There are big things in the works at the Philadelphia chapter of impact investment group Investors’ Circle.
For starters, angel investor John Moore, who’s been president of the group for three years, has handed off the baton to IC Philly’s portfolio manager, Annarie Lyles.
Lyles, a Princeton-based angel investor with a background in biotech, got involved with IC four years ago after receiving numerous suggestions that she get in touch with the group, considering her investing and mentorship activity in the social impact space.
“I’d been interested in angel investing and heard a little bit about impact investing and started trying it,” she said. “Everybody kept telling me I had to go and meet Investors’ Circle. Eventually I did and I loved it.”
The group has a history of rotating the president position between members. Before Moore, SustainVC cofounder Tom Balderston was leading the group. Just like Balderston before him, Moore will not be leaving the group, just handing over the reins.
“I think [Moore] is really interested in growing the impact economy in Philadelphia,” Lyles said, about why the Moore is stepping down. “I think this will free up some time for him to do even more.”
Moore deferred comment to an IC national spokesperson.
Shannon Mudd, IC Philly’s Marketing Chair, said that the relationship between the local chapters of IC and the national network is evolving, and that Lyle’s responsibilities will differ from Moore’s. Her title may as well.
Lyles is taking over at what seems to be a pivotal time for IC Philly. The chapter is growing at a fast rate, she said, having added one member per month to its now-35-member-strong group for the past five months. As the largest and most active IC chapter, Lyles said the national organization has plans to pilot some new strategies in Philly.
“We may try and pilot new ideas or initiatives about how to do due diligence, [and] if it works in Philadelphia, perhaps roll it out other places,” she said. “I think the national organization would like to figure out how to integrate the local and national. How we do that, I don’t know yet.”
Right now, Lyles is focused on getting comfortable in her new role, and the first order of business will be to continue expanding — adding more members and spending more time with the group’s portfolio companies. Still, she was quick to say this is a member-led organization — it’s not just about the president.
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“We need the whole group,” she said. “I’m not in Philadelphia, I’m in New Jersey. I’m really going to count on the local people to be active, and many of them have promised me they will be.”