by Feynman Group
Posted on 2019-06-20 20:47:51
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’.
Madisen, Javier & Justine at BLD PNW
BLD PNW 2019 was held at The Redd on Salmon Street, an Ecotrust venue that is ideal for B Corps within the PNW to gather, connect and grow as a community. We were welcomed at registration with morning beverages and breakfast provided by local B Corps Nossa Familia Coffee, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Brew Dr. Kombucha, Grand Central Bakery, Wild Friends and New Seasons Market. The conference kicked off with keynote speakers Stephen Aiguier, Stephanie Ghoston Paul, Kristofor Lofgren, and Jenelle Isaacson. Sharing their background stories and the impactful work that they pursue, the speakers delivered inspirational messages regarding awareness of our impact, the community, and our planet.
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.
Feynman Group is proud to be a Certified B Corporation.
by Feynman Group
Posted on 2019-03-22 22:45:07
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.
Feynman Group, Inc. is Proud To Be a Certified B Corp