What comes after a successful professional sports career? For some former players of the National Football League and National Basketball Association and a former Ms. Olympia, it is using that discipline and competitive spirit to help advance impact investing in the U.S.
A panel of former professional athletes shared their latest goals and successes with more than 900 sustainable, responsible, impact and ESG investors at the 30th annual SRI Conference in Colorado Springs, Colo., Nov. 13-15, telling how they used their "influence capital" to help advance sustainable projects in communities across the country.
This year's conference attendees heard from former NBA players Antonio Davis, now CEO of Eminence Consulting, and Devean George, CEO of George Group North, along with former NFL players Warrick Dunn, founder of Warrick Dunn Charities, and Derrick Morgan, managing partner of KNGDM Group, and former Ms. Olympia Sheryl Grant, CEO of Sheryl Grant Enterprises.
Their competitive skills are now being used in many different arenas, from running a non-profit focused on mentorship, affordable housing and sustainable community development to opportunity zone investments in marginalized communities to helping women of color break through corporate glass ceilings and building homes for single mothers.
"My life experiences growing up and my career definitely influence what I'm doing to help finance and build homes for single moms. It's well known what I went through, my struggles and personal story. But it's more than that … this is my passion," Mr. Dunn told the crowd.
Having professional athletes involved in impact investing is spreading, said Paula DeLaurentis, CEO of The SRI Conference and Community. "A growing number of high-profile athletes are turning to impact investing to make a difference after they leave the playing field," Ms. DeLaurentis said at the conference.