How has the Power of Partnerships played a role in your career and in your company?


Steve McDougal


As I think about the Power of Partnerships, numerous examples immediately come to mind. Partnerships have underpinned nearly every aspect of my career. A few highlights stand out in particular:

  • I co-founded 3Degrees with Dan Kalafatas, who is now 3Degrees’ Chairman of the Board and remains an important strategic advisor to the company. In the early 2000s, Dan and I were both passionate about doing something around our growing concern about climate change. We believed that a transition to a renewable energy-based economy was/is critical. Dan identified RECs as an effective way to get organizations on board and to play an active role in the solution. We recognized that storytelling around a commitment to sustainability for our customers would benefit their brand and we began to get some traction and have early success. Fast forward two decades and 3Degrees remains one of the only early pioneers who has remained in the market and has now expanded globally, supporting our customers with their worldwide climate goals. This was only accomplished through deep and committed partnership, with both Dan and I bringing our unique but complementary skill sets to the table and evolving our relationship as the business needs evolved over the years.

  • There have been points in 3Degrees’ history where we have reached a critical juncture for the company’s survival and growth. At these times, Harry Halloran – an early investor and major supporter of B Corp – and Kathy Coffey (representing ARB) became significant partners to 3Degrees, helping to fortify our continued growth and ability to serve thousands of organizations globally. Kathy remains a member of the 3Degrees Board of Directors, and each month during our company all-hands meeting we present a Harry Halloran “Moment of the Month” award to an individual or group who exemplifies 3Degrees’ core values.

  • In 2017, 3Degrees merged with Origin Climate. This merger – and partnership with Origin Climate’s managing directors Erin Craig and Mark Mondik helped to diversify 3Degrees’ product and service offerings beyond renewable energy commodities with the addition of climate consulting and carbon markets expertise, enabling us to more holistically support customers’ achievement of their own climate goals. Both Erin and Mark remain on 3Degrees’ Board and in leadership roles at the company today, and their partnership to me personally and contributions to 3Degrees have been invaluable.

  • Our collaboration with major electric and gas utilities across the U.S. dates back to the company’s earliest years. These partnerships with utilities, some of which are still going strong 20 years later, helped lay the foundation for 3Degrees in our early days. Two decades later, we have helped our utility partners enroll hundreds of thousands of customers in voluntary renewable energy and green gas programs.


Melanie Dulbecco

Torani Syrups

There’s no more joyful way to work than in partnership and collaboration with others.  We believe business is a “circle of success” — a partnership of our team working in collaboration with customers, distributors, suppliers, and all stakeholders to bring value (ever increasing value in products/services + impact) to market.  


Thomas Neyhart

PosiGen, PBC

PosiGen has focused on creating partnerships in the communities we serve.  Whether with groups focused on serving low income and/or disadvantaged communities or with government agencies helping to serve these communities or expand access to solar or energy efficiency, it is a path that brings instant credibility in our customer interactions.


Randell Leach

Beneficial State Bank

Partnerships have played a profound role in my impact as a leader, as well as the success and impact of Beneficial State Bank. The relationships we have with our partners allow us to expand the Bank’s access to resources and capital. This expansion helps us serve our stakeholders more deeply and paves the way for our team to support more people who are seeking our offerings.  

We aim to have as much positive impact on our communities and planet as we can — and to do that, we must depend on our coalition of aligned partners to help us identify areas of greatest need, and to design and deliver effective solutions. A few examples of this include accessing grants, navigating requirements for affordable housing policy changes, advocating for CRA and other policy reform, and tapping into innovative technologies that allow us to scale and serve those historically under-supported by traditional solutions. 

Much of our impact comes through our lending. By deploying over 75% of our lending portfolio to mission purposes and highly impactful clients, including nonprofits, B Corps, and affordable housing developers, we help them ignite positive social and environmental change in our communities. Powerful change happens when clients and a bank come together in partnership around shared values. For us, partnerships aren’t just a part of what we do – they are foundational to our impact and success.


Tom Matzzie

CleanChoice Energy

I am deeply passionate about enabling a future for our planet that is free from catastrophic climate change. But, this cannot be achieved alone – the power of partnerships and collaboration among the government, organizations, companies and people everywhere is essential to achieving a sustainable future for our planet and humankind.

I started CleanChoice Energy with the vision of making renewable energy available to everyone, everywhere. Working with federal and state regulators, energy providers and partnering with others in the renewable energy sector has been critical to building our company and providing access to clean energy for a growing number of customers across the nation. Most recently, we announced a mission-aligned capital partner with True Green Capital to finance our vision. I believe that a business can be a lighthouse to show others the way forward and how they can change the world.

Before starting CleanChoice Energy, I developed online communities and pioneered internet and data innovations that are now considered best practices. I’ve created and grown businesses for more than 20 years, from inspiring innovation at Fortune 500 media, technology, and telecom companies as the principal of Gladius Strategy to transforming national politics through my prior work. By identifying and partnering with a variety of people and organizations, I raised more than $250 million to start and expand these businesses and organizations. Simply put, my entire career has been built upon the power of partnerships and relationships.

My greatest hope is that with the success of CleanChoice Energy, others will follow and work together to help make the world safe from catastrophic climate change.


