Featured Speakers

True Confessions

Adnan Durrani

CEO, Saffron Road Foods

Mr. Durrani is the founder and CEO of Saffron Road Foods, the fastest growing natural frozen entrée brand in USA. He has been a serial social entrepreneur and venture capitalist for almost 30 years.

Mr. Durrani founded Vermont Pure in 1991(sold to COTT beverages) and his venture firm Condor Ventures was a principal shareholder in Stonyfield Farms, Inc. , sold to Groupe Danone in 2001. He was also a principal of Delicious Brands, Inc., which he scaled, with the financial backing of Carl Icahn, to become the 5th largest cookie brand in the U.S.

Saffron Road is sold nationally, in over 25,000 major US retail food stores, including Whole Foods Markets, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Costco, HEB, Target, Kroger, and all 14 banners of Albertsons/Safeway. Saffron Road is the leading world cuisines brand in the Natural/Organic sector, as well as being the #1 organic chickpea snacks brand. Whole Foods has noted Saffron Road as one of the most successful new brand launches in recent history, having made the Inc 500’s list of fastest growing co.’s for three years. Adnan has been recognized as one of the entrepreneurs who engineered “20 Ideas That Changed The Way The World Does Business”.

Mr. Durrani is the Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and is also Co-Chair of Columbia’s SEAS Entrepreneurship Advisory Board. He was recognized by the Vatican and Ambassador to the Holy Sees for his “Interfaith In Business” model, where the Pope hosted him as a speaker at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy. He lives in Westport , CT with his wife Maria Dolores Paoli, a longtime SVN member and social entrepreneur (and recovering attorney) , as well as his son Haris who grew up in the SVN madrassa.

Karina Birch

CEO, Rocky Mountain Soap Company

Karina Birch is co-owner and CEO of natural body care purveyor Rocky Mountain Soap Co. She and her husband Cam nurtured the company from its days as a 300 square foot shop in Canmore to the now 13 retail stores and 16,000 square foot workshop in Canmore.   Believing ‘what goes on the body, goes in the body,’ Rocky is on a mission to created small-batch products using simple, natural and fresh ingredients.

Karina’s interest in natural beauty started when she was a young girl who loved smearing avocado on her face and putting egg in her hair.  Now she gets to do the grown up version of that every day.

Karina spends her time directing Rocky’s strategy, product development and brand.  Since their earliest days, she and Cam have focused on fostering a strong company culture that empowers people to ‘Give it a Go,’ reminds them to ‘Be Kind,’ and encourages ‘Positivitude.’

In recent years, the company has expanded its ‘Cleaner Bodies, Cleaner World’ commitment to include its built environments.  Rocky’s Canmore workshop and recent store builds and renovations have adhered to the highest standards of sustainable, responsible construction.

Karina balances running a rapidly growing company with raising three rapidly growing children. She maintains her sanity by taking advantage of having some of the best skiing, hiking and biking in the world on her doorstep to keep her active and balanced.

Rocky Mountain Soap has been included in the Profit 100 and Alberta Ventures ‘Fastest Growing Companies.’ Karina has been honored as a female entrepreneur on the ‘W100’ list; a ‘Fierce Woman of Influence.’ She sits on the board for Rocky Mountain Ventures and is a current member and past board member of Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) Calgary. She is also completed Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management Program (OPM).

Creating Inclusive Economies

Our old economic systems are crumbling. New ways are emerging. What are the practical and tactical steps that individuals and investors can and must do to create more inclusive economies? Hear from some of the leading finance practitioners from across North America share their strategies and game changing perspectives in playing a key role in the transition towards a more just, inclusive and sustainable economy. You will gain insight, knowledge and tools to help you be an active part of the solution.

Carol Anne Hilton

CEO & Founder, The Indigenomics Institute and the Global Center of Indigenomics

Carol Anne Hilton, MBA is the CEO and Founder of The Indigenomics Institute and the Global Center of Indigenomics. Carol Anne is a dynamic national Indigenous business leader and senior adviser with an international Masters Degree in Business Management (MBA) from the University of Hertfordshire, England. Carol Anne is of Nuu chah nulth descent from the Hesquiaht Nation on Vancouver Island. 

Carol Anne has led the establishment of a line of thought called #indigenomics- growing from a single word to an entire movement which focuses on the re-building and strengthening of Indigenous economies. Carol Anne is the author of ‘Indigenomics- Taking A Seat at the Economic Table’ and is an adjunct professor at Royal Roads University School of Business.

Carol Anne served on the BC Emerging Economy the BC Indigenous Business and Investment Council and was the only Indigenous person appointed to the Canadian Economic Growth Council.  Carol Anne’s work has been recognized most recently with the national Excellence in Aboriginal Relations Award from the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business and the CE Analytics Mastermind award.

Carol Anne currently serves as Director on the McGill University Institute for the Study

Esther Park

CEO, Cienega Capital

Esther Park is the CEO of Cienega Capital, a regenerative investment firm utilizing an integrated capital approach to systemic change in the areas of soil health, regenerative agriculture, and local food systems. Cienega Capital is also part of the #NoRegrets Initiative, a regenerative asset strategy focused on the health of agricultural soils and agricultural communities of North America.

Esther has 20 years of experience in mission-based financial services ranging from microfinance to risk capital investments, in partnership with financial institutions, family offices, foundations, and investment advisors.  She also serves as a Board member at Custom Food Solutions, Carman Ranch Provisions, Eden Cider, Civil Eats, and Grassfed Alliance.

Esther has also served as the Vice President for Strategy and Business Development at RSF Social Finance, and oversaw all lending activity from 2007-2011, which resulted in a tripling of the loan portfolio, and the development of a mezzanine debt fund.  Prior to joining RSF, Esther was a senior consultant for ShoreBank Advisory Services, where she provided strategic and capital planning advice for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), particularly small business and affordable-housing loan funds. She also trained lenders internationally in small business lending practices, and underwrote Program Related Investments (PRIs) for private foundation clients.

And in a previous life, Esther lived in Nukus, Uzbekistan, teaching English and conducting program evaluation work for the United Nations. Esther received her MPP from University of Chicago, and BA in Social Welfare from the University of California Berkeley. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband, Greg, and their two children, Evangeline and Bryce.

Kristin Hull

CEO & Founder, Nia Impact Capital

Kristin Hull is founder and CEO of Nia Impact Capital, a women-led Registered Investment Advisor leading the charge to change the face of finance by hiring and training women and people of color in sustainable and transformative investing.

Kristin founded Nia Global Solutions, a gender-lens portfolio of solutions-focused companies, in her efforts to bring impact investing into the public markets. An impact Investor since 2007, Kristin oversaw the investment process for the first family foundations as they moved their endowment assets into 100% alignment with their philanthropic mission.

In 2010 Kristin went on to found Nia Community, a 100% mission-aligned impact investment fund focused on social change and environmental sustainability in her home town of Oakland, California. Kristin is a co-founder of Impact Hub Oakland and of the North Oakland Community Charter School, and served on the founding board of George Mark Children’s House.

Prior to devoting her career to transforming our financial system, Kristin was a full-time educator, teaching bilingual classes in Oakland and San Francisco. She earned her PhD in Education at University of California, Berkeley, her Masters in Research in Bilingual Education from Stanford University and her BA and teaching credentials from Tufts University.