Heartfelt giving to the community: a business model to emulate
Pictured above prior to the pandemic, Ultra Cuisine CEO Boris Katsnelson 99BBA, left, celebrates his company’s community partnership with Denver’s SAME Café executive director Brad Reubendale.
In an unprecedented era of medical calamity, joblessness, and economic upheaval, Goizueta alumni have helped community members stay clean, well-rested, and fed. “We all need to do what we can, especially from the business standpoint,” said Colin McIntosh, CEO and founder of Sheets & Giggles, a eucalyptus bedding manufacturer that relies on sustainably managed biodiverse farms. “The COVID-19 pandemic has rocked our world. We’re proud to have pledged 1% of our profits, equity, time, and products to local Colorado charities in addition to supporting numerous environmental causes.
Boris Katsnelson, CEO of leading kitchenware brand Ultra Cuisine, said, “Community is one of our core values. We believe in the power of bringing people together and giving back to our communities. Human connection fuels our world and our products help consumers create lasting memories around baking and enjoying meals together. This in no way drives why we practice social responsibility, but we have learned that many consumers want to do business with socially conscious companies.
As coronavirus cases surged and consumer panic buying impacted product availability on store shelves, Kevin Rodgers, founder of Shwaxx Laboratories, LLC, an aspiring B Corporation, shifted gears immediately for production of antibacterial soaps and sanitizers. “We believe the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus at all. However, some business owners have felt backed into a corner financially. Their livelihood is based on their ability to serve the public in confined spaces,” Rodgers said. “To help barbers, hair stylists, and cosmetologists take steps to wash their hands often and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their work environment, we opted to not only educate the community but also distribute our antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer free of charge. These new products were never about making money but were designed to help businesses stay up and running during this pandemic.”
“COVID-19 is impacting lives and livelihoods in unprecedented ways across the world,” said Brian Goebel 09MBA, managing director of Social Enterprise @ Goizueta. “Entrepreneurs and business owners have responded by pivoting their offerings to serve neighbors in need, increasing charitable contributions to support front line nonprofit partners, and collaborating in innovative new ways via public-private partnerships.”
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