Jeff Yurcisin

Grove Collaborative

At Grove Collaborative, we’re on a mission to transform the consumer products industry into a force for human and environmental good. We know that we can’t change an entire industry on our own, which is why we rely on partners as a collaborative to make progress possible. We create our own products and curate hundreds of third-party brands that meet our strict ingredients and Beyond Plastic sustainability standards but also meet the needs of our customers no matter where they are on their sustainability journey, helping our customers to make progress on their own. Beyond the 200+ third-party brands we sell on our site, other members of our collaborative include our supply chain partners and vendors like Ball Corporation, our brick and mortar retail partners like Target, and the more than 130 brands that are part of Plastic Working Group. Lastly, our sustainability partners, including rePurpose Global, 5 Gyres, The Nature Conservancy, and B Labs, all make our sustainability mission actionable by helping us to make incremental progress as we move the consumer products industry and our customers away from dependence on single-use plastics. We learn from our partners and educate them on our learnings as well, and these partnerships help to ensure that every small action adds up to a big impact that is moving the needle.


Kristin Carroll

Rescue Agency

The Power of Partnerships is such an important part of everything we do. Our mission is to make healthy behaviors easier and more appealing. While we are a marketing agency, our campaigns are designed to help people live healthier lives and we seek to deeply understanding the barriers to better health. We have to create a partnership with each of our audiences so we can actively listen to the values, identities and belief systems that allow them or prevent them from being healthy. While we are a marketing agency, our clients are most often government agencies or health systems where collaboration is a requirement. We have to create a partnership with each of our clients to understand the unique needs of their community and the way work needs to get done. And finally, our work is powered by our smart, creative, and insightful team. Most agencies will say this but this year, we’ve cemented the Power of Partnership with our people by transitioning to 100% employee ownership. Through an ESOP plan, our people are now all “employee owners” which is to say that they are true partners in our business.


Jesse Merrill

Good Culture

I’m a big believer in the power of many and have always been very intentional about building authentic partnerships with all shareholders to ensure a shared passion about our mission. At the end of the day, people are what build successful companies, and you must strive to create strong emotional connections that build trust, as trust ultimately leads to action and progress. From deepening partnerships with our co-mans, to launching our Path to Pasture Program with DFA (Dairy Farmers of America) our commitment to best in class partnerships help drive  success throughout our organization.


Jonathon Storper

Hanson Bridgett LLP

No person stands alone in this world and it has certainly been the case in my career. Partnerships with our clients, our community and our firm attorneys have led to a rewarding and professionally fulfilling career.


Dominic Engels

Revolution Foods, PBC

In terms of partnerships, I see partnerships with our investors and our customers as critical junctions in order to build s self-sustaining and growing business into the future.  We are lucky to have investors that believe in Impact being a central theme and important element of our current and future success.  We are also focus on building deep two-way relationships with our customers.  This relationship is vital to ensure that we are consistently improving our product, quality and service.

In terms of my career, “partnerships” per se is less of a theme.  Perhaps in the broadest sense, as I think about our employees and my senior leadership team at the company.  I will also share that a lot of our opportunity comes from my ability to leverage a career-long network to find distinctive ways to uniquely build Revolution Foods.


John Foraker

Once Upon A Farm, PBC

They’ve played a huge role. At Annies we built a supply chain partnership with Philadelphia Macaroni that became a huge competitive advantage. On the brand/product side we partnered with CROpp Cooperative dba Organic Valley to be the exclusive organic cheese we used plus a co-branded call out on pouch. At OFarm we just launched an A2 dairy product line with Alexandre Farms, the leading ROC dairy in the U.S.  partnerships are the secret weapon that has played a huge part in my success and lots more to come.


Don Wenner

DLP Capital

At DLP Capital, partnerships are critical for everything we do. It starts with our 2,800+ limited partners (whom we call our Faith-Centered Wealth Creators) that provide us the capital we steward. Then we deploy our capital with our sponsor-developer, builder, and operator partners whom we lend capital to and partner with on the building of thriving communities. In addition, we have many other partners, such as our community partners we have built trust with and we refer and endorse each other to each other’s communities of clients.


Jared Meyers

Legacy Vacation Resorts

Our recognition in the MO100 is only possible because of the relationships and partnerships that we’ve created across the B Corp and responsible business community. The compassion and desire to collaborate among these types of companies has provided us with inspiration and best practices that we were able to replicate at Legacy Vacation Resorts, ultimately leading us to become one of the highest scoring B Corps in the travel industry. In the spirit of growing this collaboration and community, we became one of the founders of Florida for Good and B Tourism. Through these networks, we’ve been able to act as a collective force to combat some of the hardest societal challenges, which includes changing our economic system to one that is inclusive, regenerative, equitable, and compassionate. This has led to tangible results like raising the minimum wage, increasing climate action, improving the education of our younger generations, and growing the responsible business community.  We have also encountered many roadblocks along the way, but it has been through these committed collectives that we felt strength, encouragement and a drive to continue forward.


Richard Palmer

Eleeo Brands

Our success at eleeo brands has been fueled by the great partners we have across our business, from our suppliers to our retailers to our employees.  Of particular importance to our success and to my career has been the partnership with our investor.  They helped us launch our previous company and eleeo brands.  They have enabled us to grow eleeo through strategic acquisitions to add to our family of brands.  They are a great partner as there is mutual trust, respect, challenge and encouragement.


Alexandre Renauld


You can always be more robust and have more impact using partners and collaborating vs. standing alone. The company I founded is designed that way as we bring founders under our umbrella to make their sustainable consumer brands thrive. Collectively, we can mutualize so much.


Douglas Bystry

Clearinghouse CDFI

As President and CEO of Clearinghouse CDFI for 28 years, I’ve learned the value of partnerships in growing our business and impacting low-and-moderate income communities. Partnerships have been key in navigating challenges, entering new markets, and driving social change. Through collaboration, we’ve expanded our reach to underserved areas nationwide.

Personally, these partnerships have been invaluable for learning and growth, reinforcing the importance of collective wisdom in leadership. They embody impact-driven business, where every alliance furthers an inclusive, sustainable future.

