A lifelong Houstonian, Mike has seen first-hand the tremendous amount of growth of the city of Houston. With a background in the traditional financial industry, Mike is focused on how finance can generate positive social and environmental value across a wide variety of categories.
His professional experience includes helping to develop and market financial products for a variety of distribution channels: Independent Broker Dealer, Registered Investor Advisor, and High Net Worth Individuals. He helped raise north of $250M in assets under management and launch a publicly traded whole residential mortgage note fund. He has also consulted a variety of fund managers and mentored high impact social entrepreneurs.
Mike has a B.A. International Studies from the University of St. Thomas, Houston and an MBA from Cornell University. He also has completed a wide array of certificate programs included: Social Impact Leadership via Philanthropy University/Berkeley-Hass Business School; +Acumen Certificates: Financial Modeling for the Social Sector, Social Impact Analysis, Lean Data Measurement
Originally from Chicago, Matt’s passion is the environment and local community development. Matt believes strongly in the empowerment of people and that impact investing is a potent tool that can help solve the multitude of issues in our world today. After relocating in 2011 and seeing the massive potential and open hearts of Houston, Matt decided to call it home and become an active community member.
Professionally, Matt has worked in both smaller mid-cap lending as well as large corporate multi-national Banking with >10-years at Scotiabank (Canada’s most international bank). He has both domestic and international expertise with previous work assignments in Mexico and Brazil. Throughout his career, Matt has covered a variety of industries, including agriculture, automotive, energy and other diversified sectors.
Previous, to Scotiabank Matt worked for The Export-Import Bank of the United States structuring pre-export and post-export financing for a variety of international firms and industries.
Matt has an M.B.A. in Finance and International Business from DePaul University and a B.S. in Accounting from The University of Montana (with a Minor in Spanish). Matt was also an exchange student at The National University of Costa Rica and is fluent in Spanish and proficient in Portuguese.
Originally from Bolivia, Sergio has been living in the US for the last 20 years and is now a proud US citizen. Currently, Sergio resides in Houston and works for GOJO Industries, Inc., who’s Purell brand you may recognize, as the Latin America Business Development Director.
Being from Latin America gives Sergio a unique perspective to impact investing particularly around the power of education to transform lives. During college Sergio volunteered to tutor Hispanic high school students preparing to apply for college at his church. Sergio has experienced the power of education himself not content with one Bachelor of Science degree in International Business, he later attended night classes to attain a second degree in Marketing Management, and later achieved an MBA from Cornell University.
Access to healthcare is also one of Sergio’s interests. Working in Latin America for Gojo Industries, who’s purpose is to “Save Lives and Make Life Better Through Well Being Solutions”, Sergio can witness how access to something as basic as hand hygiene can save lives and positively impact communities.
Finally, Sergio served as Secretary in the board of a non-for-profit organization (TECHO) that helped disadvantaged families find temporary homes in times of need.
Ria has over seven years of experience raising grants and investment capital for social enterprises and not-for-profits in Asia-Pacific. She is passionate about building models for social change to alleviate poverty. She is currently based in Houston and volunteers for social enterprises and not-for-profits helping them with their fundraising strategy.
Prior to moving to Houston she was based in Singapore and was working for National Council of Social Service, a Singapore Statutory Board organization, pioneering and implementing new business models and funding structures to help grow the social enterprise space in Singapore.
Prior to that, she was working in the Corporate Finance team at Impact Investment Exchange Asia, where she was involved in sourcing Social Enterprises, conducting due-diligence, structuring deals and marketing them to potential investors. She has successfully executed multiple impact investments in the agriculture, energy, education and healthcare sectors. She also assisted Social Enterprises through the capital raising process by consulting them on their business plans, operational strategy, financial models and investor presentations. She has extensive field experience within South and South East Asia.