Episode 7: Brice Gosnell

Brice Gosnell is a strategic planner and engaged leader with more than 18 years of experience growing revenue, consumer awareness and brand reach for publishing companies John Wiley and Sons and Lonely Planet, as well as for an environmental media web site Grist.org.

A self-possessed right/left-brain equal, Brice is comfortable managing P&Ls alongside creative initiatives. He volunteers regularly with nonprofit organizations and excels at shepherding people and projects around a shared goal.

Brice, a Gen Xer, is looking to find a way to put these skills to use in a company “with a meaningful purpose”. His insight into why this matters to him is what drew Kathy and Vicki to him to share his thoughts and insight on “Taking Care in Business”.

Vicki met Brice through a referral because he wanted to talk about the Indianapolis market since Bohlsen Group was the first B Corp certified company in the state.  She enjoyed meeting him so much that she thinks listeners will enjoy hearing why his dedication to corporate responsibility runs so deep that he is willing to make a lot of changes to make a move from San Francisco – along with his partner and two kids – to find it.

We all know millennials stereotypically want to find a purpose in their work. In fact, research shows that 88% of millennials feel their job is more fulfilling when they have the opportunity to make a positive impact; whereas, 53% of workers overall feel this way. What makes this Gen Xer unique?

The company where he lands will be lucky. Employees who find meaning in their work report being 2.8 times more likely to stay with their organization because they are 2.2 times more satisfied in their jobs.

Listen in as Kathy and Vicki talk to Brice about finding meaning in work and why that matters to him.

Episode 6: Scott Settelmyer from TerraCarbon

TerraCarbon is a leading advisory firm that develops and sells carbon offsets to fund forest and wetland conservation around the world.  They believe that innovative approaches that place a value on nature and provide incentives for conservation are critical to addressing climate change, improving the availability and quality of freshwater, protecting biodiversity, and alleviating poverty.

Scott Settelmyer, the former CFO of the Chicago Climate Exchange, formed TerraCarbon in 2006 after he recognized the complexities of emerging carbon markets and the need for specialized expertise to help conservation projects gain access to this new source of funding. Scott does this by designing carbon project financing strategies for conservation activities, developing marketing and sales strategies for carbon offsets, building models to value climate and ecosystem services, and developing partnerships between companies and non-profits to fund conservation and build sustainable brands.

His current work includes offset sales advisory work for projects that are protecting rainforests in Chile, Belize, Brazil, Colombia, and Zambia. He is also advising clients on the development of various voluntary and compliance market projects that are saving and restoring forests and wetlands, including a peatland restoration project in North Carolina, marsh restoration projects in the Northeast US, and a mangrove restoration project in Florida.

TerraCarbon was recently recognized as a B Corporation-certified “Best for the World” honoree in the “Best for the Environment” category. TerraCarbon was first accredited as a Certified B Corporation in 2012, joining a new breed of companies using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.

TerraCarbon earned a score in the top 10% of more than 2,200 Certified B Corporations on its B Impact Assessment with respect to its environmental impact, helping its clients develop and sell carbon offsets to finance more than 30 projects that are conserving 5,000,000 acres of forests and wetlands around the world.

Listen in as Kathy and Vicki talk to Scott about TerraCarbon’s work with some of the world’s leading conservation organizations, forward-thinking companies, and pioneering social enterprises.

Episode 5: Melanie Stern and Demetris Giannoulias of Spring Bank

Spring Bank’s mission is to pursue a double bottom line of providing returns to their shareholders and serving the needs of the underserved consumers and small businesses in the New York City area.

Spring Bank is an FDIC insured community bank headquartered in the Bronx. In 2007, the bank opened as the only bank to establish its base in this New York borough in over 30 years.  They are the first B Corp certified bank in New York.

Spring Bank has been designated by the US Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), in recognition of the investments and loans the bank makes in low and moderate income communities in New York City. Spring Bank is also a preferred lender with the US Small Business Administration (SBA).

Listen in as Kathy and Vicki talk to Demetris Giannoulias, CEO of Spring Bank, and Melanie Stern, Community Reinvestment Act Officer, about how they have created transparent and affordable financial products for unbanked and underbanked consumers, demonstrating that this can be good business.

