ESG has become the buzzword (or acronym) of the day, especially in the public company world and investment community. But what about privately owned companies?
ESG and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) are alive and well in privately owned companies, but probably with a lot more variability, depending on the business model and the values of the owners. Our panel will provide a range of real life examples of how private companies think about and act on these issues.
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Jim Slama is a solutions-driven CEO of FamilyFarmed, a 501 c-3 non-profit social enterprise. He has a proven track record of identifying opportunities to support the development of the natural products industry and the public good. He does this by creating innovative platforms to support entrepreneurs and the Good Food Movement including: Naturally Chicago: Co-founded this network with CEO’s of KeHE, SPINS, and Presence Marketing to help make Chicago a epicenter of the natural products industry and to support emerging entrepreneurs. It has strong membership, great history of events and a 32-member best in class board of directors. Good Food Accelerator: Created America’s first food focused accelerator to support early stage entrepreneurs in partnership with Whole Foods Market. It was Launched it publicly with Whole Foods co-CEO, Walter Robb and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on stage. Six years later, the Accelerator has 42 graduates, 37 that are still in business, with most thriving.
Baumhart Center, Loyola University
Seth Green is the founding director of the Baumhart Center, an interdisciplinary center at Loyola University Chicago that equips leaders and students with the business tools to accelerate social impact. The Center is home to a highly selective MBA called Baumhart Scholars that prepares working professionals to marry profit and purpose in their careers. Seth is also an executive lecturer in the Management Department of Loyola’s Quinlan School of Business, where he teaches courses on nonprofit leadership, social entrepreneurship, and corporate social responsibility.
Seth joined Loyola after leading three social ventures at the forefront of fighting poverty and after years of serving as a McKinsey & Co. consultant. Most recently, he served as executive director of Youth & Opportunity United (Y.O.U.), a Chicagoland nonprofit that prepares low-income youth for post-secondary and life success.
Seth has a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, master’s degrees from the London School of Economics and Oxford University on a Marshall Scholarship, and a law degree from Yale University.
Director Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility
Laura McCord has over 18 years of food retail experience with experience as a grocer, and account manager, with the majority of her time spent in category management. After obtaining her Master’s degree in Sustainable Management she transitioned to a newly created position at KeHE, Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, that focuses on environmental stewardship, employee engagement and community involvement. Laura is also the co-founder of CAREtrade, which focuses on suppliers that share KeHE’s mission to serve to make lives better and DIVERSEtrade, which focuses on certified Women and Minority suppliers at KeHE.
Willis Towers Watson
Don Delves is Executive Compensation practice leader for North America for Willis Towers Watson. In this role, he drives growth across the region’s Executive Compensation line of business by, in part, steering the development of intellectual capital and sponsoring marketing, sales and research initiatives. Delves joined the company’s Executive Compensation practice in 1986. He then founded The Delves Group, a Chicago-based consultancy dedicated to working with corporate boards and compensation committees to improve effectiveness and organization. Delves returned to Willis Towers Watson in 2013. He holds a doctorate in education and principles-based corporate governance from Fielding Graduate University, an M.B.A. in finance from the University of Chicago and a B.A., summa cum laude, in economics from DePauw University.