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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: June 2017

Myesha Wilson New Executive Director Olive Crest Las Vegas

17 Years Working with At-Risk Children in Nevada

Press Release – Las Vegas, Nevada — June 13, 2017 — Olive Crest, a national non-profit dedicated to safeguarding children’s lives, has announced a new executive director for the Las Vegas region.

Olive Crest’s chief executive officer, Donald Verleur II, said, “We are pleased to announce that Myesha Wilson will serve as our new executive director in Nevada. Ms. Wilson has a wealth of experience in executive and program leadership and is well equipped for leading our operations in Nevada. We are excited to welcome her to the Olive Crest team.”

“I have been aware of the work Olive Crest has done over the years,” says Wilson. “This is an organization I know makes a difference in children’s lives. I consider it an honor and a wonderful opportunity to lead Olive Crest as it connects more children with healthy living situations.”

“I have a real passion for helping at-risk children and youth,” Wilson says. “Being exposed to and overcoming the challenges of domestic violence and various other forms of abuse in my early childhood has been the catalyst for me to champion the cause for others.”

A Nevada local, Wilson received both her undergraduate degree in psychology and her Master’s Degree in “Special Education with an emphasis in Emotional Disturbances” from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. She has been both a social worker and a psychiatric caseworker for the state of Nevada. In addition, she has served as Executive Director of St. Jude’s Ranch for Children in Boulder City, Nevada. Significantly, she also founded and operated Liberty Behavioral Consultants to serve youth and families in the Las Vegas area.

“Whenever I get bogged down by the minutia, I remember the faces of the children,” Wilson says. “I know that my work has impact beyond just work. I understand that my efforts can significantly change lives… that as hard as this work is, it is beyond rewarding.”

Olive Crest in Las Vegas provides foster care services, a family resource center, the Strong Families Program, respite care, Differential Response, mental health services and more to at risk children and families.

About Olive Crest

Since 1973, Olive Crest has transformed the lives of more than 100,000 abused, neglected, and at-risk children and their families. The organization works tirelessly to meet the individual needs of kids in crisis by providing safe homes, counseling, and education for both youth and parents.

Olive Crest’s many innovative programs reflect a conviction that strengthening the family is the most powerful way to help heal children. With unwavering compassion, the Olive Crest family maintains a lifelong commitment to the youth and the families it serves even after they have graduated from the organization’s programs.

Olive Crest serves over 3,500 children and families each day throughout California, Nevada, and the Pacific Northwest. For information, call 800-550-CHILD (2445) or visit www.olivecrest.org.


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Stanford Graduate School Of Business Names Darius Teter As New Executive Director Of Stanford Seed

Teter joins Stanford Seed with over 20 years of experience in international development, economic growth and humanitarian program management.

Press Release – June 28, 2017 – Stanford, Calif. – Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies, known as Stanford Seed, today named Darius Teter as the new executive director of the institute. Stanford Seed is led by the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) and receives university-wide support. It is designed to promote greater economic prosperity through leadership and innovation training in Africa and India. In this role, Teter will lead Seed’s growth and expansion, building upon the success it has achieved since its inception in 2011.

Teter previously served as vice president of global programs at Oxfam America, where he oversaw the humanitarian emergency response team and regional development programs in Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well as research, learning and evaluation. His experience spans the field of international development, from responding to humanitarian emergencies to financing public infrastructure mega-projects, including leadership positions with the Asian Development Bank and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, an independent U.S. government foreign aid agency.

“Darius is passionate about promoting global economic prosperity, making him the ideal leader for Stanford Seed,” said Jonathan Levin, the Philip H. Knight Professor and Dean of Stanford Graduate School of Business. “As Stanford Seed continues to grow and evolve, Darius’ deep experience will help guide the institute to its next level of success.”

“Within just a few years, Stanford Seed created a lasting impact in West and East Africa, and the future is looking bright as we now expand to India,” Teter said. “I’m thrilled and humbled to join this dynamic institute as we equip some of the most promising business leaders in emerging markets with the tools to scale their businesses and, in turn, drive sustainable regional prosperity in their part of the world.”

