Social Entrepreneurship Panel | April 23, 2014 | NLU Chicago Campus

that further ado I’d like to introduce National Universities executive director of legal affairs Mixel Johnson good afternoon and welcome to national louis university thank you all for coming with an extremely exciting panel we were actually fighting in the back over who was going to get introduced you all but I’ve deferred to Paul so you guys will have to keep the anticipation waiting but national Luis is very pleased to host this event we’re so excited about all of our veterans activities and our new opportunities our mission is founded in a pioneering spirit that is exactly what this event is catering to today and that is the entrepreneurship spirit that goes back to the paying their days of Elizabeth Harrison our founder and our mission at national louis is to provide quality education and access to opportunities that nurture students through innovative teaching through scholarship community engagement which is a huge topic for you all today and finally with service excellence so we want to thank you for coming and one of the most exciting leads into this brochure announcement was that it said you’re going to get a chance today to get exposed to a world of new ideas and the biggest thing you should remember if you don’t remember anything else is let yourself be motivated and get out there and get engaged thank you all for coming today and before you leave I also want to remind you national Luis is going to have an event on May fifteenth at our Lyle campus where we’re going to have a uso care package building activity and that’s from eleven to one and it’s open to the public we did this last year actually in this room right here where we’re all in we were going to build 50 boxes and we end up building 138 so what’s really exciting for us to so join us and lie on May fifteenth thank you all again have a great day alright I’m now going to induce the the moderator of the panel discussion he’s a national louis university’s director of armed service relations and he’s working on a social entrepreneurship curriculum coming very soon so he will I think he will prove a dynamic moderator Paul Knutson before I introduce our panelists I want to thank everybody for coming out I’ve got a command voice so i don’t know if i need to hold this thing i do want to let everybody know that we’re actually broadcasting live on zoom right now and i know that we have some folks who are dialed in and we’ve been tracking this as well online and currently so yeah so there’s a camera over there and they could see us so everybody say hi so joining us you know via webcam we do have the dean of the college of management in business Chris kassir as well as our one of our esteem professors in the college David de San Filippo who are listening in all of whom are also obviously leading the charge on our social entrepreneurship endeavors here at national luis and so i wanted to draw attention to that and welcome them on the web as well so what I’d like to do now is to introduce our panelists and now open up the discussion with a with a pretty simple introductory question for each of them but to my immediate left we have Nelly Rowland who is the president of safe haven a transitional housing facility in West Chicago that shoulders up to 400 people at a time and I do know that i believe it’s about twenty five percent right now our veterans themselves that correct and so while helping them aspire transform and sustain their lives as they transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency with pride and purpose to nellies immediate left is an gillespie excuse me is Courtney white founder of culinary care a budding non-for-profit in Chicago that partners with restaurants to provide free meals to families who have loved one who have a loved one battling cancer courtenay graduated from college in 2011 recent college graduate and started the organization in January of 2013 to her left is Todd Connor a former management consultant US Navy veteran and facilitator of flank five Academy flank five Academy was created as a personal personal incubator to help people realize their potential by bringing psychology and strategy to work in a context that helps people do self discovering create personal strategy and ultimately take action to realize their professional aspirations and then

finally in Gillespie principal of the Academy for global citizenship an innovative charger school in South West Chicago that develops mindful leaders who take action both now and in the future to positively impact their communities and the world bond ladies and gentlemen our panelists so now that I’ve introduced our panelist I’ll open with just a you know your typical panel question to to do a self introduction and maybe talk a little bit about you know yourselves but more importantly tell us about your organization and what is the need in the community that it addresses and how does it address that need so we’ll start with Nellie ok hi everybody it’s really an honor to be here my name is Nellie Vasquez Rowland and I’m the co-founder of an organization called a safe haven foundation and we actually found it a safe haven back in 1994 so we consider ourselves a little bit of pioneers in the field of social business enterprise our idea behind starting a safe haven was really about trying to address and solve the issue of homelessness and poverty and what we realized was the services that were out there in terms of the delivery system for someone that’s in crisis and trying to get back on their feet was very fragmented so our thought was to create a mall all that provides housing and food which is basic and fundamental and across-the-board needed by every human being but then after that everybody’s path is really individualized in terms of providing them with access to the services that they need that are the root causes of their homelessness and poverty such as drug and alcohol addiction such as financial literacy such as education things like that so we have a vast array of services that we offer we connect we partner with organizations in the community that also fill a void and fill the gaps for people that are living in our programs but actually we house about 1200 people at