Each partnership and collaboration is a chance to create positive change, benefiting our company, our partners, and the communities we serve. Our commitment to these relationships remains strong as we continue improving lives in economically distressed areas.


Kevin Chin


We are not passive investors who “hope for the best”, nor are we consultants who engage from the sidelines; our DNA is as entrepreneurial hands-on operators. We are always ready to roll up our sleeves and work alongside founders and leadership teams, often during difficult inflection points to overcome obstacles and develop creative solutions. We typically collaborate closely with entrepreneurs, founders, and leadership teams to provide the support to realize great success.


Eric Donnelly

Crossroads Impact

Crossroads Impact Corp was founded on a mission to break down barriers and offer equitable access to capital in communities that have been disenfranchised, underserved, underbanked and underfunded. But to make this type of impact doesn’t happen alone. It has been through the power of partnerships that we have been able to make loans that equate to real, measurable changes. And it’s only through the role of partnerships that we bring further light, awareness and, hopefully, solutions, to the systemic issues underserved and minority communities face. Throughout my career, partnerships have propelled and inspired the work I do and encourage new thoughts and ideas on how both I and Crossroads can make an impact today and tomorrow.


David Young

Participate Learning

Our business is education. Education is all about partnerships. And therefore the Power of Partnerships has played a pivotal role both in my own career and in Participate Learning’s success. 

Since 1987, the Power of Partnerships has been reflected in the relationships built with teachers, administrators, and district staff. These partnerships have served as the cornerstone of our success and the driving force behind our mission to make a significant impact on students, educators, and the world. Our mission of uniting our world through global learning aligns perfectly with the idea of collaborating to create a better future. In an increasingly global economy, the ability to collaborate, communicate, and cooperate with others from diverse backgrounds is essential. Our partnerships reflect this vision as we work together to foster global competencies, such as critical thinking, creativity, and cross-cultural communication.

The Power of Partnerships also shows up in the intentional partnerships we form and maintain. We are committed to identifying like-minded partners who share our values and goals—those partners who align with our mission. Over the years, we’ve learned that working with fewer schools and districts in more profound ways is impactful and profitable, both for our partners and for us as an organization. 

The partnerships that have been most powerful for our organization are those with partners dedicated to collaboration, conversation, and innovation. These partners have trusted us and been eager to work together to try new things, take risks, and push boundaries. This willingness to innovate has been a game-changer that allows for an iterative process without fear of failure. Building relationships based on such trust and a shared vision has been key in fostering these productive partnerships.

Our partners value the fact that we are fully invested in their success and this commitment has been instrumental in building strong partnerships. We believe in making and delivering on our promises—and this has allowed us to forge long-lasting partnerships driven by a common mission, partnerships where everyone is genuinely invested in each other’s success.

We firmly believe that we only do well when we do good, and our stakeholders’ success is our true measure of achievement. The Power of Partnerships has been and will continue to be instrumental as we strive to deliver positive outcomes for all stakeholders, prepare students for the future, and unite our world through global learning.


Shadi Bakour


As CEO and co-founder of PATH, the power of partnerships has played a pivotal role in our growth. Collaborating with diverse entities, from startups to industry leaders, has expanded our network and brought invaluable perspectives. These alliances empower us to navigate challenges, explore opportunities, and create a positive impact beyond our initial vision. Personally, witnessing the transformative power of collaboration reinforces my belief in collective intelligence and achieving greater heights together. The relationships forged at PATH have opened doors to new possibilities and fostered a sense of invaluable unity in the business landscape. The Power of Partnerships is not just a concept; it’s a guiding principle shaping our approach to success. I eagerly anticipate continuing this collaborative journey, building meaningful connections, and driving positive change.


Travis Holoway

SoLo Funds, Inc.

We have revolutionary task ahead of us –  evolving sub prime lending to a cost efficient solution for borrowers and a return producing investment asset for everyday Americans. Sub-prime lending has widened the wealth gap with its fees while the greater financial system has yet to bring a return producing asset class for average Americans. We have. We are. SoLo Funds.


Dhruv Sood

Fresh Prep

The Power of Partnerships has played a crucial role in shaping both my career and the trajectory of Fresh Prep. Fresh Prep itself was the result of a partnership with my childhood friends, Husein Rahemtulla and Becky Brauer. Our unique skill sets and ideas laid the foundation for the business, and since then, the company has experienced substantial growth, accelerated by strategic partnerships.

Tackling challenges in the food industry, particularly in packaging and food waste, has highlighted the essential role of collaboration. Thanks to our just-in-time ordering model, we already minimize food waste significantly. Yet, our partnerships with local businesses, such as Vancouver Food Runners and Leftovers Foundation, ensure that any surplus is donated, guaranteeing that almost no food ultimately goes to waste.

Collaborative problem-solving also proved pivotal in the development of our patented Zero Waste Kit, a reusable container that holds meal kit ingredients, significantly reducing single-use plastic.

Having witnessed the Power of Partnerships in overcoming challenges and sparking innovation, I see it as the way forward, especially in the current global landscape where action for a more sustainable future is imperative. At Fresh Prep, we’re constantly striving to find better ways for our customers and the planet. This commitment drives innovation across every facet of our business, and we’ll continue leveraging the Power of Partnerships to achieve this ongoing goal.