After Seed’s founding in 2011, the first Seed Transformation Program launched in Accra, Ghana, in 2013 and expanded to Nairobi, Kenya, in 2016. Since then, the Seed Transformation Program has trained and mentored 565 entrepreneurs and senior staff members, leading to increased revenue and new job creation throughout the region. In addition, participating companies have raised almost $11 million in funding and 79 percent have grown their customer base.

In May 2017, Seed announced its expansion into India through its new location in Chennai, which will serve entrepreneurs from across the country. The first annual program will run from August 2017 to August 2018 and will be held at the state-of-the-art Infosys corporate campus.

“We’ve made great strides with Stanford Seed over the past five years and I look forward to the continued momentum under Darius’ leadership,” said Jesper Sørensen, faculty director of Seed and the Robert A. and Elizabeth R. Jeffe Professor of Organizational Behavior at the GSB.

Teter will work closely with Sørensen, who served as executive director of Seed from 2015 to 2017, and Raj Chellaraj, associate dean for finance and administration at the GSB, who served as chief operating officer of Seed during the same time period.

Teter holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Yale University and a Master in Public Policy degree from Harvard Kennedy School. He has also completed advanced studies in resource economics at the University of British Columbia.


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321 Days of Acceptance for People of All Abilities: GiGi’s Playhouse Pioneering Social Media Campaign Surpasses 1 Million People

Press Release – Hoffman Estates, IL, June 26, 2017 – On World Down Syndrome Day, March 21st, 2017, GiGi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Centers launched “321 Days of Acceptance”, a pioneering social media campaign introducing the world to somebody with Down syndrome every single day for 321 straight days. In addition to the visual introduction, social media fans and followers learn something about each person’s life, and see how similar people with Down syndrome are to their peers. Today is Day 100 of the campaign, and 321 Days of Acceptance has officially reached more than one million people social media fans and followers – a life changing milestone! To commemorate the groundswell of exposure: today’s campaign post features global ambassador and organizational namesake, GiGi Gianni, who recently launched her own public Facebook page.

A first of its kind, 321 Days of Acceptance shows the world that every individual is worthy of acceptance, regardless of ability. This campaign is a component of GiGi’s Playhouse Generation G movement for global acceptance. Reinforcing this powerful message of acceptance, media powerhouse POPSUGAR released a video featuring adult interns at GiGi’s Playhouse live retail store, Hugs & Mugs that went viral in just days, in conjunction with the 321 Days of Acceptance campaign. As of today, that video has been viewed almost 9 million times.

“We are so humbled and grateful for the overwhelming response to this campaign thus far,” says founder and Chief Belief Officer Nancy Gianni. “321 Days of Acceptance is part of Generation G: a daily mindset to be accepting, generous and kind.

We’ve only just begun, but what we really need are more corporations and communities to do more than view a Facebook post. We need them to share and support this campaign! Just because our kids & adults succeed in Playhouse programs does not mean society will value what they offer as students, volunteers, coworkers and friends. We need genuine acceptance for our kids and adults each and every day. We need loving acceptance of our young moms, now that the average age to have a child with Down syndrome is only 28. We need millions of dollars to support our free purposeful programs that help get our kids ready for the world. And 321 Days of Acceptance helps get the world ready for them!”

One Playhouse family member added, “We hope another million people on social media get to meet our amazing kids in the next 100 days. And when you see our kids in a store, a restaurant, at a ballgame, or anywhere else – feel free to say hello and ask them about our lives. They all have something to say. They all have value. They all want to be accepted.”

To view all participants featured in the campaign please visit https://gigisplayhouse.org/321-days-of-acceptance-campaign.


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Italy Refugee Program Celebrates First Anniversary

Project Abroad’s refugee program in Italy turns a year old

Refugees are taught at a day care center on Project Abroad’s Refugee Project in Italy

Press Release – NEW YORK – June 28, 2017 – This month, Project Abroad celebrates the first anniversary of its refugee program in Italy. Since the launch of the program in June 2016, nearly 200 Projects Abroad volunteers have generously offered their support to address various needs of refugees who have fled to Italy in search of a better life.

