It is with heavy hearts that we share with you the passing of Sister Valerie Heinonen. Sister Valerie, a leader in shareholder advocacy, died on Saturday, September 18, 2021.
Sister Valerie, a member of the Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk, ministered in shareholder advocacy and corporate engagement for more than 40 years. She was active in the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, both as a member and as staff, before representing the Sisters of Mercy in company engagements. In her service to Mercy through the Sisters of Mercy – Regional Community of Detroit, Mercy Investment Program and Mercy Investment Services, Sister Valerie embodied Catherine’s legacy of serving those most in need. She retired from Mercy Investment Services in 2019.
Sister Valerie was known for her work with private prison companies on human rights issues, gun manufacturers and retailers on their role in the gun violence epidemic, and militarism. She gained national attention for her role in Dick’s Sporting Goods’ decision to stop selling assault rifles and high-capacity magazines and to raise the minimum age for purchasers to 21. Sister Valerie also worked to end the Washington, D.C., football team’s use of a name and image that disparaged Native Americans.
We invite you to share your memories or condolences with Sister Valerie’s family and community. A full obituary from her community is available here, and a remembrance from the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility is available here.