any given time and we’ve got 34 locations that range everywhere from transitional housing supportive housing affordable housing and senior housing so we’re scattered all over the Chicagoland area and the suburbs the two challenges that we faced originally we started a safe haven in terms of addressing and identifying the root causes and creating paths to self-sufficiency was we can do all that and socially stabilize people but at the end of the day they were very hard to employ there were employers that were a little skittish about hiring people that have backgrounds or big gaps in their portfolio I mean in their backgrounds so what we did is we’ve actually started several businesses that employ people such as a catering company a pest control company a landscaping company which is probably our most famous social business enterprise you see our trucks up and down Michigan Avenue we do a lot of the beautiful medians I’m Michigan Avenue the rooftops and including the one at City Hall and we bid public and private work and that’s a business and employs people that live in our programs so that they make money they’re getting the education that they need for horticulture they can even go on and many have gone on and start their own businesses afterwards and the feel the landscaping or anything because they really will learn a work ethic and you know the affordable housing is a piece so these businesses actually employee people that are involved in our programs and graduate from our programs to either be a transitional job or permanent jobs so in a nutshell we call ourselves a vertically integrated ecosystem so that we move people from homelessness to sustainable self-sufficiency and plug them into employers to another that we own which is a staffing company and workforce development companies so something to see you know if you haven’t and we’ll be talking more about what we’re doing with the community engage people to be a part of the solution with us so thank you and I look forward to sharing more thank you thanks Nellie hi everyone my name is Courtney white and I’m the founder of culinary care thank you so much for having me here and I started culinary care a year ago as Paul mentioned I am graduated in 2011 from the University of Arizona and about seven years ago before that my father had passed away from lung cancer so we were in out of the hospital I was in high school at the time and my family and I we were in out of the hospital and just visiting my dad and being with him every second that we could and during that time we had family and friends that brought us meals every single night for about two months straight it was pretty much the highlight of our day being able to come home know we had this freshly prepared meal for us waiting at home it is exciting to know you know what we were going to be eating that night and really just gave us the opportunity to de-stress and just be together as a

family and when I graduated from university of arizona i moved back to Chicago and originally from here and was looking for ways to kind of give what i said is like one less worry back to other families and individuals facing cancer i really wanted to know volunteer and either coke or prepare meals or deliver them myself and there wasn’t any organization that i could join that was doing it so I have a few entrepreneurial people beside me and we decided to start culinary care so in one year we have delivered a nearly a thousand meals to families and individuals affected by cancer we partner with I think we uh we partner with local restaurants so let us entertain new group and maggiano’s some really well established amazing restaurants they donate all of the meals that we deliver so our families are just kind of placing a carry out order but instead of placing it directly with staunton paying for it they just kind of order it through us and we work with them and nutritionists and hospitals as well to make sure that the meal that they’re eating is something that they can e they’re excited about eating it and also fits within their dietary needs I guess in terms of filling a need and a void in the community you know I really felt like having something to come home to and that meal was really something amazing and really necessary in my perspective in working with the hospitals that we’ve partnered with primarily the director of nutrition at University of Chicago has been an incredible asset for us and she sends articles and nutritional information about you know people facing cancer and what it’s like going through that and it from a nutritional perspective so in a grander scheme we’ve figured out within this year that nutrition is kind of a huge untouched issue within the cancer world it’s recognized but it’s not you know primarily solved the doctors primary you know concern is getting rid of the cancer social workers are the help and refer resources like ourselves and nutritionists are there for dietary needs but we’re really hoping to work to get people excited about eating I know my dad personally did not like any of the hospital food and he didn’t really want to eat he wasn’t hungry so if he wasn’t excited about it then there was no feeding him so we’re really hoping to be able to get everyone excited about eating apparently one in five people affected by cancer died from malnutrition itself and not directly related to the cancer at all so you know if we can get people excited about eating and really work to reduce that number then you know we’ve done something good in the meantime it’s one less worry some thank you so much for sharing that yeah thanks Courtney yeah round of applause for Courtney hi I’m Ellie so as Paul said my name’s Todd Connor and I’m the founder of flank five Academy plenkov Academy is a personal incubator what’s a personal incubator if you’ve heard of 1871 you know that that’s a tech incubator if you’ve heard of social or impact engine you know that that’s a social enterprise incubator or a personal incubator so our model is if we look at every single person in this room and help you connect as Courtney so eloquently described in her own narrative and Nelly did as well if we can be in the business of helping you connect with what you are really authentically driven towards