Meet Our Change Makers
We are committed to you.
Willow is a team of dynamic individuals with a passion for change. We bring innovation, energy, and expertise to our work in an effort to help you reach your dreams and achieve your goals.
L. Alexandra Dest
Founder & CEO
Why did I start Willow?
I started this company because I had a desire to lead in a way that I have never experienced before in business but always knew was possible. While others would consider this idealistic, I did not. All things are possible with pure and honest intention. My goal was to create a company from heart centered leadership with cutting edge thinking and strategies. A safe place to turn ourselves inside out and allow us to serve each other and our clients with reverence. An environment that values and nurtures innovative thinking, creativity, honest care, and dedicated work. I value my associates who give to our clients from their True Selves and who are always striving for more knowledge. I am honored to have such a great group of associates and clients that I may serve.
L. Alexandra Dest began her career in 1987 as a Compliance Specialist at Advest, Inc. in Hartford, CT. After the crash of 1987, she worked between New York City and Hartford, quickly rising to the position of portfolio analyst and investment manager where she spearheaded strategies for internally managed portfolios. In 1990, she established the Investment Advisor division with U.S. Securities, Inc. based in Hartford, CT, as director, strategist, and portfolio manager. In 1995, Alex was recruited to join Berkshire Bank (then Berkshire County Savings Bank) as Senior Investment Officer where she directed investments, established investment strategies and managed individual portfolios totaling $550 million in assets. She was promoted to Senior Management as a First Vice President in 2006. In 2009, she established Alexandra Dest Capital Management, LLC, an investment advisor group committed to offering high level portfolio management solely for your benefit and your bottom line. She obtained her BA from University of Connecticut in Economics in 1987.
A personal note from Alex:
Aside from working with the global markets and economics, I enjoy the simple things in life. My weekends are often filled with hiking, biking, rollerblading, reading, writing and cooking. I am ecologically minded and have built a straw bale home with a small organic farm with my husband Milan – we are seeking to live sustainably. To be content, I require diligent work, moments of solitude, simplicity, quality nutrition, and global travel. I wholeheartedly believe in the interconnectedness of our world and as such focus my company contributions on sustainability, land preservation, nutrition, health, and the empowerment of the feminine.
Rose A. Borotto, IACCP®
Director of Operations & Compliance
Why I chose to be part of this team:
Aside from just simply enjoying the type of work I do, I chose to work here because I am always being challenged both professionally and personally. I am not only asked to stretch beyond my current limits to enhance my skill set but to also reach deep within myself to grow personally. The values we share, reaching and learning, integrity, care, expansion of the mind and our hearts, our desire to serve, this pulls our group together in a way that brings me deep satisfaction.
Rose Borotto’s career started 33 years ago at the former Berkshire Bank & Trust Company as a teller and subsequent operations assistant. In 1991, she joined Great Barrington Savings Bank (which subsequently became Berkshire Bank) as Operations Assistant and Project Specialist. From 1996 to 2002, she supported the President/CEO as Executive/Corporate Secretary. From 2002 to 2005, she held the position of Investor Relations/Regulatory Reporting Analyst, where she dealt with SEC Compliance issues. In 2017 she earned the professional designation of Investment Advisor Certified Compliance Professional (IACCP). At Willow, Rose is the operations, office, compliance, and financial manager. She oversees the day to day operations of the company ensuring all details are handled appropriately.
A personal note from Rose:
I enjoy being outdoors, hiking year-round, biking and kayaking in the warmer months. I am an avid dog lover and like to spend time outdoors with my two black labs, Coal & Cami. On weekends, I like to socialize and show off my husband’s culinary talents. Both my husband and I have a bend toward sustainable living and eating organically.
Paul A. Farella
VP, Director of Sustainable Investments
Paul Farella is a Vice President and the Director of Sustainable Investments at Willow, where Paul leads, develops, and expands the ESG / SRI strategy of the firm. In this role he is responsible for capital deployment, equity and fixed income trading, research, due diligence, and aiding in the strategic development of the firm. Together with Alexandra he manages client assets over many diverse objectives. Paul formerly held roles as Portfolio Manager, Sustainability Analyst, and Portfolio & Operations Associate at Willow’s predecessor firm Alexandra Dest Capital Management, where he has gleaned both depth and breadth of industry knowledge.
Paul’s educational background includes a MBA with a focus on Sustainability from Antioch University New England (2011), and a BSBA in Economics & Finance from the Barney School of Business at the University of Hartford (2009). He also holds a Series 65 License from NASAA.
Why work at Willow?
Finding true balance between work, passions, family, and life in general can be a major challenge. Working at Willow has allowed me to find that balance and thrive both personally and professionally. It has been my privilege to bring holistic multi-framed capital and values driven systems into investing and portfolio creation to align money with the greater good. Willow has allowed me to explore, refine, learn, and in grow while being challenged and encouraged both personally and professionally.
Interested in joining our team?