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Webinar | Creating an Understanding of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance)
Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM CDT
Category: Wisconsin

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM (Pacific)
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM (Mountain)
12:00 PM - 01:30 PM (Central)
01:00 PM - 02:30 PM (Eastern)


Zoom invitation will be shared the day before the event.


The Wisconsin Chapter of the Private Directors Association® is pleased to offer a panel discussion on ESG. What is ESG? ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance. Many companies are increasingly applying these non-financial factors as part of their analysis process to identify material risks and growth opportunities, as are potential customers and investors. Our panel will roll up their selves and share their expertise and insights and will delve into each inter-related element of ESG with an interesting insight as to how fresh water plays a critical component as well.

Thank you to our National and Gold Chapter Sponsors!



Chris Merker
Executive Director
Fund Governance Analytics 

Chris began his career in diplomacy as a staff assistant to Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith at the American Embassy in Ireland. He then went on to work in Washington, DC, as a public affairs consultant working with government agencies and U.S. and international companies on issues ranging from climate change to consumer protection. Upon completing his MBA at Thunderbird, School of Global Management, he entered the financial industry and oversaw a successful start-up venture capital incubator in New York’s Silicon Alley. In 2004, Chris joined the investment firm, Robert W. Baird & Co. where he collaborated on the firm’s first managed account platform, a hugely successful move into fiduciary-based advisory services, which attracted billions in client investments. For the last decade, he has been an investment consultant with the firm’s institutional consulting group, Private Asset Management, where he provides advice and discretionary investment management services to institutions and ultra-high net worth families.

Since 2009, Chris has been an adjunct professor at Marquette University, and teaches “Sustainable Finance”, a course in the Applied Investment Management (AIM) Program, a CFA Program Partner. His focus has been on the history of finance, corporate governance, ethics in the investment profession and socially responsible investing. He spent four years conducting Ph.D. research on the topic of governance in investment management. His dissertation, Asset Owner Governance and Fiduciary Effectiveness: The Case of Public Pension Plans, was published in March 2017. He founded Fund Governance Analytics, LLC (FGA) in the same year to aid asset owners in measuring and improving their own governance practices.

A CFA charterholder, Chris is a frequent speaker at industry conferences on topics ranging from ESG factor-based investing to risk management and, of course, governance in the investment profession. He publishes an online blog, SustainableFinanceBlog.com, which explores the rapidly evolving future of finance, and is a contributor to CFA Institute’s online blog, Enterprising Investor. He is the past-president of the CFA Society Milwaukee and a current board member.

Chris lives in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin with his wife, Kayla, and their two daughters, Sophia and Grace.


Grady Crosby
Vice President Public Affairs & Chief Diversity Officer
Johnson Controls

Johnson Controls Foundation  

Grady L. Crosby is a Corporate Officer of Johnson Controls and is responsible for leading Johnson Controls’ global diversity and inclusion strategy, sustainability thought leadership, LATAM government relations strategies, and its philanthropic endeavors, in order to enhance enterprise business objectives and maintain the company’s commitment to social responsibility, community involvement and the environment. In this role, Crosby continues to drive Johnson Controls’ commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workforce as well as partnering with a diverse vendor/supplier base aligned with company values. In addition, Crosby also leads the Johnson Controls enterprise sponsorship capability.

Crosby joined Johnson Controls in 2011 as vice president and global general counsel for the Power Solutions business. In that position he supervised all legal operations associated with that business, and served as a member of the company’s senior legal leadership team providing support to the Johnson Controls General Counsel.

Previously, Crosby held positions with Hanesbrands, Inc., National Textiles and Sara Lee Corporation.

Crosby holds a Juris Doctor from Wake Forest University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard University.

He serves on several prominent boards, including Froedtert Health, Wisconsin Policy Forum, U.N. Global Compact Network USA, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, VISIT Milwaukee, and Travaux.  He is also a member of the internationally recognized Executive Leadership Council.


Matt Howard
Vice President
The Water Council

Alliance for Water Stewardship - North America

Matt oversees The Water Council’s sustainability and stewardship initiatives, which include regional partnership and oversight of the Alliance for Water Stewardship’s International Water Stewardship Standard (“AWS Standard”) and System in North America. In this capacity, Matt serves as the Director for AWS North America. He has 15 years in sustainability program development and management, including five years as Milwaukee’s Sustainability Director. Matt came to Milwaukee from Washington, DC where he worked at the U.S. Department of Commerce and as a staffer in the U.S. House of Representatives. He has an MA from George Washington University and a BA from Valparaiso University. He is AWS and Lean Six Sigma accredited and serves on the WELL Water Advisory and the Wisconsin Governor’s Wetlands Study Council. He served on the U.S. EPA’s National Advisory Council on Environmental Policy and Technology from 2014-2019.



Cecelia Gore
Executive Director
Brewers Community Foundation

Cecelia Gore is a senior level executive with extensive experience leading community/external affairs, foundation and sports philanthropy.  She currently leads Brewers Community Foundation the charitable arm of Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club as Executive Director.  Gore maintains operational excellence, consistently advises on innovative strategies which support efforts to achieve recognition as a strong corporate citizen and engages in key initiatives that support the community.  Gore previously represented one of the largest independent and most active foundations in the history of Greater Milwaukee philanthropy, the Jane Bradley Pettit Foundation where she led grant making and managed board relations.  She has served as a board member and committee chair for numerous nonprofit organizations.  Currently, Gore serves as a director for CG Schmidt a family owned/private construction management firm as well as Town Bank, a Wintrust Co., Greater Milwaukee Foundation, United Way, Sojourner Family Peace Center and Alverno College.  She has received numerous awards and recognition including a Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa from Carroll University.  She served as Co-Chair of the 2019 United Way Campaign.  Gore earned her B.A. and MBA from Alverno College.  She resides in Milwaukee, WI with her husband, Randy Bryant.