we’ve changed our purpose to achieve growth.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Avangard Innovative is a worldwide Circular Economy Solutions company that uses proprietary technology to drive sustainability profitably. Our suite of products and services enables our environmental partners to visualize, track, manage, optimize and monetize waste and recycling workstreams to help them achieve their ESG objectives and create enterprise value.

No.15

Blair Kellisonn

Traditional Medicinals

All-natural organic teas producer

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

For me, as CEO, what is most important is that our impact is built into our business model. Social or environmental impact should ideally not be something you allocate your profits toward. Instead, your impact should be built into your business model, so that as you expand your business, your impact scales right along with it.

What did the challenges of the COVID pandemic teach you?

The heart and soul of a company rests in its employees’ hearts and souls, and that exists the same whether you are physically together or virtually together.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

Traditional Medicinals, a producer of all-natural, organic herbal and medicinal teas, connects people to the power of plants to change. The company is focused on changing the lives of its stakeholders – the lives of those drinking its medicinal-quality wellness teas, as well as the lives of those growing its herbs in 40 countries around the world.

No.16

Benjamin Abram & Mark Laabs

Modern Energy

Diversified clean energy compan

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

My personal impact comes from maintaining a clear vision for how the extraordinary individuals on our team can work every day to further the clean energy transition.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

It will cost upwards of $100 trillion to decarbonize the world’s economy. This will not be accomplished with one mammoth investment but rather thousands – nay, millions – of small investments across industries and geographies. Our strength is building and scaling platforms that can efficiently realize the millions of small investments necessary to decarbonize the global economy.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Modern Energy is a diversified clean energy company that launches, scales, and operates energy transition businesses to help the world reach a net-zero carbon economy. The company partners with early-stage developers and provides a mix of capital allocation, corporate strategy, and operational support to customers in the United States and Brazil

No.17

Dominic Engels

Revolution Foods, PB

Healthy school and community meals provider

What quote best exemplifies your leadership style?

“Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.” – Patrick Lencioni

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

Some of the richness in the concept of regeneration is diversity…In my career, I have had a variety of work experiences in different geographies, industries and with different teams. Moving through these different experiences has created ambiguity, disruption, and ultimately, clarity and gratitude. I’m thankful for the experiences that I have ‘sequestered,’ as they have helped create the feeling that what I am doing in the present is the most critically important.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Revolution Foods, PBC makes healthy, affordable, culturally-relevant meals for the food insecure in the United States. Since 2006, the company has served more than half-a-billion meals to K-12 students and citizens

No.18

Aseem Das

World Centric

Compostable foodservice and packaging manufacturer

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

For me, as CEO, what is most important is that our impact is built into our business model. Social or environmental impact should ideally not be something you allocate your profits toward. Instead, your impact should be built into your business model, so that as you expand your business, your impact scales right along with it.

What did the challenges of the COVID pandemic teach you?

The heart and soul of a company rests in its employees’ hearts and souls, and that exists the same whether you are physically together or virtually together.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

Traditional Medicinals, a producer of all-natural, organic herbal and medicinal teas, connects people to the power of plants to change. The company is focused on changing the lives of its stakeholders – the lives of those drinking its medicinal-quality wellness teas, as well as the lives of those growing its herbs in 40 countries around the world.

No.19

Jonathan Storper

Hanson Bridgett LLP

Positive impact law firm

What quote best exemplifies your leadership style?

“The time is always right to do what is right.” – Martin Luther King

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Being an impact leader means using my skills, perseverance, personality, and resources to inspire others and create positive change to make a safer, more just, equitable, and sustainable world for all living creatures.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

Hanson Bridgett LLP is a law firm dedicated to creating a positive social and environmental impact through the core of its legal work. Its services are focused on developing a more regenerative economy by assisting mission-driven companies and high-impact investors in a variety of industries

No.20

Mary Graham & Ran Goel

Fresh City / Mama Earth Organics

Award-winning urban farm and omni-channel retailer

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Being an impact leader is about re-imagining how economic activity takes place. How do you turn an activity that benefits some and harms others into an activity where everyone wins? The role of the social entrepreneur is to push the boundaries of conventional wisdom.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

[The financial crisis of 2008] showed me how our idea of ‘value’ in the modern economy can be very flimsy indeed. Whether it was the value of mortgage-backed securities or the value of the eye-popping bonuses that hedge fund managers received, it became clear to me that our valuation framework was deeply flawed. I decided then to dedicate my life to driving true, regenerative value.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Founder & CEO Ran Goel began Fresh City in 2011 because he wanted to dedicate his life to re-creating a food system that is kinder and more sustainable. Now, Fresh City is a family of brands accessible both online and in eight retail stores across Toronto. The company’s support of local sustainable farming runs deep, even operating its own 11-acre urban farm at Toronto’s Downsview Park.

No.21

Nicolas Bearell

REVIVE

Sustainable project developer

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

[Being an impact leader means] b​eing able to ignite a movement of change – whether it is to inspire our own teams to be part of the Revive revolution and safeguard the planet for future generations; to encourage investors to turn their money into meaningful investments that can make the difference; or to influence political leaders to make drastic but needed choices.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

At Revive, we are a true ‘re-’ company. Regenerating polluted, under-valued, and under-used urban space into vibrant new districts with immense social and ecological impact is the assignment we took…Let nature reclaim its position and restore the balance in our vital ecosystems! We are convinced that this approach will help to change behavior and turn the tide while it’s not too late.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

Revive is a generator, accelerator, and frontrunner for urban rebirth. As a sustainable project developer, the company brings the history of old, industrial brownfield sites and neglected sites in the heart of the city back to life as the green urban hubs of the future

No.22

Phoebe Yu

ettitude

Direct-to-consumer sustainable lifestyle brand

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

The vision for this business is to become the leading sustainable comfort brand through innovating eco-forward textiles, pioneering people-forward practices, and promoting conscious living – because we believe it’s possible to live comfortably without harming the planet

What did the challenges of the COVID pandemic teach you?

“To grow an international team and keep employees motivated while working remotely isn’t easy. However, being a small startup gives us all tremendous room for learning and growth, and it gives the opportunity to stay nimble when challenges arise. We self-organize, teach, learn, and support one another, with most of our cultural programming being driven from the bottom up.” – CEO Phoebe Yu

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

ettitude is a direct-to-consumer sustainable lifestyle brand offering bamboo bedding, bath, and sleep essentials that are gentle on skin and the planet. The company’s innovative CleanBamboo fabric is soft like silk, breathable like cotton, cooling and hypoallergenic. All products are Climate Neutral certified, water-saving, sustainably and ethically-made

No.23

Randell Leach

Beneficial State Bank

Triple bottom line bank

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

It requires recognition that while conventional business practices have brought great innovation and success, they have also come with tremendous social and environmental cost…It means having integrity, humility, and conviction that by acting out of love for each other, we will bring the greatest prosperity to all.

What did the challenges of the COVID pandemic teach you?

Empathy. Leaders can’t assume they understand other people’s experience, or that their experience isn’t relevant to our business…People make businesses. Truly engaging people with respect about their experience and perspective is essential.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

Beneficial State Bank is a triple bottom line company centered on the values of people, planet, and profit, in that order. The bank is striving to change the banking industry for good by uplifting local, under-served communities and showing that your money should work for your values, not against them

No.24

Kevin Chin

Arowana

Sustainable business investor and operator

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

As an impact-focused entrepreneur, I am passionate about growing companies, growing people, and growing value in a sustainable manner.

What did the challenges of the COVID pandemic teach you?

Growth does not happen without discomfort. To grow, you need to have struggles and challenges – and to achieve the growth goals, you have to have the resilience to overcome those challenges. 

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

Established in 2007, Arowana initially operated as a specialist fund manager focused on Australasian investments. Since then, Arowana’s strategy and model have evolved into a unique global business that directly owns and operates listed and unlisted enterprises centered on themes ranging from sustainability and education to technology and impact.

No.25

Tom Sellars

Sellars Company

Eco-friendly wipes and towel manufacturer

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

In serving our customers and our business, we are stewards who prioritize the needs of our people (employees and customers), performance of our products, producing profit, and protecting the Planet.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

In our case, this statement is not figurative but literal. We break down paper and cardboard waste and regenerate it into our high performance wipes, shop towels, and absorbent products. On a figurative level, when faced with major challenges and obstacles, I’m always looking for the potential opportunity to regenerate ourselves into a better company.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: Sellars uses proprietary technology to manufacture wipes, shop towels, kitchen towels, and absorbents from recycled paper and cardboard waste to uniquely make high-performance products that are competitively priced. The Milwaukee-based company is a manufacturer and marketer of its own branded products and other key leading brands.

No.26

David Reiling

Sunrise Bank

Innovative bank empowering financial wellness

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

As an impact leader, I set an example for our employees and stakeholders. It’s about ‘walking the talk’ of sticking to our mission and values in everything we do…My job is to focus on the challenges we face, so others can spend time utilizing their unique ability to create a positive impact for others.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

Taking time to regenerate is imperative. For me, this takes the form of exploring the world, surfing the Pacific, or spending time with my family. I can’t perform at my highest ability if I’m constantly going. I need to be mindful about slowing down when necessary.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

Sunrise Banks strives to be the most innovative bank empowering financial wellness. The company seeks to close the financial wealth gap by offering innovative banking products locally, while also partnering with creative financial technology companies seeking to do good. Sunrise Banks ties its success to the success of its customers and communities

No.27

Miyoko Schinner

Miyoko’s Creamery

Plant-based foods produce

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

As a compassion-centric company, Miyoko’s Creamery inspires a holistic relationship between food manufacturing and marketing that aligns the consumer with the farmer in an ethical connection between food grown and food eaten. Central to the company’s mission is driving positive environmental and social change through responsible sourcing, stimulating domestic animal agricultural transition to reverse climate change, and ensuring integrity and sustainability practices from our international partnerships

No.28

Joe Baird

Rumiano Cheese

Organic, regenerative food supplier

What quote best exemplifies your leadership style?

