"SRI Family Reunion" Annual Conference Started in 1990 for Responsible Investors Endures As Touchstone for Industry

Posted on Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:00am EDT

"SRI Family Reunion": Annual Conference Started In 1990 For Responsible Investors Endures As Touchstone For Industry

PR Newswire

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Sept. 24, 2013

Founders and Legends from "The SRI Conference" Credit Annual Meeting with Past Successes and Future Impacts

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Sept. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For nearly a quarter of a century, responsible investors have looked forward to and planned ahead for the most important meeting of the year: The SRI Conference. Formerly "SRI in the Rockies," The SRI Conference - on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact (SRI) Investing reflects the heartbeat of the industry, and organizers say that even with a couple hundred first-timers each year, the conference still feels like a "big family reunion."

In addition to serving as an annual gathering of the close-knit SRI world, The SRI Conference is always stacked with crucial professional content, including sessions focused on investment and practice management issues, expert commentary and interactive dialogue on timely social/environmental issues, shareholder engagement strategies, and impact investment opportunities.

George Gay founded The SRI Conference in 1990. Gay is CEO of First Affirmative Financial Network, LLC, and served as a director of the US SIF, the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investing (formerly the Social Investment Forum) for over a dozen years. Over the past three decades, Gay has been interviewed dozens of times about the longevity of The SRI Conference and asked about why it is such a major part of the SRI industry landscape.

"The most satisfying part of The SRI Conference for me is the way people plan for it all year," Gay said. "I often talk with colleagues just days after one Conference has ended, and they are already telling me they will be with us next fall. Almost every year, some new initiative is born and receives its vital initial energy from the Conference. Another great legacy is the way people describe the experience. It is an investment trade conference, after all, punctuated by the usual round table discussions and presentations. But when investment advisors and financial professionals describe their experience as inspirational, ground breaking, or unforgettable, that resonates with everyone involved in the planning process. We are a community of like-minded professionals focused on making money and creating a better world."

On Tuesday September 11, 2001, those attending the 12th annual SRI Conference experienced the worst terrorist attacks in U.S. history-together, from afar, in Tucson, Arizona. The conference schedule was initially canceled as people interacted with loved ones and checked-up on the safety of friends and colleagues in New York and Washington. And then an interesting thing happened; Conference speakers and participants decided to get back to work-the agenda was reformed and a close knit professional community became even closer.

Gay continues: "My most indelible memory is also a sad one. I will never forget the people working together as a community to support one another in a time of crisis in the aftermath of 9-11. I can't tell you how many people later said that since they couldn't be with their family on that day, the only other place they could imagine wanting to be was with the SRI community. This is one reason why we attract so many newcomers, in addition to Conference veterans, every year. The SRI Conference has become a rite of passage for sustainable, responsible, impact investors and investment professionals."

First Affirmative President Steve Schueth, producer of The SRI Conference, said: "One of my most poignant memories is from 1997 when Frank Coleman of Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS) delivered a groundbreaking presentation on shareholder advocacy. At the time, many people were late returning from a whitewater rafting trip. Realizing the importance of Frank's talk, we brought everyone together again and he delivered a powerful encore. He energized the SRI community to work together to defeat an SEC proposal limiting shareholder rights that, eventually, led to the creation of the Shareholder Action Network and what is now the US SIF focus on public policy. That highlight from that Conference marked a turning point for the industry."

In 2013, The SRI Conference agenda includes four tracks including ESG Integration in Portfolio Management, Shareowner Engagement, and Impact Investing. In addition, the SRI Conference is collaborating with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to offer an energy track focused on investing. This track will focus on the nexus of energy, economy, environment, sustainability, and development.

The generous conference lodging discount at The Broadmoor will be subject to space available after midnight, Mountain Time, on September 25th. The deadline for advanced registration for the 24th annual SRI Conference is September 30, 2013.

ABOUT THE SRI CONFERENCE
The 24th annual SRI Conference (http://www.SRIconference.com), the leading North American forum for investors and investment professionals involved in sustainable, responsible, impact (SRI) investing, will be October 28-30, 2013 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado (http://www.broadmoor.com/). For more information about the conference or about supporting the conference as a sponsor, please contact Krystala Kalil, at 888-774-2663 or Krystala@SRIconference.com.

ABOUT FIRST AFFIRMATIVE FINANCIAL NETWORK
First Affirmative Financial Network, LLC () is an independent Registered Investment Advisor (SEC File #801-56587) offering investment consulting and asset management services through a nationwide network of investment professionals who specialize in serving socially conscious investors. First Affirmative produces The SRI Conference (http://www.SRIconference.com). Mention of specific companies or securities in this news release should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell that security. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

SOURCE First Affirmative Financial Network, Colorado Springs

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