We attended BLD PNW for the first time this year! It was magnificent to see the turnout for the sold-out conference and quite an honor for Feynman Group to sponsor an event with such fervent drive behind it. The B Corporation Leadership Development Pacific Northwest Conference is the largest B Corp centered event in the Pacific Northwest. In its third year, the conference is organized by B Local PDX, a community of Certified B Corporations from Oregon and SW Washington that ‘help business people act on their purpose to achieve socio-economic and environmental impact through meaningful relationships’.
After lunch, attendees broke out into smaller sessions that offered an intimate and interactive experience on specific topics allowing individuals to ask questions and a platform for speakers to go more in-depth. The guest speakers shared a common passion for inclusion, diversity, and sustainability. They encouraged companies to think outside the box, challenge the mold that society often promotes, to strive for the success of their communities and planet, and to bring new innovative ideas to the table. Businesses should use their platform and resources as a force for good. The people and businesses we choose to contribute to grants us the ability to define our world. Who do we want to represent? As a company, we can make a louder impact by coming together and offering the resources we have that others may need. There is strength in collaboratively working with other companies who share a similar vision and building relationships with people who are driven by the same desire to see an improvement in society. This is exactly what the BLD PNW 2019 conference offered us as B Corp companies, to build a B Ecosystem of one.
This was an inspiring event that brought together some of Oregon’s best creative business disruptors. An event that challenged the complacency or ignorance that businesses must not fall prey to at this dire turning point in human history. One of our employees who attended the event, Javier Martinez, was inspired by the accomplishments of the Sustainable Restaurant Group. During the presentation questions like, “How can a community member like myself inspire restaurant groups to lead with sustainability and their employees?” began to arise. It assured that the small things that we do are actually the big things. To start small, be persistent, and most importantly be unique, and then one day we will be able to look back and recognize how far we have come. As Cara Meyer said it best, “we are organizations in the universe of infinite potential”.
Reflecting on what they learned, our employees shared their greatest takeaways from BLD PNW:
“The ‘Rewilding at Work’ by Cara Meyer breakout session stood out to me the most because it emphasized the importance of individualization. Highlighting that each person is different and the importance of showing that creativity through the company. This Breakout Session made me think outside the box, to challenge the old way we participate in our organization.”
“I walked away musing on the power of partnerships. With authenticity and aligned values, companies such as Feynman Group, can partner with other B Corps to elevate our transformational power. This increases the velocity and strength for positive impact in our community and, most critically, for the environment. B Local PDX has created a platform to form connections and build partnerships with local companies who are committed to using their business and power as a force for good. BLD PNW had a terrific line up of speakers. I found Jenelle Isaacson to be particularly edifying. She’s a real dynamo; the way that she thinks and recognizes opportunities that challenge social norms. I really admire her.”
The conference concluded with a reception catered by Elephants Delicatessen that segued into the first annual B Corp Block Party, a public event that invited the community to celebrate and learn more about the local B Corp community with live music and local vendors. BLD PNW 2019 held true to their theme of ‘Building the B Ecosystem’ and achieved their goal of connecting ‘local, socially responsible businesses supporting our communities to build a more sustainable and just world’. It was motivating and encouraging to see and feel the energy of this diverse group of PNW businesses come together in unity for the same cause. Thank you B Local PDX and everyone involved for making this momentous conference happen.
As a company, we feel it is important to invest in our employees. Everyone has a story, a past, all leading them to where they are now. Every person, every story, has the same value and deserves to be heard. That said, Feynman Group has started a new interview series called ‘What’s Your Story’, giving our employees a platform to share their life, perspectives, and fundamentally, their story. We thought it appropriate to kick off the series by interviewing our Community Outreach Ambassador, Javier Martinez. We hope you enjoy getting to know the people who represent Feynman Group and constitute our company culture.
Welcome to ‘What’s Your Story’.
Questions for Javier:
Being someone who comes from a multi-cultural background, how do you feel like that has provided you with a positive advantage in the workplace?
What’s a quality you convey that is unique to you?
What intrigued or interested you about the business world that brought you to pursue it?
Other than your job, what are other factors that contribute to your identity?
What are some things that you are passionate about?