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Meade

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

I fully embrace the theory of regenerative agriculture that focuses on the health of the planet and of the communities we serve…Our work is to create leading-edge products and to collaborate with our farmers, who can then drive wealth creation into the rural communities where we do business.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

Rumiano Cheese is a leader in bringing organic, regenerative food from Northern California to consumers who care nationally. The company is committed to sourcing and investing from farmers who are investing in building soil and animal health that will over the long haul build a healthier planet

No.29

Ted Castle

Rhino food

Manufacturer of frozen food goodies

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

An impact leader creates the vison and opportunities for the company to excel in the following areas – Governance, Workers, Environment, and Community. An impact leader proactively engages other businesses by sharing best practices so that others can learn and grow and create their own impact. My priority is to look at systems and structures inside the company, our community, and society and utilize my position or the companies position to elevate the conversation and advocate for change.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

As a privately held business it is imperative to turn breakdowns to breakthroughs. We look at challenges as opportunities and focus on learning not blaming. Rhino has reached its 40th year in business. The ability to pivot and be agile is critical as profits and internal cash flow are required to be sustainable. We emphasize long term financial health to invest in the business, the people, and community for long-term success

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Rhino Foods is a B Corp. whose purpose is “to impact the manner business is done”. Our Principles and Vision guide our actions. We are an innovative niche food manufacturer that is recognized for our workplace practices. We are honest, quality driven and knowledgeable. We stive to have a “can do” attitude and be proud of everything we do.

 

No.30

Zane Adams & Jeannine Buscher

FedUp Foods PBC

Fermented beverages manufacturer

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

I have never categorized myself as an impact leader. I simply lead from the heart, listen to what is being communicated, and serve with a sense of passion and diligence.

What did the challenges of the COVID pandemic teach you?

Resilience and community are not ideals or destinations. They are processes that require nurturing, commitment, wholeness, and accountability over time.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

FedUp Foods is a next generation private label manufacturer, fed up with the extractive food system and passionate about elevating foods—how they’re grown, sourced, and utilized in our beverages—to a new level. Cultivating and supporting regenerative solutions allows us to provide products that optimize vitality and longevity for both humans and the planet.

No.31

Susan Griffin-Black & Brad Black

Eo Products

Essential oil body products manufacturer

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

First, we have to talk about being an impact person. I have been a Zen Buddhist student for many years, and the most resonant tenet to me is to ‘alleviate suffering of myself and others.’…We have built a company with heart and meaning. The reality of our interconnectedness – people, planet, purpose, profit – inspires us daily.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

Self-care is inherently believing that you must regenerate yourself, so you can better take care of the people you love and all of what is important to you.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

For over 25 years, EO Products has been making accessible, clean, and affordable body care products. The EO brand of products helps customers create meditative moments of self-care through aromatherapy, while the Everyone brand is fun botanical body care at a great value

No.32

Ned Tozun

D.light

Affordable solar energy solutions provider

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

As impact leaders, mission and purpose are the driving force behind the work we do…In living this example, we can show the world that it is possible to harness the forces of capitalism, entrepreneurship, and human ingenuity to create highly scalable solutions to the daunting environmental and social problems we face as a global community.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

Over the years, we have continually had to let go of past assumptions and business plans (even ones that had initially worked for us) and adapt to market realities or evolving market dynamics, in order to break through to the next level.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

d.light is a global leader in social transformation by making solar energy solutions available and affordable to low-income families. d.light has sold more than 25 million products – including solar lanterns, solar home systems, TVs, radios and smartphones – impacting the lives of over 125 million people

No.33

Cathy Hayward-Hughes

Crystal Creek Logistics: A Lineage Logistics Company

Sustainably-minded shipping and fulfillment company

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

For me it is as important to make a difference in my world, help others find their way and bring my suppliers to a higher standard while we build a business and expose employees to a positive way of doing business that benefits our community, our stakeholders and our customers.

What did the challenges of the COVID pandemic teach you?

It taught me that it is critical to keep communication open, to work with your entire team to develop solutions to problems as they arise and that we are all in this together.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Crystal Creek Logistics meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability, and the company aspires to use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems. Crystal Creek’s leadership focuses on the principle that business is about more than profit – it’s about making a difference in the world.

No.34

Caryl Levine and Kenneth Lee

Lotus Foods

Specialty rice company promoting biodiversity and improved farmer incomes

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Being an impact leader means that we are succeeding in advancing our vision for what is right and just in this world, which is empowering and deeply rewarding. 

How has the theme of regeneration — of breaking down and breaking through — played out in your career?

The theme ‘regenerate’ is especially relevant for us, in both a physical and metaphoric sense. We are very proud that the cultivation practices of the basmati rice we source from farmers in India are fundamentally about regenerating soils. But ‘regenerate’ is also what we have done as a company several times in our 26-year history to reset our brand and grow. 

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

Lotus Foods reshaped how Americans think about and eat rice, pioneering the introduction of heirloom red and black rice to US markets in 1995. A certified benefit corporation, our mission has been, and continues to be, to use market incentives to drive positive social and environmental change.

No.35

Shadi Bakour

PATH

Selling bottled water in refillable aluminum bottles

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

As long as your purpose and mission are centered around a positive goal, the impact will create a ripple effect beyond expectation.

How has the theme of regeneration — of breaking down and breaking through — played out in your career?

In order to even enter the market, PATH had to break down the societal norms and prove that our solution is better. When we first started the company seven years ago in our early 20s, we were loading up cases of product in the back of a beat-up Prius, with the bumper hanging off the back, to pitch to 7-Eleven store owners throughout California.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

PATH aims to prevent 10 billion single-use plastic bottles from entering the landfill over the next few years. We are the first company to sell bottled water in a sturdy and refillable aluminum bottle. Each bottle is affordable — ranging from $2-3 — allowing everyone to have the means to a more eco-friendly lifestyle

No.36

Joseph Kenner

Greyston

A bakery helping individuals overcome barriers to employment

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

My goal as an impact leader is to eliminate as many barriers, as is reasonable and possible, to get people into work. Good social enterprise business models leverage the core capability of a business to address one or more social concern — such as poverty, education, and discrimination — especially in areas where their businesses are relevant and can positively contribute to the particular social issue in question.

How has the theme of regeneration — of breaking down and breaking through — played out in your career?

As business leaders, we need to be unabashed about calling for a new leadership playbook, especially in the face of workforce challenges that companies across the board are facing. This calls for new approaches to how and where we hire. It is also time to take a more holistic approach to our talent management strategies. We can build a more inclusive economy and strong companies at the same time.

 IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

At Greyston Bakery, we don’t hire people to bake brownies, we bake brownies to hire people. Our goal is to bring people – particularly the traditionally marginalized and excluded – into the mainstream labor force and off the sidelines. Applicants put their names on a list indicating their desire to work, and when there’s an opening, they’re hired, just like that!

No.37

Tom Szaky

TerraCycle

Creating first-of-its-kind recycling programs for locally hard-to-recycle materials and enabling those unique materials to be used in new products

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Loving the work you do is essential to solving the big problems, so leading with purpose is key to making an impact and achieving scale.

How has the theme of regeneration — of breaking down and breaking through — played out in your career?

In college, one of my professors taught a popular theory of economics that a company’s sole purpose is to deliver profit to shareholders. At the time, it took the wind out of my sails, as I believe the purpose of business is what it does — what service it provides, what product it makes, and how it helps people, society, and the planet. I resolved to spend my career creating businesses that put those things first. An early example is being on the verge of bankruptcy only one year into starting TerraCycle and turning down a million-dollar grand prize from a business plan competition because the investors wanted me to fire the staff that helped me build the enterprise and reduce the company’s focus on environmental responsibility.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

We believe there should be no such thing as waste. We work with brands, retailers, and people to keep trash out of landfills and give it new life through our three major business models: recycling, recycled content, and reuse. Beyond gaining the peace of mind that their waste won’t be landfilled or pollute marine habitats, participants in these programs may also earn points with every shipment that can be redeemed for cash donations to charities and non-profits.

No.38

Kevin Chin

Vivo Power

An energy solutions company helping customers achieve their net-zero carbon goals

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

As an impact-focused entrepreneur, I am passionate about growing companies, growing people, and growing value in a sustainable manner. Through the years I have had successful entrepreneurial experiences (receiving many obligatory scars in the process!) encompassing start-ups and scale-ups and spanning the spectrum from saving companies in turnaround situations to exponentially scaling up companies globally. This has been across a range of sectors, from enterprise software to vocational education, training and conferences, asset management, and renewable energy. 

How has the theme of regeneration — of breaking down and breaking through — played out in your career?

All entrepreneurs face challenges and obstacles. Growth does not happen without discomfort. Sometimes, you need to break down and have challenges to achieve your growth goals. My entrepreneurial journey commenced in 2003, after a decade in working life. Inspired by the Ben & Jerry biography, and with access to ice cream experts, I started with my best friend a unique ice-cream business focused on new Asian-influenced flavors. Having been in finance, I thought I knew business very well. But within three months of dealing with the “real world,” including dishonest landlords, unreliable staff, slow suppliers and working capital challenges, I realized that I knew very little about running a business. This “grassroots” operational training still ranks as one of my most important learning episodes. After the chaos of the start-up phase, we managed to scale up the business with operations in Australia and Singapore

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

VivoPower is a sustainable energy solutions company whose purpose is to help its corporate customers to decarbonize and achieve their net-zero carbon goals. It does this by delivering a holistic solution encompassing fleet electrification, ancillary site electrification (including microgrids and charging stations to power the electrified vehicles), and battery reuse and recycling.

No.39

Jeanne David

Outer Aisle Gourmet, LLC

Harnessing the power of plants to feed the world

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Being an impact leader means always looking for ways to serve and inspire others, encourage teamwork, and foster a gratitude culture.

How has the theme of regeneration — of breaking down and breaking through — played out in your career?

We set out to revolutionize the bread industry by breaking down the old system that is breaking down the health of our country. At the same time, we want to usher in a new era of responsible food with impactful health benefits that actually increase the health of consumers with nutrient dense products.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

Outer Aisle was born out of my family’s personal journey to remove sugar and processed carbs from our diet and eat more vegetables. We’re on a mission to make products that are nutritionally dense and delicious and harness the power of plants to feed the world

No.40

Steve Ardagh

Eagle Protect PBC

Disposable glove and clothing specialist

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

We have an unofficial mantra that we repeat often [about] saving the world ‘one glove at a time.’ The larger we grow, the more we can do to keep people safe, significantly reduce negative environmental impact, and build a great company full of good people!

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

In the past, [the question] has been: ‘Isn’t a glove just a glove?’ Our answer is no. We help our customers use a lot less of a better product. By doing this, we have helped one of the major US retail food chains save more than one million pounds of waste every year – just by changing their gloves!

