Fighting For Human Rights with A.J. Fuentes Twombly

September 7, 2021

A.J. Fuentes Twombly currently works as the Director of Sales for Visit.org, a certified B Corporation that helps companies discover & book hundreds of carefully curated social impact team experiences led by & benefiting local nonprofits and social ventures. Ms. Fuentes Twombly is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at NYU Stern School of Business and an Adjunct Instructor at Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC Chapel Hill. She is a member of the Truman National Security Project Defense Council and serves as a member of the Cultural Vistas National Board of Directors as well as the Hispanic Heritage Foundation National Board of Directors. Previously, Ms. Fuentes Twombly held management roles in the New York offices of Mobilize, LinkedIn, and American Express. Ms. Fuentes Twombly also previously worked at Goldman Sachs as a Private Wealth Advisor and was a Term Member at the Council of Foreign Relations. Prior to joining the private sector, Ms. Fuentes Twombly served three undercover tours with the CIA, including a tour in Afghanistan. Before joining the CIA, Ms. Fuentes Twombly was a U.S. Senate staffer with Senator Lieberman’s Governmental Affairs Committee. She has an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill – Kenan-Flagler Business School and a BA in English and Creative Writing, with a French minor from Trinity College-Hartford.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/17/op-ed-america-has-a-chance-to-salvage-something-from-afghanistan-disaster.html

John Shegerian: This edition of the Impact Podcast is brought to you by ERI. ERI has a mission to protect people, the planet, and your privacy and is the largest fully integrated I.T. and electronics asset disposition provider and cybersecurity-focused hardware destruction company in the United States and maybe even the world. For more information on how ERI can help your business properly dispose of outdated electronic hardware devices, please visit ERIDirect.com.

John: Welcome to another edition of the Impact Podcast. I’m John Shegerian, and I’m so honored to have with us today. AJ Fuentes. Twombly. AJ, welcome to the Impact Podcast.

AJ Fuentes Twombly: Thank you John it’s very nice to be here.

John: Hey, you know, the timeliness of your joining us today is so important. We’re going to get into that in a little while and we were introduced by our great mutual friend, Kate Vizzini. We both have a great relationship with and adore. And you and I had a chance to catch up last week and it was so interesting. Your backstory, your accomplishments, and your career is so fascinating. And so important, for so many reasons. I wanted to share your story with our audience today before we get into all that though, share a little bit of where you grew up, where you got educated and how you even ended up where you are today.

AJ: So thank you again. I grew up in Miami, the daughter of Cuban refugees and I left for college when I was 17. I went up to Connecticut. And, you know, I think, when I think back on my childhood and these sort of impactful things that really made a difference. And so what I ended up pursuing, I think about being part of a refugee community, even though I was born in the United States, my parents came as children. My grandparents talked about it. It was sort of a constant in my life.

I didn’t even speak English until I was 5. And everybody talked about Cuba and what that had done to them and what life in a foreign country was like. And so I grew up really passionate about refugee issues. You know, my parents and I talked about it all the time. I started an Amnesty International chapter at my high school. I went ahead and did it again at my college and it really was about trying to pay it forward. I know a lot of people helped my family come here. And I was fortunate enough to be born in the United States because a lot of people who didn’t know us helped. And that’s always sort of been a fundamental part of how I’ve approached life.

John: You know, being a child of immigrants. And having that immigrant DNA, there’s something about it. And I think there’s almost a revival of a discussion. I was listening to the co-founder of Modernity. He happens to be Syrian and Armenian and he was talking about how him being an immigrant has informed him as an entrepreneur and literally been his guiding light. Because he feels immigrants and people with immigrant DNA have a natural DNA resiliency to them that maybe others don’t have. Does that also ring true with your own career in your own path and journey as well?

AJ: I think, you know, I think a lot of people can have that resiliency. I think, what perhaps is different for first-generation folks, is you have a perspective that others may not have. To me, you know, the idea that our constant state of living in a democracy. Our state of freedom is permanent has never rung true, right? To me, it has always been engaging in the act of work of what a democracy is and it’s been thinking about how do we preserve this country that we love? How do we preserve our way of life? How do we help others? And, you know, for me, as I told you before, that has been defined by service.

John: Hmm. That’s awesome. So you grew up in Miami, a child of immigrants, but with a great understanding and love for this democracy. Where’d you go to college? And how did you start thinking about your career when you were in college?

