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Research focused on Transition Leadership and climate action workforce development.

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Q&A with ASI’s newest team members, Zahra and Aryn!

We have recently welcomed Zahra and Aryn to ASI’s team of passionate people working to support a more sustainable future.

Zahra Qureshi, ASI’s new (fractional) CFO, works with changemakers and founders to support their passion for a positive impact on people, communities and the planet and is a Chartered Professional Accountant committed to doing business with heart.

Aryn Guthrie, our new Marketing & Communications Manager, is passionate about collaborating with purpose-driven organizations and comes to ASI with experience amplifying brand awareness for organizations rooted in sustainability.

They have each responded to some questions, so we get to know them better! Read their short interview below.


What excites you about working at ASI?

It is a great time to be joining the ASI team. There is a lot of growth and change happening for the organization to serve its mission. I am excited to be supporting that with a finance lens and learning from the team’s diverse skills sets and passion.

What inspires you the most about working in sustainability?

This is such an important issue and we need to implement sustainability into how we work and live our daily lives. Providing training for professionals and leaders can facilitate the growth of their roles as innovators and advocates for sustainability in the workplace. As a finance professional, my work often involves making a business case for sustainability practices, its financial impact and alignment with the core mission of an organization. It is great to see more and more organizations prioritize sustainability as a key value and integrate it across all operations.

What does leadership mean to you?

My perspective on leadership comes from great past work experiences and mentorship. They taught me strong values that are part of becoming a strong leader: continuously learning, collaboration, creativity and problem solving. For growing and innovative organizations, it also means finding a fine balance between day-to-day challenges and prioritizing the long-term strategic outlook. I have learned the most about my leadership style when I step out of my comfort zone and work in teams. In CFO roles, a big part of my leadership is actually to support the CEO and board with their roles by making sure the finance side of things are sorted and informative for strategic decision making.

Read Zahra’s bio here.


What excites you about working at ASI?

The focus on collaboration as it relates to sustainability excites me the most about working at ASI. Collaboration promotes a shared understanding of sustainability challenges and can spark innovative solutions. By working together and embracing our respective strengths, I believe we can make a greater impact than we would individually.

What inspires you the most about working in sustainability?

We are entering a new era of what it means to practice sustainability! Sustainability has taken centre stage for organizations as well as individuals. It’s exciting to see growing interest in how we can promote practices that ensure the well-being of the planet, society and economy.

What does leadership mean to you?

To me, leadership has nothing to do with titles. Leadership can take many forms and that doesn’t always mean you need to be in a management or executive position. Most importantly, I think leadership can be learned and nurtured. Great leaders don’t follow a certain path or possess a single personality trait and that’s the beauty of it – we’re all different and can have different leadership styles.

Early on in my career, I was fortunate enough to have great mentors who believed in my capabilities before I did and pushed me to reflect on my own experiences to better teach and lead others. I feel truly grateful to have had such great leaders in my life who embraced my strengths but wouldn’t shy away from the tough conversations to help me grow both professionally and personally.

Read Aryn’s bio here.


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