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Founded in 2006, Eagle Protect is focused on responsible sourcing of quality products – thus, improving customers’ food safety and mitigating single-use glove risks. Eagle’s proprietary independent glove analysis tests ensure that their product adheres to the highest level of food safety performance and quality

No.41

Thiru Vignarajah

Capital Plus Financial

The first public, for-profit community development financial institutio

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Being an impact leader means more than just delivering on our mission — it also means proving that our work can be duplicated and scaled by others. For us to lead on impact, we need to make a positive difference that is concrete, measurable, sustainable, and replicable. We have endeavored to do this in the context of affordable housing, small business investment, climate finance, and impact real estate.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

Our historical focus has always been helping first-time homeowners with little or no credit history achieve the American Dream. When the global pandemic struck, we expanded our focus to help deliver PPP loans to independent contractors and small businesses that have been neglected by traditional banks, with over 80% of our funds going to businesses and contractors of color. Since then, we have developed partnerships to further support not just small businesses but also investments in climate finance and impact real estate.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Capital Plus Financial has a record of sustainable social impact investing and has emerged as a national leader in tackling the barriers that fuel the racial wealth gap, from access to capital and low financial literacy to discrimination in mortgage lending and lack of credit history. 

No.42

Devis Smith

Cotopaxi 

Sustainably designed outdoor gear

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Our brand has an evangelist and passionate following of Millennials and Gen Z consumers because we share their values. We see about 500 applicants per job opening because people love what our brand stands for, allowing us to attract and retain talent. 

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

Our entire brand and culture is built on our commitment to alleviate global poverty. We employ refugees in our local community, we use our supply chain to lift lives in the

communities where we manufacture, and we use our profits to support global poverty alleviation. 

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

We believe the products that get us exploring can make a positive impact in other people’s lives. That’s why we create sustainably designed outdoor gear that fuels both adventure and global change, by dedicating a percentage of our revenues to nonprofits working to improve the human condition.

No.43

John Sensiba

Sensiba San Filippo LLP

Providing assurance, tax, consulting, and sustainability services

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

While it strikes me as odd to consider myself an ‘impact leader,’ the truth is that I work with many folks that are indeed leading and creating impact. If our organization can positively impact the world, and I have in a small way contributed to that, I would feel very good about the outcome of my efforts. Working with a group of people so focused on creating positive impact is a blessing. 

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

Life and business have cycles. In order to learn, or ‘breakthrough,’ it is necessary to unlearn behavioral patterns. With experience and the help of my colleagues, I’ve learned to look for opportunities to disrupt our business in positive, strategic ways. Properly framed and planned disruptions still take a great deal of energy, but the stress is positive stress, and the ‘regeneration’ is achieved in a shorter period of time. Planned disruptions or breakdowns can follow a predictable pattern that removes much of the anxiety and stress associated with unplanned breakdowns.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

Sensiba San Filippo LLP ranks among the region’s top 20 public accounting firms and utilizes regional and global expertise to serve clients across a variety of industries. But we believe in providing clients with more than just a tax strategy or compliance report. Sensiba San Filippo provides clients with comprehensive assurance, tax, consulting, and sustainability services while using the power of business to solve social and environmental challenges.

No.44

Sam Mogannam

Bi-Rite Market

A grocery store seeking to create community through foo

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

We think it’s our responsibility to build meaningful relationships with each part of our extended family. The food we make and sell connects our staff, our guests, our producers, and the environment. In this way, we “create community through food”. We truly believe that through the relationships we build and nourish we are creating a stronger and more vibrant community. 

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

Bi-Rite believes food does more than nourish: It brings people together. With two neighborhood markets, a creamery, a catering company, a farm, cafe, and a non-profit community cooking school called 18 Reasons, the company now employs 350 people, providing a great place to work, with fully paid benefits, 401(k) retirement plan, and profit sharing for all employees.

No.45

Jeffrey Perlman

Bright Power

Sustainable energy management firm for real estate owners and operators 

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Being an impact leader means leading to more than just a financial bottom line — leading with your morals and to the triple bottom line of planet, people and profit. 

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

Climate change is a very big and complex problem. We have chosen to focus on a specific piece of that, which is energy use in buildings. But even this is a very big and complex problem. So we have gotten more specific, in focusing primarily on professional owners of multifamily apartment buildings. Here we’ve learned to break down the different sectors — market rate, affordable, coops/condos, and further into for-profit and non-profit owners, REITs, institutional investors, and family offices, etc. Each of these different subsectors has different characteristics, economic resources, and different motivations for buying. The only way we can be successful is by breaking things down into solvable pieces.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Bright Power is an energy management company built to meet the needs of the real estate industry. The company uses their intelligence and data-driven platform to strategically find the biggest problems and best opportunities across a real estate portfolio. Ultimately, Bright Power’s goal is to both increase property values for customers while saving the planet for all of us.

No.46

Deniel Turner

TCG, Inc.

IT and advisory services to the Federal government 

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Being an ‘impact leader’ means understanding that the goal isn’t just creating shareholder value. It means remembering that we are permitted to exist by our communities…That we owe much (or most or even all) of our success to luck…That we have a responsibility to the businesses our employees used to work for and the one they will work for after they leave us…That we are the ones best suited to advocate for positive change in our world… And that we have a unique opportunity here, now, to create a new way of thinking and a new way of doing business that rewards and also elevates our stakeholders 

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

When my company nearly failed (down 80% in revenue and staff in 3 years), I got a wonderful opportunity to rebuild it from the bottom to the top, from philosophy to products. Instead of running it by the seat of my pants, I turned to best practices. We turned the company around and grew for 15 years in a row. When my twins were born premature and spent 5 months in the NICU, it reminded me that I was not building this company in a vacuum. I needed the people around me and the benefits the company was uniquely able to provide. I worked hard to figure out how we could be the support system for each of our employees, so if that kind of medical crisis happened to someone else, they would have the resources they needed to emerge strong from their own crisis.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

TCG’s work helps to develop an efficient, transparent, and ethical government through the effective use of technology. We deliver IT and management advisory services to the federal government in Agile development, federal shared services, and budget formulation and execution.

No.47

David Young

Participate Learning

Connecting teachers and students to foster human understanding  

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

For me, there’s really no way for us to separate our good work from the financial outcomes. The more good we do, the better we do financially, which allows us to continue to further our mission. Participate Learning is committed to stakeholders, invests in employees, and engages in ethical and environmentally conscious business practices, making a positive impact locally and globally. 

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

During my lifelong career with the organization, I’ve experienced many opportunities, good and bad, and these have made me stronger as a leader and as a person — from economic stress, like the Great Recession of 2008, to the pandemic we are all living through now. I’m amazed to see how our staff have stepped up to the challenges and continued to support our international teachers and champion our work throughout it all. Despite the adversities of being far from home and teaching during unprecedented circumstances, our teachers’ passion and commitment continue to make an everlasting positive impact on students.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

Since 1987, Participate Learning has partnered with schools and districts to develop cultural competency that prepares students to collaborate in and contribute to the global marketplace. Our mission is to create global, cultural, and language connections that empower students and educators to positively impact the world. Our work fosters cultural understanding to create a peaceful future for everyone

No.48

Jason Karp

HumanCo

Consumer products for healthier living and sustainability 

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

For several decades, trust in corporate America has been declining precipitously for good reasons. In the CPG sector, obsessive shareholder-only focus and a short-term orientation around quarterly-results has led to the proliferation of many products that are optimized for cheap, scaled production with little concern for the health of humanity and the planet. I am trying to change this current ecosystem and restore trust with a new approach: a long-term orientation, an unwavering mission, and a willingness to question the accepted dogma.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

In my early twenties, I became very ill with several autoimmune diseases and was told by doctors that, while there was no cure, I should consume countless medications to mitigate my symptoms. I was also diagnosed with an incurable, degenerative eye disease and told I would be blind by the age of 30. After countless hours of research, self-experimentation, and a steadfast refusal to accept these diagnoses, I discovered my diseases were linked to what I was putting both in and on my body. After I dramatically improved my nutrition and lifestyle by focusing on whole, unprocessed foods and eliminating chemical additives found in most consumer products, my ailments reversed, including my “incurable eye” disease. 

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

For too many, consumption in a healthy, conscious way is confusing, and it is too difficult to make good decisions when the most accessible options steer us toward ultra-convenient and unhealthy choices. We believe that people need help in finding joy and health again. We will continue to create brands and products to help consumers make easier, better-informed decisions with higher-quality and more sustainable ingredients and processes.

No.49

Bec Chapin and Aaron Fairchild

Green Canopy NODE

Building sustainable and healthy homes 

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Being an impact leader means three things to us: Finding the alignment between our skill sets and our values, creating alignment through a shared purpose, and solving complex challenges by working in partnership, across sectors. We aren’t going to solve our housing and our climate crises by ourselves. 

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

Our company mission is to regenerate communities and environments. And to do so, we must first reflect on ourselves as individuals and create change within. This is done, in part, through eco-cycle mapping, which is a critical tool for us in evaluating our work. Plotting ourselves and our work on an eco-cycle map invites change and helps determine where we might be stagnating or where we can break down processes in order to improve.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

Green Canopy NODE intends to rapidly scale construction technology to lower building costs and help decarbonize the built environment. We combine smart construction technology solutions with a long track record of sustainable design, development, construction, and fund management expertise to seamlessly lower costs, shorten construction timelines, and create highly impactful housing for communities throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

No.50

Brent Kessel

Abacus Wealth Partners

A wealth manager helping clients align their money with their values

 

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

We have built our foundation on socially and environmentally responsible investing, giving clients not only financial returns on their investments, but emotionally satisfying returns as well. And in a field where women have traditionally been ignored, approximately half of Abacus’s advisors and partners are female. 

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

As recently as the early part of this century, few in the financial business took impact investing seriously. Abacus was one of the first companies to lead the way, demonstrating success was not predicated upon turning away from one’s civic or moral duty. In fact, genuine success could be built on it. Abacus is atop its field today because its founders stood by their deeply held beliefs about responsibility and sustainability, and then built an entire culture around those ideals.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

As a purpose-driven, values-centric financial advisory firm, we are focused on creating authentic and measurable impact in three areas: Delivering values-aligned financial advice to improve people’s lives; managing investments that have a positive impact on society and the environment; and effecting change in the financial services industry to create a more diverse and equitable profession and serve a client base comprised of diverse backgrounds.

No.51

Tal Frankfurt

Cloud for Good

Salesforce implementation partner for nonprofits and higher ed

 

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

To me, being an impact leader means setting an example of integrity, curiosity, and service on a daily basis. My company, Cloud for Good, helps nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions create transformative value through technology. This mission statement isn’t possible without tireless devotion to bettering business processes, optimizing efficiency, and pursuing excellence along every step of the journey. I recognize that this all starts with me, and that it is my responsibility as an impact leader within my space to inspire those I work with to aspire to something more, to do more good in the world. That’s what keeps me going day in and day out.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

Prior to founding Cloud for Good, I served as the director of resource development for a nonprofit organization that worked with at-risk immigrant youth. In my search for a tool up to the task of effectively managing donors, participants, and volunteers, I found Salesforce. I had to break down and break through many iterations of technology trial and error before finding the right platform able to match the mounting need. 