In its first year, the Projects Abroad refugee program has focused its efforts at three facilities where refugee support is needed: reception centers, day care centers, and a port where refugees who have fled across the Mediterranean Sea arrive. Volunteers have steadily been working with 40 unaccompanied minors at three different reception centers across the region of Calabria. At these centers, volunteers have provided educational support in literacy, numeracy, and sport. At day care centers, volunteers have looked after young children whose mothers need to attend language and integration classes. The roles of volunteers at the landing post have been to coordinate the distribution of food, water, clothes, and importantly to provide psychological support to incoming migrants – many of whom have had traumatic experiences.

The Project Manager of the Italy refugee program, Fabrizio Caddeo, is immensely grateful to the volunteers who have given time and energy to help refugees find a new home in Italy. “I would like to spend a word for the volunteer educators, coordinators, and psychologists who have dedicated their time to this purpose, who work day and night to help migrants fulfill their dream of having a better life. All migrants share a common goal, and that is the will to start a new life. Without assistance, this would not be possible.”

There have been many success stories that have emerged from the refugee program’s first year, but one stands out to Caddeo: “I remember a French speaking woman who volunteered for two months. She dedicated all her time to work on literacy with a group of French speaking young boys. Her contribution was crucial, as there were no other French speaking staff members available. When she arrived, some of the boys couldn’t read or write at all, and when she left all of them could.”

The ongoing refugee situation in Italy and Europe means that Projects Abroad needs continued volunteer support, as more migrants seek greener pastures away from abject living conditions in their home countries. “Volunteers play a very important role,” says Caddeo. “It is crucial to have volunteers who are seriously committed to help and meet new challenges, who come without prejudice, and are ready to embrace different cultures.”

As the refugee program moves into its second year, Projects Abroad is determined to continue impacting the lives of those who need assistance settling into their new surroundings.

About Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad was founded in 1992 by Dr. Peter Slowe, a geography professor, as a program for students to travel and work while on break from full-time study. The program had its genesis in post-USSR Romania, where students were given the chance to teach conversational English. After a few years just sending volunteers to Eastern Europe for teaching, the company expanded to sending volunteers of all ages around the world on a wide range of projects.

Projects Abroad is a global leader in short-term international volunteer programs with projects in 30 countries and recruitment offices in the UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Holland, Hong Kong, Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and the United States.

For details on volunteering abroad, visit Projects Abroad’s web site at www.projects-abroad.org.


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Simbi® Joins Evereve Family

Simbi to be sold in all doors and online at booming retailer, Evereve

Press Release – Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (June 2017) – Simbi®, a high quality, handcrafted accessory and fashion collection recognized for fashionable styles, as well as its philanthropic efforts to bring much-needed clean water to the people of Haiti, is excited to announce that the brand will be sold online and in all doors of popular fashion retailer, Evereve. Product will be available in over 70 Evereve locations nationwide beginning July 14.

“We are thrilled to become part of the Evereve family,” said Simbi co-founder Birgit Coles. “Simbi is a brand that women of all ages can connect with, moms especially. Our company was founded by two moms with a passion to make the world a better place by bringing clean water and jobs to the people of Haiti. We believe that by aligning with Evereve, another female owned and operated business, we can inspire women from all over the globe to come together and help create a positive impact in their community.”

The mom-centric retailer will carry 11 Simbi designs for the summer season and will feature two signature Simbi styles – large and small charm bracelets. Each bracelet is handcrafted by members of the community in Haiti, and each Simbi sale brings clean water and sustainable jobs to Haiti through Simbi’s charitable organization, Aqua Haiti.

Colors for the summer season include aqua blue, cherry, cream, dolphin blue, lava slate, rosewood, San Diego cream, sapphire blue, sky blue, walnut and white. Large charm bracelets feature handmade half-inch glazed clay beads, with a hand stamped, inspirational charm in bronze or silver. Small charm bracelets feature quarter-inch hand painted clay beads, with a small bronze hand stamped charm. Simbi’s one-of-a-kind wearable art is as unique as the person who wears it; charm bracelets can be worn solo or stacked for a colorful, fashion-forward look.

“At Evereve it’s the perfect storm when we find products that we love that also give back,” said Evereve fashion director Heidi Watson. “We believe in putting a spotlight on women entrepreneurs, meaningful causes and great fashion – our partnership with Simbi delivers on all fronts.”