that maps to your skills and your assets and your passions we will through you create businesses and that’s exactly what our model is we don’t start with ideas we start with people so people have ideas people have passion and if we can if we can tap individuals and tap through the noise and it’s not about credentials it’s not about master’s degrees but if we can tap into who you are and help to identify and cultivate those unique gifts and skills and then help you develop a personal strategic plan to actually put these things into action we know that we can launch new businesses we know that we can launch nonprofits we know that we can help people find fulfillment through work so our process is a 10-week program that’s intense that involves a lot of homework but it’s not homework like you would get at a graduate school it’s not learning balance sheets it’s not learning new technical skills it’s it’s learning a little bit more about who are you my co-founders a therapist so we spend a lot of time on what is your what is your Y and then discovering kind of what is your how and so we really have an aspiration that every single person has a unique gift and contribution that they can put forward into the world and that if we can be a vehicle to help cultivate that that we are in turn going to be a vehicle that launches like I said

successful businesses successful nonprofits our track record this bar is very strong and I think that in time we’re going to begin to a conversation evolved that says well what are you guys doing that other incubators aren’t doing and really the answer is going to be it’s about helping people connect with who they are and every single person has a gift to give so that’s why we started this business prior to this i was at chicago public schools running a network of high schools prior to that i had my own consulting business prior to that i work for a corporate consulting firm prior to that was was in the Navy and what I know from my own experience because how many of you in this room are aspiring entrepreneurs social business or otherwise I sometimes that’s the question how many of you don’t like your jobs but I’m worried there’s too many national-louis employees okay so don’t ask the question but between those two questions you know employed but not really fully realizing my potential and at the point that you have a successful business with a successful plan there’s this giant white space where people like you and I don’t know or are scared on how to take those first initial steps and the reality is I’ve done this myself and it’s always been very scary it’s always felt very high risk and what we’re trying to do is demystify that and and if we can make it feel safe and structured and supported for individuals to step outside their comfort zone to go really pursue their passions create phenomenal twenty-year-old organizations we will have done a significant good deed so that’s our model and look forward to the conversation today thanks thanks time good afternoon everybody my name is Anne Gillespie and i am the founding principle of chicago public charter school called the academy for global citizenship agc is currently in its sixth year I’m have been there seven years because I spent a year I had had a day job but on nights and weekends was writing the proposal for the school to submit to to CPS we started with just 90 kindergarteners and first graders back in two thousand eight in work we’ve grown every year and now I have 350 beautiful kindergarten through sixth graders and will continue to grow through a three aid and are likely going to do a high school as well so I have a lot grander vision of bringing up being a pre-k through 12th grade school the as I’m sure all of you know public education in our country and state and city is not exactly where we need it to be so the the need for high quality public education is just really really great and I’m a former Chicago Public School teacher taught on the west side north lawndale and really was dismayed at what I saw was the reality of my my kids public school experience it was really it was beyond acceptable to me and that was a very catalyzing experience and I just knew I had to do something about it at the time I didn’t know what in fact I said I never want to be an elementary school principal of course famous last words just thought that I would go in 20 district level leadership or maybe you know mid-level you know school based leadership something like that but not the principal but I moved to Germany I taught an international school for three years and really saw what ever a highly effective principal can do for for a school and took that with this passion to be back in Chicago and move back in two thousand six and that’s when I started working on a GC the school is a really special little place we don’t have an umbrella organization where our own little selves we don’t have multiple campuses and that’s by design we want to do the one school and do it really really well we do have grander visions though of positively impacting 20 million kids by 2020 by sharing our practice so our first responsibilities obviously to serve our students within our four walls but then we do to steal a tech term we open source what we what we do at this school so we’ve had over 5,000 visitors in the past six years and just have a lot of interest in and what we’re doing and we’re all about sharing what we’re doing and and that fits really well with what we well we aim for our kids to we want to we want our kids to be changed makers and not change makers when they’re 30 years old but changemakers when they’re even five years old so we structure our day in our curriculum and teaching and learning in that way where they have a lot of responsibility we teach them inquiry we’re an International Baccalaureate