Episode 4: Heather Hall from SILCA and Sun King Brewery

Heather Hall is the former VP of Community Outreach at Sun King Brewery. Sun King is an Indianapolis-based craft brewery with a focus on creating seasonal and unique specialty beer. Sun King rolled out its first keg of beer in July 2009 and since that time has grown into one of Indiana’s largest and most award-winning breweries, with multiple medals at the Great American Beer Festival® and the World Beer Cup®.

Heather, a former teacher, spent six years at Sun King developing community engagement programs that created an extremely strong presence for the brand. Today, she is focusing on improving the Indianapolis community through innovative collaborations that highlight organizations’ strengths with SILCA – a company that manufacturers the finest pumps and tools for bicycles.

Listen in to hear how Sun King’s “Yes, but….” philosophy is one that many can and should learn from as they explore partnerships and meaningful ways to make their work purpose-driven.

Episode 3: Nathan Morin from North Coast Organics

Nathan Morin is the co-founder, co-owner and CEO of North Coast Organics – a green, vegan, cruelty-free and B Corp certified company in Ft. Wayne, Indiana – committed to hand making organic body care products in small batches using only 100% natural, edible ingredients that have been ethically sourced.

The company implements and adheres to a strict Organic Critical Control Points program that ensures the organic integrity of products throughout their life cycle. Their studio is inspected on an annual basis and is subject to random, unannounced inspections by agents of the USDA.

North Coast Organics takes pride in conserving energy, recycling, and reusing and minimizing waste and space. They only use 100% natural cleaning supplies, strive to use 100% NSF certified equipment, and utilize reusable bamboo towels and many other green products in their vegan, gluten-free production studio.

Listen in as we talk to Nathan about how he got started as “The Deodorant King of Chicago” and then combined his passion for the culinary arts, herbalism and aromatherapy to create North Coast Organics.

Episode 2: David Barrett from Gene B. Glick Company

Eugene B. Glick started his real estate ownership and management firm in 1947 with a commitment to integrity, quality construction, excellent service, and superbly maintained communities. In addition to Gene B. Glick Company’s commitment to providing quality housing for people of all income levels, in 1982, he and his wife, Marilyn, established the Glick Family Foundation, now known as Glick Philanthropies.

Today, David Barrett – grandson-in-law of Eugene and Marilyn – runs not only the privately-held real estate ownership and management firm, but the organization that holds more than $600 million in charitable assets in the various entities under the Glick Philanthropies umbrella, each with a specific focus: Glick Family Foundation; Gene B. Glick Family Housing Foundation; Glick Fund of the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis; and Glick Fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation.

Gene B. Glick Company is one of the largest privately held real estate management and development firms in the United States, with more than 20,000 units in 13 states. Glick Philanthropies has donated over $150 million to various organizations and initiatives.

Listen in to learn how David Barrett creates opportunity and builds community by living the “our business is family” mantra on a daily basis with programs such as Glick Gives, which matches qualified charitable contributions from Glick employees to not-for-profit organizations.

Episode 1: KK Byland from American College of Education

Founded in the digital age, American College of Education (ACE) delivers affordable, online graduate degree programs and professional development programs for educators across the United States.

While already offering innovative programming, it’s ACE’s recent commitment to social responsibility that truly positions the college at the forefront of online education. Through its commitment to innovation and fiscal responsibility, ACE is helping to make higher education accessible, affordable, and highly responsive to the needs of working professionals in a modern world.

In 2016, ACE decided to take its commitment to social and fiscal responsibility one step further by becoming the first and only Certified B Corporation and Benefit Corporation in the state of Indiana. B Corp is a movement to redefine success in business as companies who aren’t just the best in the world, but the best for the world. This designation is perfect for ACE, cementing the idea that they’re focused on the success of their students, and not just their own bottom line.

KK Byland, HR Director and Benefits Officer at American College of Education, was responsible for leading an internal team at ACE that created the current iteration of their CSR program, helping to drive the college forward in receiving their B Corp certification.

Listen in as KK details what sets ACE apart and how CSR influences the strategic decisions of the college.


Key tips for incorporating CSR into your workplace

In 2016, Bohlsen Group had the pleasure of co-hosting a series of nonprofit Power Plays events for communications professionals throughout the Indianapolis area. We boiled down the hours of conversations with Power Plays attendees and years of experience into 10 tips for incorporating CSR into your workplace.

No matter if you’re a start-up working out of your partner’s kitchen or part of a large corporation engaging thousands of employees across the globe, these 10 actionable tips apply.