Simbi charm bracelets retail for $28 to $30 and will be available online and in store at Evereve on July 14. For more information, please visit, www.simbihaiti.com and www.evereve.com or follow @simbihaiti and @evereveofficial on Instagram.

About Simbi®:

Simbi is a high quality, handcrafted accessory and fashion collection that is recognized for fashionable styles, as well as its philanthropic efforts of bringing clean water to a population in desperate need and transforming the lives of the people of Haiti. Every piece is handcrafted in Haiti, by the Haitian community. Simbi was founded in 2013 Birgit Grossmann Coles and Haiti native, Lori Manuel Steed, who decided to launch the fashion accessories company after experiencing the devastating results of the 2010 earthquake. Relying solely on solar-powered energy, Simbi manufacturing facility in Haiti has a zero carbon footprint. Its use of organic, biodegradable products and philosophy of up-cycling falls directly in line with the founding partners’ commitment to corporate social responsibility. Simbi is proud to create jobs, purify water, and save lives through its foundation, Aqua Haiti. For more information, please visit, www.simbihaiti.com.

About Evereve:

Evereve is an American fashion retailer offering designer brands curated for moms that balances casual style with cutting-edge trends and embraces a spirit of empowerment and playfulness. Trained stylists specialize in creating complete looks covering carpool duty, date night, work and weekend. For more information, please visit, www.evereve.com.

About Aqua Haiti:

Aqua Haiti is a non-profit foundation based in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and was founded by the owners of Simbi, after the devastating earthquake and cholera outbreak of 2010, to help further the cause of employing and supporting their beloved community through clean water and empowerment. It was created to support, promote and finance installation of water purification systems throughout the country, as nearly 70% of its population lacks access to clean water. For more information, please visit, www.simbihaiti.com/aqua-haiti.


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Creating Equilibrium Announces Inaugural Solutions-Focused Innovation Forum Dedicated to Solving Environmental Challenges

Gathering leaders in environmental science, business, technology, policy, arts and education for a three-day conference, concert, and festival in Squaw Valley at Lake Tahoe, CA. August 25-27, 2017

Press Release – Lake Tahoe, CA – June 28, 2017Creating Equilibrium , a first-of-its-kind event focused on generating environmentally impactful innovations, is set to host its inaugural event August 25 – 27, 2017. This three-day event —a radical solutions forum, immersive laboratory, and music festival—features some of the top minds on the planet, and is aimed at crafting and funding real-world solutions to the ecological challenges America now faces.

Visions, Creating Equilibrium’s two-day innovation forum on August 26 and 27, will be hosted by New York Times bestselling author, Pulitzer Prize nominee, and Creating Equilibrium co-founder Steven Kotler; and a host of culture-shaping thought leaders, including:

  • Patricia Wright – Conservation Biologist, MacArthur Genius Grant Winner, Climatologist
  • Jeremy Jones – Pro snowboarder, founder of Protect Our Winters
  • Jamie Wheal – Executive Director, Flow Genome Project
  • Dr. David Suzuki- Professor, Author, Broadcaster Host of The Nature of Things
  • Dickson Despommier – Professor Emeritus of Microbiology and Public Health at Columbia University
  • Khuram Mir – CEO of The Farm2U
  • Susi Mai – World-Class Kiteboarder and Business Networking Entrepreneur
  • Andrew Hessel – Distinguished research scientist and bio-futurist
  • Robert Suarez – Designer, Entrepreneur, Impact Driver and Biomimic at Singularity University

“Our core strategy is deceptively simple,” says Kotler, “we build bridges. Our goal is to bridge gaps between traditionally isolated domains—environmental science, technology, business, government and academia. Utilizing one of the most radical and future-forward eco-innovation approaches ever seen on the live stage, Creating Equilibrium’s mission is critical—accelerate our better tomorrow.”

Proceeds from the event will be invested into environmental innovations through Creating Equilibrium’s incubator, EQ Ventures, dedicated to supporting impact entrepreneurs with radical new approaches to solving critical environmental issues. The incubator will provide startups with mentoring and training, as well as an initial investment and possible follow-on funding.