AJ: So I went to Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut, which to this day is probably the greatest culture shock I ever experienced in my life. I moved from Miami to Hartford and I was not prepared. Didn’t know what fleece was? Never you know…

John: Was there something you learned about Trinity that guided you there? What brought you to Connecticut from Miami?

AJ: My parents said early on that they wanted me to leave. They were perfectly happy with me, coming back to Miami after college, but they wanted me to have the experience of going away to school and, you know, encourage that. And so I was looking for a liberal arts college. I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to major in. I knew I wanted to go work for the government at some point. And Trinity was one of a handful of colleges that I applied, you know, applied to and went to visit and the rest is history.

John: So you realize the whole country wasn’t like Miami. Let’s just say that.

AJ: Yeah, quite different.

John: Right? And so, what did you major in? And what did you start thinking about given that you had this passion for paying it forward? For fullness about, you know, where you’re from and what your roots were and service. How do you start thinking about, then the next step in your, in your life?

AJ: Yeah, I majored in English and Creative Writing with a minor in French. And then I had this honors concentration in what was called the City’sPprogram. So it was this sort of urban studies project. And so I spent a lot of time talking about, you know, local communities. I took a bunch of classes around history and international relations, But ultimately decided I really wanted to learn how to write and communicate and so I focused on that. And you like I said, even before, I had finished elementary school that I wanted to go work for DC. And I can talk about sort of when I made that decision, but I wanted to go work in DC for the government. And I sort of planned for that from the get-go, in college, not totally clear where I was going to go. But ultimately as you know, decided to apply to the CIA in early 2001.

John: And so you were immediately accepted? I don’t know how it works with the CIA. How does it work when you apply to work for the CIA? Are you allowed to even talk about that let’s just start there?

AJ: Well, I’ll say it’s a very long process and I had been in the application process for almost a year. A little shy of a year when September 11th happens, and of course, you know, at that point was eager to serve in any way that I could and ended up getting a call, you know, a few weeks later saying I passed and could start.

John: Wow, so off you went, you go to, is there training once you are asked or called? Do you have to go through some form of training somewhere?

AJ: Proper training, right.

John: Okay. And so then, then you’re sent out, is it called Tours of Duty like the military? What is it called when you’re sent somewhere?

AJ: So it’s a PCS Tour and you go out for you know, a designated number of years. And at the time war zone, tours were a year. So again, as I share with you, my second tour was in Afghanistan and I did three undercover tours with the agency before I left.

John: And that’s what brought us together. The timeliness of your experiences in Afghanistan. And you wrote this wonderful article that was posted up on CNBC. I don’t know about 10 days ago that I read, Kate sent it to me. I just love the article, share a little bit about your experiences both in Afghanistan and why you were compelled to write the article that you did so eloquently about 10 days ago or so? And the importance of, getting your voice out there. Given that you’re not a politician, and you were a percipient witness to actually what was going on in Afghanistan during your tour.

AJ: Yeah. Thank you. So, Afghanistan has a very special place in my heart. I will fully disclose I was petrified when I knew I was going to a war zone. Did not at any point envision in my childhood or anyone else trying to figure out like I’m going to go serve I’m going to go do this. It was a really relatively peaceful time in U.S. History and I did not see that one coming. When I arrived in Afghanistan what I found was a country that, you know, was in many ways, you’re filled with incredibly welcoming people. People who believed in the work that the United States government was doing on all fronts, right? So it went from military to state to folks working with other branches of the US government. To amazing nonprofits, NGOs, and it was not just the U.S. but obviously, the International Community.

And I have countless stories of just incredible interactions with Afghans who wanted to make the country a better place. And I think this has been a very complicated and painful few weeks for I think all of us who served there because I think everybody understands the war needed to end. It is the longest war in U.S. history. We’ve been there for 20 years. I think what has been incredibly hard for so many of us to watch is the fact that the Taliban came back. And that so many of our friends and allies who helped us were stuck there, are stuck there. It is an incredible country with incredibly resilient people.

John: A couple of things. Being much older than you and I have a daughter that’s closer to your age obviously than I am. When you became a member of the CIA, got that job, and going to start your career in service. I’m sure your parents were extraordinarily proud of you. But when you have to call them and tell them that you were going to Afghanistan are you even allowed to say that to them? How was that interaction? I just want to go back to that first.

