Founding the first community development bank in the United States that has expanded around the country, Houghton shares her experience in utilizing private sector mechanisms to bring about social change.
Mary Houghton is one of the Founders of ShoreBank, the first community development bank in the United States. Starting on the south side of Chicago in 1973, ShoreBank has expanded to localities around the United States and in emerging markets. Houghton is a pioneer in utilizing private sector mechanisms to bring about social change before the term social entrepreneur was coined. ShoreBank was founded with the goal of using banking resources to revitalize the South side of Chicago and it has been remarkably successful.
Mary Houghton is one of the four co-founders of ShoreBank Corporation and has had various management responsibilities over the years. She has been especially involved in creating ShoreBank Pacific and ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia; providing fund advisor services to the National Community Investment Fund; and establishing ShoreCap International and ShoreCap Exchange. She is a director of the Calvert Foundation and Women's World Banking, and a member of the Ashoka Global Academy and Schwab Foundation group of Social Entrepreneurs.
Ruth A. Shapiro
Dr. Ruth A. Shapiro is the inaugural "social entrepreneur in residence" at the Commonwealth Club of California. This position allows her to further public understanding and discourse on social innovation in the United States.
Dr. Shapiro has put together a series of speakers on the subject of social entrepreneurship. These programs will be available live, on local and national radio and will serve as the content of a book to be edited by Dr. Shapiro and published by Stanford University Press in 2012.
She is also the Principal of Keyi Strategies, a consulting firm specializing in creating broader networks, understanding and business ventures between individuals and companies in Asia, Europe and the United States.
Prior to founding Keyi Strategies, Ruth Shapiro founded the Asia Business Council and served as its Executive Director since its inception in 1997 until May 2007. She is now Senior Advisor to the Council. The Asia Business Council is an independent association of chief executive officers from leading Asian companies or multinational corporations with significant Asian operations. Its membership shares a deep interest in the continued economic and social development and competitiveness of the region and is committed to guiding Asia as it increasingly influences the global marketplace.
As the Founding Executive Director, Dr. Shapiro raised all the start-up capital from private foundations, recruited key chief executives to develop the initiative and built the Council into the formidable organization it is today. On a day to day basis, Dr. Shapiro oversaw the Council's strategy, management, membership, program and finances. She was instrumental in broadening the scope of business issues to include many social themes. In overseeing the Council's programmatic initiatives, Dr. Shapiro gained expertise on issues such as corporate social responsibility, scenario planning, education, training and innovation, corporate governance, energy efficiency, trade policy and regional economic growth.
Prior to joining the Asia Business Council, Dr. Shapiro worked in the field of international development. Within this field, she held management positions and built new program areas at the Academy for Educational Development, the Harvard Institute of International Development and Global Outlook.
Dr. Shapiro holds a doctorate from Stanford University and Masters Degrees from Harvard University and George Washington University. She completed her undergraduate work at the University of Michigan. She is a regular speaker to business groups.
ShoreBank's Mary Houghton challenges the notion that social enterprises need to yield both social and market returns and instead advocates for an entrepreneurial environment that champions a balance of social impact and profit.