Our founding story

Mighty was founded by Megan Hryndza, Nisha Sutaria, Mary Houghton, George Surgeon and Ron Grzywinski in 2016 in order to put impactful community and environmental investing banks on the national map.

Megan met Mary Houghton and Ron Gryzwinski during her production of The Microlending Film Project, a global documentary exploring the impact of purpose-driven finance in advancing individual lives and socio-economic progress at the macro level. Megan interviewed Mary as part of her work on the film due to Mary having been a founder of ShoreBank, a community bank started on Chicago’s South Side in the 1960’s, in the wake of Civil Rights, to help drive investment in Chicago’s poor and black neighborhoods. ShoreBank received national and international acclaim for its four decades of work proving social and environmental innovations executable through banking. (Megan soon after met Ron, another founder of ShoreBank.)

Megan, Ron and Mary kept in touch and explored a project pertinent to engaging the next generation with the lessons learned through ShoreBank’s history and its closing following the Great Recession while too-big-to-fail banks were bailed out. Specifically, Mighty sought to identify the most impactful community investing banks of modern day, and how to align banking stakeholders around these banks to further meaningful community outcomes.

Nisha and George had been working to communicate banks' impact through public data on the banking industry. Nisha and George joined the working group.

The group aligned its seasoned experience in driving innovation in impactful banks, stakeholdership around impactful banking, and experience in analtyics and technology to facilitate greater transparency and community engagement in banking. Mighty was borne soon after, and set up offices at the University of Chicago Polsky Business Incubator.

Mighty is inspired by the work of the impactful community investing banks in the country today, supported by organizations like The Global Alliance for Banking on Values, the Community Development Bankers’ Association, National Community Investment Fund, and B-Lab.