The View, 4/9/15, Benefit Corporations (aka “B Corps”)

Next Week: Kevin Williams will talk about bathroom renovations on the Mendocino headlands next to Ford House.

Prez John Cottle opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Thought For the Day: William Perky “You’ve got to dance like there’s nobody watching, …”

Today’s Guest: Joyce Perlman, project manager and wedding photographer from Mendocino.

Joe’s club anniversary is today, 18 years. He’s not here today, but we’re all celebrating the fact that he’s a member of our club!

Missed meeting fines were levied ($5 each, max. $15).

Happy Dollars:

Kira shares her happy dollars.

Kira shares her happy dollars.

Clayton: is happy to report he’s in escrow on a house here on the coast!
Kira: in happy/sad news, she closed on Bruce Lewis’s house yesterday.

Bruce: happy his wife brings humor and fun to his life; he had 10 happy years with Rotary here, and leaving is bitter sweet. He and Gerry will be leaving Monday.

Dean: happy for Bruce and all he’s done for our club, we’ll miss him, but happy for him for his new Portland digs…
Harold: wishing Bruce well in his new adventures, and thanking him for his 10 years of service to the club.

Bruce celebrates his 10 happy years with our club.

Bruce celebrates his 10 happy years with our club.

John C.: Bruce, we’ll miss you. Also happy for highway clean-up and Rotary Park.
John P.: took his lien off of Bruce’s house after he finished our membership directory. He’s also happy for the successful highway cleanup last Saturday.

Jeffry: happy he and his wife Karen had twin grandkids about a month ago, and just visited them! He’s also happy to get his pirate’s hook back from Casino Night.

Yarr, Jeffry's happy to have his hook back.

Yarr, Jeffry’s happy to have his hook back.

Lindsay: thanks to Bruce for all he did for Art Center over the last 10 years here. Also, Lindsay is calling for volunteers for Chocolate, Wine & Ale Fest coming up.

Lindsay shares happy dollars.

Lindsay shares happy dollars.

Kevin: thanks to Bruce for MAPA work.

 

 

 

Announcements:

  • The Club’s regular Board meeting will be Monday, 4/13/15 at 12:00 noon at the Mendocino Hotel, $20 for lunch. There is a big important agenda, so please come!
  • Our Club’s International Committee meets today after this meeting.

    John P. shares his announcement.

    John P. shares his announcement.

  • The MCDH Hospice is looking for volunteers, with a new training series starting April 15.
  • Matt announced that Rotary Park is clean, mowed, and looks great!
  • John P. announced that 150 years ago today, Robert E. Lee surrendered.
Bruce receives the Rotarian of the Month award from Prez John.

Bruce receives the Rotarian of the Month award from Prez John.

 

 

Rotarian of the Month: Bruce Lewis was awarded the Rotarian of the Month award by Prez John Cottle, for all his willing service over the past 10 years.

 

 

Today’s Program:

Jody, the mean finemaster!

Jody, the mean finemaster!

Jody introduced today’s speaker, Heather Paulsen, who is to speak about B Corps today. First, he grilled the crowd with a few finemaster questions, and stumped (almost) everyone with the question, repeated several times, “What does the B in B Corps stand for?” Now we all know it stands for Benefit, as in “benefit corporations.”

Heather first told the story of a powerful little solar light by a company called Mpowerd, and explained why she was excited to learn that they are a Certified B Corp. Just by being a Certified B Corp, she knew that Mpowerd is a for-profit company with a mission beyond making a profit.  She shared images of their website showing their mission of solar justice around the globe, and how many lives they have impacted so far (www.mpowerd.com).

Heather talks about B Corps (benefit corporations) that make a profit and fulfill a larger mission.

Heather talks about B Corps (benefit corporations) that make a profit and fulfill a larger mission.

By giving a short history of corporations, Heather explained that back in the 1600s and 1700s, corporate charters were given by the King of England, and if a corporation “misbehaved,” he could simply revoke the charter. In the early years of our country’s independence, corporate charters were granted only through an act of legislation, and again, the charter could be revoked by the legislature for misbehavior. This external social conscience was removed with the law first passed in New York in 1811, which created the ideas of free incorporation and limited liability.

Over the next 200 years, corporations have focused on maximizing profit, rather than creating social, or public, good. This idea was epitomized by Milton Friedman, who won a Nobel Prize in the 1970s for his contributions to modern economics. He contended that the only social responsibility of corporations was to maximize shareholder profits. This approach to corporate responsibility led to the financial crisis of 2008.

So what is a values-driven company to do, when they can be sued for pursuing anything but maximum profit? Many companies are choosing B Corp Certification as their means to demonstrate their commitment not only to the health of their companies, but also to the health of their communities and the environment.

B Corp Certification is issued by a non-profit called B Lab (www.bcorporation.net), who formed in 2007 and developed a rigorous set of standards that requires a higher level of transparency and accountability for a company’s impact on society and the environment. B Lab has also successfully lobbied to have benefit corporation legislation passed in 27 states so far (as of the end of 2014). At the state level, a Certified B Corp is required to register as a legal benefit corporation, which builds their mission into their corporate charter. This way, even when a corporation changes ownership, the social and environmental mission stays with the company.

Heather talked about how to become a B Corp, and what the B Corp standards measure. She also talked about the many benefits of certification, and how B Corp ideals are a close match with Rotary’s ideals.  Harvest Market is the first Certified B Corp in Mendocino County, and Heather is currently working with North Coast Brewing Co. and Thanksgiving Coffee Co. to help them attain their B Corp Certification as well.

Today’s Raffle Winners: Ray and Jeffry. No joker was drawn….. the pot continues to grow, and we’re down to about 9 cards left in the deck!

 

By | 2015-04-14T10:21:10+00:00 April 14th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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