In February, B Local PDX held the 1st Annual B Corp Day of Service where local B Corp businesses were encouraged to take part in giving back to their community. The Day of Service reinforced the idea of using business as a force for good by utilizing each company’s paid volunteer time to pour back into our communities. It created an opportunity for businesses to be the hands and feet in making a positive change for people within their community while helping local organizations get more support and recognition. B Local PDX noticed that the Portland area has a high concentration of B Corp businesses. They decided that rather than working separately towards a cause, local B Corps could join together to create an even stronger impact. The results of the collaboration between local B Corp businesses that participated in the B Corp Day of Service were tremendous. B Local PDX coordinated 16 local nonprofits with 23 different volunteering opportunities. Feynman Group employees had the pleasure of volunteering at four of these locations during the B Corp Day of Service.
Project Lemonade is a retail store operating out of Lloyd Center Mall that annually provides free clothing to foster children. They offer summer internships to these foster children as a means of gaining work experience while supporting their peers.
Madisen (left) using ‘Business as a Force for Good’ at Project Lemonade
The clothing items at the store are either purchased or donated, but their goal is to provide new items for these children to enjoy. On the Day of Service, Project Lemonade volunteers helped by sorting clothing, tagging and organizing shoes, and managing inventory. Madisen, who volunteered with Project Lemonade stated, “it was amazing to hear the experiences of an employee who had been working with the organization for years and to recognize that this nonprofit successfully functions on almost purely volunteer help”. Many children that are placed into the foster care system don’t have much besides the clothes on their back, so the opportunity to shop at a store where the items are free is an incredible experience for these children.
Javier attended the beach cleanup at Audrey McCall Beach with Human Access Project. Human Access Project is a group dedicated to the conservation of the Willamette River. Hosting ‘The Big Float’ since 2010 to raise awareness, the Human Access Project’s mission is to transform Portland’s relationship with the Willamette River. The February weather could have not been better for the volunteers cleaning up litter from the popular Portland swimming spot.
Javier (front center) with fellow B Local PDX volunteers at Audrey McCall Beach
Javier enjoyed removing plastic with fellow participating companies, including Scout Books and Permanente Dental Associates. Volunteers were equipped with gloves, grabbers, and bags to pick up litter up and down the beach where there are many items adulterating the area, such as needles. After spending a few hours cleaning up, Javier shared, “think about how much we could accomplish as a community if we stopped being selfish and dedicated a bit of time a month towards a bigger cause,” realizing the positive impacts that small investments of regular volunteer work can produce.
In the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood, Alex helped clean and fix youth bicycles for The Street Trust, a nonprofit organization based in Northwest Portland.
Alex Working on Bikes for The Street Trust
The Street Trust teaches local kids that do not have access to transportation, how to ride bikes safely. This provides them with the freedom to get around independently and with the correct knowledge to do so. Ten percent of the students they receive have never ridden a bike before; The Street Trust’s program encourages and advocates for safe walking and biking. The volunteers spent their shift repairing the bikes that the organization uses for their program; checking tire pressure, brake function, gear function, and other mechanical needs. After his day of volunteering, Alex proudly noted, “we were able to prepare 50 bikes for the organization, which is the most they have ever received done in a day.”
Justine volunteered at Urban Gleaners in the SE Industrial neighborhood. Joining fellow B Corp volunteers from New Seasons and Scout Books, she helped repackage food donated by various local restaurants, corporate campuses, such as Nike World Headquarters and grocery stores like New Seasons. These meals were repackaged into well portioned, nutritional meals for low-income families.
Justine (top right) Sorted Food for Low Income Families at Urban Gleaners
Not only does Urban Gleaners provide fresh and healthy food for local low-income families, but they also allow people who are hungry to eat without having to show proof of low-income status. After her experience volunteering at Urban Gleaners and learning about the intentional support they provide, Justine stated, “I would like to volunteer at Urban Gleaners on a regular basis – I had a great time sorting and reapportioning fresh, high-quality food for people who are hungry that would otherwise go to waste. It was a friendly, welcoming volunteer environment and the people who run this organization are wonderful.” Nonprofits such as Urban Gleaners, not only see a need but they find solutions to fulfill that need in ways other resources might overlook.
After the B Corp Day of Service, a celebratory party was held at Shine Distillery & Grill where the volunteers collectively gathered. Participants enjoyed complimentary drinks supplied by B Corps, Sufferfest Beer and Brew Dr. Kombucha, and dinner from local food carts. It was an exciting time for everyone to greet the familiar faces of those they had been volunteering with that day and sponsoring businesses that came together to support their shared community.
