Employee Spotlight: Ileana Riverón

Ileana Riverón

This week, we had the pleasure of getting to know Ileana Riverón, Senior Enterprise Account Executive at Banyan Infrastructure. From dancing with The Royal Ballet to working at the forefront of renewable energy project finance, Ileana shared her unique path and what inspires her passion for societal impact and environmental stewardship.

Please share your background and what led you to Banyan Infrastructure.

I grew up in Wisconsin, dreaming of becoming a ballerina from a very young age. At 13, pursuing this dream, I moved to Boca Raton, FL, to hone my craft at a ballet boarding school. By age 16, I was living in London, training at The Royal Ballet School, and dancing with The Royal Ballet Company. I was living my dream. Eventually, I returned stateside to Boston, MA, where my career was about to take an unexpected turn: a severe injury at the Boston Ballet forced me to retire from ballet prematurely. Facing an existential crisis, I asked myself, “If not this, what am I meant to do?'"

This question sparked a period of soul-searching, as I knew I’d have to make a dramatic pivot. At what felt like the ancient age of 21, I applied to a handful of universities in the hopes of attending any school that would take me, despite having missed the application deadlines and having been an autodidact for much of my academic career, with only a GED and 5-year-old SATs and ACTs to show for it. That school turned out to be Harvard, where I studied Economics and Philosophy. Still searching for my post-ballet “Why?” I decided to study in Greece during the height of the Syrian refugee and Greek economic crises and volunteer at a refugee day center. That experience was life-changing and made societal impact a core tenet of my career choices.

Upon returning to the US, I attended a LinkedIn info session at Harvard, where I learned about their work helping immigrants enter the job market, a cause close to my heart. It captured my imagination, so I joined LinkedIn through the Business Leadership Program. Eventually, an opportunity arose to join The Climate Service, a climate risk analytics firm that soon became part of S&P Global. While it was important work, I couldn’t shake the feeling of helplessness that came with looking at climate risk all day; I needed to be part of the solution, working with individuals and organizations focused on mitigating that risk.

Why did you work at Banyan Infrastructure, and what do you hope to accomplish? 

I wanted to be where the solutions were being built, with people on the ground actively shaping tomorrow. My faith is very important to me - I firmly believe that we are stewards of the earth. We've been given the incredible responsibility of “tending the garden.”

At Banyan Infrastructure, we have the potential to transform communities through significant capital investments in sustainable infrastructure, helping to build a future that protects basic human rights to things like clean air, water, and climate security. The timing is right, and technological innovation brings that future within reach. Now that we have the capital, we can make a difference by taking collective action and leveraging partnerships.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I still try hard to maintain a relationship with my first love, dance. I’ve had some enjoyable opportunities to freelance dance and choreograph in San Francisco. But most of my free time is now devoted to my 7-month-old daughter, Helena, whose name comes from the Greek word for "light." Helena is my light; I hope she brings light to the world as she grows - for now, I will tend the garden for her.