Lake Tahoe will also serve as the backdrop for the Village Green festival, a free, immersive experience for all that unites storied musical talent, eco-visionaries, culinary culture, and experiential art, including a floating, multimedia installation set on the crystal clear waters of the lake.

Creating Equilibrium’s Saturday evening concert features a performance by the supergroup, Secret Stash. Anchored by Stefan Lessard from Dave Matthews Band and Mike McCready from Pearl Jam, this iconic duo will be joined by a “secret stash” of musical friends, including Fun.’s Nate Ruess, Godsmack’s Sully Erna, saxophone player Michael Ghegan, and many more – all in one of California’s most majestic settings: the base of the KT22 mountain at Squaw Valley.

Joining them on stage is the band Dispatch who just released their celebrated sixth album, “America, Location 12,” the band returns to the road on their first national tour in five years. They will play their only California appearance at Creating Equilibrium. Rounding out the weekend’s list of musicians is R&B singer-songwriter, Allen Stone. The Secret Stash, Dispatch and Allen Stone concert will be open to the public, with general admission and VIP tickets available now at www.creatingequilibrium.com.

“We are profoundly honored to welcome Creating Equilibrium to Squaw Valley and are excited to see the impact that comes from the incredible ideas and worldly thought leaders participating in the event,” said Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. “A core part of our mission is to act as stewards of these legendary mountains. Not only is Squaw Valley an incredible backdrop for a world-class event, but we also share Creating Equilibrium’s goal of fostering radical new approaches to solving critical environmental issues.”

For up-to-the-minute details and to see the latest highlights, visit www.creatingequilibrium.com.

About Squaw Valley Institute

The Squaw Valley Institute (SVI), a founding co-presenter of Creating Equilibrium, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting the community through inspirational programming celebrating the environment, arts, wellness, education and adventure. The goal is to enrich our mountain culture and inspire uncommon conversations to effect innovative and authentic change for a stronger future. SVI memberships are available that include admission to most events. For information about how to become an SVI member and upcoming SVI programming visit www.squawvalleyinstitute.org.

About Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows

Voted ‘Best Ski Resort’ in North America for the second year in a row by USA Today and 10Best Readers’ Choice 2017, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is an internationally renowned mountain resort in North Lake Tahoe that spans over 6,000 skiable acres. The resort features slopeside lodging at The Village at Squaw Valley®, which bustles year round with nonstop events and nearly 60 bars, restaurants and boutiques. With an annual average of 450 inches of snowfall and 300 sunny days, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is known as the spring skiing capital as it provides one of the longest ski and snowboard seasons in Lake Tahoe. Skiers and riders of all ability levels are welcomed by over 65 percent beginner and intermediate terrain, 14 easy-to-navigate mountain zones and a custom app to make the most of every visit. Visit squawalpine.com or call 1.800.403.0206 to learn more.

About CREATING EQUILIBRIUM

Creating Equilibrium is a three-day, solutions-focused, innovation forum—an insight incubator disguised as a conference, concert, and immersive festival. The goal of the event? Foster radical new approaches to solving critical environmental issues. Build bridges between world-renowned technologists and world-saving environmentalists. Invite business, industry and government into the discussion. Accelerate our better tomorrow in Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe, CA August 25-27, 2017.

Creating Equilibrium was founded by Steven Kotler, a journalist, author, and entrepreneur with expertise in science, technology and culture; Gabrielle Hull, a technology entrepreneur with an MBA from Stanford University who invests in people and ideas that foster change in our natural and social environment; Matt Reardon, Executive Director of the Squaw Valley Institute; and Antony Randall, an entertainment industry production executive with a passion for social impact, innovation, and the environment. The inaugural event will be held in partnership with Squaw Valley Institute, Squaw Valley – Alpine Meadows, and Noise Pop. For more information, visit www.creatingequilibrium.com.


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T100 Report Release: Insights from Impact Advisors and Consultants 2017

Toniic T100: Report Offers Insights From 37 Impact Advisors And Consultants Who Are Transforming The Financial Service Industry

Press Release – Berlin, DE and San Francisco, CA – Toniic Institute*, the global action community for impact investors, today released T100: Insights from Impact Advisors and Consultants 2017, at the Berlin Green Investment Summit. This is the second report in the T100 Research Project, a longitudinal study of 100% impact investing portfolios of Toniic members.