AJ: Yeah, it was really hard. So I am an only child and they really struggled for the year that I was there. And, you know, I think about my parents. I think about the parents of all the people who served, again, regardless of what capacity they were there, but I know it was an incredibly difficult year for them and all the other parents who send children over there.

John: I know from speaking with you before and reading a lot of your history while you were there. There were actually as many stories that you have. But you were in a car that was attacked or was a victim of a bombing incident or something of that nature?

AJ: I was not, no. I was there for an attack that was outside of our compound. Lucky enough that, you know, I was inside a building, obviously heard the blast. We had to shelter in place. And you know, again was…

John: Got it. I heard something last week that rang true and it’s so sad that it rang true. Someone said to me, “If you don’t watch the news, you’re uninformed.” But now a lot of people feel and this person was sharing their feelings with me, that if they watch the news, they feel misinformed. And so why I was so excited for many reasons to have you on is, you wrote this beautiful piece that I read three or four times. I reread it again last night. America has a chance to salvage something from the Afghanistan disaster. And you and I talked a little bit offline last week about the comparisons of how we messily…if that’s a good word. Maybe not, left Saigon, which I lived through as a child. I know you spent some time in Vietnam as well. I’ve been back there. How do you draw comparisons between the mess that we left behind in Vietnam and how we exited now Afghanistan? And talk about the importance of the article that you wrote and what you wanted people to learn from your own experiences.

AJ: I mean, it’s a really tough question because it is such an emotional topic for me. I think why I wanted to write the story or the piece. Why I wanted to talk about it is, you know multifaceted. I think number one. Many of us believed in the promises that the United States makes. We believed in what work we were doing regardless again of what branch of the military or US Government you were in or whether you are a Frontline civilian. And I think with Afghanistan in particular, especially after the September 11th attacks.

A lot of support existed for us to go to eradicate Al-Qaeda to try and bring a different lifestyle. We can sort of unpack on whether or not that was the right decision separately. Right? And certainly, whether we should have been in Afghanistan for a long as we were. But the reality is, we were there for 20 years. We invested trillions of dollars in the war. We invested countless human lives in the war. Thousands of Afghans were lost, military members, Frontline civilians lost. And so the hardest part, I think and I’ll speak for myself on this one, for me to come to terms with is that the Trump Administration chose to negotiate with the Taliban at that point, not including the Afghan government. And even contemplated bringing members of the Taliban to Camp David.

I cannot fathom a situation in the early days of the war where anybody would have even thought that that conversation would ever happen. Or that certainly any White House Administration regardless of whether they were Democrat or Republican would even contemplate such a decision. And so when that choice was made, when the agreement was made for the U.S. to pull out, I distinctly remember having a sort of sinking feeling. Not because I didn’t believe as so many people did and do, that it was time for us to end the war. It was time for us to help the Afghans manage more independently what was going on, grow the country and rebuild.

But because I could not wrap my head around the fact that we were negotiating with the Taliban. And so fast forward to the decisions made by the Biden Administration and the deadline to evacuate Afghanistan was extended. But the way in which this was done, I think has been incredibly painful for so many people to watch. We are leaving, you know, a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions. The people who we fought 20 years ago are back in power. I do not believe that they will uphold human rights. In fact, we know that already it’s being reported in the press and so many of our allies and family members have been left behind.

Again, I don’t want to underestimate the incredible efforts that were made over the last few weeks to evacuate. I think, the last number I heard was over a hundred thousand Afghan, right? That is incredible. There was an incredible network beyond what was happening in the official U.S. Government channels. There was an incredible network of volunteers, which comprised of military, former military, former civilian government employees, NGO workers, Nonprofit workers. It was a whole group of people who just cared and wanted to keep our promises. But the reality is we couldn’t get everybody else out. The president acknowledged that. And that’s very hard to…

John: Basically, the president for better for worse. He basically followed Trump’s blueprint. Whatever the deal that was negotiated, he executed for better or for worse. And so why I love, why I do this show is to have amazing people like you on because not only do you have a life of service which we’re going to get into many of the other hats that you wear now, but going back to this specific issue AJ. Where do we go from here and how do we salvage where we are? For better or for worse. Instead of hoping for what could have been. How do we deal with what is the reality today and try to make the most of a bad situation?

AJ: Yeah, I think figuring out where folks want to dedicate their time and how they want to help is probably step number one. You are exactly right. We have evacuated, we have officially terminated our military presence. And so working first of all, with organizations that are helping continue to evacuate Afghans out of the country and then helping once they arrive, I think, is a great step. And I would also add that working with any organizations that are helping veterans of the wars is another great step. The numbers are staggering as far as mental health and how challenging that has been especially over the last few weeks for people who served in Afghanistan.

