History of Board Service:
- Women Employed, 2014-2015
Laura Brenner Kimes has always taken a mission-oriented approach to her career. Prior to Kellogg, she spent time in the renewable energy space, focusing on climate change and environmental policy. When Kimes applied to Kellogg, she already had heard of the Kellogg Board Fellows program and her mind was set on taking part. “In my application materials, I wrote about the KBF program and the nonprofit leadership courses as a way for me to contribute to helping with the program of climate change, as a way to translate between the nonprofit and the business sector,” says Kimes.
While participating in the Board Fellows program, Kimes was involved in the social entrepreneurship community here at Kellogg. She took coursework in impact investing with Professor Dave Chen and won the Kellogg Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge. This all led to the creation of Fresh Coast Capital, a venture that would become her full-time focus after graduation.
In her early years leading Fresh Coast Capital, Kimes relied on her Board Fellows curriculum. “It has been helpful to have board experience when working with investors in a social context.” says Kimes. “The Board Fellows program and impact investing coursework together helped me see the full breadth of what social impact is.”
While at Women Employed, her Board Fellows nonprofit, Kimes learned to distinguish between the role of the board and the role of senior management. “The KBF program helped me to see the things that a board is expected to do, and the right level of depth to get into at a board meeting, versus a management-level meeting.”
As the current VP of Talent and Impact at Fresh Coast Capital, Kimes remains committed to sustainability and climate change issues today. She views her work through a “people-profit-planet” lens. Kimes says that her experience in the Board Fellows program and impact investing courses gave her the confidence needed to launch a startup in the impact space.