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Transformative Leadership: Rethinking Organizational Structures for Equity and Excellence

Rebekah Butler Gratitude Railroad

Join us for an insightful fireside chat where two leaders share their experiences and strategies in restructuring organizational leadership to align with values of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ); enhance organizational effectiveness; and create impact in how we operate, in addition to what we do.

Gratitude Railroad, a community of investors and investment firm, has recently undergone a strategic leadership shift on two fronts. A new female managing partner stepped in alongside a longstanding male managing partner to join together as Co-CEOs with a shared vision of leading the company into its next decade of work. In addition, Gratitude Railroad transitioned its governance and Board responsibilities from its original, investor Board to a larger and more diverse group of Stewards that previously acted as an advisory board. Both moves were done to align values and impact with structure, and to build the capacity and effectiveness of the company at a critical stage in its development and growth. Models and intentional agreements were developed to support these leadership structures, and nurturing this work remains a priority.

Aaron Walker founded Camelback Ventures to increase access to opportunity for entrepreneurs of color and women by investing in their ventures and leadership while advocating for fairness in their funding. He led Camelback for 9 years as the organization grew to support multiple programs and over 133 undervalued entrepreneurs. He recently left the Camelback to focus on the Ruthless for Good Fund, a parallel endeavor that brings investment capital directly to entrepreneurs as they launch and grow companies. In both roles, Aaron and his team established an extensive distributive leadership model to engage and empower staff throughout the organizations – consistent with the broader impact mission and in order to execute well to scale. This allowed the organizations to thrive and set the stage for a successful leadership transition at Camelback.

These moves came with challenges and lessons learned, and require an ongoing commitment to experimentation and creating new kinds of working relationships. In this session, we will candidly share our experiences, including through gender and racial lenses; distill key lessons and tools that can aid in success; and open up the discussion to questions and ideas from the audience.

Track

DEI, Ownership and Impact

Format

Fireside chat (2 speakers)

Speakers

  • NameRebekah Butler
  • TitleManaging Partner
  • OrganizationGratitude Railroad
  • NameAaron Walker
  • TitleManaging Partner
  • OrganizationRuthless for Good Fund

Description

Join us for an insightful fireside chat where two leaders share their experiences and strategies in restructuring organizational leadership to align with values of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ); enhance organizational effectiveness; and create impact in how we operate, in addition to what we do.

Gratitude Railroad, a community of investors and investment firm, has recently undergone a strategic leadership shift on two fronts. A new female managing partner stepped in alongside a longstanding male managing partner to join together as Co-CEOs with a shared vision of leading the company into its next decade of work. In addition, Gratitude Railroad transitioned its governance and Board responsibilities from its original, investor Board to a larger and more diverse group of Stewards that previously acted as an advisory board. Both moves were done to align values and impact with structure, and to build the capacity and effectiveness of the company at a critical stage in its development and growth. Models and intentional agreements were developed to support these leadership structures, and nurturing this work remains a priority.

Aaron Walker founded Camelback Ventures to increase access to opportunity for entrepreneurs of color and women by investing in their ventures and leadership while advocating for fairness in their funding. He led Camelback for 9 years as the organization grew to support multiple programs and over 133 undervalued entrepreneurs. He recently left the Camelback to focus on the Ruthless for Good Fund, a parallel endeavor that brings investment capital directly to entrepreneurs as they launch and grow companies. In both roles, Aaron and his team established an extensive distributive leadership model to engage and empower staff throughout the organizations – consistent with the broader impact mission and in order to execute well to scale. This allowed the organizations to thrive and set the stage for a successful leadership transition at Camelback.

These moves came with challenges and lessons learned, and require an ongoing commitment to experimentation and creating new kinds of working relationships. In this session, we will candidly share our experiences, including through gender and racial lenses; distill key lessons and tools that can aid in success; and open up the discussion to questions and ideas from the audience.

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