Finding Salesforce was a true regeneration moment for me; adopting the platform into my everyday work sparked the idea of Cloud for Good and led me down the path to creating what is now a Salesforce implementation partner creating strategic technology solutions through the cloud. If you aren’t continuously iterating, you’re bound to stagnate and fall off. Regeneration is simply the name of the game.”

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Cloud for Good is a Premium Salesforce.org Partner specializing in Salesforce implementations for nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions. With over 2,000 implementations completed, Cloud for Good helps clients create transformational value with technology. Providing organizations with the opportunity to focus on their mission is what drives the team at Cloud for Good

No.52

Jay Wilkinson

Firespring

Strategic marketing agency for businesses and nonprofits

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

My life’s purpose is to curate my own consciousness and be a catalyst for others to do the same. I wish I’d have learned earlier in my entrepreneurial journey that being a conscious leader is 100% an inside job. In my early years, I put too much focus on “telling” and not enough on “showing.” The more focus I’ve put on elevating my own leadership abilities, the more I understand that there is no such thing as a perfect leader. We’re all learning as we go, often feeling like an imposter, but doing our best to succeed. It is in our vulnerability that we find our strength as an impact leader.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

It is purported that the human body replaces itself every seven years as individual cells die off and regenerate. Essentially, we become a new version of ourselves. The same can be said of companies. At Firespring, we have adopted the mindset — that in order to attain our long-term vision of being an evergreen company that thrives for 100+ years — we need to re-invent ourselves every decade or so. This sentiment is deeply ingrained into our mission and vision and demands a vigilant cycle of constantly finding a better way.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

Firespring provides strategic guidance activated through marketing and technology solutions to help businesses and nonprofits prosper. As a founding partner of the Do More Good Movement, we help educate, empower, and amplify companies and business leaders doing more good

No.53

Chad Ferrell

Encore Renewable Energ

Innovators in community-scale clean energy

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Guiding an organization that is founded on the principles of business being a force for good, with a focus on triple bottom line outcomes and making the greatest impact on the climate crisis possible, all while educating and empowering others to bring their best and most authentic selves to the work.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

Life as an entrepreneurial executive and professional on the “solar coaster” has been anything but stable. At Encore, we have recognized that with risk comes reward, when managed in the most effective manner possible. We encourage team members to share their challenges and have sought to create a culture that lifts others up. We understand the challenges of working in a nascent and rapidly advancing industry and have invested in things to help us succeed as a team such as emotional intelligence training, personal insights discovery processes and tools to maintain connections in an increasingly virtual world.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

​​Encore Renewable Energy leader in full-service community scale renewable energy services, with a proven track record in project development from concept to completion. As a values-led company, Encore specializes in reclaiming undervalued real estate for clean energy generation and storage, helping to revitalize communities and create a cleaner, brighter future for all.

No.54

Bill Strathmann

Network for Good

Fundraising software to level the playing field for small nonprofits

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Authentically leading with passion for the mission.

What quote best exemplifies your leadership style?

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no “brief candle” for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.” — George Bernard Shaw.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Network for Good is a mission-driven technology company that simplifies fundraising software, guidance, and insights to level the playing field for small nonprofits, because their missions matter too.

No.55

Edmond Koloms

FMS, pbc.

A socially conscious, impact-driven janitorial service

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

As a certified B Corp, we believe in utilizing our resources to help our employees and our community. Because of this, we relocated our homebase in 2017 to the West Louisville, Kentucky neighborhood of Portland. Moving to a distressed neighborhood directly relates to our social mission. Thirty-eight percent of our frontline employees live in West Louisville. In Portland, 42% of households earn an income below the national poverty line and 43% of folks hold less than a high school diploma. Operating out of Portland gives us the opportunity to put our mission to work daily in this burgeoning neighborhood.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

In 2010, Facilities Management Services (FMS) began formalizing a plan to become an employee-centered company with positive social impact. That year, the first annual FMS Leadership Retreat was held and we set out to answer one fundamental question: “Why are we succeeding?” Our resounding answer: “We care about the people we work with.” From there, we created the guiding principles by which we operate today, our core values, and we made a plan to incorporate those values into all aspects of our company.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

FMS is an impact-driven janitorial service with a social mission to provide opportunity and access for our employees and to help the communities where we live thrive. The greatest difficulty in the janitorial business is employee turnover. Low wages and lack of opportunity and development often lead to unhappy employees who feel like their work isn’t important and valued. To address this, we implement intentional hiring and recruiting practices and create programs designed to make the experience of our frontline workers better.  

Once we have found values-aligned employees, we continue to foster their growth and development. When promotional opportunities arise, we look first within our organization and invite those team members who are on a leadership track to apply

No.56

Ally McDonald

Boston Common Asset Management

Women-led investment management firm focused on impact

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

In everything I have done, I have tried to follow my college mantra of “Men and Women for Others,” which is best said today as being “a Person for Others.” Reflecting on the last century of US economic cycles, it’s obvious that business leaders have acted in service of their own interests and at the expense of others to catastrophic ends. Considering the enormity of the current moment’s challenges, however, capital markets can and must be engines for impact. For me, it starts with considering others and it’s a privilege to lead a team in that spirit, seeking together to create a healthier, more sustainable world.”

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have carved out a professional path that looks different from that of many other CEOs in the investment management industry. I began my career inside large financial institutions before focusing exclusively on the causes most near and dear to my heart in philanthropy and impact investing – climate, gender equity, and poverty alleviation. Working in various types of organizations alongside executives with divergent leadership styles shaped the values that I lead with every day. The most impactful mentors on my path were not afraid to break things down in pursuit of a better solution. I’ve never shied away from change, and I try to empower my employees to embrace disruption creatively instead of assuming we should avoid it.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Boston Common Asset Management is a women-led, experienced investment manager and a leader in global impact initiatives dedicated to the pursuit of financial return and social change. The firm seeks investment opportunities that deliver both competitive returns and generate positive social and environmental impacts. As engaged stewards of their investments, Boston Common advocates for the transition to a more just, sustainable economy.

No.57

Arnaud Lacourt

Ubees

American beekeeping company with the goal of saving bees

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

Regeneration is about change, and sometimes you need to break down all that you have built to rebuild differently and frequently better. Being in tech for 20 years it happened to me many times, always triggered by a crisis: the internet bubble, 2008, the rising of Asian markets, and more recently Covid 19. Yet there is always light at the end of the tunnel if you keep a cap with your real mission in line.

What did the challenges of the COVID pandemic teach you?

The workplace has changed: after thinking we had to all meet every morning in our offices, we went 100% remote, and then to a hybrid work system. It has been challenging and it is still the case, but these challenges have enabled us to grow from 3 locations to 9 locations over the last two years. I am sure that two years ago, our whole team would have said it was impossible. The management has also changed to offer more empowerment of our teams

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

​​Ubees is an American beekeeping corporation with a mission to save the bees. By combining traditional beekeeping expertise with innovative science and technology, Ubees goal is to reduce bee mortality rates and help to sustain pollination at the industrial scale

No.58

Kristin Carroll

Rescue Agency

Campaigns that promote health behavior change

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Being an impact leader is always about the commitment to learn, grow, evolve and make business better. After working for a startup turned public company that ended up being sold and dismantled to a private equity firm, I’ve had a strong belief that there are many ways to create impact through business. It can be purely through the numbers as shareholder capitalism would lead one to believe, or, it can be a combination of sustainability in numbers and a measurable positive impact on employees, customers and the community. As a leader, it can’t simply be about the belief. It has to be about putting that belief into practice to continuously improve the way business can be measured and can contribute to social impact. 

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

​We are indeed in a new time, from virtual workforces to constant uncertainty about COVID safety, to changing family dynamics that have undoubtedly bled into every aspect of our workforce. It is overwhelming in so many ways. While scary, I have constantly had to remind myself that all I can do — all we can do — is our best on any given day. If we can break down the big problems into smaller parts and make the best decision with the information we have, the sum of the parts will add up to greater than the parts themselves. This has served me well with large overwhelming projects that seemed to go the wrong way at every turn, and has helped during the constant stops, starts and shifts during COVID. Breaking down big problems has a way of always helping me breakthrough… even if I don’t know exactly how from the very beginning.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Rescue Agency is focused exclusively on how to positively change behaviors across nutrition and obesity, food insecurity, maternal health and early childhood development, tobacco control, substance use, and mental health — and understanding the intersectionality of them all. Our mission is to make healthy behaviors easier and more appealing by creating groundbreaking social marketing and health communications campaigns for federal agencies including the FDA and CDC, state public health departments, health care organizations, and county agencies

No.59

Keith Murphy

RisingSun Solar (now Astrawatt Solar)

Solar energy franchise 

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Impact leaders are torch bearers of innovation. We are responsible for leading positive change within our industries and communities. We should all have goals that incorporate increased opportunities for a more diverse workforce, with products and services that contribute to making our planet healthier.

What did the challenges of the COVID pandemic teach you?

Diversification without losing focus. This is a thin line to walk, but developing new channels for revenue that don’t distract from the main thing that brought you to the dance will pay off in the long run. We know we do great work and that there is a huge opportunity to help like-minded individuals all over the country start and operate successful solar installation companies. Instead of growing through capital-intensive means, we chose to franchise our business model which will allow us to expand our business much quicker and much more efficiently than we otherwise would have been able to.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

RisingSun Solar (now Astrawat Solar) started in 2016 with one mission: to make it easy for homeowners to go solar. With a focus on educating customers about the best solar options available for them, RisingSun Solar provides homeowners with the answers they need to make the right choice for their home

No.60

Connie Matisse

East Fork

Homegoods made with integrity

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Power can be a nasty little thing to have if you aren’t aware or able to accept that you have it. Being an impact leader involves understanding the impact you and your choices have on the rooms you walk in, the people you work with, your community at large, and on the mysterious unfolding of your own life.

What did the challenges of the COVID pandemic teach you?

COVID turned the volume up on all the stressors of modern life and made everything feel like a crisis. This simple act of checking in with ourselves and each other to make sure we’re not trying to make a decision from survival mode has been critical to keeping the ship afloat and, most importantly, allowing us each to live in alignment with our own personal values and integrity.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

East Fork is a vertically integrated, direct-to-consumer designer, manufacturer, and retailer of timeless and durable dinnerware, made in Asheville, North Carolina with regional clays. The company maintains a tenacious commitment to contributing meaningfully and measurably to the holistic wellness of its employees and its community.