When you look at statistics of veterans who have committed suicide since 2001. The last number I read was over a hundred and fourteen thousand veterans have died by suicide. And the suicide rate for veterans is now outpacing the rate for civilians, which is a shift. It used to be backward rate, civilian suicides outpaced military numbers. And by the way, these are just numbers of people who served in the military. This does not include all the civilians outside of the military who are either serving in the US government or were there as Frontline civilians.

John: What can our listeners, viewers, people who read this interview, what can they do? General citizens of the United States that want to offer help more than just wishing people well, what can they do financially? Or with their time or their service? What is doable right now? Where we are right now?

AJ: Yeah, I would say Evacuate Our Allies is a great resource. It’s a combination of nonprofits that have come together including Truman and they are working on a number of resources that will help Afghans both who are there and who are relocating. So people can figure out if there are ways that they can either, donate time, donate home, help with, you know, arrivals and that kind of stuff or they can donate money. So it’s the money is also really, really helpful and then as far as veterans are concerned, there’s so many great resources.

You know a couple of the ones that come to mind are the Veterans Crisis Line, Project Refit, and Greenleaf initiative. The last one is for Frontline Civilians. So again, if listeners go to those websites, they can get more information and certainly can make donations as well.

John: You did three tours with the CIA. You’re no longer in the CIA. Right now, let’s talk about the other hats that you wear with your varied and many. You’re a defense council member at the Truman National Security Project. What is the Truman National Security Project? Without giving away obviously, anything that puts anybody in danger just so our listeners can understand. What is being done over there?

AJ: Yeah. So Truman is a wonderful organization. It is a coalition of both current and former members of government, nonprofit organizations, you know, civilian-military all of it. And the focus is really to speak on National Security initiatives. So Truman as a whole does just endless amounts of great work and I would encourage listeners to go to the website. I’m deeply impressed by the work that they have organized over the last few weeks. To help with the evacuation efforts out of Afghanistan. And you know they again have great resources for anybody who’s interested and many listeners who might want to apply for membership. It’s another great opportunity to get involved.

John: If we were in an elevator and I asked you what the Truman National Security Project was. Is it a think tank or is it actually thinking and action as well?

AJ: It’s thinking and action.

John: Okay.

AJ: So it is a non-profit.

John: Got it.

AJ: They work to create all sorts of initiatives, you know, they have a really active presence on social media. A lot of the members will write op-eds, will go and speak on topics that are really important to all of us. And again the focus is to work with the administration to work with corporations. Civilians, anybody who might be interested so that we can talk about Progressive values that we believe are important, to bring to the forefront.

John: Now, your full-time job is you’re Director of Sales at visit.org. Tell our listeners a little bit about what visit.org is and what you do there as Director of Sales.

AJ: Yeah. It’s a wonderful certified B Corporation, and our mission is to kill grenade efforts with nonprofits and social ventures. And pair them with corporate partners who want to bring volunteering opportunities to their employees. So we work with some massive and some really small corporations as well and help them partner with these nonprofits and social ventures globally. And they can do either volunteering efforts. You know, some of them are skill-based. Some of them are just learning, you know, new projects, but it’s incredibly rewarding to see people doing great things around the world.

John: Besides being a Defense Council member over at the Truman National Security Project and the Director of Sales at visit.org. You also teach at my alma mater, Why don’t you talk a little bit about what you’re doing over there at Stern over at NYU.

AJ: So part-time gig, which is fun. Taught…

John: I don’t know where you get the time in the part-time, but that’s amazing.

AJ: I managed to teach a class this past spring. So, first time teaching at NYU to undergraduates. And the course was focused on their sustainability requirements was a required course for freshmen, and we really talked about all sorts of things that are relevant. So everything from climate change to, you know, how to do great things in the world. So, business with a conscience is probably the best way I can describe it.

John: You’re teaching the next generation of impact leaders, impact entrepreneurs, and service members, huh?

AJ: We hope, right?

John: So were you recruited for that, or is that something that just was on your heart and mind. That part of your service ecosystem was, not only do you want to do the great important work, you’re doing on visit.org. And also at the Truman National Security Project, but you wanted to even further your service by giving back. So were you recruited or did you apply for that?

