Call to Leadership & New Professional Member Happy Hour

Net Impact Boston Professional Chapter is hosing this summer’s annual Call to Leadership Happy Hour AND celebrating local Net Impact Student Chapter members for finishing their degrees!

  • Tia’s on the Waterfront, 200 Atlantic Ave, Boston, MA
  • Tuesday, July 15- 6:30 to 8:30 pm

This happy hour is open to anyone that may potentially be interested in applying for one of the available Leadership Team positions for the 2014-2015 calendar year (September 2014 through August 2015), AND to all Student Chaper recent grads who are interested in transition their membership to the professional chapter.

If you are interested in exploring current open positions with the Leadership Team and associated committees, please join us!  You can download open positions descriptions here: NIB Open Roles_2014-2015, and the application form here: NIB Board Application_Summer 2014 (but it isn’t necessary to bring this to the Happy Hour).

If you’re a professional, come and:

  • Enjoy a night of networking with recent graduates and the NIB Leadership Team;
  • Learn about upcoming NIB Professional Chapter events and how to get involved with the NIB Professional Chapter

If you’re a recent graduate*, join us and:

  • Celebrate your accomplishments with the NIB Professional Chapter Leadership Team;
  • Learn about the NIB Professional Chapter;
  • Explore opportunities to get involved and/or attend professional events

*Recent graduates affiliated with a student chapter will be eligible to receive a discount to upgrade their membership to the NIB Professional Chapter. Please Contact the NIB Professional Chapter Membership team at membership@netimpactboston.org for more information.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

 

 

NIB Career Q&A: Eric Zimmerman, Founder, TripZero (Speed Networking VIP 2014)

Eric ZimmermanWe are so excited that Eric Zimmerman, Founder, TripZero is joining us as a VIP for our 7th annual Speed Networking evening on June 25th, 2014. We caught up with him to ask a few questions and find out more about his journey as an impact professional.

How do you introduce yourself at a networking event (your personal elevator pitch)?
At TripZero, we enable people to travel with zero carbon footprint—for free.

(At which point I’m always asked: “How does that work?”)

When you book travel through our site, we calculate the carbon footprint created by your trip. We include both the impact of our transportation (air, train, car or bus) and your hotel stay. Then we offset that footprint through the purchase of certified carbon offsets. These purchases fund great forestry and renewable energy projects that remove CO2 from the atmosphere (and create a lot of other benefits).

All you have to do is book your hotel through our site, which is powered by Expedia. So you’re guaranteed to get the lowest price for your room. And there’s no charge for the carbon offsets, really.

What inspired you to pursue a career with positive social or environmental impact?
I was listening to a great talk being given by Eric Corey Fried, an architect and the author of Green Building for Dummies. At the end of his talk he said, “My biggest fear is that my daughter’s generation will be living on a destroyed planet. And they will look back on my generation and say, “you knew, and you didn’t do anything about it. What was wrong with you?”

The audience had at least 300 people, but I was certain he was talking to me. It was something of an “aha” moment. It led me to begin living what Yvon Chouinard (the founder of Patagonia) calls an “examined” life. I set the publishing business I was responsible for on a much more sustainable course. My wife and I started a zero-energy retrofit to our home. I sold the sports car. I thought we were almost done.

And then I discovered my “travel problem.” The biggest part of my personal carbon footprint wasn’t my house; it was my travel—by far. And this goes for almost everyone I know who travels for business, or takes her family on vacation. This isn’t a problem that’s likely to be solved anytime soon by a clean energy source or conservation measures. This is a big problem and it’s getting bigger, fast.

When I stumbled upon the idea of combining travel booking with free carbon offsets, I realized we had the opportunity to solve a huge problem without charity, subsidy or substantial behavioral change. That was all the inspiration required to start TripZero. That, and the story I’ll get to tell my kids.

What’s the most interesting/most fun/most challenging aspect of your job?
Let’s start with fun—our customers are incredible. They’re a remarkably intelligent, passionate and pragmatic group. Many come from companies on the leading edge of their markets. Others come from families or communities that feel a personal responsibility to act on the underlying causes of climate change, now. Our customers energize us on a daily basis. They make it a real pleasure to look for new customers. And the more of them we find, the more carbon we can offset.

Interesting? That’s a toss-up. I have a soft spot for technology development and creating a world-class travel App requires a team of incredibly talented designers, system architects and developers. These folks have really big brains and they challenge us continually.

