Regenerative Business Mentors Visit First Green Bank

Regenerative Business Mentors Visit First Green Bank

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#Regenerative Biz Mentors Visit @FirstGreenBank w/ @CapInstitute @RegenFieldGuide

Multimedia from this Release

First Green Bank's Mt. Dora's branch is LEED Platinum. (Above) The living wall that greets customers in the branch lobby.

One of the highlights of our visit was meeting members of the bank staff, each of whom have been on their own regenerative journey. They are both supporting Ken's vision and challenging him to go deeper with it.

Carol and Ken speaking after their one-on-one morning discussion on January 27 at the flagship Mt. Dora branch. "I think that the level of intention you have and the aspiration is amazing." Carol reflected. " You can see it everywhere physically in the building and how dedicated the people are. What I heard you describing about how you grow this business it's not just about growing in scale, but how you take your story and use it to grow. You won’t do it as other people do, it will be about deeply embedding the values you have in how you grow."

On Wednesday afternoon, Carol and First Green Bank staff explored together the role reactivity, ego, and purpose play in their interactions with one another and the importance of being aware of how one's own and others' reactivity and ego can sometimes constrain, but sometimes also advance, regenerative purpose. ​

Staff lunching with Carol Sanford in the boardroom around the repurposed common table.

Close to 200 people packed the Bush Auditorium and participation was enthusiastic during the interactive session. By a show of hands, at least half the members of the audience identified themselves as entrepreneurs.

Vincent's view of what lies ahead, he said, might be considered by some to be overly optimistic. But, he maintained: “Working for a Patagonia or a First Green Bank you have agency to respond,” to the crises of our times. “These are businesses," he believes, "where we bring our whole selves.”

On a tour of rural Lake County, where Ken's roots go deep, Vincent snapped this photo of Ken father's machine shop, which Ken worked hard to get placed on the National Register of Historic Places. That's Ken's Tesla parked outside, linking his past to his present.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016 - 9:05am

CAMPAIGN: A Year in the Life of First Green Bank

CONTENT: Multimedia with summary

Visit to view this as a photo essay.

In late January, as "The Year in the Life" project moved into its final months, we once again paid a visit to First Green Bank.  This time we invited along two mentors who are leading thinkers and doers in the Regenerative Economy space—author, business advisor, and educator Carol Sanford; and Vincent Stanley, author, poet, and Director, Patagonia Philosophy.

Over two days, Carol and Vincent each met with Ken and also with his staff. They looked back over the past years since the bank's founding in 2009, when it was operating under strict regulatory scrutiny and with constraints on growth during its de novo period. They then explored the tensions along the path the bank will take going forward as those regulatory constraints are loosened and it will have the ability to grow at a much faster pace, at the intersection of the old and new economies.

Each staff member was asked to think about how he or she might contribute his or her "singular" talents and passions to support and deepen the bank's regenerative business practice in the coming years.  Capital Institute's Founder & President John Fullerton also explored this question over lunch with Ken and  board member Randy Strode. Later, joined by fellow board member Dr. Robert Prudon, we videotaped their frank discussion about holistic values and the diversity of ways investors can express them.  (We will be releasing a short film about "The Year in the Life" project this spring.)

On the evening of January 27 we convened a discussion with Ken, Carol, Vincent, and John Fullerton at Rollins College in Winter Park, where each reflected on what "regeneration" means to them.  During the interactive session,  the receptive audience responded with questions and their own affirmations.