AJ: So it was a professor who had been one of my professors in business school. And he found out there were openings and said, “You should apply. I think this might be a great fit.” And it’s a course that really focuses on, above everything, Communications. So it’s teaching all of these students how to talk about these issues. But, you know, was fascinating, because we had all these great speakers come in once a week, to these, plenary sessions and talk about things like recycling. And the importance of social justice. The importance of minimum wage in the United States. How restaurant workers are paid, it was fascinating.

John: Let me just say this. If I was 18 again, I would be taking that course, but believe me. There were no courses like that when I was there.

AJ: I wish we had courses, like this when I was in undergrad.

John: Right. You got your MBA at UNC, right?

AJ: Correct,

John: Okay. Got it. So, Trinity to UNC. So, and now at NYU, so that’s…AJ, talk a little bit about, we’re nine days away or so from the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Talk a little bit about your experiences and how 9/11 personally impacted you. And some thoughts as we come upon the 20th anniversary of that tragic date.

AJ: Yeah, I think I shared with you when we spoke earlier. I was working for Senator Lieberman at the time.

John: Right.

AJ: And you know, it is a day that I think obviously none of us who were alive for It can forget. I would say fundamentally impacted the course I think of so many people in my generation. As I mentioned, I was already sort of in the pipeline and applying but when that day happened and we ran from the hill and everybody was trying to get to safety and I obviously was in DC. So watching the Pentagon burn as a group of us were driving back home. I think it changed the expectation. For those of us who were recent college graduates. I’d been out of college a year.

The expectation of the world we were going to be adults in. Of the type of work, we were going to do, certainly, it set me on a path to serve in Afghanistan a few years later. I think it would have been a very different career and a very different, you know, ten years after that and certainly thereafter had it not happened.

John: Given that we have a 9/11 anniversary coming up. We just got out of Afghanistan. What do you think is the right path for us as a country as a democracy? As we know, we have so many challenges facing us here on our own shores. Social challenges, healthcare challenges, immigration challenges still. I can’t believe that we’re still talking about Roe versus Wade in and modern times. It’s shocking to me to wake up to that kind of news. Frankly. Are we going to continue to be the world’s peacekeeper outside of our shores? Or is Afghanistan the beginning, and maybe the end of an era that we’re going to be more domestically focused with regards to our democracy? And not so much more outwardly focused anymore?

AJ: I can’t answer what the future looks like from a U.S. government policy. I can share my opinion on…

John: I’d love your opinion.

AJ: What I think are fundamental issues that we need to face at home? You know, I would start with climate change. We’re certainly not addressing it. In the course of the last couple of weeks the U.S. has already faced two hurricanes, climate is changing. I grew up in Miami. I was almost 14 years old before I ever lived through a hurricane. This is now a yearly experience.

John: Right?

AJ: In Florida, but you know, all the way up to Maine. We had the first hurricane go up the East Coast just a few weeks ago. I think that’s a fundamental issue that we need to address. I think it’s very hard for the United States to go overseas and preach on democracy when we have, you know, fundamentalist elements within our country. Working actively to kind of work against our democracy, right? We have significant issues around racial justice. It’s incredible how many people came out last summer in support of the BLM movement, but the reality is that should have been happening for years. And the other horrible and tragic reality is that there are still folks in the United States, many in the community that I grew up in, who believe that BLM is a violent terrorist organization and it’s simply untrue.

John: Right.

AJ: You have to fight for humans justice. Anyone who believes that there is not a problem with race in the United States I fundamentally believe is just not paying attention. So I think we need to address that. I think we need to address issues like what appears to be more and more minority rule on domestic policies, right? The law that just passed in Texas, two days ago is struggling for all of us. Right? And we’re still arguing about masks and we’re still arguing about sending kids to school without masks. This is just basic science, right? Masks will help you and the amount of disinformation that is out there is really troubling. And I think we need to spend some time working on these issues at home.

My hope is that people can come together on a bipartisan front, you know, I’ll share when I was on The Hill in 2001. I was part of committee staff and my offices are right across from the Republicans offices of the Republican member of that same staff. And we used to go out to lunch together. We were friends, we would talk.

John: Why?

AJ: Both Senators would communicate and have conversations. That’s really troubling and I think, you know, I’ll stop here because I could go on forever on this. But I think, you know, the attack on The Capitol on Januaruy 6th, for me is a really troubling moment in U.S. history. I think that to see Washington D.C. under attack by people who believed the propaganda and to continue, sadly to believe that this election was stolen is deeply problematic.

