Crain’s Detroit Notable Women in Nonprofits 2022 Honors Kristen Holt
- December 5, 2022
While women comprise a whopping 70 percent of the nonprofit workforce, a gender equity gap remains when it comes to leadership roles. The folks over at Crain’s Detroit Business are taking notice (and naming names.)
Their “Notable Women in Nonprofits” 2022 Award spotlights women leaders who have significantly impacted Michigan nonprofits, from grassroots to large philanthropic organizations. “These professionals bolster fundraising, membership, programs, volunteerism, and other noteworthy initiatives. They build up their communities and tear down barriers,” cites Crain’s.
GreenPath’s own Kristen Holt is among the honored this year, and we’re all pretty excited about it.
Kristen is a CPA and University of Michigan MBA graduate as well as a member of the Women Presidents Organization and board member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. But her education around financial wellness didn’t take root in board rooms. She was raised in a family environment that emphasized saving money and living debt-free; values that paved her own path towards supporting those who wish to improve their financial health.
Since joining GreenPath in 2016, Kristen has empowered thousands to flip their personal financial script through debt counseling, credit management, foreclosure prevention, student loan assistance, and other vital services; categories that are often taboo because so many of us are taught to view financial challenges as a personal matter.
For Kristen, personal is the place where it begins. She infuses human-centered design into GreenPath’s DNA, prioritizing both clients and employees. And others are taking notice.
“Kristen is a catalyst for positive change,” says Rick Bialobrzeski, Chief Business Development Officer at GreenPath. “She inspires employees to think big and break through current constraints. Her ability to mobilize others around a shared vision has led to scaling and innovating our services in new ways.”
Under Kristen’s leadership, GreenPath was awarded national grant funding to expand access to BIPOC and military families experiencing financial hardship; renters and homeowners trying to avoid foreclosure and eviction; and other underserved communities in key regions across the country. In addition, she led the strategic acquisition of the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) in 2018. The business combination expanded the reach and capacity of both organizations in guiding people to sustainable homeownership even amidst the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic.
And while we’re on the subject, the pandemic–ushering in a seismic shift to remote and hybrid working environments—underscored the need for free, readily available online resources. Under Kristen’s digital product innovation leadership, GreenPath recently launched LearningLab+: a free platform for financial education. From opening a checking account to navigating auto loans, these online courses provide GreenPath and our partners a self-service learning experience that places people at the center of their own financial journey.
At the heart of these successes is GreenPath’s employee community. Beginning in 2020, Kristen led an organization-wide effort in launching GreenPath’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) initiative. Through equitable policies and practices, IDEA sustains a work culture that is diverse, inclusive, and empathetic where employees are empowered to be their whole selves. Due largely to the success of this IDEA Initiative, GreenPath was named a finalist among Crain’s Detroit Business “Best-Managed Nonprofits” in 2021.
For some additional context on our intrepid leader, check out Kristen’s chat with Tom Willis. In her interview for his series “Culture Eats Everything,” Kristen talks finance, fear, and GreenPath’s mission to prepare people for life’s highs and lows.
Crain’s “Notable Women in Nonprofits” 2022 Award spotlights women leaders who have significantly impacted Michigan nonprofits, from grassroots to large philanthropic organizations. “These professionals bolster fundraising, membership, programs, volunteerism, and other noteworthy initiatives. They build up their communities and tear down barriers,” cites Crain’s.
Learn more from Crain’s Detroit Business here.