school which I’m happy to go into if I knew any educators and them in the room talk about that later but you know five-year-olds come to our school with a lot of knowledge understanding of themselves in the world and it’s our responsibility to build upon that they’re not empty vessels so we do a lot of teaching about the environment so we have a very strong sustainability component to our school as well as international awareness and um health and wellness we serve a hundred percent organic breakfast lunch and snack that’s made from scratch every day we have chickens we have all sorts of we’ve zero waste lunch program we have composting bins in every classroom and we’re in the process of right now of building a permanent facility that will be illinois’s first net positive energy school that’s been that’s been built which is really exciting so that’s a little bit about a GC so I’m gonna I’m gonna pick on Courtney so you can go ahead and pass the mic down to her so this is going to take some initiative on our social entrepreneurs which shouldn’t be much of a problem because they’re all upstart type people and so just you should be fighting over the mics I want to talk next I want to talk but but at least we’ll get it going by pegging someone to talk and then we’ll keep it going and then hopefully this will inspire some questions so I’d like to encourage everyone here that’s joined us to as the as the conversation is going and you think about a question write it down because we’re going to insist that there are questions that come from you in for either the panel in general or a specific individual in light of some of these the themes that are going to come out here and and I’ve taken some notes and so here’s some of the underlying things that I wrote down to think about that sort of came out everyone here but root causes socially stabilized vertically integrated gaps in service people’s passion gift to give realization of injustice innovation in the marketplace inspiring change taking risk was said but I put managing risk as well and thinking about risk in general and how to leverage risk I think that’s that those are some of the things that I heard coming out and I think those are some interesting things when you talk about engaging in a social setting to have social impact but not forgetting the business side of it and so let’s not forget that and so with that in mind obviously there are financial needs and not only financial capital but then intellectual capital needs to come in to this endeavor in order to make it come alive and so Courtney I’m going to challenge you since you’re kind of you’re the youngest and the upstart and and you’ve put this thing together on the fly and I’m sure you’ve got a great idea of how did you find the financial capital and where did your in not only just the financial capital but also that intellectual capital that comes with it to make that dream a reality in terms of financial capital we are actually in the midst of doing that right now since we are one year old the first and foremost concern for me and my board was making sure the families were served so we actually went our entire first year without fundraising being a primary focus at all it was really let’s prove our need you know we know that there’s something here we believe it wholeheartedly we have a great team of people behind us but let’s just get rolling so now you know instead of what would have been last year and us going and saying we have this great idea this is what we want to do will you donate we are 501 C 3 so it is just donation-based unless we’re privately funded which we’re not so instead of going and taking that route and hoping that it would work and using people’s donations to fund it we figured let’s keep our costs as low as possible do what we need to do and now we can go to companies corporate partners whomever we need to raise money and say we’ve done it there’s a need we’re partnered with five local hospitals and to cancer centered organizations in Chicago they all tell us every day how much their families and individuals need this and we’ve served a thousand meals and our costs have been so incredibly low that we and that was our strategy behind it all of our meals are donated from our restaurant partners so the highest cost for us right now is really gas which is the high cost but you know we’re making it work and there has been a cost to it our board was prepared to take that on themselves as we as we grew for the year and and figured out exactly what we needed to do we are currently raising

money and we are pretty much all the way done raising that money for a startup company we just partnered with called we deliver and therefore profits start up in Chicago that does same-day delivery service for small businesses and we thought they would be a great fit for us like their tech system essentially is was our biggest bottleneck moving forward all of our drivers are volunteer based so how are we going to were essentially a logistics company so you know what how are we going to make that work effectively for us moving forward and this company was introduced to us through a group of Northwestern grad students we were working with and so they are now white labeling their website and their phone application so it allows us to kind of make a co-branded application for our volunteers so all you would have to do is log into your phone say that you’re available for the next two hours and would like to do some volunteer work for us you’ve gone through training and if we have a delivery scheduled it’ll you know a little notification will pop up and I’ll say you know are you available do you still want to take this delivery and there you have it so just to keep the conversation going then so donations and raising funds and another maybe one other to everyone anyone who wants to steal the mic what other ways are there to to get that financial capital in or in starting and sustaining your enterprise steal the mic so I got this so I’ll be a little bit controversial and say the question assumes and this is a lot of what we talked about the program but the question assumes that there is a sequence of events that goes something like this I’m working I have a job I really want to be harvesting honey from a bee farm i’m selling it local I don’t know making something up I want to start a charter school I want to provide meals to people struggling through cancer right and we think that I’m here that’s where I want to be and the first piece of advice I want to talk with people I said well what is it that you want to do well I really want to work with with children and do art programs great tomorrow go work with children in