Both Gaby Infante and Renee Christoff found a home in Baltimore, and in serving people. These women leading the way at global investment management firm T. Rowe Price demonstrate strength in service in different ways.
Infante’s dedication to public service can be traced back to her family’s strong influence.
“I was raised by my grandparents. I looked up to and continue to be inspired by my grandfather. He was very passionate about public service, and he was a community leader,” Infante says. “Anything he set his mind to he dedicated every single ounce of his spirit to executing flawlessly.”
This foundation, and Infante’s own passion for the environment, spurred her interest in high-impact social projects—the perfect marriage of her community focus and interests.
As director of corporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) at T.Rowe Price, she helps facilitate corporate commitments to sustainability and provides expertise in building initiatives for climate action, diversity, equity and inclusion; and in environmental and social risk management.
A graduate of Yale and Berkeley universities, Infante also draws from her own background to be very adaptable in her role. Born in Mexico City and raised in southern California, she is fluent in Spanish, English and Portuguese.
Through her work, Infante has been able to direct her passion for the environment toward social projects. Her projects for prior ESG roles include connecting rural Nicaraguans with reliable access to social services and nourishment, implementing safeguards for funding in Haiti to improve schools and tuition grants and overseeing other high-impact projects in more than 45 countries.
“When you look at the ESG acronym, ‘environment’ and ‘social’ really complement each other,” Infante says.
Through the pandemic, it was hard to find a work-life balance. “I often found myself working 16-hour days. It was a bit stressful,” she says. But in measuring the impact of ESG strategies T. Rowe Price implemented, she was encouraged. “Thankfully, I really like what I do,” she says. “There’s a lot of goodwill when it comes to ESG.”
Infante relocated from New York to Baltimore two years ago, to a historic neighborhood just a few doors down from the home of F. Scott Fitzgerald—one of her favorite writers—and appreciates that her neighbors share her love for service.
“There’s a great sense of community and wanting to help,” Infante says. “I really like that.”
Similarly, Christoff—who grew up in New York with lots to love—found a certain charm in the Baltimore County community of Owings Mills, and a big part of that was its people.
“I like the people—the Baltimore people,” she says.
Now, as the head of global associate engagement and corporate responsibility, Christoff works to guide T. Rowe Price in understanding its people.
“The more engaged your people are, the better that is for your clients. If our associates are happy and invested in the work and the firm, they’re invested in our clients,” Christoff says.
“You cannot ignore your people. You need to understand how they’re feeling about things.”
A graduate of Penn State University, Christoff studied political science before returning to school for an MBA in marketing from the University of Baltimore and another master’s degree at Penn State in European history.
This knowledge fed her interests for nearly 30 years as a T. Rowe Price employee—11 of which she was head of corporate social responsibility and for the past almost 5 years in her new role, with a focus on employee engagement.
Her skills are valuable—she was approached by both the FBI and CIA for recruitment as a former commercial bank employee—but she is happy
with where she landed.
Being people-focused, Christoff also has several people in her own life to thank for her success. She learned from her aunts, who were all professional businesswomen; she still thinks about the things her first pastor taught her; and her high school chemistry teacher inspired her with a love of science, a concern for the people she met and integrity.
While corporate life can be a challenge, Christoff says the biggest personal challenge she’s been facing has been insecurity. “Not feeling good enough for whatever the circumstances were and then having to prove it,” she says.
But Christoff has learned to believe in herself. “Everybody’s got some value for something.”