No.61

Gloria Nelund

TriLinc Global

Private credit asset manager and impact investor

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Being an impact leader is leading by example. Personally, I aim to realize impact on a global, community, and personal level – with a focus on outcomes and the actions to ensure those outcomes.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

“At the end of 2005, I retired from a very successful career on Wall Street to make a difference with my life. I thought it would be easy…However, as I traveled around the world getting involved in causes I care about, I found myself frustrated and unfulfilled. I spent two years searching for the answers, being broken down in every way. I finally came to the realization that business was [still] my calling…I was ‘regenerated’ and ultimately was able to break through to create significant impact in the world through TriLinc.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

TriLinc Global, founded in 2008, is a woman-owned private credit asset manager in Manhattan Beach, CA. Distinguished from its competition by an expertise in underwriting and lending directly to SME’s, the team is composed of pioneers, advocates, and specialists in impact investing.

No.62

Anne Weaver

Elephants Delicatessen

Gourmet food stores, restaurants, and catering

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Impact leaders have a certain mindset. They are passionate and motivated to make a difference. They believe success is defined by the impact they have on those around them and use business to improve the well-being of all members of society. At Elephants, this starts with the servant leadership philosophy. We believe the goal of the leader is to serve others — not to be served by others. It is a people-centered, bottom-up leadership philosophy that is all about supporting and lifting people up. We embrace this leadership style within our organization and extend it to our interaction with the community as well

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

Breakdowns and breakthroughs go hand in hand – they are the opposite side of the same coin. Whenever a breakdown occurs, you know growth is around the corner. The breakdown is a gift, really. It signifies it’s time for a change, and it allows you space to see what is no longer working. When things fall apart you are provided with space and time to process what has happened and rebuild with a stronger foundation. The trick is to not get bogged down in the breakdown; you have let it happen to make room for the breakthroughs and regeneration.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

A locally owned company since 1979, Elephants Delicatessen pioneered the gourmet food industry in the Pacific Northwest consisting of seven Portland-metro area retail locations and a catering company, all serving great local foods prepared from scratch. Elephants Delicatessen prides itself on sustainable practices and voluntarily meets a higher standard of transparency and accountability, using the power of business as a force for good.

No.63

Michael Jones

Thrive Farmers International

Farmer-to-consumer supplier of coffee and tea

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

In a world so focused on the bottom line, being an impact leader requires being willing to fundamentally reengineer systems – some that may have been around for more than a century – to create positive change on behalf of others in the world.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

I had to break down my [old] idea of success – which was based on financials and accolades [early in my career] – to break through to the idea that success is finding purpose in work that changes the world for the better

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:  

Thrive Farmers was founded in 2011 to break the cycle of poverty in farming by building inclusive supply chains. Its innovative farmer-direct model gives farmers a true stake in the sale of their produce. The combination of exceptionally crafted products – including coffee, tea, and ready-to-drink beverages – delivered through an impact-driven business model allows consumers to make the world better one purchase at a time.

No.64

Tony Salas and John Dennisto

Shared-X

Regenerative agriculture company

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

In July 2020 — our fifth anniversary as a company — Shared-X’s founders paused for a moment to ask ourselves two questions, the answers to which reveal our view of impact leadership: who are we, and where are we going? Our answers: Shared-X is an Impact Farming innovator, and we’re going to help catalyze a global Impact Farming movement.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

Most recently, we formed Shared-X for the purpose of regenerating farms and farming communities. Before that, each of us in our own way has been on a career journey that’s regenerated our view of the purpose of business.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Shared-X is a regenerative agriculture company founded on impact farming principles, taking aim at the traditional farming industry and building a model that is more empowered, inclusive, and fair. The company integrates biotechnologies into a novel Impact Farming system that has demonstrated its ability to improve both soil carbon concentration and smallholder farmer incomes

No.65

Eric Friedenwald-Fishman

Metropolitan Group

Communications and consulting agency that helps clients create impact

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

It means listening to and amplifying the power of voice of the change agents who see the need and opportunity to change the status quo.

What did the challenges of the COVID pandemic teach you?

First, people – particularly when in community or on teams – are creative, resourceful, resilient, and together can find new solutions…far faster than any of us imagined. And second, [our society’s] focus on individualism and the politics of fear is our greatest risk. We must invest in building trust in science, in government, and in each other.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Metropolitan Group is a full-service social change agency that crafts and integrates strategic and creative services to help clients and the communities they serve build a just and sustainable world. The firm works with change agents in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors to drive changes in policy and practice, systems and social norms, and individual and collective behavior.

No.66

Ian Bentleyl

Parker Clay

Ethiopian leather manufacturer and retailer empowering women

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

In 2012, Ethiopia became my home, and it was there that I saw firsthand what many news outlets in America would never bother to cover. I saw how many young women, without opportunity or education, ended up in a life of prostitution, or even sold into human trafficking. While living there, [my family] worked with organizations empowering these women through rehabilitation, skills development, and job creation. Meeting these women and witnessing the transformation that can come with just a teaspoon of opportunity deeply moved and inspired us. One day, I happened to be looking for a birthday gift for [my wife] and came across an incredible leather bag. The artisans’ craftsmanship was beautiful, and we learned this leather was not only ethically sourced, but some of the highest quality in the world.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

There was a moment a few years back – seemingly inconsequential, but now totally unforgettable – where [my wife and I] were playing with our boys, Parker and Clay. A story on the news happened to catch our attention, a new study that estimated that there were over 160 million orphans worldwide. We thought immediately about the kids playing just feet away, “What if that were Parker or Clay? What if we were not able to provide for them?” It led to a regular dialogue in our house about inequality, opportunity, and most importantly, perspective on the life we have been so lucky to lead. This dialogue grew louder and louder, and it became the catalyst for some huge changes to come, leading us to a move to Ethiopia and the founding of Parker Clay.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Parker Clay manufactures leather bags to provide dignified employment with the goal of lifting women out of exploitation. The company hires at-risk women in Ethiopia, and supports employees by paying living wages and benefits, providing skills training, career advancement, and financial literacy opportunities. By paying people well and helping to unlock their potential, Parker Clay strives to foster generational change

No.67

Tristan Louis

Casebook PBC

SaaS Platform for human and social services

What quote best exemplifies your leadership style?

“It is not the strongest or the smartest of the species that survive, but the ones most adaptable to change.” — Charles Darwin

What did the challenges of the COVID pandemic teach you?

Stop, breathe, regroup. While we are all focused on the crisis of the moment, when crises becomes plural, it is best to take a pause before you figure out the next step forward. While it may sound counter-intuitive to take a break in the middle of a storm, it often leads to clarity that allows you to find the best path.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Casebook PBC is working on building the right software to solve poverty. By combining the best of SaaS, machine learning, and big data, we are building the data corpus on what works best to treat most social determinants of health, helping users on the front line of casework and advocacy support the most vulnerable members of society

No.68

Michael Sachse

Dandelion Energy

Geothermal heating company

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Originally conceived at X, Alphabet’s innovation lab, Dandelion Energy is now an independent company offering geothermal heating and cooling systems to homeowners, starting in the Northeastern US.

No.69

Jeff Russell

Jitasa

Accounting Solutions Exclusively for Nonprofits

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Being an impact leader means being holistic in your approach. An employee-only focus isn’t enough. A client-only focus isn’t enough. An environmental-only focus isn’t enough. A financial focus isn’t enough. A community focus isn’t enough. But you need to consider all of these things as you establish your strategy, policies, and business model. I believe that you can and should optimize for ALL of them, which requires inherent tradeoffs. For example, paying employees more (good) may mean higher rates for your clients (bad) and vice versa. But having an intentional strategy to manage these tradeoffs versus simply letting finances trump the decision making process is the everyday challenge for an impact leader.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

The arc of Jitasa has been 2-steps forward, 1-step back for the past 14 years. Although we have shown year over year revenue growth every single year of our existence, we have had better and worse holistic years. As an impact company, it is important to consider long-term ramifications as well as the short-term reality of our decisions. As a rapidly growing company, we are often faced with a difficult choice for our employees – the increased work that comes from managing new clients versus the increased workload that comes from training new staff. Every time we double in size, we break down our organizational structures and processes to rebuild them for our new size and scale. This happens every few years. As a result, we have gotten far better at isolating the work on dedicated individuals and minimizing the burden on our staff as a whole. This is one example of breaking down (our processes and our organizational structures) to break through (with higher rates of employee satisfaction and retention.)

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

Jitasa’s mission is to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of nonprofits through bookkeeping and accounting services that are affordable, and cater to every type of nonprofit. Jitasa is the largest national provider of bookkeeping and accounting services to nonprofits in the US. The name, Jitasa (ji-tah-suh), means “The Spirit of Serving Others.” The company exists to serve nonprofits who make the world a better place.

No.70

Sadie Lincoln

Barre3

Progressive fitness company

What quote best exemplifies your leadership style?

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.” – Margaret Mead

What did the challenges of the COVID pandemic teach you?

Keep a relentless focus on the epicenter of business. The epicenter is that one thing that if you took it away, you would not have a viable business. For us, it is teaching the barre3 signature class consistently and at scale. In times of great uncertainty, it can be intoxicating – and also a death sentence – to chase trends or to start to question the epicenter.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Launched in 2008, Barre3 is a fitness company focused on teaching people to be balanced in body and empowered from within. What started as a workout has blossomed into a full-blown movement made up of millions of people focused on body positivity, being empowered, and redefining what success in fitness means

No.71

Philippe Dunsky

Dunsky Energy + Climate Advisors

Advisory firm accelerating the clean energy transition

What quote best exemplifies your leadership style?

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I woke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”

– Rabindranath Tagore

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

In 2003, my otherwise good life was hit with a trifecta of big challenges…In the eye of the storm, I struggled to see through to the other side. But I emerged from it…Now, big walls seem smaller; big challenges, easier to overcome. I like to think – and I do indeed feel – that I’ve gained tremendously from that breakdown moment in my life. I dare say I wouldn’t be nearly as successful without it.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

Dunsky Energy + Climate Advisors helps clients – including governments, utilities, corporates, and beyond – to accelerate the clean energy transition. The firm uses sophisticated analytics to assess what’s needed to decarbonize energy, buildings, transportation and industry, at scale. Then, the team leverages deep experience and skills to design the strategies to make the transition happen

No.72

Seungah Jeong

MPOWERD Inc

Clean energy powered technology products

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

As true change requires systemic inequalities to be understood and then dismantled, I’ve spent my career focusing on who is not at the decision-making table and why. From a product and marketing perspective, this includes respecting people as consumers and understanding how to meet their needs and wants, no matter their socioeconomic status and access to resources. From a business perspective, this includes understanding that innovation and partnerships can generate unique solutions to more regenerative patterns of considering people and the planet, in addition to profit.

