Krull & Company Third Annual Speaker Series

Lewis Perkins and Peter Krull

Lewis Perkins and Peter Krull

Krull & Company welcomed Lewis Perkins, the President of The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute to Asheville on September 20th. The day included an afternoon Business Roundtable at The Center for Craft, Creativity and Design moderated by journalist Darren Dahl.

Bark House's Chris McCurry introduces Lewis Perkins

Bark House’s Chris McCurry Introduces Lewis Perkins

Lewis Perkins and Darren Dahl

Lewis Perkins and Darren Dahl


The evening featured a keynote by Mr. Perkins at The Collider in downtown Asheville. Over 80 people showed up to hear him speak about the Circular Economy. We will be sharing the video from the event shortly.

Krull & Company President and Founder Peter Krull welcomes the audience the the Third Annual Speaker Series Event

Krull & Company President and Founder Peter Krull welcomes the audience the the Third Annual Speaker Series Event

Lewis Perkins speaks to a full house at the Collider

Lewis Perkins speaks to a full house at the Collider


Please support our Speaker Series Sponsors

Please support our Speaker Series Sponsors


How to Cope When The Unexpected Disrupts Your Planning

This summer, I prepared to go on an extended trip through four countries in Africa. I had been anticipating this trip for quite some time–it would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. My adventures were to include: attending a July 4th celebration with fireworks, an amazing tent safari in a remote area of the Serengeti, seeing Victoria Falls (the largest waterfall in the world) in Zimbabwe, and a mission trip in the mountains of Kenya.

Planning Down to the Last Detail

An extended weeks-long cross continental trip has very different requirements from, say, a week-long vacation at a beach you already know. I had to carefully select every item I packed in my suitcase. It was a meticulous planning process, one in which I felt proud. There were weight and suitcase size restrictions on the safari planes, so unless an item of clothing served a good purpose and was comfortable, it did not make the cut. I researched and found that khaki and olive green are preferred on safari so that you become part of the background for the animals, and black is avoided to keep insects away. Again, I researched, planned and packed until it was perfect.

Everything Seemed Taken Care Of…Until Something Happened.

One delay. That was all it took. Our first flight had mechanical difficulties, which dominoed into missing our next flight.

Suddenly, the whole 32-hour trip to Africa went sideways.

We were re-routed on another airline and arrived at our final destination at three in the morning. When our bags were not on our flight, initially I did not worry. Instead, I took a deep breath. Surely they would be delivered over the next few days.

But our baggage ultimately arrived in Tanzania four days AFTER we left that location (over a week after we left the U.S.)

After all that careful planning and packing, I ending up traveling for 22 days in Africa with only carry-on luggage, (2 outfits and 1 pair of shoes). Different from most parts of the world, there are no shopping centers or stores to buy new items where we traveled, and so I made do with what I had.

by Leesa Sluder

“That Won’t Possibly Happen to Me.”

Writing this now, back home in the U.S., our bags remain in Africa. And we are wrestling with the airlines to get them returned to the States. Before the trip, I would have believed the chances of this happening were slim to none.

As I reflect on this experience, here are some observations:

  • I needed a lot less than I thought I needed when I packed at home. Decisions about what to wear each morning were easy (particularly shoes!)
  • It was delightful to have so few items to keep up with, and only a carry on bag as I traveled around—no worries about weight on the safari plane!
  • It was a great opportunity to joke about my situation, and opened up conversations with fellow travelers; many even offered me their clothing.
  • I made it a game to challenge myself to handle this situation with as much grace as possible. It was truly out of my control, and I wanted to rise to the occasion and be flexible enough to handle it.

Coping and Building Resilience In Our Lives

This experience helped me build resilience, although of course it did not impact me long term. Other life experiences that did impact me long term (including divorce, bi-lateral mastectomy, and raising a special needs child) put trials like this in perspective. My life plans did not include these experiences, yet I can look back now and see that these events are all part of the fabric of my life, and have contributed to the richness of life. As a (reformed?) Type A personality, I love to plan and prepare for contingencies, and the majority of the time this is a helpful attribute to keep things orderly.

However, life is messy, and the best laid plans get up-ended by something that you don’t see coming.