Serenity Carr

Serenity Kids

The power of partnerships within a company extends far beyond the confines of its walls; it resonates deeply within the core of its existence. For me, the most profound partnership I am a part of is with Joe, my husband. Our journey as partners in life seamlessly intertwines with our roles as co-founders and business collaborators, filling every endeavor with shared purpose and commitment. Yet, our success doesn’t stand alone; it flourishes through the collaborative relationships with our investors, the support of family and friends, the dedication of our team, and the embrace of our community. Each partnership, unique in its contribution, fuels our growth, both personally and professionally. Moreover, the wisdom and camaraderie of fellow entrepreneurs, notably Taylor and Katie of EPIC Bar and Matt and Lizzi of Birch Benders, illuminate our path forward. Their shared experiences serve as beacons of guidance, steering us clear of pitfalls while fostering a sense of solidarity amidst the entrepreneurial journey. In this web of partnerships, lies the core of our resilience, innovation, and collective achievement.


Derrick Emsley


We started tentree just over a decade ago now. Through tentree, we’ve partnered with thousands of the top retailers across North America and Europe that have allowed us to sell >10MM units and, as a result, plant >100MM trees. About 5 years ago though, we realized that we weren’t confident in the level of transparency and efficacy of our planting efforts. For that reason, we built a technology solution – veritree – to allow us to audit, verify, monitor, and report on our global reforestation work. While, we often considered tree planting one of our competitive differentiators, we felt it was more important for all businesses that were investing in nature to know that their investments were truly driving impact. For that reason, today veritree partners with ~200 businesses all across the globe to help them plant trees in a transparent, verifiable way. Our goal is to create a restorative business movement and now, by partnering with hundreds, and ultimately thousands of other companies, our impact will grow exponentially.


Kevin Trapani

The Redwoods Group

No one accomplishes anything that matters and lasts alone. Our work to create communities that are safe for all depends entirely on the power of partnerships with our customers. Our data on injury causation dynamics allows us to guide youth-serving organizations to change how they operate in such a way as to make kids in their programs safe. That behavior change model has saved hundreds of lives and thousands of injuries and has change the way organizations guard pools and protect kids from sexual abuse.


Peter Handy

Bristol Seafood LLC

Partnerships are the very bedrock of how we work to deliver responsible seafood to consumers.


Sam Mogannam

Bi-Rite Family of Businesses

I feel like my entire life has been about collaboration, from when I was a child to today’s ongoing evolution of the Bi-Rite Family of Businesses, partnering with passionate, vision-aligned partners has been instrumental in how my personal and professional life has been shaped.

When I worked at Bi-Rite as a kid, my father would tell me I was his business partner. He’d encourage me to share my ideas, he’d listen, and then he’d implement them. Like when I wanted to partner with one of our distributors to feature Beringer White Zinfandel (never mind that I was still too young to taste the wine). My dad let me run with it, from negotiations to display, and Bi-Rite quickly became the brand’s top San Francisco retailer. When the Beringer owners came to see what our little store was doing so differently, my father introduced me and said I was responsible for the campaign. That experience had a profound impact on how I’ve approached partnerships throughout my life. I learned how to listen, how to trust, and how to work together to nurture the seed of an idea into something amazing. Today, I believe every stakeholder in Bi-Rite’s ecosystem, our guests, suppliers, staff, and our greater community, is inextricably linked and it’s our job is to ensure everyone’s needs are met in balance with one another. It’s how we pursue our mission of Creating Community Through Food. We couldn’t do what we do without all our partners.


Ben Abram

Modern Energy

Modern Energy is fundamentally a partnership — initially between Mark Laabs and Ben Abram, later with a small group of investors and a core team of dedicated and driven employees, and now between the Modern Energy Group and the leadership teams of five renewable energy companies with whom we are proud to partner.  Central to our values is an unwavering commitment to partnership, a fundamental principle that propels our collective progress.


Stewart Stanley

Earth Animal

…I often, without thinking, label myself as an ‘inside out CEO’…for better and for worse, preferring to spend time internally with my team working with them to create work we are truly proud of, rather than spending time externally PR-ing and amplifying what we are doing. ( I under-index in this second part of running an organization and the companies I have run have needed to invest in people with that skill alongside me to balance things out

A brief look at my resume would reveal that the word ‘partner’ is indelibly scrawled across my career.

I started and ran a marketing agency for almost 2 decades whose initial client promise was ‘partner marketing,’ bringing brands together to create better outcomes than they could hope to achieve by themselves. This agency also created a partner structure that meant that we had 60 owner-managers across our 1000 personnel. 

Running Earth Animal is my second career and I have tried to embed beliefs about the power of ‘we’ into the fabric of how the company runs. As a result, we’ve achieved all sorts of progress through collaboration, with our retailer ‘partners’ to deliver solutions to families with animals and with manufacturer partners in our ambition to behave as a seamless vertically integrated entity. 

We have also been very progressive with our broader industry collaborations…with the likes of the Pet Sustainability Coalition, IndiePet and West Paw all deserving a special mention. And then there’s also our nascent ‘partnership’ within the B Corp Certification™ movement. 

Like most things in life, there are many folks before me who have pondered similar questions and come up with brilliant answers. Below are my 2 favorites…and although I have stayed away from AI on this, I must confess I did get a little help from Google.

“Contract law is essentially a defensive scorched-earth battleground where the constant question is, If my business partner was possessed by a brain-eating monster from beyond spacetime tomorrow, what’s the worst thing they could do to me?” – Charles Stross, writer

Comedy aside, I have over the years often found my self as a leader in negotiations required to derisk the company’s position through codifying each partner’s relative position through ‘contracting’…don’t get me wrong, contracts are often very valuable in describing the key characteristics of a business relationship, but I do get very frustrated, very quickly once we get past the point of diminishing returns and I often can be heard responding to a legal deal point with the position of ‘if the partnership gets to this stage we will have a very different problem!’ 

This is because fundamentally I believe that as leaders we are, if nothing else, in the relationships business and therefore the development and nurturing of high integrity, high performance difference making partnerships is at the core of what we sign up to when take on the role of CEO.