our program it’s like but I have a job right tomorrow go work with children in our program you want to be a social entrepreneur like get ready for your second job am i right so so it’s none of the first activity in starting is doing the work it is not about financial security it is not about a business plan it is not about even the website or having the board of directors the first step is doing the work and so however it is that you that you go do the work you start doing the work now there’s other paths to this sometimes things are more sophisticated in that but I but most of the startup entrepreneurs that I know it really is about getting out doing the work and then proving that there is a need which is just that and then in time beginning to build in these attributes but and I’m so emphatic on that because I think people self-impose the biggest obstacle we have with people that come in to flake five Academy is they self-impose gating activities to what they can do well I want to do this but I don’t have the money I want to do this but I don’t have the degree i want to do this but I don’t have the board yet and those that self-sabotaging thing is the thing that actually I think holds back enterprises from being launched I’m gonna give it to Nelly yeah and Nelly you have a pretty large operation now relative to what Kourtney’s I mean in terms of dollar figures it probably the annual costs of running a safe haven are probably substantial so how then do you to to to Todd’s point getting started right is just doing but sustaining is a different story once you’re going so maybe you can address that okay um it’s you know I mean I do want to address the idea of starting I think what both Courtney what Todd said you know was just you know so profound and that you have to have a a why you know a very powerful y into y you want to do a start-up and specifically a social business enterprise if you’ve got a powerful enough why then you will be unstoppable I’ll just say that okay because the idea of failure just you can’t even you know allow that to enter your mind second of all what Todd said in terms of you know the best way to start a social enterprise or business any kind of business is to start doing it and that’s exactly what Brian and I did my husband co-founders in the back

there you knows actually his he was the inspiration for what we were doing but we actually had full-time jobs and careers that we were very very happy with in the finance and the world of finance and weren’t actively looking to start a social business enterprise what I actually say happen to us was almost divine intervention you know in that we decided that it was important to give back we had a powerful why as to why we thought you know it was important to help people in crisis first of all I grew up in little village a lot of people that I grew up with weren’t as fortunate to you know have access to create the type of career that I was you know invited or you know is able to get involved in and you know other personal reasons but we started doing it as a little bit of a charity thing we were just buying buildings with our own personal resources and allowing people to live in our buildings with our own personal resources we were financing people to live in our properties that we had just by the way but acquired renovated invested a ton of tremendous amount of money and and couldn’t get bank financing on the bank and the buildings that we were buying and renovating because our business model didn’t make sense to banks that we were going to allow people to live there for free they’re like where’s your revenue you know so we thought well you know we can afford it so we’ll just go ahead and finance this ourselves and eventually you know when we stop helping people in need will move on it will convert these properties into condos as we originally planned however that exit strategy we never got to it you know it was impossible for us to even fathom the idea of stopping helping people it seemed heartless you know to all of a sudden closest at the door on someone coming to you in need we found that the people that were coming to us as we were investing in helping them get back on their feet by giving getting them access to all the different services that they needed they were actually moving out with keys to their own apartment they were getting jobs they were getting clean and sober and we felt like we were on to something so what I love about what Courtney is doing is really you know what we felt we were we had in by the way we were doing this for five years with their own money okay and we were investing we did invite some investors to help us with some of the real estate you know they’ve got to be little too expensive for us to do on her own but for us you know we felt that we had a little bit of a proof of concept and that we noticed that there was again a lot of money being invested from government from philanthropy from all different sources and that money was not being allocated in a way that really was effective or cost-effective or offered to anybody who was putting money into these issues any type of return an investment or making measurable visible impact on anybody’s life in terms of breaking the cycle of poverty and homelessness so we we were doing that so we actually approached Northwestern University to come in and do a study in our program they actually did get funded and got a funding to do out 18-month study which came which got published in the American Journal Public Health that stated that we had the most effective and cost effective model in terms of helping people get back on their feet which for us was something that we felt was needed we didn’t know at the time you know that you know you didn’t need a study to go to government for money but we felt you know we needed to show that what we were doing was working and that we were going to help you know the state you know address these issues in a very positive productive way so to keep so with that we did get funding for the very first time after five years of starting by the Illinois Department of Corrections so we started to get funding to help people that were coming out of the prison system transitioned back into the community and allowing them to go