Social Life - September 2021

Page 144

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PROFILES

CAROLE CRIST FORMER FIRST LADY OF FLORIDA By Rodney Sparrow POWER WOMEN — HAVING IMPACT Carole Crist sees her role in society as one of public benefit. After an esteemed career in private business and public life, it’s now all about how and whom she can help. While many know Carole Crist as the former First Lady of Florida, she is equally known in philanthropic circles as a champion for those in need. Her personal and professional experiences in public and private life have honed her understanding of the impoverished and the underserved, giving her a unique perspective. GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY BUSINESS SCHOOL Crist is a native New Yorker who grew up in Roslyn, New York, but now calls Fisher Island, Florida, home. After earning a degree from Georgetown University Business School, she spent 25 years heading up her family’s 100-year-old Halloween company, and she built a global private jet business, among her various corporate ventures. IMPACT INVESTING This path has led Crist into the world of impact investing, which is purpose- and mission-driven. People invest money, typically in the technology space, to advance a social agenda and expand opportunity for those in need. In particular, developing disruptive technologies not only shakes things up, it brings positive 21st-century solutions to the problems facing society today, and also generates outsized returns to investors. Impact investing is, to borrow a quote from President John F. Kennedy, “the rising tide that lifts all boats.” CAPITAL WITH A CONSCIENCE And, if impact investing is the rising tide, then Carole Crist is a wave-maker. Crist is the founder of CLC Global Advisors,

a firm that works alongside select clients and philanthropic organizations whose shared objective is to build businesses that can have significant impact around the world. Coining the phrase “capital with a conscience,” Crist and fellow business leaders have made waves in various industries. “Investors have myriad choices for how to allocate human and financial capital. Why not deploy it with a purpose into ventures that have a positive impact on people’s lives? It is classic doing well by doing good,” she says. WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP Philanthropy is a top priority for Crist, giving her time, energy, and resources to many charitable organizations. However, her foremost passion today is the advancement of women in business. She emphasizes a shocking statistic: only 2% of venture capital dollars go to companies founded by women. This is a tremendous disparity she hopes to rectify by both raising awareness and actively engaging in female startups. It is worth noting, research shows that businesses with women founders tend to have a higher rate of success. “Perhaps we have more to prove,” she says. Crist is the mother of two grown daughters in addition to having been a businesswoman for decades. “I see elevating women as my highest calling,” she says. “My great joy is mentoring women on how to build and grow a business and fostering ventures led by women.” Crist believes we must do all we can to support women in business and fuel their success. “By helping women break into the technology field and the venture capital realm, I know that our world will be more equitable, inclusive, and successful for generations to come.” CLC Global Advisors clcglobaladvisors.com Social Life