Chief Executive Officer, First Affirmative Financial Network
George Gay, CEO of First Affirmative Financial Network is a pioneer of environmental, social, and governance investing and socially responsible investments (ESG/SRI). Growing up on a farm near heavily polluted Lake Erie, Gay recalls being admonished to “keep his head out of the water” when swimming to avoid getting sick. He credits that lasting memory as one of his inspirations for embarking on a career in SRI. The firm’s culture has allowed Gay and First Affirmative to reach unforeseen heights in moral and financial sustainability serving as a strong voice for organizations and individuals to make smart choices, and to be a louder voice for change, especially where financial matters are concerned. Gay is well versed in analysis and portfolio rating assessment, emerging trends, wealth management and how ESG/SRI investing can make the future better.
Gay is recognized as an industry role model and mentor. He’s a highly sought-after speaker, panelist and counselor. He is a past recipient of the industry’s “SRI Service Award.”
Chief Investment Officer, First Affirmative Financial Network
First Affirmative’s Chief Investment Officer, Theresa Gusman, is on a mission to change the way companies, advisors and individuals see their investments. Gusman’s commitment to incorporating environmental, social, and governance issues into investment decisions began early in her 30-plus year investment career. She understands the full investing process, from analyst and portfolio manager to asset and wealth management leadership roles, including Senior Portfolio Manager and Global Head of Equities for Deutsche Bank. This commitment to ESG/SRI investing is driven by her fiduciary responsibility to clients and strong belief that ESG is a financial factor that can affect performance, plus being the right thing to do. Financial and impact objectives are both attainable. First Affirmative’s unique AffirmativESG platform provides a unique, proprietary foundation for analysis, assessment and measurement. All of these factors combine to help Gusman in her work toward making sustainable, responsible, and impact investing accessible to all.
Outside of First Affirmative, Gusman shares her expertise on numerous advisory boards and in the classroom, teaching MBA courses.
Director Shareowner Advocacy, First Affirmative Financial Network
Holly manages corporate engagement activities for First Affirmative Financial Network and directs the firm’s proxy voting policy and implementation. She was responsible for developing and launching the firm’s direct advocacy program in 2008 and has since engaged dozens of portfolio companies through dialogue and resolution filing on numerous environmental, social, and governance issues. Holly works with the firm’s advisors and their clients, providing advocacy education and engagement opportunities. Holly has been affiliated with First Affirmative for over 25 years in several capacities, including business development and as an Investment Advisory Representative.
Chief Operating Officer, First Affirmative Financial Network
Combining both of her passions, financial well-being and clean, sustainable, living conditions for all, Amy Thacker has become a voice for women in the financial industry. These idealistic visions are what brought First Affirmative Financial Network’s Chief Operating Officer into the sustainable investing industry. Thacker’s leadership role with First Affirmative has allowed the firm to make substantial strides in their organizational and operational model, all to serve those focused on sustainable investing.
Thacker has a depth of knowledge of industry best practices and operational efficiency, in a growing industry where female leadership has long been missing. Her financial expertise and business sense drive First Affirmative’s focus on sustainable practices. Her leadership has led First Affirmative to adopt and develop emerging technologies, customer-friendly service approaches and profitable business systems.