In this new report, 37 impact advisors and consultants from 12 countries, partnering with 38 of Toniic’s 100% Impact Network* members, open the door to their impact practices to demystify, inspire and activate both investors and the financial services industry. While today there are more impact firms and product offerings to choose from than ever before, information on impact intermediaries, especially for private asset owners, remains sparse despite the growth of the industry.

“As a trusted third party, Toniic can aggregate information through the T100 Project, and help investors and advisors learn from what’s happening on the frontier of impact investing,” said Toniic CEO Adam Bendell. “With this second report in the T100 project, we complement the initial findings of the ‘T100: Launch’ report with the perspective of active impact advisors and consultants in the field, helping private and institutional investors moving to 100% impact in their portfolios.”

“What we see is a dedicated, articulate, optimistic, innovative, and definitely persistent group of entrepreneurial founders as well as large company intrapreneurs,” said Lisa Kleissner, co-founder of Toniic and its 100% Impact Network. “Beyond fulfilling their clients’ impact needs, they are building new impact products and services, and volunteering their time to strengthen and grow the impact ecosystem. All of them, while cognizant of the challenges, are optimistic there are solutions and a bright future for impact.”

Impact advisors and consultants surveyed are reporting:

  • A significant increase in the depth and diversity of the impact intermediary offering, with sector growth led by client demand. That demand is led by women and millennials asking for values-aligned investment opportunities.
  • Challenges, like impact measurement and access to appropriate investment opportunities, remain, but none deemed insurmountable.
  • Accomplishments and optimism as milestones are being achieved. Survey respondents shared success stories, from engaging with new impact clients and transitioning existing clients into impact, to creating new products, and becoming a viable 100% impact advisory business.
  • Financial returns are on target. Clients target mostly market-rate financial returns. In some situations, clients want and intermediaries are finding high impact investments targeting sub-commercial returns.
  • Looking to the future, all surveyed agree. Outlook = Growth. Respondents anticipate growth in the number of investors, advisors, and consultants in the space, growth in the breadth and depth of products and services available, and growth in talent entering the ecosystem.

As one advisor concluded, “At the end of the day, it is all about moving past the noise in the system to get to the more important task of co-creating the long-term plan for our planet.”

The T100: Insights from Impact Advisors and Consultants 2017 report is available for download at www.toniic.com/T100.

Podcast interviews with five advisors supporting Toniic members, conducted by Toni Johnson of Mission OutLoud with support from the Heron Foundation, are available at www.toniic.com/T100.

*About Toniic and the T100 Project

Toniic is the global action community for impact investors. Toniic’s members in more than 20 countries share a vision of a global financial system creating positive social and environmental impact. Toniic’s mission is to empower impact investors.

Toniic 100% Impact Network members, a sub-group of the Toniic membership, have committed to move an entire investment portfolio into 100% impact across asset classes. Portfolios range in size from less than $2 million to more than $300 million for an aggregated commitment of close to $4 billion.

The T100 Project is a longitudinal study of the portfolios of some of those investors. It reveals insights into the impact journey and feasibility of 100% impact investing. The T100 project includes periodic reports, issue briefs, videos and podcasts, and the Toniic Diirectory, a peer-sourced directory of over 1,000 impact investments across all asset classes. For more information, visit www.toniic.com/T100

Source: http://www.toniic.com


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Global Impact Investing Network Promotes Giselle Leung To Managing Director

Press Release – NEW YORK, June 28, 2017 – The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) today announced that Giselle Leung has been promoted to Managing Director. In this leadership role, Giselle will provide critical guidance on how the GIIN helps to develop the global impact investing industry and will oversee a number of its field-building initiatives. She will also play a significant role in establishing and deepening key relationships with the GIIN’s strategic partners.

“In her most recent role as a Director of our organization, Giselle has enabled the GIIN to develop crucial strategic partnerships with other field-building organizations and funders around the world,” said Amit Bouri, Co-founder and CEO of the GIIN. He added, “As the industry continues to grow, and as our organization continues to grow, Giselle’s leadership as Managing Director will help to ensure that we remain focused and efficient in our efforts to harness the untapped market potential of impact investing around the world.”