Get Leadership Buy-In

Make sure the executive management team is on board, understands the goals and is willing to incorporate CSR into the framework of your organization’s operating structure.

Audit Current Operations

Certainly your organization is already doing many things CSR-related that you can build upon and institutionalize. Take the time to assess your current approach and identify what practices you can expand on or develop.

Realize the Variety of CSR

There are many components to CSR – sustainability, employee engagement, monitoring and evaluation, community investment, partnerships and reporting. Not every company excels in all areas, and that is okay.

Tie CSR to Outcomes

Understand how each CSR initiative ties to your organization’s goals and objectives – marketing and PR, HR, outreach, branding and lead generation. Doing so will force you to be mindful about formalizing your CSR program.

Listen to Employees, Clients and Vendors

Tie your organization’s CSR program to what interests and motivates your people and connections. You can do this by listening in meetings, conducting a survey or organizing an internal brainstorm.

Set Achievable Goals

If you set goals that are easily met, your organization will stay on track and be motivated to reevaluate them often. Approach CSR like you’re training for a marathon – slow and steady wins the race.

Make CSR Enjoyable

If you listen to what your organization’s stakeholders care about, you know you’ll get buy-in and participation. Consider creating an awards program to motivate in an ongoing manner.

Tell Your Story

Caring about CSR makes for some great storytelling, and your organization should absolutely fold all initiatives into its marketing plan to share the initiatives and results across all divisions and company efforts.

Embrace Social Media

Amplify what you are doing across social media platforms. Use social media to support others that are highlighting and pursuing the benefits of CSR and get ideas on how to improve.

Measure Success

Put into place a program to quantitatively and qualitatively evaluate your company’s CSR program. Doing so will help you sell the program to upper management, excite employees and show you where to make improvements.

Leading the change in business

Certified B Corporations are leading a global movement to redefine success in business. By voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance, Certified B Corps are distinguishing themselves in a cluttered marketplace by offering a positive vision of a better way to do business.

Being a B Corp is at the core of Bohlsen Group’s operations. Not a single decision is made without considering the ethos of what this means to us. From recruiting and retaining staff to day-to-day operations to client and community relations and environmental impact, decisions are made bearing in mind how we can make smart and transparent decisions that benefit not just our bottom line, but all of our stakeholders.

We strive to touch the three facets of sustainability in business: people, planet, and profit.

Our goal is to not only do good for people and for the planet, but to succeed as a business so we can continue to do good for years to come.  

In the first two years we enriched our commitment to our staff, clients, environment and community by:

  • Creating best practices to enrich the workplace for our staff (i.e. Monday work-from-home policy; incentivized health & wellness program; monthly team-building events)
  • Instituting operational policies (i.e. local vendor policy; continuing education opportunities)
  • Supporting our community (i.e. paid volunteer hours; board donation matches; 10% in-kind program for nonprofits)
  • Considering the feedback of all stakeholders (i.e. annual staff and client surveys, annual impact report communication)
  • Sustaining our environmental footprint (i.e. work-from-home policy, recycling program)

There are now five B Corp-certified companies in Indiana – including two of our clients—and six companies have become Benefit corporations. Many others are instituting best practices into their operations and I see this becoming more and more the norm in Indiana.

I have found that every company is doing something in the space; oftentimes, without even being aware. I suggest they assess their internal and external practices and relationships so that they can uncover those areas and build upon what they are already doing.

This might mean that they formalize policies or institutionalize best practices. Seeking feedback from all stakeholders and communicating operational changes from the top down will create a spirit of sustainability that they can continue to build on year over year. 

While going through our B Corp recertification we also submitted our application to become a WBE. We did all this while moving into a new office and designing a new website with our new trademarked positioning statement Unified Marketing for Good.

Internally, we will focus on building out more robust incentivization, health and wellness, continuing education and volunteer programs.

Externally, we will continue to create community engagement policies, work with good-fit clients and give back 10 percent in-kind services to all nonprofit partners. (Last year we proudly gave nearly 8.5 percent of our revenue back to those clients.)

We wouldn’t be able to do this without the feedback of our staff, clients and community. We are committed to maintaining high standards in the areas where we currently excel, but also set new standards to meet attainable goals in areas where we can use improvement.

Listen to KK Byland from American College of Education as she details the value a comprehensive Corporate Social Responsibility program and how implementing your own internal CSR program can benefit your company.