B Corp Day of Service After Party at Shine Distillery & Grill
As a group, B Corp Day of Service volunteers contributed 1,256 hours with 314 registered volunteers and an economic impact total of $31,261. This is an example of how B Corps are mindfully directing their collective power towards leaving a positive thumbprint on society. February 21st was the first of many B Corp Day of Service events to come, with the goal of expanding and bringing together other businesses in the Northwest region who desire to join the B Corp movement of using business as a force for good.
Today, we are celebrating the birthday of Richard Feynman — the inspiration behind our company’s name. The American theoretical physicist was known for keeping an open mind, finding pleasure in problem-solving, fostering curiosity, and keeping things simple. These are some of the central values that have guided our business from establishment in 1995 to this very day.
Richard Feynman was not just known for his incredible work and numerous awards in physics, but for his infectious energy and engaging perspective of the world around him. He combined brilliance, curiosity, and influence to change how people viewed problem-solving. Although Mr. Feynman passed away in 1988 after a battle with cancer, his legacy lives on. Here at Feynman Group, we continue to remember and live out Richard’s inspiring values in our daily work.
“The worthwhile problems are the ones you can really solve or help solve, the ones that you can really contribute something to. No problem is too small or too trivial if we can really do something about it.”
With the end of the first quarter of 2017 swiftly approaching, I’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on the year behind us as well as share a bit about our direction in the coming months.
Last year we made a concerted effort to focus on consistency as a theme, and while we experienced new and exciting opportunities – shifts in the industry, our expanding presence in Portland, the adoption of new technologies, and beyond – ultimately our concentration on consistency allowed us to grow alongside these changes. As a result, this growth has molded Feynman Group into a more mature, conscientious company.
Our dedication to community engagement continued in 2016 with our partners at Kids’ FIRST. Together, we raised over $50,000 at our annual 1 Day 100 Holes Charity Golf Marathon to aid children in Lane County. We are eagerly preparing for this year’s marathon in September, and we look forward to serving our community throughout 2017.
As Feynman Group moves forward, we are excited to continue building off of the positive growth we have diligently fostered. Alongside this effort, we are proud to launch our new logo which we feel reflects the progression and evolution of our brand. Finally, carrying us through 2017 is our concentration on acting deliberately and attentively as a company in order to best meet your technology needs. With that in mind, I sincerely thank you for the opportunity to serve you and your organization. Our partnership allows us to do what we love every day by helping your business thrive.
The end of the year is always a natural time for reflection, and as 2015 comes to a close, I’d like to share a bit of what the past year looked like for Feynman Group. One of the tenets we focused on this year as an organization was strength; strength in our actions, remaining strong through change, and of course strength in the services we provided. We also chose to concentrate on the ways we communicate, both in terms of the technological tools we use as well as how our communication helps us relate to each other as people. In these respects, Feynman Group has grown significantly over 2015 as an organization and as a team of skilled individuals.
With that said, the heart of our strength of course relies on our partners. We say our job is to give your business superpowers, and we truly value the opportunities you have presented us with to help you prosper through technology. On behalf of the whole Feynman Group team, I’d like to thank all of our partners, both new and familiar, for the chance to collaborate over this past year!
Looking ahead, I’d like to concentrate on consistency as a principle in the coming year. Consistency can be a nebulous concept, however to us, this stands for maintaining our high standards for superiority in service, staying present to ensure every detail is thoughtfully considered, and dedicating ourselves to following through on our word. And so my promise to you, as our partner, is to maintain consistency in 2016 as we continue to give your business superpowers!
President and Co-Founder
Kids’ FIRST’s mission is simple: to provide intervention and advocacy for children who are victims of, or witnesses to, crime.
The Kids’ FIRST Center opened its doors in Lane County, Oregon in 1994 with the intent of taking a multidisciplinary team approach to child abuse intervention. For victims and witnesses of child abuse, the repeated interviews, technical processes, and general bureaucracy surrounding the justice system can be taxing and confusing experiences. Kids’ FIRST sought to ease this process by consolidating all of the resources a child would need under one roof.
The Center, whose name is actually an acronym for Kids’ Forensic Intervention Response & Support Team, acts under direct supervision of the Lane County District Attorney’s office. Currently the Kids’ FIRST Board is involved with the task of migrating the Center away from the DA’s office and becoming a completely self-standing non-profit organization. Hence, the Board determined in late 2014 that the Center needed a new website to better reach the community and help raise awareness.