Giselle joined the GIIN in 2010 as the founding manager of the GIIN’s Investors’ Council, a leadership group for large-scale and experienced investors. In her three years building the Council, she played a significant role in adding organizations like The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Credit Suisse, International Finance Corporation (IFC), and Zurich Insurance Group. In 2013, she took on the role of Senior Manager of Strategic Engagement and later in 2015 was promoted to Director of the GIIN. In her role as a Director, she oversaw fundraising and strategic partnerships, and guided the GIIN’s European strategy.

“When I first joined the GIIN seven years ago, the impact investing industry was at a nascent stage. It has been exciting to see the market evolve and engage many mainstream financial players. There is, however, still much more work to do to ensure impact investing reaches its potential. The GIIN is scaling up its work providing investors with the information, tools, and networks they need to be effective impact investors, and I look forward to contributing to those field-building initiatives.”

Prior to joining the GIIN, Giselle was a manager at Enterprise Solutions to Poverty (ESP), where she worked with leading companies in emerging markets to build inclusive business strategies and social enterprise solutions. She began her career at Cambridge Associates, providing investment portfolio analysis to large non-profit endowments, and was a business strategy consultant at Braun Consulting.

Giselle holds an MBA and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia Business School and The School of International and Public Affairs, and a BA in psychology from Harvard University.

About the Global Impact Investing Network

The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing around the world. Impact investments are investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. Impact investments can be made in both emerging and developed markets, and target a range of returns from below market to market rate, depending upon the circumstances. The GIIN builds critical infrastructure and supports activities, education, and research that help accelerate the development of a coherent impact investing industry. For more information, please visit www.thegiin.org.


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Primacy Unlocks Philanthropic Potential of Virtual Reality with GivLuv

–Free VR App Seamlessly Garners Empathy AND Donations–

Press Release – FARMINGTON, Conn.—June 26, 2017Primacy, an award-winning digital-first agency, has developed the first philanthropic and transactional virtual reality platform: GivLuv. Available to Gear VR users, GivLuv will allow viewers to virtually experience—and emotionally connect to—the stories of people impacted by charities across the world. The kicker is that viewers will also have the ability to donate to those charities, at any point during viewing, directly through their headsets.

To connect with their devoted and prospective givers, charities can sign up for GivLuv by submitting a 360 video or having Primacy develop one for them. Among GivLuv’s pilot partners are the Boys & Girls Club of Hartford and 3,000 Miles to a Cure.

“Too often, people pledge to donate to good causes and charities but don’t follow through. We developed GivLuv to significantly change that,” said Melissa Tait, Senior Vice President of Technology at Primacy. “There is nothing more powerful than seeing the impact these charities have first-hand. By evoking a stronger sense of empathy and giving people the ability to donate directly through their headsets, GivLuv facilitates donations to completion.”

After eight months of development and passing all internal tests, GivLuv debuted at Virtual Reality Toronto on June 24. The app will be released in closed beta form—meaning invited consumers can download and test it—in the Gear VR app store by July 1.

“Traditionally, VR has been a one-way consumer platform without much interactivity. With GivLuv, users not only consume content—they see and feel someone’s story—but they’re also empowered to act on the feelings generated within VR,” said Justin Lutz, Lead Innovation Technologist at Primacy. “We’re proud to lead the VR industry to interactivity, and to help countless organizations and lives along the way.”

Primacy has proven to be a game changer in VR—even when it was still an emerging technology. In 2014, Primacy pioneered the movement of making college campus tours more accessible through its groundbreaking virtual reality campus tour of Regis University. Without stepping foot on campus, students across the country can view tours of Regis University’s classrooms, sports facilities, dorms and nearby Red Rocks Amphitheatre as well as a 3D flyover of the campus. The results: saved time and travel expenses for students and parents, and a higher return on investment for Regis University as recruiting events attended by its admissions staff decreased by 14 percent, but leads captured from those fewer events increased by 13 percent.

About Primacy

Marketing doesn’t stand still. New opportunities are constant, and old ones keep evolving.

Against this dynamic backdrop, Primacy helps clients bring “What’s Next” thinking to the business at hand. We’re inspired by technology. Obsessed with data. And led in everything we do by creative ideas.