In essence, I believe that “Partnership” is…

“…not a legal contract between two equal individuals. It’s an emotional alliance between two people who are committed to each other’s success.” 

Thanks for that one Warren Buffet!


Andrew Burke

Lotus Foods

Partnerships – have played a huge role in my career.  In terms of company, we view ourselves as the indispensable partner of the smallholder rice farmer.  We are humbled and fortunate to work with these folks who do so much to put food on the table and help make our world a better place.


Ken LaRoe

Climate First Bank

The Power of Partnerships has been instrumental in shaping both my career and the success of our company, particularly in the context of the MO Summit. Collaborating with strategic partners has allowed us to leverage complementary strengths, share resources, and tap into diverse expertise.

In my career, forming partnerships has opened doors to new opportunities and accelerated professional growth. By collaborating with individuals and organizations that bring unique perspectives and skills to the table, I’ve been able to tackle challenges more effectively and drive innovation. The MO Summit, in particular, has been a key platform for forging such partnerships. It has provided a space for networking, fostering meaningful connections, and establishing collaborations that extend beyond the event itself.

For our company, the Power of Partnerships has been a cornerstone of our growth strategy. Through alliances with like-minded businesses, we’ve expanded our reach, accessed new markets, and enhanced the value we deliver to our clients. The MO Summit has served as a catalyst for initiating discussions, exploring synergies, and solidifying partnerships that have proven pivotal in achieving our organizational goals.

In essence, the Power of Partnerships is not just a business strategy; it’s a philosophy that permeates both my professional journey and our company’s trajectory. The MO Summit, with its emphasis on collaboration and relationship-building, has been a linchpin in reinforcing the importance of partnerships, demonstrating that together, we can achieve more than the sum of our individual efforts.


Eric Lockwood

02C Brands

The sharing of ideas among varied business leaders  – not simply like-minded business leaders – makes me a much more knowledgeable executive and challenges me to avoid basic, conventional thinking.  It helps to shape how our business thinks about our products, processes, and people.


Andy Hunter

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I think it also takes a village to raise up a company. From mentors, investors, employees, and customers, you won’t get anywhere without other people’s help. As we’ve grown as a company, finding like-minded peers and organizations with similar, compatible missions and values has been critical for spreading the word and expanding our horizons.


Jay Wilkinson


Firespring strongly believes in in the Power of Partnerships and their significant role in both our careers and our company as a whole. Here’s how we see it:

1. Alignment with Our Core Values: For us at Firespring, partnerships are a reflection of our core values. We prioritize collaborations with organizations that share our commitment to sustainability, social responsibility, and community engagement. This alignment ensures that our partnerships contribute positively to society and the environment, mirroring our core ethos as a B Corp.

2. Mutual Growth and Learning: We’ve found that partnerships have been instrumental in facilitating mutual growth and learning. In our journey as a B Corp, where profit is balanced with impact, we’ve seen how combining strengths and learning from others leads to innovation and progress that we might not achieve independently.

3. Expanding Our Impact: Through strategic partnerships, we’ve been able to significantly amplify our impact. Whether it’s working with non-profits, collaborating on joint ventures, or partnering with other businesses, these collaborations enable us to tackle larger societal issues in line with our mission.

4. Employee Development: At Firespring, we also recognize the role of partnerships in employee development. Engaging our team in cross-company projects and initiatives has not only contributed to their personal career growth but has also advanced our company’s goals and objectives.

5. Community and Network Building: Our partnerships have been pivotal in strengthening our community ties and expanding our network. This has been essential not only for our business operations but also in creating a broader ecosystem of change-makers and innovators.

6. Driving Innovation and Adaptability: We’ve seen firsthand how partnerships have spurred innovation and helped us stay adaptable. By incorporating new perspectives, technologies, and methodologies through our collaborations, we remain at the forefront of our industry.

7. Sustaining Long-Term Success: Lastly, we view our partnerships as key to our sustainability and long-term success. These collaborations enhance our sustainable practices and contribute to our ongoing mission to not just be a successful business, but a force for positive change.

In essence, at Firespring, partnerships are not merely a business strategy; they are integral to who we are, helping us to fulfill our mission and uphold our values as a Certified B Corporation.


David Simnick


Partnerships have defined our success. Soapbox works hand in hand with over 60 different retail partners across the US, Canada, and Mexico to build this mission-driven brand and give customers access to clean, thoughtfully crafted products that make a difference with each purchase.


Sergio Radovcic


In my career, working closely with like-minded professionals and organizations has allowed me to access diverse perspectives, innovative ideas, and a broader network, resulting in accelerated learning and growth that would have been challenging to attain independently.

Strategic partnerships have also played a crucial role in product development, market expansion, and the delivery of high-quality diapering solutions to DYPER customers. I can confidently say that we have a more resilient and adaptable business model as a result of our strong partnerships with suppliers and other industry players.


Gordon Seabury


We pride ourselves in being great partners and have enjoyed so many valuable connections over our nearly 30-year history.

To list a few of our most important:

1) Planet Access & Serach, Inc. have been deeply meaningful partners in our joint social venture since 1997. They are a not-for-profit that serves a diverse population of low-income people with developmental disabilities through beautiful 24/7 care group homes, day services and continuing education, vocational training, an arts program and a vacation program we co-founded called Search for Adventure. That program alone has taken over 200 trips to 43 destinations touching over 500 individuals. Their vocational training programs include a  T&Co partner retail store in Chicago and ran a warehouse operation that has shipped the vast majority of our products over 20+ years. We are now jointly focused on transitioning our social venture partnership to a social equity partnership with the support of Common Trust and the plan to shift ownership to a Perpetual Purpose Trust.

