SVN Atlanta Convenes Socially-Responsible Business Community
Bella Cucina founder Alisa Barry inspired by SVN spring conference to host local event
Monday June 25, 2012 -- Camille Jensen
A recent gathering in Atlanta, Georgia convened people interested in socially-responsible business for an evening of food, conversation and community.
The first-ever local Atlanta gathering was hosted by Social Venture Network (SVN) member Alisa Barry, who is the owner of Bella Cucina, an Italian-inspired artisan food company that produces award-winning products that have received kudos from Oprah Winfrey.
More than 30 participants attended, including SVN and B-Corp members ranging from organizations like Hub Atlanta, a co-working space that encourages social innovation, to Better World Books, a social enterprise and online book distribution company that funds literacy initiatives worldwide.
According to Barry, the best part of the night was the participants arriving on time and staying late, to get to know one another on personal and professional levels.
“Everybody was totally engaged. It didn’t feel like a networking experience, it just felt like people were having really, interesting, engaging conversations,” says Barry.
The long-time local food proponent, who recently dedicated a portion of her company’s factory to create a community food center, says she felt called to host the event after joining SVN and attending its spring conference in Washington earlier this year. It was there, after being in business for nearly 20 years, she found her tribe — a group of socially- and enterprise-minded people pursuing what they love.
“It was a life changer for me. I was totally blown away by the experience and it impacted me greatly,” she tells Sustainable Solutions, adding the ability to have heartfelt discussions with other like-minded socially responsible business owners is a rare gift.
“A good support system is essential to the well-being and sustainability of both the leaders and the company. I felt like I was with a group of people who felt that same way.”
Upon her return to Atlanta, Barry wanted others to experience that same sense of community. It was also her way of giving back to SVN. She says she hopes the first-ever SVN local gathering will continue to meet on a regular basis.
SVN local gatherings are regional events throughout the year where members can build valuable relationships with other accomplished socially-responsible business leaders. The next local gathering takes place tonight in Chicago. To learn more, click here.
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