As Einstein noted, you can’t (rationally) do the same thing and expect different results. Goodness knows when David Lynn and I co-founded Mission Driven Finance in 2016, signs were clear that we needed more inclusive opportunity. So we launched Mission Driven Finance with visions of doing a whole lot of things differently: Financing with creativity and possibility, building an intentionally diverse team, and embracing life as a deliberately developmental organization.
I use a shorthand for this last point—lobstering (courtesy of Brad Montague).
Unlike a caterpillar where you transform into something beautiful and then end the story, lobsters are in a perpetual cycle of growth, vulnerability, and strength. Just as lobsters grow new shells to accommodate big plans, our team has been changing quite a bit to serve more people- and place-based communities around the country.
With generous support from the Surdna Foundation, we are delighted to welcome Chief Legal Officer Joe Pileri. Too many innovative businesses and promising funds trying to do things differently get stuck with complicated legal considerations—and expensive bills for figuring them out. While Joe isn’t directly advising client-partners, he’s helping to frame the right questions to ask of their counsel and streamlining much of the unglamorous infrastructure that makes investments possible.
And we’re leaning in to build more of that infrastructure, or plumbing, that enables capital to flow to community by growing our accounting and fund operations team. We are also recruiting for our next, nationwide, cohort of the Community Finance Fellowship. (Help us spread the word—the application closes Friday, July 9.)
But not all the team changes are additions. Notably, Shreya Sasaki, formerly our chief operating officer, has followed her heart back into programmatic work advancing health equity. She joins Jewish Family Service of San Diego as their senior director of family and community services, and remains a champion for more inclusive investing. We’re deeply grateful for the foundation she helped build in our three and a half years together.
Learn more about our recent team changes, and meet the rest of our wonderful team on our new website, where you can see what we each looked like at five years old. We took #MDFturns5 seriously!