John: Our democracy was potentially hanging by a thread on January 6th.

AJ: Correct.

John: Given that I’m a grandchild of immigrants from Armenia and you’re a child of immigrants from Cuba, talk a little bit about Cuba. It seemed like so much progress was being made, but during the Trump Administration, everything got turned upside down. I have friends from Cuba that are Cuban immigrants and they’re just dear friends of mine. And for years I’ve been dying to go there. If I went there today. What would I see? And what’s the future hold for the evolution of Cuba, and it getting back on track towards a better tomorrow?

AJ: Yeah, I will start by saying I’ve actually never set foot on the island. My family left. My mother’s family left in the 60s. My father’s family left in the 70s, and my four grandparents and my great-grandmother, sadly all died without ever returning. I can’t speak about what the conditions are like on the ground. All I can say is, you know, it was incredibly inspiring to see a lot of the protests that were happening in July. It brings a ton of hope. I think often about what it must have been like for my grandparents to leave. I also know that there is a ton of strikes in the Exile community in Miami. There’s I think a lot of folks who have different opinions on how best to handle the situation. Some people strongly believed in the Embargo. Some people were really upset over, you know, President Obama’s efforts to open up relations and I think it’s in many ways a quagmire that we’re not going to solve.

Again, I can share my own opinion that I don’t think the Embargo worked.

John: Right.

AJ: I personally would love to be able to have the opportunity to travel there.

John: Right.

AJ: I want to see democracy in Cuba.

John: Well, you’re very young. So I know you’re going to get there. I didn’t get to Armenia till I was 56 years old. So don’t worry you’ll beat me there. You’ll beat my record in terms of getting to the Homeland I’m sure. But it’ll be a wonderful day to get down there. I’m sure when you do make it there one day. You know AJ. You’re doing so many great things. What, you know, you’re teaching at Stern. You’re the Director of Sales at visit.org. You are a Defense Council member at Truman, but you’re so young. And you also have this fascinating experience. Three tours with the CIA, you know, people like you are working to all ages.

Now. I mean, Warren Buffett just turned 92. Rupert Murdoch, Arianna Huffington. Everyone’s in their 60s, 70s and 80s, and 90s and just working along. So, you have so much blue sky in front of you. Where do you envision your future life given your passion for service? And also all the great history and knowledge you already have in your bank account? Where are you going to go with this?

AJ: Well, I would say, yeah, there’s a lot of people doing a lot of really great work. I want to make sure that where I can help I do so. It’s as I said earlier, for me, it is very personal. I want to pay it forward. I grew up being told as a child that, you know, a lot of people had helped us get here and people helped us leave Cuba.

John: Right.

AJ: Helped my family and so, I would say, primarily I want to make sure that I can help where I can, right? And so if I have some knowledge that I can share, if I can put people in touch with resources, if I can help on any of, you know, our multitude of domestic challenges, I want to do so.

John: That’s awesome. And for our listeners, and our viewers, and our readers, who want to follow you AJ. They could find you on Twitter at A-J-F-T-W-O-M-B-L-Y. A-J-F-T-W-O-M-B-L-Y. Also for our listeners and viewers, who haven’t had a chance to read your great CNBC piece. We’re going to post it on this episode. It’s titled “America Has A Chance To Salvage Something From The Afghanistan Disaster.” I encourage all of our viewers and listeners to read that piece. It really moves me. I thought it was so well done as I shared with you already.

AJ I first want to thank you for your service to this great country. Your bravery, your service, your courage. Secondarily, I want to just say God bless you and thank you for all you’re doing on visit.org, at Truman, and at Stern. And I want to say, thanks for making all the impacts on the next generation of impact entrepreneurs, over at Stern and all the great work you’re doing. I know you’re going to do great things in the future. So you’re going to always be invited back to share what you’re up to you on the Impact Podcast. Thank you again for your time today.

AJ: Thank you so much for having me, John.

John: This episode of the Impact Podcast is brought to you by Closed-loop Partners. Closed-loop Partners is a leading circular economy investor in the United States with an extensive network of Fortune 500 corporate investors, family offices, institutional investors, industry experts, and impact partners. Closed-loop’s platform spans the arc of capital from venture capital to private equity. Bridging gaps and fostering synergies to scale the circular economy. The fine Closed-loop Partners. Please go to www.closedlooppartners.com.