With the launch of the Building Banking on Values, a new VoiceAmerica radio series I’m hosting that goes behind the scenes to tell the stories of the people, passion and positivity within the values-based banking and financing sector; I thought to introduce you to some of our guests. Listen to the show right now.

Meet Tamara Vrooman, President and CEO (Vancity), and Believer in How Banking Should Build the Well-being of People, Planet and Places. 

As President & Chief Executive Officer of Vancity, Canada’s largest community credit union, Tamara Vrooman believes that banking has a vital role in developing a healthy society—building the well-being of people and, at the same time, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the communities in which they live and work. This summarises Vancity’s vision of redefining wealth.

Tamara views the economy as much more than what is written on a balance sheet; it includes the social and natural economies in which we all live. Understanding the interdependence of these three means that Vancity takes a very different approach to banking, ensuring its products, services and advice deliver financial, social and environmental results for the more than 500,000 members it serves. As a financial co-operative, Vancity is ideally suited to operate in an economy that is ever changing because it is through its close connection with members that Vancity sees what is required to meet their changing needs. This ‘member-led innovation’ guides Vancity in its business strategies.

Under Tamara’s leadership, Vancity has gained international recognition for its values-based banking model. Vancity was the first Canadian financial institution invited to join the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, an independent network of the world’s leading sustainable banks and banking cooperatives. In 2014, Pope Francis asked Tamara to participate in a Vatican Summit entitled The Global Common Good: Towards a More Inclusive Economy with 70 leaders from around the world. Tamara also spoke about Vancity’s model with the Dalai Lama at the 2014Heart-Mind Summit in Vancouver.

Tamara’s achievements at the credit union include leading Vancity to become the first carbon-neutral financial institution in North America, the largest private-sector living wage employer in Canada, and one of the first mainstream financial institutions to launch an alternative to predatory payday loans for its members—the Vancity Fair & Fast Loan™. Learn more.

Meet Susan Arterian Chang, Director, Capital Institute’s Field Guide to Investing in a Regenerative Economy and Former Blogger, Financial Journalist, and Foreign Exchange Analyst.

Susan has a rich past in finance as Blogger on Sustainable Finance and Investing (New York Society of Security Analysts Financial Professionals’ Post), Founder and Publisher (The Impact Investor), and Financial Writer (The Intersections of “The New Economy”), not to mention a stint as Foreign Exchange Analyst (Manufacturer’s Hanover Trust).

As Director of content development and the Field Guide to Investing in Regenerative Economy initiative, Susan has worked in the world of both global capital markets and local economies. As a financial writer she covered the evolution of the global capital markets, derivatives, and risk management for a variety of institutional investment and corporate finance publications, produced white papers on international taxation issues and performance management for consulting firms, and worked as a currency analyst and on the strategic forex trading desk at MHT Bank. From 1997 to 2005 she published a National Newspaper Association award-winning community newspaper in White Plains, New York, where she championed local ownership and quality of life issues in a small city struggling to revitalize. As publisher she received the Business Ethics Award from the Rotary Club and Entrepreneur of the Year Award from New York State’s Small Business Development Center. Her combined experiences give her a unique perspective on the importance of focusing finance and investment on long-term, place-based business models. Susan holds a BA in English Literature from Reed College, and did graduate study with a concentration in finance in the MBA program at NYU’s Leonard Stern School of Business.

Capital Institute is a non-partisan, collaborative founded in 2010 by financiers, business people, and academics from multiple disciplines to effect change. The institute’s mission is to drive systemic change of financial theory and practice necessary to harness the power of capital and markets to evolve a more just, regenerative, and  sustainable economic system.

The Field Guide is a digital storytelling project of Capital Institute (fieldguide.capitalinstitute.org) and was Short Listed for the 2014 Guardian Sustainable Business Award in the Communications. Learn more.


Don’t forget to tune into Building Banking on Values. My VoiceAmerica radio show airs on Thursdays 15:00 PDT on theBusiness channel. Learn more.

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