B Invested: The pursuit of B Corp certification Event Logo

B Invested: The pursuit of B Corp certification

by Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise (CSGE)

Community

Tue, Oct 5, 2021

12 PM – 1 PM EDT (GMT-4)

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B Corps are businesses that have been going through a rigorous evaluation to prove that they are run with the intent of building a world where business isn’t a dirty word. They have grown over the course of the last decade to include thousands of globally. From ice cream to architects, the pursuit of B certification has become an endeavor business owners find worthwhile, but what happens when the owner is the market?

ESG investing has surged recently, but the question of how to define a sustainable company changes between every asset manager, impact investor, and index. B Corps have become a standout way of proving your sustainability creds with names like Patagonia and Danone NA touting the logo, but when companies go looking for investors, does it pay off? And how do you reconcile the legally binding language of taking the next step and incorporating as a benefit company with the fiduciary responsibility to shareholders?

Co-hosted with the Capitalism and the Social Good Group. The CSG-Group LLC is a collaborative consulting firm that assists enterprises in defining their social and environmental missions through branding, sustainable solutions and access to capital

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Speakers

Vicki Benjamin's profile photo

Vicki Benjamin

President & Co-founder

Karner Blue Capital

https://www.linkedin.com/in/vickibenjamin/

Karner Blue Capital is a women-owned and led, socially responsible investment firm building innovative investment strategies dedicated to protecting the planet’s biodiversity, fostering environmental stewardship, and conserving nature around the globe. As CEO, Vicki helps investors drive portfolios of change, providing timely thought leadership, utilizing Karner Blue’s research platform to identify companies that are leading the transformation towards sustainability and offering investors an opportunity to invest in the companies of tomorrow—today.



With over 25 years of experience in the financial sector, Vicki has long worked at the intersection of finance and environmental sustainability, growing her passion for using finance to solve some of the world’s most pressing environmental and social issues. Prior to co-founding Karner Blue Capital in 2017, she led Calvert Investments, one of the largest responsible investment companies in the United States, first as chief operating officer, then as President and acted as a Senior Partner at KPMG International, one of the world’s Big Four accounting organizations.



Vicki received her bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire and an M.B.A from Bentley University McCallum Graduate School of Business.


Gideon Cohn's profile photo

Gideon Cohn

Principal and Certified Financial Planner

Good Capital Investment Group

https://www.linkedin.com/in/gideon-cohn/

Gideon Cohn co-founded Good Capital Investment Group with the idea that clear, conscious investing can be profitable and accessible. While working as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ at Highbridge Financial Group in New York, Gideon saw firsthand how invested money could match client values and social progress. Clients took pride in doing good with their hard-earned money.



After graduating cum laude from the University of New Hampshire and Boston University’s Certificate of Financial Planning program, Gideon obtained his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) certification. He holds FINRA Series 7 and 63 securities registrations as an Investment Advisor Representative of Commonwealth Financial Network®.



Gideon continuously strives to improve our world. He has led humanitarian trips in developing countries, volunteered as a mentor and participated on several committees of a local union. In his spare time, Gideon is an avid reader, a commercially rated pilot and in a previous life, flew cargo planes in Alaska.


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Christopher Marquis

Samuel C. Johnson Professor in Sustainable Global Enterprise and Professor of Management

https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-marquis-3884834/

Christopher Marquis is the Samuel C. Johnson Professor in Sustainable Global Enterprise at Cornell University. He is the author of Better Business: How the B Corp Movement is Remaking Capitalism. His research and writing focus on how businesses are creating a more resilient and sustainable capitalism by focusing on the elusive triple bottom line of environmental, social and financial performance. Prior to joining Cornell, he worked for 10 years at Harvard Business School where he developed an award-winning course on social entrepreneurship. He is the author of more than 20 peer-reviewed academic articles and more than 50Harvard business cases on topics related to sustainable business, and has earned awards for scholarly achievement from the Academy of Management and the American Sociological Association. Marquis earned a PhD in sociology and business administration from the University of Michigan.


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Traci Shirachi

CEO

The Mark USA Inc.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tracishirachi/

Traci is the CEO/President of The Mark USA Inc. (“The Mark” or “the Company”). The Mark is a data analytics applied research and evaluation company comprised of about 15 employees that work with organizations nationally and internationally to help the underserved thrive. The Mark uses rigorous data collection and research methods to evaluate and measure results for organizations and companies to achieve sustainable growth. Many of the organizations or companies’ that work with The Mark focus on demonstrating their social impact.



Traci formerly worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers and has an MBA from Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University and a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Davis. Traci is married and has two young girls (5 years old and 1 year old). She is actively involved in the Center Club as an Orange County Advisors in Philanthropy member, and a Board member of WISE Place. She was honored in 2019, 2020, and 2021 as the Orange County Business Journal’s Women in Business and also honored in 2020 and 2021 for Women in Entrepreneurship.


Vicente Escriva's profile photo

Vicente Escriva

Co-founder and Responsible Business Practice Consultant

Capitalism and the Social Good Group

https://www.linkedin.com/in/v-escriva/

Vicente Escriva is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer with an MS in Urban Policy Analysis from the New School and has achieved FSA certification by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board(SASB). He has worked as a management consultant focused on sustainability issues for the past decade. Vicente has worked with various clients, from the Fortune 500 and international organizations to local social entrepreneurial start-ups and non-profits. He also led one of the largest groups meeting to discuss CSR issues in NYC. The network formed during that time led to the founding of the Capitalism & the Social Good group (G&SG), where he works with fellow consultants to answer the question of how you define a “responsible business?”


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