Chief Financial Officer, Sunwealth Power, Inc.
Omar Blayton is Mr. Blayton is CFO of Sunwealth Power, Inc., a solar energy finance firm focused on providing accessible, affordable, and inclusive renewable energy to communities throughout the U.S. As CFO, he oversees the creation of Sunwealth’s financial products, along with overseeing the company’s financial performance and management. Mr. Blayton’s prior roles include Managing Director of Project Finance at Innova Energy Partners and Vice President of Structured Finance at Greenskies Renewable Energy LLC, a leading commercial and industrial solar developer.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Blayton was a Vice President with Reznick Capital Markets Securities and an associate in Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Leveraged Finance Group. Before entering finance, Mr. Blayton was an attorney with Reed Smith LLP.
He holds a JD from Columbia Law School, an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School, and a BA from Cornell University.
Chief Investment Officer, 4S Bay Partners, LLC
Jim Casselberry is the Chief Investment Officer at 4S Bay Partners, LLC, a single family asset management firm, with his primary focus being on market, impact and mission related investing. He serves on several boards, including the Julian Grace Foundation, on whose investment committee he also sits, Arc Chicago, LLC, the appointed board of Benefit Chicago, Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (Board Chair), Mosaic Genius, American Friends of Hebrew University, Morehouse College (Trustee), and the National Urban League (Trustee).
During his career, Jim has held leadership positions with Trias Capital Management, LLC, Wedgewood Capital Management, Inc. and The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He began his career at First Chicago Corporation and Arthur D. Little Valuation, Inc. He has been an adjunct Professor at Valparaiso University teaching in the College of Business MBA program and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.
Jim has written several insightful white papers, most recently “Why Not the Best? Capturing Alpha from a Long-Neglected Market.” He received a BS degree in economics from the University of Illinois and an MBA degree from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business.
Vice President of Investment Partnerships, Calvert Impact Capital
Justin Conway is Vice President of Investment Partnerships at Calvert Impact Capital, a nonprofit investment firm that has helped thousands of people and institutions channel over $2 billion in impact investments to social enterprises through the U.S. and around the world. He is also President of Calvert Impact Capital’s wholly-owned subsidiary Community Investment Partners that provides customized portfolio services to institutional impact investors. Justin manages the firm’s financial services and distribution relationships, leads the investor relations and marketing team, and works closely with the investors and financial advisors at the forefront of using investment capital for social impact.
Previously, Justin managed the Community Investment Program of the Social Investment Forum and Green America, and he worked on human and economic rights in both Asia and Central America. He received a Master’s in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor’s in Sociology and Statistics from James Madison University.
Justin has served as the Vice Chair and Foundation Chair of the board of US SIF, the association of financial professionals engaged in sustainable, responsible, and impact investing, as well as on the board of Green America.
Penelope Douglas, Chair
Independent Consultant/Art, Health and Community Investment Strategies
Penelope Douglas has spent the past 25 years as a social entrepreneur, pioneer in community development investment, cofounder and CEO of Pacific Community Ventures, and senior executive and board chair of MissionHub and SOCAP. Throughout her career Douglas has been committed to building bridges across banking, community development finance, social enterprise, impact investing, and the arts. She currently serves as an advisor to several women-led social enterprises, is a board member of Startgrid, and is visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank, Community Development Division. She has been featured in media outlets such as the New York Times, NPR, the San Francisco Chronicle, and California magazine—that last highlighted her as a pioneer of “compassionate capitalism.” Douglas is also an artist, an athlete, a native Californian, and a graduate of Smith College.
Founder & CEO, LENDonate
Vivienne Hsu, CFA has over 20 years of financial services experience and considered an expert in her field, she has appeared in numerous interviews on CNBC and Bloomberg TV and is frequently quoted in national publications, including The Wall Street Journal and Kiplinger. Most importantly, she is passionate about strategic philanthropy and sustainable investment. She is the founder and CEO of LENDonate, a unique marketplace lending and donation sourcing platform where nonprofits and supporters leverage their collective power for the greater good. Prior to being a social entrepreneur, Vivienne was Senior Vice President at U.S. Trust where she advised on complex financial matters. She served as a Vice President, Senior Portfolio Manager for Charles Schwab Investment Management where she oversaw its active equity strategies and was the lead portfolio manager for the Schwab Hedged Equity Fund. Under her leadership, the firm launched three new funds which garnered close to $500 million at launch. Prior to that, she was Vice President and Portfolio Manager at American Century Investments where she co-managed mutual funds that totaled more than $10 billion. Rounding out her experience was investment risk consultant at MSCI Barra, and pension actuarial work on retirement plans. She received an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, where she also received an undergraduate degree in applied mathematics. She is a CFA® charterholder. Additionally, Vivienne serves on the boards of Los Altos Community Foundation, the SRI Conference, and How Women Lead. In 2011-12, she volunteered full time as development director at Women’s Initiative for Self Employment which helped low income women start and sustain their own businesses.