2) We have been committed to long-term relationships with our factory partners. From a +20-year farm to finished goods vertical operation in Turkey that provides 100% of our organic cotton knits to an organic cotton woven textile partner providing all of our shirting from India for over 18 years, over 75% of our goods are with relationships of more than a decade.

3) We have been early innovators and beta partners for a host of sustainable solutions over the years including Limeloop reusable packaging, to Vela bags, recycled replacement for polybags.

4) We are long time members and supports of 1% for the Planet, Conservation Alliance, Adventure Travel Conservation Fund, Bren School @ UCSB, Santa Barbara Film Festival, Telluride Mountain Film and countless other non-for-profits over our history.

5) In 2023, we partnered with Archive to launch ToadAgain, a comprehensive resale platform, marketplace and owned processing center in Maine to ensure 100% of the pre-loved product we receive back from customers stays out of the landfill.


Chad Farrell

Encore Renewable Energy

Simply stated, the Power of Partnerships is everything to me and my company, Encore Renewable Energy. Following early mentorship by pioneers in socially responsible business and understanding the value of centering people and planet alongside profit, we have worked to separate ourselves from other solar development platforms by positioning ourselves as trusted partners for our customers, financing partners, subcontractors, etc. Simply stated, deals don’t get done and projects don’t get built without a strong focus on partnership across all parties involved in the deal and/or the projects.


Emmanuel Smadja

MPOWER Financing, Public Benefit Corporation

Partnership has been a core value at MPOWER Financing from the beginning. The organization was founded in 2014 by Manu Smadja and Mike Davis, two former international students whose collaboration grew out of a shared dream: to remove the financial obstacles students often face when pursuing an international education.

MPOWER has always prided itself on forming strong partnerships with like minded organizations. Thanks to a partnership with the Bank of Lake Mills, a Wisconsin-based bank, MPOWER is able to remove the financial obstacles that international students often face when pursuing education in the U.S. and democratize access to higher education.

The power of partnerships at MPOWER has led it to forge relationships with leaders in global credit reporting, servicing, payments and recovery. MPOWER has partnered with more than 400 universities in the U.S. and Canada and education and test-prep firms in dozens of countries around the world, including with Educational Testing Service, the creator of the GRE Exam, to increase the number of GRE Test takers by offering reimbursement of the test fees.

MPOWER’s belief in partnerships led it to create the Global Citizens Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit scholarship fund designed to support refugee, DACA, and international students more broadly, seeking educational opportunities in the U.S. and Canada. MPOWER Financing’s strategic approach to partnership has helped propel its social impact mission and business growth and ensured that more of the world’s best and brightest gain access to a great education.


Nicholas Bearelle


The ecological and societal challenges we have to deal with are too big to be tackled alone or as a single company.

Smaller organization often have the best solutions, but in many cases miss the power to be able to scale or leverage these.

In that way, innovation in or acceleration of impact driven business solutions is often limited, and opportunities missed to address the bigger picture.

Partnership of all kind allowed us to join forces and obtain the vital united forces to implement faster and stronger our strategies.

Whether it are financial, technological or operational joint ventures, these partnerships and alliances helped us in our growth and realization of our game changing projects.

And where we can, we also look for likeminded parties, where the B Corp label is a good reference and guarantee we aim for the common purpose driven result of using business as a force for good.


Leslie Silverglide


Partnerships are essential in everything we do. Our team members are partners, our suppliers are partners, and our guests are partners. Everyone plays a role in making our company successful.


Dan Green


As a Certified B Corp and Public Benefit Corporation, Helpsy exists to make it easy to reuse and recycle clothes and shoes to tackle the statistic that 85% of clothes end up in the trash. Helpsy is dedicated to keeping clothes out of the trash while simultaneously creating honorable work for all its employees.  Collecting 100,000 lbs of clothes per day would not be possible without the cooperation and partnership of the 1,500 communities, businesses, and nonprofits with which we work.  Additionally, we rely on the partnership, dedication and collaboration of Helpsy employees, which is one of the reasons that all employees are shareholders of the company. Like-minded organizations have opened doors for Helpsy to valuable collaborations with municipalities, second hand merchants, and fashion brands. Through strong alliances, we’ve kept clothes in circulation and navigated the complex landscape of used clothing. The social, economic, and environmental challenges and opportunities in clothing reuse are far bigger than Helpsy will ever tackle alone, so we work with customers, investors, communities, and even competitors to prove every day that #clothesarenttrash

More broadly, the textile waste problem is both growing and complex and requires the participation and collaboration of many stakeholders from consumers, municipalities, waste haulers, brands, retailers, non profits, thrift stores, online resellers, recyclers, as well as scientists and technology experts at the forefront of innovation.  Helpsy flourishes on bringing together various stakeholders and bringing a level of transparency and parntership that is rare in this industry.  In 2023, we opened the doors to over 300 guests for warehouse tours, open houses and industry panel events.


Anne Weaver

Elephants Delicatessen

Our local business community partners have been a crucial part of Elephants success over the past four decades. Collaborating with suppliers ensures fresh, high-quality ingredients. The relationships are important, too—supporting and problem-solving with each other. Forming partnerships with neighboring businesses builds a stronger sense of community and leads to a collective impact that goes beyond all of our individual efforts.


Eric Korman


Nothing is more important than partners – whether that’s for one’s own career – or for a company.