Planning For Your Financial Future

From a financial perspective, we budget, save, prepare for contingencies and still get blindsided by something we never saw coming (for example: the 2008 market, or personal challenges like losing a job, getting a divorce, or losing a loved one).

A strategy is to take a deep breath, remember that there are resources of support to help you figure it out, make do with what you’ve got, and get creative about how to handle this situation as gracefully as possible.

A friend, who is a physician and neuroscientist, explained to me years ago that you cannot hold fear/anxiety and gratitude in your brain at the same time; they use the same pathway in the brain (I realize that’s not a medical term, but I like to think of it like it’s a hiking trail). I can choose between these emotions in the moment, so when I feel the anxiety rising in me, I try to think of at least three things I’m grateful for right then.

I tried to use this strategy in Africa when I remembered all the glorious things carefully packed in my suitcase that I did not have with me when needed (like rain gear at Victoria Falls). My grateful thoughts to offset this included: 1) I’m looking at one of the seven natural wonders of the world and it is jaw-dropping beautiful; 2) I have hiked long distances to see far less impressive waterfalls, and this one has a beautiful, flat pathway and 3) even though I’m soaking wet from the waterfall spray, the sun is out and my clothes and shoes will dry. There’s even a rainbow!

Whether planning with finances or planning with other life events, try the strategy of positive thought, or the act of thinking of three things, to help take up all the space in the mental pathway, so there’s no longer room for anxiety.

For guidance with finances during life transitions, set up a consultation.

by Leesa Sluder


Sustainability Thought Leader Lewis Perkins to Speak in Asheville September 20

Renowned sustainability leader and President of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute Lewis Perkins will be the featured speaker in their third annual lecture series this September.

Perkins will present “The Industrial (r)Evolution: How A Cradle to Cradle Process Fosters Sustainability and Growth.” The event will take place on Tuesday, September 20 at 6 p.m. at The Collider, a business, cowork, educational and event space focused on environmental & climate change adaptation & resilience.

The Krull & Company Annual Lecture Series is a free event open to community members and designed to boost interest in responsible business and bring visionary leaders to the region.

“Our goal at Krull & Company is to help individuals, families, and organizations make a long-term difference by aligning their financial initiatives with their values,” says Peter Krull, the firm’s president. “In order to accomplish their goals, it’s crucial to provide education regarding worldwide and regional shifts in sustainability and social movements.”

One of the most rigorous and trusted product certification programs in the world, the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard provides designers and manufacturers with criteria and requirements for continually improving what products are made of and how they are made.

Prior to joining the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, Lewis Perkins consulted to companies both big and small on creating programs and awareness for environmental and social initiatives. Perkins led the “green” charge as director of sustainable strategies for The Mohawk Group, a leading carpet manufacturer and commercial division of Mohawk Industries.

Chris McCurry, Co-Founder of Bark House, which handcrafts beautiful wall treatments for exterior and interior applications using sustainably certified processes and reclaimed wood, will introduce Lewis Perkins at the presentation. Bark House holds the honor of manufacturing the first internationally recognized Cradle to Cradle Certified™ PLATINUM product: Bark House® Exterior Poplar Wall Coverings. This is the first product to gain a PLATINUM designation since the founding of C2C in 2007.

A Q&A with Perkins will follow his presentation. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own questions regarding sustainability to participate.

Seating is limited and RSVPs are strongly recommended.

To RSVP, please follow this link:

B Impact Assessment Names Krull & Company Among “Best For the World”

Krull & Company was recently recognized for creating the most positive overall community impact by B the Change Media based on an independent, comprehensive assessment administered by the independent nonprofit B Lab. Honorees are featured in the upcoming fall issue of B Magazine and on B the Change’s digital platform, They were also honored at the first-annual Best for the World Celebration & Awards Ceremony at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas Business School.

Krull & Company is honored in the Best for the World list, which includes businesses that earned scores in the top 10 percent of more than 1,800 Certified B Corporations across all categories on the B Impact Assessment. The full assessment measures a company’s impact on its workers, community, customers and the environment. The 138 winning companies in the Overall category come from 15 industries and 17 countries.

“It’s an honor to be selected as Best for the World,” says Peter Krull, president. “Our team has worked hard to fully align the way we run the business with the values we uphold, and this award is just the beginning of a standard we will increase with each year.”

To read the full press release, click here.