RENEW Strategies

Stories of Impact & Inspiration

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Emily Ziethen
| October 21, 2016

Last weekend, members and guests of the Impact Angel Network (IAN) joined us in Washington, D.C. to attend the second annual National Gathering. The goal of this event was to create opportunities for guests to connect with like-minded individuals and hear from thought leaders in the fields of impact investing, angel investing and global development.

One of the goals for the weekend was to share real stories of impact and innovation (#WhatsYourStory), which culminated during the dinner portion of Friday evening’s event when four conscious capitalists stood up and shared their inspirations and personal experiences with the IAN in front of the group. These are their stories:


“Personally, I'm a global traveler. Professionally, I'm a global investor. I have a particular passion for emerging economies. I was introduced to RENEW by a long-time client of mine, a wealth manager with SignatureFD, David Fisher.

I believe that global experiences change our perspective; that investing is a powerful tool for social change; that world-class entrepreneurs and businesses are everywhere.

Currently, I work independently, investing my money, time, and talent in people and firms who share my beliefs, with a focus on Africa. Community is so important – I have so much to learn, but also lots to share. That's why I'm a member the RENEW's Impact Angel Network, and why I'm attending my second National Gathering.

Just as my friend David introduced me to RENEW and this community, I wish to toast those here this weekend that have joined me - my husband Bob Morris and friends Victoria Odinotska, Amanda Arch and Adam Pisoni, and Lisa and Scott Halsted.”


“18 months ago, I was pleased and honored to attend this gathering as the guest of a remarkable woman, Whitney Ball. Sadly, that was one of the last public events she attended, as she passed away from breast cancer last August.

As the founder of Donors' Trust, she was deeply committed to both getting returns on investment and to helping the poor and underprivileged through economics - giving them a chance to participate in the economy, build businesses, and build societies committed to economic liberty. She invited me to this dinner, and to the possibility of investing here, because of these commitments. I was impressed by what I saw and am glad to say that I have invested in two projects that fulfill these goals.

I honor her memory tonight and am glad that her legacy continues. Whitney, you were so sick that you could not enjoy a drink last year; I toast your memory now and thank your for 25 years of friendship.”


“I am here tonight with my parents, Beth & Joel Marquette, who are members of the IAN advisory board. A few years ago, I spent 6 months living in Ethiopia with my family. During my time there, I made lifelong friends, experienced Ethiopia's welcoming culture, and learned many things. One of the most important things that I learned was to be accepting and open to experiencing new things.

Tonight, I toast to my generation of Ethiopians; may the economic growth in your country bring you more opportunities.”


“I was in Addis Ababa visiting a missionary friend of mine who had been there for four years working with kids living in the sewers. He asked me if I wanted to meet an amazing American couple that was in Ethiopia doing social impact private equity investments. We went to a hotel to meet Matt and Laura. I remember that the hotel was very nice, but maybe it was just nice in comparison to the sewers we’d been traipsing around in.

Matt and Laura spent about 30 minutes explaining what they were doing, and I was sold. My son and I and our family foundation have now made more than five investments and more to come.

I’d like to offer a toast to divinely appointed encounters that can change our lives and maybe even the world.”

RENEW is proud to have such inspiring individuals as members of the Impact Angel Network.

To find out more about RENEW or the Impact Angel Network, contact us at, follow us on Twitter @RENEWLLC or find us on Instagram @impactangelnetwork.