Tuesday, December 5, 2023
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Serving to folks discover success via purposeful engagement — The Nature Conservancy in Washington

 After graduating from the College of Washington in 1992, Kristen grew to become a Licensed Public Accountant (CPA) and an assurance supervisor at Arthur Andersen, LLP. Years right into a business-focused world that inspired lengthy hours, Kristen discovered herself looking for extra which means in her work. She took a sabbatical and journeyed deep into the forest, fully alone, to meditate and quick for 4 days.  

“When I discovered a spot, I drew a 10-foot diameter circle round myself,” Kristen described. “And I sat in that circle for 4 days with simply 4 gallons of water and a sleeping bag.” She solely left the circle as soon as a day to depart a rock on a log as a sign to her brother that she was alive.  

“It was about discovering myself, discovering what drives me, my function, my sense of belonging,” Kristen mentioned. “I started to assimilate my curiosity on this planet and nature with the fact of being a company citizen. It doesn’t need to be either-or.” 

Quickly after leaving the accounting world, Kristen met her mentor, the late philanthropist and pension fund pioneer George Russell, who was the previous chairman of the Frank Russell Firm and proprietor of the Russell 2000 index. For greater than twenty years, she labored for his agency the Threshold Group, first becoming a member of because the Chief Monetary Officer and incomes her solution to President in 2017.  

“George impressed me to suppose that you could possibly use wealth as a pressure for good on this planet,” Kristen mentioned. He taught her three key classes that she makes use of in her work immediately, the place a 3rd of her purchasers are affect traders: 

  1. There’s “no grey in integrity.” Russell taught her to “do all the things as if your actions will find yourself on the entrance web page of the Wall Avenue Journal.”  

  2. Make the most of a “service mentality.” Even ultra-high-net-worth people serve somebody; for instance, on the board of a nonprofit organizations. Kristen says that “in the event you come from a service mentality, irrespective of your wealth, everybody is best served.”  

  3. Infuse pleasure into life and work. 

Kristen’s curiosity within the nonprofit world and early introduction to The Nature Conservancy led her to fulfill Mike Stevens, state director of TNC in Washington, and she or he grew to become a trustee in 2016. She stepped as much as the position of chair from 2020 to 2022 earlier than “passing the torch” to Maud Daudon. Throughout her tenure, Kristen guided the board via the COVID-19 pandemic, preserving the board engaged via years of virtual-only conferences. She helped develop TNC in Washington’s fairness assertion that facilities social justice in conservation efforts. 



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