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

An impact leader means embodying and consistently leading with clarity and purpose around the values important to the organization and the impact it seeks to achieve.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

​​MPOWERD is on a mission to transform lives with thoughtfully designed, clean technology. Their innovative products give people the power of self-reliance — because we believe that everyone deserves access to clean, reliable, and affordable energy — no matter how or where they live

No.73

Craig Wichner

Farmland LP

Impact Investor in organic farmland

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Being an impact leader means having a clear vision for how the world can be a better place, and aligning your business to make that better world happen. It means sharing that vision with others – your employees, your investors, your customers – in a way that inspires them and has them see how with their work, investment or purchase they can help create that better world. It has to be real; real problems, real facts and evidence, real solutions. And at the end of the day, every day, you have to produce real results. Being an impact leader is not about me or you, it is about our kids and the next generation, and what kind of world we are giving them. Did we give them a better world than we had, and did we inspire them to leave an even better world for their kids? That is being an impact leader.

What did the challenges of the COVID pandemic teach you?

A foundation of our business is empowering our team, so with Covid we simply did more of that. We shut down offices in February of 2020 before it became a pandemic to keep our employees safe. We communicated facts about Covid often and truthfully, helped by my degree in Biology and the work I did on HIV (an earlier virus pandemic, though transmitted differently than Covid). We gave people facts, and, in tandem with the uncertainty of Covid, they could choose if they went to the office and wore masks, or stayed home, or got vaccinated. Most people did get vaccinated, but at least they had clear information and made their own choices, with full knowledge of the consequences either way.

 IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Farmland LP is a leading investment fund that generates returns by converting conventional commercial farmland to sustainable. Founded in 2009, Farmland manages over 15,000 acres and more than $200 million in assets. Their approach to acquiring and converting farmland relies on our unique operational expertise to enhance value in each of their farmland investments.

No.74

Zak Kaufman Vera Solutions, Benefit LLC

Data Solutions platform for social change

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Being an impact leader means putting purpose over profit. By taking an impact-first approach, leaders send a message to their teams, their customers, and their communities that it’s possible to do well while doing good. This ethos has been a cornerstone of Vera Solutions’ growth and success over the years. Impact is our #1 value, followed by our supporting values of Excellence, Sustainability, Teamwork, and Leadership. Impact leaders need to maintain a growth mindset because the world around us is constantly changing and challenging our products, practices, and programs to evolve. Ultimately, business leaders need to ask themselves and clearly articulate how their products and services help society. I believe that companies lacking a coherent, strategic answer to that question will fail to attract and retain talent, and eventually lose their customers as consumers and businesses become increasingly mindful of equality, fairness, and sustainability.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

Social entrepreneurship makes for a never-ending bumpy ride that demands patience, agility, and resilience. As Vera Solutions has grown from three part-time co-founders in 2010 to a team of ninety across five continents, we’ve hit our fair share of roadblocks, speed bumps, and potholes – project delays, sudden departures, cash crunches, and countless changes in the technology landscape. While our mission, vision, and values have remained sturdy throughout the years, we have needed to constantly learn from our successes and failures, evolve our operating model, and adapt our tactics. Recent examples of this in response to the pandemic include shifting to entirely remote project delivery, launching new and revised policies for relocation, travel, and company events, running quarterly calls to collectively celebrate successes of all sizes, and adopting Slack for collaboration to keep our company culture vibrant. Our impact-first focus has kept us grounded during times of uncertainty, while our agility has kept us thriving.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

Vera is a global social enterprise driven to amplify the impact of the social sector using cloud and mobile technology. With services and products centered on the Salesforce Platform, the Vera team blends social sector and technical expertise to tailor flexible, scalable solutions that transform the way social impact organizations collect, manage, analyze, and utilize data. Vera envisions a social sector driven by outcomes, accountability, and data-informed decisions – a sector in which data systems help organizations deliver better results.

No.75

Chaz Berman

Grower’s Secret, Inc

Organic fertilizer supplier for farms

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

I don’t think of being an impact leader. I think of working with a great small team of experienced and dedicated individuals to do our part, allowing Mother Nature to rest from the chemical onslaught and regenerate itself.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

Throughout my career, I have pursued ideas that replace systems which no longer function with new ones that function better. What once worked, no longer works – or has unintended consequences that need to be reworked or replaced.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Grower’s Secret has developed a patented process to replace synthetic nitrogen with regenerative organic nitrogen for lower cost. Synthetic nitrogen – which is applied in fertilizers on about 570M farms globally – leeches off farms into streams, rivers, and oceans with harmful consequences. Grower’s Secret intends to give Mother Nature a respite by eliminating the use of synthetic nitrogen

No.76

Wendy Strgar

Good Clean Love

Natural sexual wellness brand

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

For me, being an impact leader means changing the face and direction of women’s healthcare, while maintaining the Good Clean Love mission: to increase the awareness and experience of love in the world. Good Clean Love has taken a leadership role in the women’s health category while maintaining our core values of being an environmentally and socially responsible, community minded, and a science-based company. As a certified B Corp, Good Clean Love is held to a high standard of consistent charitable giving, reducing our carbon footprint, using sustainable packaging, and creating cruelty free products.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

The idea of regeneration is reflected in my lifelong practice in the cultivation of resilience. There are 3 lessons that I have had to learn over and over through the years that has created a theme of resilience in my career.  

The first lesson is to always bring myself back to the present moment. Squandering our attention on the regrets of yesterday or the anticipation of tomorrow’s worries is how we distract ourselves from our real power. It is only in this present moment that we have impact in our own lives, and this realization is truly liberating. 

The second is to not get lost in the rollercoaster of the story line when things fall apart. Giving up our story line requires the courage to stew in the discomfort of the present breakdown without a narrative, replacing the banter with persistent attention to how we are thinking and talking to ourselves. 

Finally, the practice of persistence. Quitting is easy because there are many ways to distract our attention, and because the consequences of quitting are not visible at the moment we walk away. Every worthy achievement is a result of people who didn’t quit when things fell apart (and trust me, they did).

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

A woman-owned company, Good Clean Love is the best-selling natural sexual wellness brand in the US, with products available in more than 50,000 storefronts, online, and through medical partners. Good Clean Love’s brand promise is to produce the most effective, non-toxic wellness solutions that are backed by science and mimic the body’s natural balance, which is encompassed by the company’s patented, revolutionary Bio-Match technology. Named a Top Healthcare Technology Company in 2021 and a Real Leaders Top 200 Impact Company in 2022, Good Clean Love has earned recognition as both a pioneer company and a FemTech leader

No.77

Steven Dyme

Flowers for Dream

Locally crafted flowers benefiting charity

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

“I view being an impact leader as the next generation imperative of business. Servant leadership has been conventionally defined as a focus on serving your employees and your internal organization. I think in the new era it requires an extension to include serving your community, environment, and stakeholders externally as well.” – CEO Steven Dyme

What did the challenges of the COVID pandemic teach you?

COVID is an example many entrepreneurs/leaders can relate to. We went back to the beautiful basics at Flowers for Dreams. Particularly during the wedding and event moratorium around social gatherings for the 12 months from Spring 2020 to Spring 2021, we shed a lot of bad or complex business practices and reimagined our offerings in a smaller, lower footprint, more scalable, and accessible way. Now we have a leading wedding floral product built for the many, not the few.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Flowers for Dreams is a craft flower company in the Midwest, offering locally sourced flowers, small batch designs, with fair and honest prices. Every bouquet sold benefits an amazing local charity. Named one of Business Insider’s 20 Most Inspiring Companies in America and a Best for the World B Corporation, the company’s charitable Flowers for Good model has resulted in donations to over 175 local nonprofits

No.78

Justin Senkbeil

CompostNow

Home Composting Program

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

CompostNow is working to reimagine food waste management and rebuild our depleted soils. Their vision is to close the loop on food waste by empowering community members and local businesses to divert their compostables from the landfill and, instead, use those nutrients to build nutrient-rich soil. Closing the loop on food waste is imperative in building healthy soil, creating resilient, local food systems, and fighting climate change

No.79

Stephen Aiguier

Green Hammer Design Build

Green design-build firm

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

A pioneer of Oregon’s green building movement, Stephen Aiguier founded Green Hammer in 2002. The company was one of the first green builders in Oregon to focus solely on environmentally-friendly building. By 2009, Green Hammer had built five of the first LEED-Platinum homes in the United States, trained numerous staff as Passive House consultants, and grew into a full-service design-build firm.

No.80

Josh Lannon

Warriors Heart

Addiction and PTSD Treatment for Military and First Responders

What did the challenges of the COVID pandemic teach you?

We made a decision to stay open and not abandon our warriors in need [during the pandemic]. We discussed what was killing our warriors first; addiction, depression, PTSD, or COVID-19. We decided to stay in the fight, invested in a rapid COVID-19 PRC machine (the only treatment center to own one) and used the tools first responders do to stay on the front line. Our lesson was that fear, addiction, PTSD and the unknown were far more destructive during this time than the virus, although we did lose people to covid. We took care of our team, our clients and our community…. and it paid off.

What quote best exemplifies your leadership style?

“A Warrior is one who sacrifices himself for the good of others. His task is to take care of the elderly, the defenseless, those who cannot provide for themselves, and above all, the children, the future of humanity.” – Sitting Bull

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Warriors Heart specializes in substance abuse treatment and co-occurring psychological disorders, with special attention to post traumatic stress, unresolved grief and loss, and moral injury. Their courses provide the full continuum of care from detox, residential inpatient, day treatment, outpatient, sober living and 1-on-1 counseling. From 9/11 to a 911 phone call, Warriors Heart takes care of those who take care of us

No.81

Jennifer Kenning

Align Impact

Female-founded Impact Investment firm

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Being an impact leader means recognizing that it will take all of us to bring the vision of a more equitable and sustainable world to a reality. It means knowing how to empower people to realize their potential and support them in understanding how they fit into the broader ecosystem of solutions. It is about being a fierce optimist, without being unrealistic. Being an impact leader also means being an active listener, and using your position of leadership to lift the voices of those who cannot speak or cannot be heard. It means having an acute understanding that it took a village to get you to where you are and, by virtue of having a seat at the table, you are accountable to more people than you can even name. It is about gratitude.Being an impact leader means being entirely committed to your morals and values, to constantly recalibrate your moral compass to align with your calling so that even when the noise of the world makes you forget why you do what you do, you remain focused and committed.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

I learned that when you are at your most vulnerable, there is a light within that will always accompany you, no matter how dim or buried deep down it is. For me, that light was the calling to help make the world work for 7.8 billion people, and not at the expense of the planet. My journey to fully committing to that calling, though, was one of breaking down, leaving everything I thought I knew and jumping into the unknown. During the beginning of my professional career, I held on to the idea that success was measured in promotions, paychecks and countless working hours. I had all of that, and yet, I was severely depressed. That is when I realized I could not postpone my calling to impact any longer; I realized that success is measured by the authenticity with which you are able to align your heart, values and actions. I had to trust my inner light and dive into the unknown to come out on the other side with a vision of an organization that could serve the mission of making the world work for all. Align is what came out of my regeneration period.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Align Impact is a female-founded impact investment firm transforming the way individuals, families, foundations, institutions, and advisors invest and give. The firm works to build diverse investment portfolios that integrate investor values within a disciplined due diligence process, allowing investors to achieve their financial and impact goals

No.82

Phillip Haid

Public Inc.

