Kate Stephenson works with small business owners and executives to increase market awareness and business profitability. Additionally, Kate focuses on Impact Investing – investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention of generating measurable social and environmental impact alongside financial return. In other words, Kate’s merges investment strategies with clients’ personal philosophies in order to establish a seamless integration between their values and their investments.
To learn more, about Kate visit her Merrill Lynch profile.
Kate is a member of the Colorado Outdoor Business Alliance to show business support for public lands!
What do you like to do outside? How did you get introduced to outdoor recreation?
I love being in the mountains and close proximity to nature. Growing up, my dad was a geologist, and we spent family trips exploring the West I saw that Denver really allowed the best of both worlds – city life coupled with access to the wilderness and outdoor activities.
What do Colorado’s public lands mean to you, and why is it important to you to protect them?
Many of my roles and previous career were in the outdoor space. I saw the beauty of being able to interact with the outdoors through business, but I also saw a lot of waste and misuse. Public lands are the foundation of the economy here in Colorado. For the same reason that I moved here, I believe it is a catalyst for many individuals to relocate to Colorado. If these lands are misused or not conserved, the infrastructure that makes Colorado great and a desired place to live will dissipate.
Tell us about a specific place or time when an outdoor experience had an impact on your professional life or personal outlook.
When I first moved to Colorado, I worked and lived in Breckenridge for a season. I had the opportunity to be outside daily as part of my job. It changed my outlook on how the outdoors influenced my career choices.
Why is now an important time to speak up as a member of the business community?
It’s a matter of being authentic. I have been in roles prior — specifically marketing — where I was working for or towards something that I did not value at the end of the day. I want my work and life to have an impact on the things that I find of value and I believe that brings authenticity. I think every and any time is an important moment to share one’s voice. Right now there is a lot of voices and opinions being broadcast and sometimes the loudest one wins.
How does showing leadership on the values you care about support the success of your business and brand? What call to action would you give to others in the business community?
I wanted to put my actions where my thoughts and beliefs are. People can get behind authenticity. Now is the time to get involved. Your voice can make a difference. Join the Colorado Outdoor Business Alliance, make phone calls, attend hearings. In short, be activists and make your voice heard. Our legislators are accessible, and for the next 5 months, they’ll be making policy decisions that affect Coloradans and Colorado businesses in crucial ways.
What exciting updates for 2017 would you like to share from the world of Merrill Lynch?
Under the new administration and Congress, we’re likely to see numerous attacks on our public lands over the coming four years. Those attacks at the national level will likely encourage similar activity at the state level. But Coloradans have repeatedly expressed their overwhelming support for public lands and conservation values. A COBA poll demonstrated that the vast majority of Colorado’s business community believes public lands are an asset to the state’s economy.