September 15, 2015, Adrian, Michigan – Current and past members of the Portfolio Advisory Board (PAB), Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates, and members of the general public marked the 40th anniversary of the PAB September 10 with a day of education and an evening program and celebration. The event took place at Weber Retreat and Conference Center on the Motherhouse campus.
Highlighting the day was a special celebratory program (see videos below) detailing the history and the 40-year efforts of the PAB to bring about economic justice through work in corporate responsibility, low-interest loan investment in non-profit community organizations around the world. The PAB also works to educate board members and the community about social justice issues of concern to the Adrian Dominican Sisters.
The program included talks by such speakers as Sister Attracta Kelly, OP, Prioress of the Congregation; Sister Kathleen Schanz, OP, General Council liaison to the PAB; and Dee Joyner, an Adrian Dominican Associate and Chair of the PAB. A 20-minute video featured comments of people from other organizations who collaborated with the PAB over the years. The celebration concluded with a reception.
Throughout the day, participants heard from a variety of speakers. In the opening session, Sarah Power spoke of the efforts of Con-way, an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based freight transportation corporation, to combat human trafficking through its collaboration with Truckers against Trafficking. Sarah told the moving story of one driver for Con-way who, through his vigilant attitude, helped law enforcement to uncover a trafficking ring and bring freedom to 14 women caught in trafficking.
Pat Zerega, of Mercy Investment Services, explained the science behind climate change and discussed the choices that our society can make to lessen its effects. She also addressed ways that religious congregations can work to decrease climate change through such practices as divesting from fossil-fuel companies or engaging in shareholder resolutions.
The afternoon brought speakers from two of the community organizations in which the PAB has invested through low-interest loans. The speakers in both sessions spoke of the positive impact of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ investment in their organizations had on their work and the community they serve.
Leading off was Charles Hammerman, president and CEO of Disability Opportunity Fund (DOF). He gave the Scriptural foundation for caring for people with disabilities and explained the work of DOF. The organization is the first community investment organization to focus on the needs of people with disabilities.
In the closing session of the Day of Education, James Balmer, President of Dawn Farm, and Charles Coleman, coordinator of Dawn Farm’s Chapin Street housing project, spoke of their work to offer free recovery and transitional housing programs for people suffering from addictions.
Top photo: Associate Dee Joyner (left), Chair of the Portfolio Advisory Board, and Lura Mack, Executive Director, at the 40th anniversary celebration.
Adrian Dominican Sisters Portfolio Advisory Board
September 10, 2015
Session 1: Human Trafficking
Sarah Power, Con-way
Session 2: Climate Change
Pat Zerega, Mercy Investment Services
Session 3: Supportive Housing
Charles Hammerman, Disability Opportunity Fund
Session 4: Supportive Housing / Programs
James Balmer & Charles Coleman, Dawn Farm
Session 5: Celebrating 40 Years of Socially Responsible Investing
September 8, 2015, Adrian, Michigan – The public is cordially invited to attend all or part of a special Education Day, offered by the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Portfolio Advisory Board (PAB). The program will open with a welcome by PAB Chair Dee Joyner, an Adrian Dominican Associate, at 9:00 a.m. and end at 2:45 p.m. on Thursday, September 10, 2015. It will be held in the auditorium at Weber Retreat and Conference Center at the Motherhouse Campus, 1257 E. Siena Heights Drive and also livestreamed through our website at www.adriandominicans.org/LiveStream.aspx.
The program will involve presentations by guest speakers on a variety of issues and social service programs.
Sarah Power will speak from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m., addressing the issue of human trafficking. She is the corporate citizenship manger of Con-Way, a leader in freight transportation and logistics.
Pat Zerega will speak about climate change from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. She is the senior director of shareholder advocacy for Mercy Investment Services, which addresses environmental, social, and governance issues through shareholder advocacy.
Charles Hammerman, president and CEO of Disability Opportunity Fund (DOF), will speak from 1:00 to 1:45 p.m. on supportive housing. DOF, which receives a low-interest loan through the Community Investment Committee of the PAB, in turn finances creative solutions for people with disabilities and their families.
James Balmer, president of Dawn Farm, and Charles Coleman, coordinator of the Chapin Street Project, will also speak on supportive housing and programs from 2:00 to 2:45 p.m. Chapin Street Project is a transitional home for recovering addicts who have completed the recovery program at Dawn Farm in Ann Arbor. Dawn Farm is also a partner with the PAB.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the PAB, established as an enactment of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ 1974 General Chapter. The PAB was initiated to help the Adrian Dominican Congregation to align its investments with Gospel values and to monitor those investments.
The PAB works for economic justice through two components. Corporate Responsibility uses shareholder advocacy to ensure that corporations adopt business practices that work toward the common good in such areas as just labor practices and environmental sustainability. Since 1976, the Congregation has collaborated in this area with other faith-based organizations through the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility.
Through its Community Investments arm, the PAB makes low-interest loans to non-profit community organizations that benefit low-income people and underserved communities. During the past 40 years, the PAB has made loans totaling $28 million – at a 98 percent return rate. In many cases, the PAB’s faith in untried community organizations has encouraged other faith-based organizations to invest in them.
View/print a flier for the event (pdf)