Full-service social impact agency

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

This year’s theme has played a big impact in my career as it was the foundational idea for why I started my company. Back in 2000 I was developing CSR strategies for companies; it was a relatively new concept and I was excited to help brands think more strategically about their philanthropic efforts. By 2004 I realized that the construct of CSR was flawed because it separated the operational and financial success of the company from the community efforts. I created Public to break down the way companies approach impact, creating a new path that doesn’t force them to sacrifice profits in order to make an impact… As the journey of breaking down old thinking and old approaches continues, constantly pushing to regenerate creates new ideas that will break through and create greater impact.

What quote best exemplifies your leadership style?

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” —John Quincy Adams

 I love this quote because I have always felt my job as a leader is to inspire people to believe in themselves and the impossible. What we dream up is what we can create. Not everyone looks at the world that way, but when you can get teammates to see what is possible and not hold themselves back, it’s magical. Public’s purpose is to accelerate a net positive economy, so it’s imperative teammates and clients don’t get caught up in the practical realities of today. We need to look beyond… to see around corners and dream about what we can create to help move the world forward towards a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable future.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Public Inc. is a full-service social impact agency with purpose at the top of the business agenda. The agency creates strategies and creative solutions that define a company’s purpose, ESG brand, community impact and sustainability initiatives, and leads the transition for businesses to become a positive force for change

No.83

Lindsey McCoy

Plaine Products

Refillable Vegan Bath Products

What did the challenges of the COVID pandemic teach you?

We’ve worked hard to develop a reputation for honesty and transparency with our customers, and this was invaluable during COVID when there was panic about the safety of reusables. We were able to explain that we had safety procedures in place for all germs, including COVID, to keep our employees and customers safe. As a result, we experienced growth throughout the pandemic.  We also have taken good care of our employees: providing flexibility, competitive wages and promoting from within, so we did not experience labor shortages during the pandemic.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

My career started in the nonprofit sector. I saw the growing problems with plastic pollution and moved over to the business sector to provide alternative packaging options. Plaine Products’ circular model isn’t original, it’s returning to an earlier model of reuse and valuing the resources that are used to create packaging. Breaking down the current consumer model and moving away from disposability allows for a simple solution to a complex plastic pollution problem.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Plaine Products is on a mission to eliminate single-use plastic from the bathroom. Offering a line of toxin-free personal care products, Plaine Products come in aluminum bottles that can be sent back and refilled time after time. Based in Cincinnati, OH, all of the products are vegan, non-GMO, cruelty-free, biodegradable, color-safe and free of parabens, sulfates and toxins, good for the body and the planet. Founded by two sisters, Plaine Products is proud to be reducing waste and helping stop the spread of single-use plastics.

No.84

Dan Green

HELPSY

Textile collection company

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Enabling a team to do the most good. I have the incredible privilege of devoting my resources to reducing a huge and eminently solvable problem. I spend most of my time infecting HELPSY with the happiness and fulfillment that comes with making a tangible difference.

 

It is essential to have guiding principles. For HELPSY these are keeping clothes out of the trash, creating honorable work, and growing profits. It is straightforward to take all our decisions back to these principles, and this cuts out much of the interpersonal friction that can happen with the mission is less clear.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

You have to do the work. It was a bit of a transition from my coddled Wall St career to something much closer to waste management. The bridge was doing the work – driving the trucks, cleaning out the bins, sorting the clothes, and listening to the professionals who have been doing these things for years. There’s honor and value in difficult, messy, manual labor.

 

Once my partners and I more or less had the business figured out, we were able to apply technology to logistics, modernize sales and marketing, and leverage an understanding of finance to grow the business tremendously. Having done the work, we’ve had great respect for our staff and managers, and have been able to incorporate their methods and suggestions to solve problems and boost productivity.

 

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Helpsy is the largest textile collection company in the Northeast US, collecting and selling used clothes online with an environmental mission to keep clothes out of the trash. The company works with partners large and small to place clothing collection containers, schedule collection drives, engage with cities and towns, manage unwanted inventories, and spread the word that clothes aren’t trash.

No.85

Dane Chauvel

Organic Ocean Seafood Inc

Online fish market

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

 

At Organic Ocean, we know that in order to have significant social and environmental impact, we also need to be commercially successful. We do good by being good.


How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

 

Regeneration is at the heart of what we do and why we do it. We saw that industrialized seafood production threatened to destroy the wild fisheries by driving down prices and forcing harvesters to increase volumes beyond sustainable levels…We set out to stop the race to the bottom by providing customers who care, the opportunity to speak with their wallet.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Organic Ocean Seafood chartered new waters with its all-natural, additive/colorant/chemical-free, wild capture and responsibly cultured seafood. On the heels of this success with top chefs, Organic Ocean expanded into the retail market with a direct-to-consumer program targeted at delivering a superior and memorable seafood experience in the most environmentally sustainable and socially responsible fashio

 

No.86

Eric Hudson

Preserve

Sustainable household products

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

This theme has played out recently as we have needed to get back to the core elements that drive our business. We needed to ensure that those same core elements also drive our day and our week. Breaking down has meant getting rid of the clutter and the pressure of all that is challenging and distracting in a given day, which can threaten to take you away from the core of your business.


To get through the pandemic, we needed to focus down to core building blocks of activities that would deliver real results and allow us to make it through these difficult times. Now, we are regenerating as we continue to rebuild, and rebuild better, since we are more than ever focused on the core impact areas in our business.

What quote best exemplifies your leadership style?


Kate Sanborn and Thomas Edison: ‘Genius is 99% perspiration 1% inspiration.’


While the origin of this quote has been debated and has evolved, we do adhere to its merits at Preserve. Nothing we do is genius, but a lot of hard work and creativity ensure Preserve continues to innovate and excel where we do.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:
 


Since 1996, Preserve has made products that are good for both people and the planet. The company transforms yogurt cups into toothbrushes and take-out containers into tableware. Through innovations in sustainable materials, recycling systems, and performance-driven design, Preserve has created more than 40 recycled and compostable products for households and food service venues

No.87

Brian Smith

Persephone Brewing Company

Farm-based craft beer brewery

What quote best exemplifies your leadership style?

“We abuse land because we see it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”  – Aldo Leopold

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

Regenerative agriculture is the next industrial revolution and only with technology will it come about expeditiously enough to help us mitigate and adapt to climate change. And yet, robots aren’t going to lead this revolution, people are…I’m happy to be playing a small role in making it happen.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Persephone is a farm-based brewery, community-hub and activist company. The business – which describes itself as “a humble little brewery out to change the world” – maintains a commitment to the environment that runs deep, including organic and regenerative farming practices.

No.88

Judith Ward

Advanced Enviro Systems

Waste Reduction services

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

​​Advanced Enviro Systems reduces all forms of organizational waste, using innovation, logistics, and technology to provide the highest level of service and value to benefit the environment and its stakeholders

No.89

Kevin Trapani

The Redwoods Group

Value-driven insurance agency

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

There are two ways to think about the word “leader”. The first is that it’s simply a role you accept – a position you hold within a company or organization. The second is to carry yourself in such a way that you have an impact on all those around you, regardless of the official role or title you happen to hold. 

To me, being an impact leader is about understanding that the second is much more important than the first. And it’s to both carry out your own duties in a way that has a positive impact on your organization and society, as well as to encourage leadership in general—and impact leadership in particular—across the entire organizational culture that you are responsible for.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

I’ve been fired three times in my career. And each time it’s because I had a hard time accepting that the way we had always done things was the way they should be done going forward. In a society that is as profoundly broken as ours is right now, it seems to me logical that we need to break some rules, challenge some orthodoxies, and start thinking about different ways of doing things. 

I’ve been profoundly grateful to be a part of the new breed of impact businesses, social entrepreneurs, B Corps and others who are willing to shake things up, try new things, and ask tough questions about what the role of business can and should be in society. From climate change to systemic racism to income inequality, we’re at a crossroads in terms of how society chooses to organize itself. Either business is going to step up and show that it can be a part of a different way of doing things, or we’re not, in which case we’ll have a hard time justifying our existence as society starts looking for alternatives.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

The Redwoods Group is an insurance agency that operates with an unconventional business model—one that is designed to use the power of insurance to serve our customers. Redwoods is the first and only mission-aligned insurance provider for youth-serving organizations, applying company values and expertise toward creating safe communities for all.

No.90

Braden Rawls

Vital Plan

Responsible supplement company

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

All consumers and companies are part of a greater ecosystem – one which includes our communities and our environment. Impact leaders recognize a responsibility to maximize their positive impact on the greater ecosystem alongside their own bottom line. When done well, this has the potential to amplify benefits for all company stakeholders. To me, serving as an impact leader also means advocating for the change that enlightened choices in consumerism can bring and empowering customers through product transparency and education.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

In order to build something truly impactful and remarkable, that usually means narrowing resources to focus on doing that one thing really well. For our small team and growing business, that can require putting some initiatives on the back burner, and letting some go altogether. While this can be challenging in practice, the upside of letting go is creating space for something new, which often opens up unexpected ideas and opportunities that couldn’t be seen or realized previously.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Vital Plan is a holistic health brand offering premium natural supplements paired with robust health education and support. Braden Rawls co-founded Vital Plan with her father, Dr. Bill Rawls, a conventionally-trained physician who discovered the value of herbal therapy during his recovery from chronic Lyme disease. Their shared goals of providing clinical-grade herbal extracts, formulation transparency, and unparalleled customer support and education form the foundational principles of the company.

No.91

Rob Acton

Cause Strategy Partners, LLC

Non-profit board matching and training firm

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

My life’s purpose – and our company’s mission – is to inspire talented professionals to serve their cause…The collective impact of the 1,600 leaders [who we have matched and trained for non-profit board service] is what I’m most proud of today. They are creating incredible impact – day after day – as they serve their community, nation, and world in the boardroom.

