Copy of About the Team

Finance, Law, Policy. Business, & "General Corporate Politics"

Our Background

Our journey for αlign started when we tried to make this change at our own companies. We realized that as much as we were doing in our personal lives to try to have a positive impact (things like volunteering in our community, or buying "local") we were still living a dual life. As responsible professionals, we diligently contributed to our 401(k)s each year... and into companies that were undoing the very impact we were striving to have.  But we didn't know how to fix this - after all, if better options weren't available through our company management, we weren't going to just stop investing for retirement entirely. Getting the options changed seemed like a lofty goal - it required knowledge of finance and investment, legalize and policies that govern retirement funds, and of course the business savvy and general politics required to convince the powers at be.

Alone, we didn't know how to catalyze a change, so together, we started αlign. We wanted to bring the "Finance, Law, Policy. Business, & "General Corporate Politics" skills all under one roof.  As such, we are a group of business people, policy experts, labor lawyers, and bankers who have worked at the intersection of investing and society for years. We recognize that change from the top is slow, and that without a catalyst for change, the status-quo keeps on. Retirement benefits are one of those things - people set them, and forget them - there's nothing exciting or impact-oriented about them. Until now.  We're excited to help others start the same journey to advocate for and attain corporate retirement options that reflect their values. 

 

Get in touch

We're looking for members to be a part of the inaugural αlign cohort. You'll get personal coaching and feedback as we develop training materials specific to your needs and experiences. 

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Leadership Team

Samantha, Michelle, and Laura met at the University of California Haas School of Business, where they are currently pursuing their MBA. All three are Principals for the Haas Socially Responsible Investment Fund, where they work together to manage $2M of responsible investments on behalf of the business school.

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Samantha Penabad

Samantha has experience working for large companies from strategy consulting to big tech. She brings the team expertise in change management, financial analysis and business strategy. 

Michelle Levinson

Michelle works in political, legal, and regulatory advocacy. Her past experience has focused on addressing the financial impacts of climate change and supporting economy-wide decarbonization. 

Laura Andersen

Laura is the learning and education guru on the team. She has  six years of teaching and curriculum development experience. Laura is passionate about using education as a tool to catalyze more people to social action. 

Advisors

The team is supported by two advisers that have legal and finance expertise:

Scott Pinkus is a retired from Goldman Sachs in 2000, after having joined in 1986 to build their Mortgage Securities business and having been a partner since 1990. While there, he established and served as head of their Credit Derivatives Group, which was involved with credit derivative contracts and security instruments. He also served as head of the Fixed Income Research Department. He plays an active role for the Berkeley-Haas Center for Responsible Business, particularly supporting programming and research related to responsible investing.

Kenneth Laverriere is a partner in the Compensation, Governance & ERISA practice.  His practice focus on advice to fiduciaries on the management and investment of pension assets and pension negotiations. He also works closely with the litigation group on The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) litigation matters. Kenneth represents corporate, financial institutions, asset management firms and investment fund clients,