Social Entrepreneurship Summit Encourages Change for Good

Print 9 From printing companies that are employee owned, to restaurants that are striving toward zero waste, to bookstores that advocate for issues they believe in and law firms that have local purchasing commitment, there are countless ways that local businesses are solving problems in our state and are setting good examples for other business owners. The SOCENT Summit, organized by Local First Arizona and SUSTAINWE, will be a day to hear directly from Arizona entrepreneurs about how and why they decided to create change.

As more consumers seek out companies whose impact are transparent and aligned with their values, businesses that incorporate social responsibility into their operations have much to gain. They can increase credibility and trust in their brand, create an engaged workforce and attract employees, generate press, attract investors and funders and stand out as a role model in the community. Social responsibility is something that every business can incorporate, and small steps can make a big impact.

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Local First Arizona sees the positive impact that Arizona businesses have been making in the state and we are excited to be able to highlight some of them at this event. Companies like O’Neil Printing that have been operating for over 100 years and are employee owned; Pizza People Pub, a restaurant that is striving towards zero waste; Fed by Threads, a clothing company that is sourcing from American, sustainable clothing companies and helping feed the hungry in the process; and the Dhaba, a restaurant/market/cultural center that operates with their community in mind. The SOCENT Summit will be an opportunity to hear their stories, and for business owners from all industries to be inspired to follow their lead and learn how to incorporate methods that attract employees, benefit their community and give them recognition,” says Helene Tack, Program Development Director of Local First Arizona.

When: Tuesday, September 20, 2016.  8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Where: Vintage 45, 45 W. Buchanan St, Phoenix, AZ 85004 Cost: Early bird tickets $50, full price $60 after August 8 Link for ticket sales: More information:

stanleyphotoOpening keynote speaker Vincent Stanley will share the story of clothing company Patagonia whose dedication to being a responsible company has led to their international success. Stanley, co-author of The Responsible Company, has been with Patagonia on and off since its beginning in 1973, for many of those years in key executive roles as head of sales or marketing. More informally, he is Patagonia’s long-time chief storyteller. He helped develop the Footprint Chronicles, the company’s interactive website that outlines the social and environmental impact of its products; the Common Threads Partnership; and Patagonia Books. He currently serves as the company’s Director, Patagonia Philosophy, is a visiting fellow at the Yale School of Management, and a visiting executive at INSEAD in Fontainebleau.

Adam head shotClosing keynote speaker Adam Goodman will share how Goodmans Interior Structures operates their Arizona company with attention to their community.  Goodman, president and CEO of Goodmans Interior Structures, is the third generation to lead the family business. Following the tradition of innovation established by his father and grandfather, Adam has used his leadership roles to help Goodmans adapt to changing markets and anticipate opportunities for growth. Under Adam’s leadership, Goodmans has developed many innovative programs to give back to the community including Office Chair Hockey, Goodmans Eye for the Good Guy, AIM to Make a Difference, Rooted in Good, GoodART, GoodTHREADS and more. In 2009, Goodmans won the first-ever ACE Award for Community Impact and in 2011 Goodmans became the third certified B Corporation in Arizona.

Panel discussions will focus on Operations and Employee Engagement, Supply Chain Impact, Advocacy, Environmental Sustainability and Marketing. Panelists will come from a wide range of Arizona businesses and will be announced on the Local First Arizona website in the coming weeks.

This one day Summit is geared towards the following attendees:

  • Business Owners & Staff: Businesses of all industries, large and small will find the content relevant. Whether a business has been incorporating elements of social responsibility for years, or it is just beginning to think about ways to operate with people, planet and profit in mind, attendees will leave the Summit with new ideas and inspirations from fellow entrepreneurs. Owners, HR professionals, managers and key staff are encouraged to attend.
  • Entrepreneurs: Individuals who are looking for ideas to solve complex social issues and environmental challenges will find plenty of inspiration at this event, and will be able to network with like-minded individuals.
  • Investors: Investing in socially responsible companies that produce value for stakeholders have the potential to result in strong financial returns. Meet Arizona companies that are doing great things in the state.
  • Economic Development professionals, City employees and elected officials: What does a community of socially responsible business owners look like for your city or town? Learn from our panelists how their businesses create a strong, positive presence in the regions they operate in.
  • Nonprofits: Nonprofits exist to solve problems in our communities and can further their impact by implementing new ideas into their operations and telling their stories.

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