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

When teams have an inspiring vision, a shared set of audacious goals, and a leader providing them with clarity around the ‘why’ and ‘what,’ they are empowered to figure out the ‘how.’ In breaking down the ‘why’ and the ‘what,’ teams are able to break through – to innovate, to solve problems, and to achieve incredible impact.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:  

Cause Strategy Partners is driving substantial impact into the social good sector by partnering with top companies and foundations to place, train, and support talented professionals for high-impact non-profit board service, at scale. In the past seven years, the firm has connected nearly 1,600 executives and employees to non-profit board leadership roles, providing governance training as part of the process.

No.92

Richa Gupta

Good Food for Good

Organic Sauces to fight hunger

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

Regeneration is so relevant in my career journey. I went through a period of darkness before embarking on my journey to create Good Food for Good. During that period, I kept reminding myself about the life cycle of a butterfly, the journey of transformation that requires faith in the process to make it through to the other side. That period of being lost about what I should be doing taught me a lot about myself, what fires me up and what makes me go into my shell. That breakdown allowed me to break through and regenerate to become the leader that I am today.

What did the challenges of the COVID pandemic teach you?

COVID came with a silver lining. Challenges that it brought allowed us to see opportunities that didn’t exist before. 

  1. Change is inevitable – This is the first time our generation in North America experienced an event that changed their life drastically. I learned change is inevitable to stay nimble to allow a pivot when needed.
  1. Appreciate everyday – Uncertainty for a long period of time teaches you to appreciate what you have today. I am grateful that we built something that survived during COVID and I am fortunate that everyone I love is healthy and happy.


IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:
 

Good Food for Good creates crave-worthy sauces that are certified organic and free of refined sugar, soy, corn syrup, gluten, dairy, or preservatives. If you wouldn’t add it when cooking from scratch, you won’t find it in their products. As part of their Buy One Feed One venture, every time you buy a product, Good Food for Good donates a meal to fight world hunger.

No.93

Greg Behrman

NationSwell

Social impact strategy 

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

It means prioritizing a broader group of stake-holders than just share-holders: our team, communities and our planet. It means being clear about our mission and values and walking the talk each day. It means fostering a culture of service — in which we are focused on being of service to others and helping to model and advance that ethos.

What quote best exemplifies your leadership style?

“Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them.” – Colin Powell

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

NationSwell is a social impact company that provides the essential support that purpose-driven leaders and organizations need to take their impact to the next level. The company helps businesses to lead with confidence, credibility and efficacy around ESG, CSR, DEIB, philanthropy and purpose-driven culture through their unique relationship-forward platform offering expert insights, peer learning experiences, opportunities for collaboration, strategy, and more to help leaders and organizations to meet the moment and be their best

No.94

Will Chen

P.L.A.Y. Pet Lifestyle And You

Pet lifestyle product

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

The world moves fast, and as a business leader you face challenges and decisions every day. Being an impact leader to me means having a guiding principle that allows you to live and breathe your mission statement. This helps to provide clarity to make difficult decisions and navigate conflicting priorities. Clearly understanding your goals and the impact you want to have on your industry will help you navigate challenges such as selecting the right vendor, choosing the materials that may be more expensive, etc. Living our mission statement has allowed P.L.A.Y. to create high quality pet products for our customers while allocating margin to help animals in need.

What did the challenges of the COVID pandemic teach you?

COVID has taught us the importance of being transparent and having a contingency plan. Many companies and industries have faced challenges with shortages and supply chain demand – P.L.A.Y. is no exception. Transparent communication both internally with employees and externally with customers has been crucial as we’ve navigated through these unknown times. I have found that people appreciate and understand when you communicate well. 

Navigating through the transition to online interactions and returning to the office has provided new challenges. We have learned to find a middle ground for our employees that works best for our team while keeping them safe – being open-minded about new strategies is important. There are many different ways to achieve a goal of high productivity and efficiency.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

P.L.A.Y. creates pet products that are better for pets, people and the planet. P.L.A.Y. focuses on creating products that not only nurture the bond between pets and people, but also help to make the world a better place through their Eco-friendly PlanetFill filler, Warm Bellies Initiative, and Scholars Helping Collars Scholarship.

No.95

Matthew Wadiak

Cooks Venture

Heritage Breeding and Pasture-Raised Chicken Company

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

An impact leader leaves the world better than where they started. Cooks Venture is building a food system in animal agriculture that equally prioritizes regenerative farming alongside exceptional quality pasture-raised meat. Reimagining the industry, cultivating innovation and educating people on the difference are all at the core of making a lasting impact as a leader in this business.

What did the challenges of the COVID pandemic teach you?

At times, the speed of change is beyond our control and we must adapt at the same pace. There will always be areas for improvements, and we must change and evolve in the moment.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Cooks Venture is the largest pasture-raised poultry company in America, committed to regenerative agriculture practices, and the only independent breeding company producing heirloom and heritage birds of better health than conventional livestock. We’re passionately committed to building a better food system for animals, the planet and people. In partnership with FoodID, we are the first and only poultry company to have a verified No Antibiotics Ever label backed by testing. Cooks Venture’s pasture-raised Pioneer chicken is sold at retailers nationwide and online at cooksventure.com.

No.96

Lisa Curtis

KuliKuli

Sustainable superfood snacks company

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

An impact leader means running Kuli Kuli in a way that actively creates a positive impact. For us, impact is more than a CSR program, it’s fundamental to the way we operate our day-to-day business. Kuli Kuli seeks to maximize our impact in three core areas: our farmer partners, nutrition and the environment. We partner directly with small farmers, prioritizing African and women-led organizations, and to date have put more than $5M into the hands of over 3,000 farmers. Moringa is one of the most nutritious plants on the planet, and we donate products and money to get moringa into the hands of the people who need it the most. In terms of the environment, we’ve planted over 24 million trees through our supply chain, and use post-consumer recycled plastic packaging on the majority of our product lines. 

How has the theme of regeneration – of breaking down to break through – played out in your career?

To me, sustainable businesses are those that seek to reduce their environmental and social harm, while regenerative companies boldly seek to positively impact their communities and the planet. When I was younger, I worked for the United Nations Environment Programme as the Youth Advisor for North America. In that role, I traveled to sustainability conferences around the world and heard the same conversation play over and over. On one hand, the Western world was telling rapidly industrializing countries like China and Brazil that they needed to stop building coal plants or chopping down the rainforest. On the other hand, these countries pointed to the 200+ years that the US and Europe had spent chopping down their forests, polluting their rivers and burning their coal in order to achieve the quality of life that their citizens enjoy today. 

I realized that the only way out of this diacatomy was to create regenerative organizations that help people achieve economic prosperity, while actively improving the environment. This became my personal life mission, and that mission led me first to join the Peace Corps, and then to start Kuli Kuli. 

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS:

Kuli Kuli is the leading brand pioneering sustainable superfoods like moringa in the U.S. Kuli Kuli offers the highest quality, most nutritious moringa by partnering with local entrepreneurs and sourcing directly from small farmers, prioritizing African and women-led social enterprises. Kuli Kuli’s superfood powders, wellness shots, and snacks are sold in 11,000 stores nationwide and online at kulikulifoods.com.

No.97

Simon Mainwaring

We First

Purpose-led strategic consultancy

What did the challenges of the COVID pandemic teach you?

Recognize the whole human beings within your company culture, community, and the world at large, and embrace their vulnerability as much as we celebrate their strength. We have focused on reprioritizing and resetting our ambitions to ensure that success is framed in terms of a healthy, heavy, and fulfilling life for an ever-growing number of people.

What does being an ‘impact leader’ mean to you?

Leaving a legacy of leaders that can sustain and scale the positive impact you co-created.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

We First is a strategic consultancy that partners with clients to build purpose-led movements that drive business growth, positively shape culture, help the planet regenerate, and more. We First provides strategy, culture building, and impact storytelling that empowers companies to accelerate growth on the strength of their positive impact

No.98

Kristy Wallace

Ellevate Network

Global professional women’s network

What does being an impact leader mean to you?

 As a leader, I am always looking at my work through the lens of impact.  When you define the purpose of your organization and the impact that you want to have on the world then it is critical to hold yourself accountable for this impact through product/program innovations, customer solutions, and employee engagement.   

This year’s theme is, “Regenerate! Breaking Down to Break Through”. How has this theme played out in your career?

This theme played a big role over the past few years. The archaic systems and structures of business led to women and underserved populations struggling to achieve equity in the workplace.  Given the great disruption we’ve experienced in the past two years, we are in a unique opportunity to rebuild businesses where everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed.  Throughout my career, I’ve experienced the impact of recessions, business pivots, and more.  It is always in times when we need to rebuild that we are able to drive progress more quickly. 

With all the challenges COVID presented, what are 1-2 key lessons/strategies you’ve found constructive?

I found it important to intentionally connect with people in varied and authentic ways.  If it is picking up the phone to call someone who you are thinking about, sending a slack message to check in on an employee, or attending an Ellevate Virtual Roundtable — building in opportunities to stay connected in a virtual space has helped me to be a better leader and peer.  

What quote best exemplifies your leadership style.

“Fight for the things that you care about. But do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” – RBG

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

Ellevate is the largest community of women at work. A powerful coalition of ambitious and supportive women who believe there is strength in numbers. We show up for each other, helping everyone — no matter their background or aspirations — build a career they love. And, more importantly, we mobilize our collective power to change the culture of business.

No.99

Beri Meric

IVY

No.100

Brian Trelstad

Bridges Fund Management

Fund managers dedicated to sustainable and impact investment

What does being an impact leader mean to you?

It means investing in founders that are solving important social or environmental problems and providing them the capital and capabilities to scale their solutions.   

This year’s theme is, “Regenerate! Breaking Down to Break Through”. How has this theme played out in your career?

Throughout my career in impact investing, it has been about building an alternative approach to private capital investment to finance impact-oriented businesses where the markets have not historically been comfortable investing.  Whether that is helping to develop the IRIS standards to demystify how to approach impact, launching the MIINT to train the next generation of impact investors, or co-founding Impact Capital Managers to build a collaborative and not competitive investment ecosystem, my approach has been to focus on the infrastructure needed for all impact investors to be successful, both financially and with measurable social or environmental impact.

IMPACT AND COMPANY FOCUS: 

We believe that the future of investing lies in investing in the future.  We have growth equity, impact real estate, evergreen, and social impact bond strategies in Europe and the United States, and affiliates in Israel and Australia with tech for good strategies.  We invest in business or projects that promote healthier lives, future skills, a sustainable planet, and stronger communities.