Pursuing My Biggest Possible Impact
Arabella Advisors recently welcomed Jeremy Gregg to the team as our first Managing Director in Texas. Jeremy originally posted the note below about his decision to join the firm via Facebook. We have re-posted it here with permission.
A decade ago, my friend Salah Boukadoum sat me down for coffee and challenged me to dream bigger. He told me that he had started Soap Hope not out of one of the desires you might suspect—not to sell soap, nor to build a social enterprise, nor even to pioneer a new model for social impact—but to transform poverty. And he encouraged me to pursue what I now call my “BPI”: Biggest Possible Impact.
I have thought about that conversation for nearly ten years.
A few months ago, I realized what I needed to do about it—when I was once again sharing coffee with Salah. (Strong brew he drinks!)
He shared that he was handing Soap Hope over to My Possibilities and realigning his own energies to focus on Impact City, an initiative that aimed to transform Dallas into the center of the world for solving humanity’s greatest challenges. He challenged me, once again, to pursue my BPI … with no excuses.
His words reverberated. As weeks went by, they grew louder. I eventually decided to sell my company and begin exploring next steps. After 19 years in fundraising, I shifted gears and began advising philanthropists on how to structure their giving for maximum impact.
I found that I loved working with high-capacity donors. I was able to capitalize on my decades of experience in social change while helping them to achieve their visions for both their communities and their families. I found the work so rewarding that I was planning to build my own practice as a trusted advisor to local philanthropists.
But earlier this year, with a pandemic beginning to turn the world upside-down, I once again heard Salah’s voice in my heart, and I realized that I had to do something bigger than I have ever done. More importantly, I had to be a part of something far bigger than anything I could build on my own.
That’s why I joined Arabella Advisors as the company’s first Managing Director for Texas.
In my new role, I will continue to have the opportunity to support the Lone Star State’s most generous families, foundations, and corporations, helping them go from idea to impact as they work together for the greater good. In turn, I will be supported by a team of 250+ of the most creative problem solvers and smartest philanthropy thinkers I have ever met. The Arabella team and its broad network and platform bring a toolkit unlike anything that exists in Texas today: integrating philanthropy, impact investing, fiscal sponsorship, and advocacy in ways that can exponentially multiply our clients’ impact.
Or, as our CEO says: “At Arabella, we turn big ideas into big builds.” And what could be more Texan than building big?
That opportunity, combined with Arabella’s expertise at creating coalitions around the issues that matter most to me—including racial equity, women’s empowerment, food access, and environmental sustainability—made this an easy choice.
It also helped that Arabella Advisors is a Certified B Corporation that walks the talk: our team is 75 percent female and 40 percent non-white. Our CEO is the recipient of the Corporate Trailblazer Award from the National Black MBA Association in recognition of her focus on increasing diversity in the workplace, and she received a 2016 Brava Award from SmartCEO magazine for her focus on women and leadership in the charitable sector.
Sounds like an amazing place to work, right? Well, good news: we’re hiring.
Come join us, and let’s discover our BPI together.