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Toward a Plant-Based Economy: Sanctuary Symposium on Impact Investing


Toward a Plant-Based Economy:
Sanctuary Symposium on Impact Investing

Sunday, December 4th at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary in High Falls, NY

(only 90 minutes from Manhattan)
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Pre-registration is required. Please register by December 1st.

  • Explore how and why financial ventures in humane and vegan industries are central to social, sustainable impact investing

  • Learn of the rapid growth in these industries already underway and of their untapped growth potential

  • Identify specific companies and entrepreneurs primed for investors with visionregister-button

  • Meet the rescued animal refugees of factory farming on a private farm tour

    Note on dress: Very casual –  but warm with footwear that can handle long walks and some cold and mud depending on the weather – our private farm tour will happen outside and in barns.


10:00 – 10:30     Registration and morning refreshments

10:30 – 10:35     Welcome and introductory remarks

10:35 – 11:45     Panelist presentations

11:45 – 12:00     Break

12:00 – 1:00       Q & A with panelists

1:00 – 1:45         Catered buffet lunch and wrap up

1:45 – 3:00        Meet the animals: private tour of Woodstock Farm Sanctuary

Distinguished Speakers

headshot-brenda-colorBrenda Morris, CFP 

Investment Advisor Representative, First Affirmative Financial Network

Founder, Humane Investing, LLC



Humane Investing: Where Opportunity Meets Accountability

Brenda Morris is dedicated to ending the suffering and abuse of animals. Explore the tremendous opportunities to make a difference by demanding accountability from the companies in which we invest.

About Brenda

Brenda grew up in New Hampshire and transferred to William and Mary when her family moved to Virginia for her father’s job. She began her career in banking, assisting clients with both lending and investment needs.  After spending over a decade in the financial industry she finally realized she was too much of an idealist to ever fit properly in the corporate world and founded Humane Investing, LLC and began working through First Affirmative. Assisting those who are also inspired to change the world is incredibly fulfilling and Brenda never loses sight of the incredible responsibility and trust that her clients have given her.

Brenda has been a coordinator with the Richmond Vegetarian Festival since 2003 and an active member of the Vegetarian Society of Richmond for almost two decades. She is a State Council member for the Humane Society of the United States, a member of the local No Meat Athlete running group, and is the organizer for two local vegan Meetup groups.  Brenda thrives on educating people on the virtues of living a healthy, vegan, cruelty-free lifestyle.

jody-headshotJody Rasch, MBA

Managing Trustee,
VegInvest Trust









Understanding Vegan Investing: Public versus Private Companies, Defining Sustainability, Creating Diverse Vegan Portfolios and Ethical Challenges in Vegan Investing

Join in an analysis of the different techniques for vegan investing starting with a discussion of what is meant by sustainable investing and including public versus private investment strategies including the use of negative screens and positive. We will also examine the range of companies that support vegan values and what are the ethical issues you encounter when investing in this area. Explore these facets of impact investing and more.

About Jody

Jody Rasch manages VegInvest Trust, a private equity trust that specializes in companies that reduce animal use and promotes a vegan lifestyle. Prior to this he headed the Social Performance Group at Moody’s Corporation working on projects including microfinance and social investing. He also served on various advisory boards, including the Global Impact Investing Rating Service (GIIRS). Mr. Rasch has presented on social and financial issues at conferences worldwide, including Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America, Asia and the United States. Prior to this Mr. Rasch worked at Moody’s Risk Management Services as part of the training group heading up product training for derivatives and corporate finance and as project manager for RiskCalc, a corporate risk modeling product. And he headed the New York derivatives sales desk of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and has worked in the corporate treasury departments of two Fortune 500 companies. Mr. Rasch has a B.A. degree in Economics from the University of Michigan and holds an MBA in Finance from New York University.

Mr. Rasch is on the Board of Directors of three not for profit organizations: Battery Dance Company, which conducts cultural diplomacy in over 60 countries and the United States through its “Dancing to Connect” program; VegFund, which supports grass roots activists in promoting a vegan lifestyle, and Woodstock Farm Sanctuary.

_b_02168Liz Dee

Co-owner & Executive
Vice President, Smarties
Candy Company

CEO, Baleine & Bjorn
Capital LLC

Private-Sector Activism: Changing the World for Animals – and for People

Learn of the scope and potential for plant-based and cultured products. Who is investing in this space and why – and what kind of deals have already gone down? Explore how business development in a plant-based economy is reinventing the future of our food systems.

About Liz

Liz Dee is changing the conversation about food production and sustainable business through her dynamic experiential base as a food company executive, ethical vegan, and mission-driven investor.

As a co-owner and Executive Vice President of Smarties Candy Company and CEO of Baleine & Bjorn Capital LLC, Dee provides unique insights into the future of food, impact investing, and the shifting trajectory toward smart, sustainable and humane business models.

Dee has been featured in The New York Times, CNN Money, The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star, among other publications. She shares updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


wck-headshot-full-copyChris Kerr

Investment Manager,
New Crop Capital

Director at MIXONIUM
Group Holdings Inc.,
Pitcairn Financial
Group & Anark Corp.

Managing Partner,
Abele Kerr Investments


21st Century Strategizing: Creating an Ecosystem for Building Companies

A panacea for many of our world’s problems, from climate change to endemic health issues to immeasurable suffering, investing in plant-based foods can define the future of our food systems. Engage questions around parity and the tensions the ethical message injects into the debate. Delve into New Crop Capital’s portfolio strategies for a new frontier of social investing.

About Chris

Chris Kerr has more than two decades of leadership experience in financial and venture capital management. In addition to his work with New Crop Capital (NCC), Chris serves as director at Sunfed Foods, Greener UK, Pitcairn Financial Group, and Anark Corporation, and as managing partner at Abele Kerr Investments. As New Crop Capital’s Investment Manager, Chris manages deal flow, and performs asset and market level analyses. For the last decade, Chris has worked with some of the world’s most innovative plant-based food companies.