After a summer heavy rain got Lor Holmes’s flight canceled, she finally made it to sunny Philadelphia. And, lucky me [Olga], I got to host her at my very own home in Chestnut Hill, along with Untours Foundation Director Elizabeth Killough and Board President Heather Van Dusen.
Lor leads venture development and capitalization strategies at CERO, a zero-waste commercial composting company based in Dorchester, MA and one of our investees. As we ate lunch together, we literally inhaled all that Lor had to share about CERO’s humble beginnings back in 2012 and all the financial and logistical struggles the audacious start-up had to go through in the last seven years. And she inspired us with CERO’s success stories, like the time that they launched a crowdfunding campaign and the community came together to buy shares of the company, exceeding their fundraising goals.
CERO is more than a composting company. It’s a bi-lingual worker-owned coop. And you know how much we love coops at Untours! That, and the fact that CERO is helping keep food waste out of our landfills while providing living wages and good green jobs are the reasons why we supported CERO twice. Yes, you read that right. After our initial loan, we recently awarded the coop a second loan.
While Lor is not the first loan recipient I’ve met, she’s definitely the first one I’ve personally helped support. And even the only one who’s held my 11-month old baby during a meeting. Check out the photos we took in my backyard 🙂
At Untours Foundation, we can say that we literally “support” our investees and we’ve got the photo to prove it!