For me personally, I’ve benefitted enormously from partnering with numerous smart, capable individuals who I’ve learned a tremendous amount from over time. The personal partnership that would stick out the most is with our company’s COO, Shawn Freeman. Shawn and I have know each other for almost twenty years, and we’ve worked together now at three different companies over the span of over ten years. Our relationship is truly that of partnership in the very deep essence of the word. We trust each other intimately and know each other’s capabilities well, which enables us to be significantly more successfully together than we would apart. And we always have the benefit of each other’s intellectually honest counsel on material or meaningful decisions. Above all, we enjoy working together, which sets a positive cultural tone across our organization.

In terms of our company, we are a client services business, so by definition we are only successful if our brand partners (clients) are successful. We truly take this to heart, always striving to ensure that  we are thinking through each interaction through a lens of partnership. We’ve been able to grow consistently over the past several years because of this dedication to partnership and constant focus on the long-term health of those partnerships – not simply our short term quarterly results.


Jeffrey MIlls

Genuine Foods

Partnerships have played a key role in helping to elevate me personally, and my ability to make an impact through Genuine Foods and beyond. When I first transitioned from a career in high-end restaurants to serving as the Director of Food Services at DC Public Schools, I recognized that one of the best ways to introduce new foods to children is by connecting food to culture. Through the District’s Embassy Adoption Program, we met representatives from the Nordic Embassies. At that time, they were looking to advance the concept of new Nordic cuisine before everyone became familiar with what was happening at places like noma. Working together, we created Nordic-inspired menus that featured high-quality donated ingredients, including Norweigan salmon, that were served to 44,000 students, the majority of whom were low-income. Our efforts were so far-reaching, the Prince of Sweden decided to visit one of our schools.

At Genuine Foods, we’ve pursued partnerships big and small to make a difference. During the pandemic, we worked hand-in-hand with the Partnership for a Healthier America, a national nonprofit founded by Former First Lady Michelle Obama, and  Higher Ground Productions on the Pass the Love campaign for Netflix’s Waffles & Mochi. Through the campaign, we developed and distributed healthy, simple, and delicious meal kits that ultimately provided more than 1 million meals to families in need across the country. The meal kits were more than just charity, they helped families to introduce more healthy, plant-forward cooking into their routines while providing simple steps to involve children in the cooking process.


Andrew Raphaely

365 Business Finance

It’s been at the core of the success of the company – from our partnerships with major suppliers and businesses in the Fintech sector, as well as internally with our outstanding team.


Erin Mittelstaedt

The FruitGuys

Strong partnerships have been an important part of The FruitGuys, fueling our growth and driving our mission. Our long-standing B2B partnerships empower us to reach new clients through their sales teams, expanding our network and market reach. These collaborations present opportunities we might not have had access to on our own.

Partnering with mission-driven organizations and individuals has allowed us to increase our impact in the world. Our hunger relief partners help us feed those in need in cities across the US, we could not do that on our own. The people and organizations that support The FruitGuys Community Fund help us give more grants to US farms each year.  

Both personally and professionally, my business partners and I have learned tremendously from leadership groups like One Step Closer and Tugboat. The wisdom and support of fellow leaders have been instrumental in shaping who we are today.

Finally our work wouldn’t be possible without the partnerships of our farms, snack suppliers, and distributors. Many of these collaborations span over a decade. Our work together has helped all of our businesses thrive.


Natalie Hartkopf

Hightower Group LLC

Hightower is dependent on respectful and mutually beneficial Partnerships. In particular, 2 come to mind. We are the exclusive distributor for a few European furniture brands that rely on our manufacturing capabilities and market knowledge to grow their brands within North America. Many of these trusted partnerships are 5-10 years long.  We are also in Partnership with independent Rep Groups around the country who represent our brand in their local markets — our business would not be where it is without them!  Several have represented us for 10 years! All of our partnerships require ethics, transparency, communication and mutual respect.


Neela Hummel

Abacus Wealth Partners

In our careers and in leading Abacus Wealth Partners, the power of partnership has played a pivotal role. In 2022, we embarked on a journey to co-lead Abacus as CEOs amidst the challenges of a pandemic, an exhausted workforce, and a slowing global economy.

For us, good leadership is not about being fixated on the power of the position; instead, it revolves around a sense of responsibility, a deep love for our company, and making tough decisions without needing personal credit. We live by our company value to expand what’s possible, and to do that alone is an impossible feat. Partnership is integral to what we do as co-CEOs, leaders in the finance industry, and community members. Leadership is about countless small decisions and actions that accumulate into tangible results, all for the benefit of everyone involved. Our focus is on making a meaningful difference through not only our partnership, but through partnering with our innovative colleagues and changemakers in the industry.

Our partnership is built on trust, and our vision for the company focuses on sustainable growth, client and employee-centered approaches, enhanced communication, and transparency. Most importantly, we find joy and fulfillment in working together and with others – it’s not just about the work; it’s about enjoying the journey as a team.


Gideon Bright


Partnerships are an integral part of the business as they form an ecosystem of relationships that deliver a positive impact and enhance our brand equity. Partnerships enable the brand to work across a variety of entities from brands to organisations and charities to events in a collaborative and free-flowing way. Through partnerships, we gain valuable insight, new audiences and grow our communities and customer base, whilst also enabling our products to be used on scale across the sectors that we’ve designed our products for, such as cold water communities and shoreline activities. Our community resonates with the partnerships we establish and shows them that we share in their passions, they also elevate our brand and provide another point of difference to our competitors. Through the investment and creation of long-term partnerships, we build a stronger foundation and a wider network to enable us to grow globally.


Aaron Zeper

DMD Systems Recovery, LLC

Our company relies heavily on partnerships to extend and deliver a consistent service globally for our customers. We could never do it ourselves. Ensuring value alignment first makes the joint working conditions so much easier. Much of our growth and success is due to our partnerships.