With vertical-specific expertise, Primacy helps clients in healthcare, financial services, higher education, manufacturing and consumer spaces enjoy the “What’s Next” advantage. Our services include strategy, concept, design, user experience, marketing, technology, branding, mobile, and media planning. With award-winning, meaningful impact that leads to measurable results, it’s no wonder that clients stay with Primacy over ten years on average.

A partial list of clients includes Aetna, Amica, Cannondale, EmblemHealth, ESPN, The Hartford, MassMutual, Middlesex Hospital, MIT, Regis University, Sikorsky Aircraft, Smith College, Tufts Medical Center, University of Michigan and Yale New Haven Health. Headquartered in Farmington, CT, we also have offices in NYC, Boston and West Palm Beach. To find out more, visit us at theprimacy.com or follow Primacy on Facebook and Twitter.


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Global Solar Kit Maker d.light Marks 10 Years With Launch Of Groundbreaking Solar Home System

Press Release – 27 June 2017, San Francisco, CA; Nairobi, Kenya; New Delhi, India. Off-grid solar solutions provider d.light has launched a flagship solar home system that promises to give consumers even more energy options for less money.

d.light is the global market leader in distributed solar power and has so far powered more than 75 million lives mostly in the developing world.

The company today celebrated the decade of providing safe, clean and affordable light to its customers at its Africa headquarters in Nairobi. d.light also unveiled the latest edition in its innovative line of solar products at the event.

The high-powered X850 promises to move solar energy consumers from merely meeting the traditional lighting and phone charging needs to a fully-solar-powered home entertainment system.

“Our customers will now have access to information, entertainment, education, more business hours and, mobile charging and better lighting conditions in the house,” said Sam Goldman, co-founder and Chief Product Officer of d.light.

The X850 has also been described as an “aspirational product” that grows and morphs according to consumer needs, powering multiple lights, mobile phones, heavy-duty electronic appliances and other accessories.

A key feature of the X850 package is a d.light 19” LED High Definition digital TV, the company’s first foray into the TV market which recently won the Global LEAP award for “the world’s most efficient TV in its class.”

d.light is also planning a major upgrade across its entire solar lantern products in the next few weeks, in line with its mission of moving its customers up the energy access ladder.

The X850 marks a significant milestone for d.light, which today celebrated 10 years since its founding in 2007 by Ned Tozun and Sam Goldman.

In its decade of operation, d.light has affordably powered more than 75 million lives including 19 million school-aged children who can now read and do their homework under light that is good for their eyes and lungs.

d.light co-founder and global Chief Executive Officer Ned Tozun said the world may be going green, but it is also important to ensure that everyone is on board in the journey.

“Solar energy has been notorious for being costly, especially in the developing world, and this is why d.light has always been focused on providing products that are both affordable and reliable. Many families that are just a few meters from the grid still cannot afford a power connection. But they don’t have to live in darkness until the day they raise enough money,” he said.

d.light is the fastest scaling Pay-as-you-Go solar home system brand in the world, with up to 800 new installations per day around the world.

Beyond the direct relief to the consumer pocket, d.light solar kits have also significantly helped users avoid health issues related to the use of kerosene. Fumes from kerosene lamps are known to impair lung function and increase respiratory disease, cancer, eye problems among other health issues.

“When this is removed from the home environment, families see a reduction in the health risks associated with kerosene exposure, including skin rashes and cancers linked to kerosene contact,” noted Mr Tozun.

d.light co-founders Sam and Ned met as grad students in the “Design for Extreme Affordability” program run by Stanford Business School and Design School.

About d.light

d.light is a for-profit global social impact enterprise focused on improving the lives of the two billion people in the developing world who live without access to reliable energy. d.light designs, manufactures and distributes the highest quality, affordable solar energy and lighting solutions for households and small businesses. d.light products transform the way people all over the world use and pay for home solar power. Our goal is to impact the lives of 100 million people with our solar lights and home solutions by 2020. As of 2017, d.light has impacted over 75 million people worldwide in over 60 countries. For more information please visit www.dlight.com. Follow us on Twitter @dlightdesign, on Facebook or LinkedIn.


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