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Who inspired your career journey? | Purposeful Connections

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Who advanced your career? For me, it was Bruce Katz, founder and CEO of The Rockport Company. I’ll never forget that day in 1983 when he sat across from me and discussed how he really wanted to build a different type of company. His product, Rocksports, were a surprising type of shoe. Lightweight internal components like a running shoe, with the outer design of a street shoe. Was the world ready for this invention?

Together, we dreamed of a future where walking could become a standard form of exercise, with Rockport leading the way. I named it “fitness walking.” To gain national attention, we had a walking evangelist, Rob Sweetgall, walk the US (all 11,208 miles!). He was studied as a human walking experiment to build credibility for the movement. This was followed by books, walking tests, videos, and ultimately we even created the Rockport Walking Institute. It was time for a new exercise, and walking became the way forward, providing a new, healthy activity for millions of people, while growing the Rockport business exponentially. This was my first purpose initiative, followed by Reebok and Human Rights, Avon and Breast Cancer and a career dedicated to social impact.

It’s been a year since he passed. Thank you, Bruce, for selecting me to craft your dream and for launching me on a career journey I never could have imagined. Read more in my article for Sustainable Brands: How Bruce Katz, founder and CEO of Rockport Shoe Company, ignited my purpose journey

No more ESG... As an investing term, at least. This is the stance BlackRock CEO Larry Fink is taking, according to comments he made at the Aspen Ideas Festival earlier this month. “I’m not going to use the word ESG because it’s been misused by the far left and the far right... When I write these [investment] letters, it was never meant to be a political statement... They were written to identify long-term issues to our long-term investors.” // FastCompanyBlackRock CEO Larry Fink says he's officially retiring 'ESG' as an investing term

Great places to work. Landing a spot on Newsweek's America's Greatest Workplaces list takes commitment. These organizations pay workers fair, competitive wages; encourage innovation and new ideas; prioritize equity and diversity; and enable career development while promoting work-life balance—among other things. Congratulation to Biogen* for being one of this year's honorees, with a top AGW rating of five stars. // NewsweekAmerica's Greatest Workplaces 2023 *Biogen is a CCOP client.

Incentivizing good. Half of CEOs, globally, have pay tied to sustainability goals, finds a new study from IBM. This is up from just 15% last year, indicating the strength of ESG initiatives, despite anti-ESG rhetoric over the past few months. The study also found that the most frequently-cited top challenge for CEOs was sustainability (42%), topping cybersecurity and data privacy. // ESG Today50% of CEOs have pay tied to ESG goals, up from 15% one year ago

Return on leadership.

Purpose-driven leadership correlates positively with financial success, found the ROL100 Ranking. The Return on Leadership ranking from Indiggo, which evaluates the top 100 companies in the Fortune 500, found that top-ranked companies outperformed others in terms of revenue, profit, and growth. // FortuneBeing a purpose-driven leader in the Fortune 500 boosts revenue

In a world where connectivity is increasingly essential, the digital divide stands as a formidable obstacle to millions of Americans. We invited Mylayna Albright, Assistant Vice President of CSR at AT&T, to speak to how AT&T’s $2 billion commitment to bridging the divide is going beyond access to and affordability of high-speed internet by encompassing digital skills education and essential community resources to ensure the safe and successful adoption of technology.


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