For myself, finding and forging partnerships has created lifelong friendships and business relationships that have travelled with me. When I step into a new role or a new company making progress is so much easier due to these trusted partnerships that are easily integrated, allowing me to focus on the most important items.


Lee Wallace

Peace Coffee

I firmly believe that the key to running a scalable mission based company is build the business with the philosophy that all your stakeholders should feel they work in partnership with you. We import our coffee as part of a cooperative that is a pre competitive collaboration among 24 mission based brands. Our impact model is based on long terms partnership with coffee cooperatives – last year, over 90% of the coffee we purchased was from cooperatives we’ve been working with for more than five years. Personally, I’ve spent 17 years in the coffee industry and owe much of my success to the retailers, restaurant owners, foodservice distributors etc. that have dedicated their time and energy to partnering with us to bring our coffee to consumers.


Eric Friedenwald-Fishman

Metropolitan Group

Our company has been built on the power of partnerships. Our deep and long-lasting partnerships with our clients and the movements they serve at the intersections of health, environment, and social justice have provided the opportunity to develop, test, refine and share innovative social change models and approaches. This set of partnerships dedicated to impact and learning result field testing and improving approaches to changing social norms, policies, practices, narratives and institutional cultures that are only possible through collaboration and collective action.


David VanHimbergen

Reel Paper

As an emerging brand trying to disrupt an industry, partnerships are crucial to achieving our mission.  We operate as a lean team (only 8 full-time employees) so we rely on partners for everything from manufacturing, logistics, marketing, and merchandising.  Building relationships which are grounded in trust is the only way we will be successful.  For example, Target has been one of our most critical partners in helping to get our products to consumers and maximize our impact.  From day 1 they’ve been supportive and great partners to ensure brilliant execution to get our products in front of their guests.  We’re thrilled that this partnership is expanding further in April when all Target stores will carry Reel products.


Charles Brill


RBW was founded on the belief that light can make a positive impact on our daily lives. As our company continues to grow, we strive to make a positive impact on all of our stakeholders (Partnerships), including our customers, our employees, and our planet, too. In 2019, we achieved a major milestone on our journey by becoming a certified B Corporation, a new kind of company that balances profit with purpose. As a B Corporation, we’re held to rigorous standards of ecological and social accountability, lighting the path to achieving our own long-term goals. Through the integrity of our business, we work to empower our communities and strengthen the health of the environment, preserving our planet for generations to come.

About RBW

Light is a powerful thing. At RBW, we believe in the power of light to create atmosphere—to enliven the little things, like our morning routines, or the moments we spend with friends. We believe that light helps shape our well-being and improves everyday life: Light can fill a room with a sense of optimism. It can energize and motivate. And at the end of the day, it can also help us relax and unwind.

As an award-winning, independent design and manufacturing company headquartered in Kingston, New York, RBW is a brand for architects and designers looking for a higher quality of light. By listening closely to the needs of our customers, RBW’s forward-thinking, technology-driven approach invents lighting solutions that are out of the ordinary—products that take on unprecedented shapes, or make subtle upgrades on familiar forms. Each of our collections embodies a distinct personality while upholding the hallmarks of RBW’s family DNA: Intuitive ease and simplicity. Integrity of craft and material. High-quality lighting with a playful point of view. Meticulously engineered for a broad range of applications, RBW lighting has been installed all over the world, from the renowned Noma restaurant in Copenhagen to Fortune 500 company offices across the United States. Thoroughly invested in our customers’ success, we also pride ourselves on providing excellent service. We deliver quickly and reliably, while our product


Eric Edwards

Phlow Corporation

Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to have built extraordinary relationships with first and foremost, individuals, and secondly numerous impact-driven organizations. This has enabled me and our Company to cast a big Vision and follow through tackling major problems facing our Nation. For example, at Phlow, we were able to secure one of the largest United States Government Contracts in U.S. History to secure our Nation’s critical essential medicine supply chain. This would not have been remotely possible without the Power of Partnerships with leading organizations, academic institutions and world-class health systems and hospitals. We co-founded the largest coalition of Children’s Hospitals in the United States dedicated to solving for drug shortages demonstrating the Power of Partnerships ( and have begun to re-shore critical essential medicine ingredients through Partnerships with like-minded pharmaceutical development and manufacturing organizations. We also founded the Alliance for Building Better Medicines – an alliance, an accelerator, a campus, and a movement that has made the Richmond-Petersburg region in Central Virginia a globally competitive ecosystem for manufacturing critically important medicines within the United States (


Sebastian DiGrande

PCX Markets

The Power of Partnerships has been pivotal in both my career and our company’s success. Our entire business model and mission are centered around fostering collaborations within an ecosystem of partners. We bring together entities actively engaged in the crucial task of cleaning up plastic waste with those possessing the necessary resources, mission alignment, and incentives to fund these activities. The strength of our partnerships lies in the commitment to transparency, trust, and cost-effectiveness, which forms the bedrock of our approach to addressing the plastic waste crisis.

In my career and within our organization, the strategic alliances we have formed across the entire value chain associated with tackling the plastic waste crisis have proven to be instrumental. These partnerships not only amplify our collective impact but also enhance the efficiency of our operations. By working collaboratively, we leverage the strengths of each partner, creating a synergy that contributes to the overall success of our endeavors. The Power of Partnerships is not just a core aspect of our business strategy; it is the driving force that propels our shared commitment towards a sustainable and impactful solution to the global plastic waste challenge.


Zachary Berke


Building community of like minded folks has been the foundation for every opportunity to create impact I’ve had in my career. Because I know the value of community, and because community brings new energy, ideas, and super-powers, building community is something I focus on every day.