James Lum, Treasurer
Partner, Chief Financial and Information Officer, Bridgespan Group
James’ work over the past 20 years has bridged the nonprofit and for-profit worlds and focused on building sustainable data and content organizations. Over that time, he has worked in the internet, television, radio, and publishing industries. Comparable experiences to Aeris include his time with GuideStar and Dow Jones, which specialize in nonprofit and for-profit organizational data, each focusing on defining and delivering the right content to the right audiences in a sustainable, if not profitable fashion. James also assists NCRC in its community redevelopment efforts and running its CDFI fund. Functionally, James’ roles have been in financial planning and analysis so he is particularly well versed in budgeting and financial tradeoff. He is data- and data systems-oriented, having led Product Development at GuideStar, as well as numerous G/L, CRM, BI, and ERP projects at other organizations. James served on the board of WBAI, Pacifica Radio’s New York City station, and worked closely with the Boards and committees of the companies where he has been employed.
Chief Impact Strategist, Community Capital Management
David brings more than 30 years of investment management experience and is a trailblazer in the socially responsible/impact investing arena. In 1994, David co-founded Access Capital Strategies and served as its president and chief investment officer from 1994 to 2010. In this capacity, he pioneered the development of market-rate, fixed income impact investments for institutional investors and helped grow the Community Investment Fund to more than $650 million in assets. Access Capital Strategies was acquired by the U.S. investment management arm of the Royal Bank of Canada in 2008.
Most recently, he worked as a consultant to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), non-profits and social enterprises. Before that, he served as chief investment officer of CDT Advisors, the investment management arm of the Community Development Trust, a for-profit CDFI based in New York.
David serves on the New York Advisory Board for Enterprise Community Partners and is a former board member of US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable Investment. He received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Kim Leslie Shafer, Immediate Past Chair
Kim Leslie Shafer focuses on impact investing as the synthesis of her mission orientation and accumulated financial experience. In addition to Aeris, she serves on the Advisory Practitioner Council of the Harvard Business School’s Impact Weighted Accounts, the Accelerating Impact Committee of High Water Women and the planning committee of the NYU Grunin Center annual conference. She works as an expert witness and consultant and serves on boards, including the advisory committee of a credit hedge fund.
Kim was a Senior Managing Director in Strategic Finance at Bear Stearns until its 2008 merger, working with alternative asset managers and various structured products. Subsequently, she assisted the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission in DC create its bestselling report and archives. While affiliated thereafter with the Center for Financial Stability she began her occasional practice of writing comment letters on proposed financial regulation. In earlier professional chapters, Kim was a public finance investment banker; served as Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Banking Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee, where she became the staff expert on the Community Reinvestment Act and mortgage discrimination issues; worked on the national staffs of two Presidential campaigns; and, practiced corporate law at White & Case. Her lifelong interest is the potential beneficial power of finance, along with the challenge of effective regulation.
Kim has a J.D. from Columbia Law School. At Vanderbilt University, she earned her B.A., was a H.S. Vanderbilt Honors Scholar and was nominated for a Rhodes Scholarship.
Co-Head, Impact Investing, Nuveen
Rekha Unnithan is a Director and Impact Investing Portfolio Manager at Nuveen Private Markets. She determines Nuveen’s Impact Investment strategy across sectors, asset classes, and regions; originates and underwrites new deals and manages impact investments to execute Nuveen’s commitment across thematic areas and oversees a multi-asset class impact investing portfolio that includes private equity, private real estate, mortgages and fund investments.
Prior to joining Nuveen in 2012, she worked for Bank of America Merrill Lynch as a vice president in their Institutional Investment Group. She has also held various positions at Merrill Lynch in Institutional Investments, and Investment Oversight and Risk Management.
Rekha holds a BA in economics from Yale University and an MBA with a specialization in financial instruments & markets, and social innovation & impact from New York University’s Stern School of Business. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder, and a Certified Investment Management analyst (CIMA®). Rekha also serves on the advisory board of the Global Impact investing Network’s Institutional Investor Initiative.
Chief Financial Officer, San Francisco Foundation
Sonja Velez is Chief Financial Officer of The San Francisco Foundation, where she oversees financial planning and analysis, accounting, and investments. She has played a key role in expanding the Foundation’s impact investing strategies in support of its mission.
Ms. Velez previously worked in Myanmar and Thailand while serving as CFO of DVB Multimedia / The Democratic Voice of Burma. Before that, she held a variety of finance roles during her 13-year tenure at Charles Schwab, including VP of Treasury Balance Sheet Management, VP of Individual Investor Finance, and VP of Corporate Planning and Analysis. She currently serves on the board of Financial Women of San Francisco, and co-chairs the Diversity and Inclusion committee.
She holds an MBA from UC Berkeley, an MFA from the University of San Francisco, and a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from UC Davis.