Feynman Group diligently worked alongside the Kids’ FIRST staff to define clear goals and expectations for their new site, then quickly got to work developing a polished, easy to navigate, and fully responsive product.
The new Kids’ FIRST website is fully responsive, meaning as the size of the screen changes, the site changes accordingly.
One unique feature to the site is its multilingual integration. Not wanting to exclude Lane County’s Spanish-speaking population, Kids’ FIRST and Feynman Group looked for a way to seamlessly integrate both Spanish and English content on the site without fully relying on clunky, automated solutions. After researching different options, the WordPress Multilingual Plugin ended up being an effective solution, and their willingness to supply non-profit organizations with a subscription free-of-charge was the icing on the cake.
Feynman Group’s own Jason Kunz sits on the Kids’ FIRST Board of Directors and plays an integral part of the fundraising team to help recruit new members. When asked why he volunteers with the Center, Jason replied, “There is a huge need in our community for dedicated individuals to help with non-profit organizations that help kids and others in need.” He added,
I am a father, I have kids that have friends that come from non-ideal backgrounds, so anything I can do to help make a difference in the lives of others is very motivating… Especially for children that are abused and can’t help themselves.
The Center does not charge for its services and advertises no waiting lists. Because the Center is funded solely by grants and private donations, paid staff is small and volunteers are integral. Two major goals for the new site were to streamline the giving process and to make it easier to stay informed. Using simple techniques, Feynman Group ensured that visitors to the site would have access to those tools with minimal effort, ultimately benefiting the Center.
On the new Kids’ FIRST website, Jason Kunz simply commented,
I’ve done a lot of volunteering, board work, but nothing is as important and fulfilling to me as the work I do as a Board Member of Kids’ FIRST. The website is a fantastic reflection of the partnership between Feynman and the Center.
Coming this September, the 4th Annual Feynman Group Charity Golf Marathon at Emerald Valley Resort! Feynman Group is teaming up with a number of generous sponsors to raise money for Court Appointed Special Advocates or CASA of Lane County, an organization dedicated to providing abused & neglected children with safe and healthy environments in permanent homes. Last year, Feynman Group & the tournament sponsors raised over $34,000 for CASA of Lane County, a tremendous success for these kids and our community.
We aren’t going to give away this year’s prizes, but last year’s included a $1,000 Fiddler’s Green Gift Certificate, a 1 year membership to Oakway Fitness, 4 Seattle Seahawks tickets, Luxury Suite (20 tickets, food & drinks) for the Eugene Emerald’s 2014 season, and tons more! The Feynman Annual Charity Golf Marathon is a perfect way to have fun, help out a child in need, and win some awesome schwag. And remember, all donations are tax deductible!
As a player you will be treated to a full day of golf, prizes, food and beverages all hosted, all day. Come join the fun and sign up to play at www.1day100holes.com!
Thank you to all of this year’s confirmed sponsors:
So Delicious McKenzie SewOn
Global Sports Development
Grass Roots Marketing
Dicks Sporting Goods
The second annual Feynman Charity Golf Marathon was a huge success. This year the number of golfers increased over 60%. We had 26 golfers who sacrificed their time, bodies and energy for a wonderful cause to raise money for Court Appointed Special Advocates of Lane County. In addition, we had several new sponsors who stepped up to this event and made it possible to raise $35,000. To put this in perspective, it takes $1,000 and about a year to train a volunteer to become a CASA.
We are very excited to announce the 2nd Annual Feynman Charity Golf Marathon benefiting Court Appointed Special Advocates of Lane County. The event last year was an amazing success, especially given that it was our first year. We raised over $20,000 to support kids in our community. This year’s event will be held again at Emerald Valley Golf Resort on September 7th. The format will be the same as last year; each golfer will be tasked to raise $1000 in pledges in return for playing 100 holes in 1 day! Fortunately, golf carts will be provided for all of our players. Also players will receive several gifts for participating, breakfast, lunch and dinner will provided along with beverages of their choice all day at no cost. There will several opportunities to win additional prizes throughout the day. Our top prizes will be awarded to our top fundraisers.
This year we built a new website that explains all the rules for players, sponsorship opportunities and fun photos for the fans. We also now have online donation capabilities to help our players track and collect their pledges. We are still looking for golfers and sponsors to participate. Go to www.1day100holes.com to learn more and sign up!