On the other hand, I’ve recently had the opportunity to get to know another really interesting crowd: carbon offset developers. These are the folks who look at big, root-cause climate problems (like deforestation) and then bring market-based solutions to the table. Looking for a big challenge? Try putting together a carbon-offset program that halts the destruction of ancient forest, creates economic opportunity for the local population, gets the support of the local government and sustains itself economically. We get to work with the people who do this.

Challenging? That’s easy. We’re a young company and we’re constantly presented with new opportunities or uncovering new markets for our service. We can’t possibly find the time or money to focus on all of them—nor should we. So prioritizing opportunities—and executing really well against the best ones—is an ongoing challenge.

What advice would you give to those looking for a career with a positive social or environmental impact?
First find a market that’s big, growing and interesting to you. Then find the leaders in that market. At this intersection you’re likely to find organizations addressing both the long-term environmental and societal impacts of their business model. They’re focused on problems at scale. Which means that if you’re working there and solve one of these problems, you’ll have a global impact.

Then, get into one of these organizations any way you can. Work hard. Build a track record. And as your influence grows find ways to incorporate sustainability into your product, your process or your organization. You don’t have to have “Sustainability” in your title to have a big impact. And, with rare exception, you can’t bring big sustainability into a business until you really understand the business. Few of the top Sustainability Officers I’ve met started out on that track. They earned their stripes in the business first.

What’s the best networking tip you’ve ever been given?
Don’t network, make friends.  And then find ways to help them.  The rest will take care of itself.

Places for Speed Networking 2014 are going fast! Sign up today and join us on June 25th to meet an amazing line up of VIPs and make connections with fellow Net Impact members – you never know where it could lead.

NIB Career Q&A: Ana Hammock, VP of Lending, Accion East (Speed Networking VIP 2014)

Ana Hammock Accion EastWe are so excited that Ana Hammock, VP of Lending, Accion East is joining us as a VIP for our 7th annual Speed Networking evening on June 25th, 2014. We caught up with her to ask a few questions and find out more about her journey as an impact professional.

How do you introduce yourself at a networking event (your personal elevator pitch)?
Hi, I am Ana Hammock the VP of Lending at Accion East. Accion East is a national nonprofit microlender that provides business loans and financial education. By connecting small business owners with the financing and advice it takes to grow healthy businesses, we’re fulfilling dreams, creating jobs and strengthening local communities.

What inspired you to pursue a career with positive social or environmental impact?
My father has always been my inspiration. He has always worked to create positive change in the world. Because of him, I knew from a young age that I wanted to be involved in work that had a positive social impact. Initially, I was convinced that my path would be one involved in international development. I studied at Tufts and lived for some time overseas in Sri Lanka and parts of Africa, working in the field of international trade and development. After a few years spent abroad, I found a strong pull to return to Boston. I have always loved Boston. I grew up in a suburb of Boston. I felt that although I had a lot to give overseas, I had even more that I could contribute to Boston and surrounding communities. Since then, I have dug in deep and put forth every effort into improving my beloved hometown.

What’s the most interesting/most fun/most challenging aspect of your job?
I love working with people.  The people that work at Accion love the work and that energy is contagious.  It is amazing to see businesses that we have been working with for years succeed.  I never get tired of hearing the personal stories of our clients, sharing their feelings of triumph and the obstacles they face.  I love not only meeting, but knowing the business owners down the street where I live, where I socialize and where I work.  As a result, the work can engulf your every waking moment because you  are tied to that entrepreneur’s success. What makes the job the most rewarding is also what makes it the most challenging.

What advice would you give to those looking for a career with a positive social or environmental impact?
It is so important to truly understand the culture of an organization before you dive into a career there. Understand as best you can how you would fit in–or not–with that culture. Once you decide on an organization, you will immerse yourself in the mission. It is critical to work hard and apply passion to your work. By working hard, you will learn skills that will be useful in the future. Do not give up and remember that a path might lead you to where you least expected it to.

What’s the best networking tip you’ve ever been given?
Listen more and talk less!  When networking, always focus on how you can help the person you are talking to rather than what you can get out of them. By focusing on others, you are creating lasting connections. It also may help with removing any social anxiety you may have.

Places for Speed Networking 2014 are going fast! Sign up today and join us on June 25th to meet an amazing line up of VIPs and make connections with fellow Net Impact members – you never know where it could lead.