back into the community with a roof over their head with meals and access to opportunities like jobs or employment you know employment and education things that they needed to really move into society in a sustainable way so that they wouldn’t go back into the system because statistically speaking over fifty percent of the people that come out of the system without help that they need more than half of them will go back into the system within three years we’ve reduced that number dramatically by helping them every step of the way get back on their feet so sustaining our model we continue to apply for contracts you know in grants donations and at one point we had gotten to the to the point where ASAP even was 100% funded by government and until two thousand eight you know we started having some budget crisis in the state of Illinois and we started seeing our budget started getting cut dramatically which really hurt us and the sense that a we saw that when the state needed money that they found it very easy to really cut budgets for Human Services which to us kind of defied logic that you’d want to cut budgets on the most vulnerable

populations you know we predicted then that by doing so what we’ll see is a higher rate of crime you know in the community because all of a sudden there’s no safety nets out there and even in the last five six years we’ve actually seen over fifty percent of the homeless programs basically go away and for us during that time same time period we’ve actually more than doubled in size and the reason is is because of our social business enterprises we’ve been able to really grow our businesses grow our portfolio and affordable housing and actually build our own organization to be more sustainable so today we continue to apply for grants we continue to apply for government contracts but now we’re only forty percent depending on government and sixty percent we produce our own and generate our own revenues so we truly are today more well-rounded and more effective in terms of being a sustainable model helping people achieve self-sufficiency in a sustainable way so for us it’s right on message thank you no that’s a great story because eventually what you’re what you’re talking about is a diversification of your portfolio which is something that’s very business acumen right in order to ensure sustainability and really managing risk where you identify this potential problem and and and to try to segue to a subject and I’m going to bring and back into the conversation this way and and maybe you weren’t ready for this question but you’re going to get it anyway so I think in different in terms of diversification one of the ways that we diversify is by having a diverse network having a diverse collaborative endeavor where you’re bringing in different different sources of revenue different thought leaders who think about things in a different way as you mentioned you know going over and looking at a European model and having that collaboration whether it’s deliberate or inadvertent or incidental as it were I’m wondering if you could talk about how you leverage your personal professional networks in order to to lead towards the attainment of your objectives and your goals and determining which parts of your network and how to expand your network appropriately to fill the gaps that you have as you identify as you were building out your plan as you said in nights and weekends at two o’clock in the morning yeah I think that’s a great question so the Academy for global citizenship is not the creation of one person or a small group of people it’s literally been thousands of people that have contributed in in the most ways you wouldn’t even think you know people could could help so I mean it’s even ties in a little bit with the the previous question in terms of funding one of the things that we were very strategic about early on was some people make made called obnoxious but we like to say it was persistently talked to everybody in anybody that would listen to us about our school so things because of that because you know we were very passionate about it and maybe a little crazy and so we found other crazy people and they got excited too and it got to things like oh here’s an architect who will do all the inspecting architects reports for free that we need to submit to Chicago Public Schools which otherwise would have cost us probably $5,000 printing business cards for a very low cost you know you got a network so you got to have business cards and so that surprisingly those costs really really add up so um so yeah so we attorneys you know obviously pant being a school so talking to a lot of parents and educators so there’s kind of that whole community but business people as well who are very interested in investing in public education because it you know that helps them down the road too so it’s just it’s been it’s been really incredible to think about all the people that have helped and I wouldn’t have thought I think going in if i reboot rewind the clock seven years I would have thought like oh this is what’s really going to help make us you know I have a very strong school as these thousands of people but in retrospect that’s that’s what’s made it happen and i like to say often that it takes a village to raise a child and I and I think that that we’re embodying that very very much so so yeah so just a piece of advice I would have for you is just start talking to everybody and anybody and use social media that’s been incredible way for us to connect with people so Twitter and Facebook which are free so yeah yeah so I began to your stimulating thoughts that I have and I

always like to share I mean as a director of armed service relations I’m an army guy and i love the army and i did I ran the board circuit for those of you who are in the military you know I’m talking about you go to the boards and CEO of the year all this other stuff and you memorize these things and one of the things I memorized was the definition of leadership according to the military which is providing purpose direction and motivation in order to influence others to accomplish the mission and and so when I’m listening to you saying you’ve got them yourself motivated and you’re going out and you’re trying to get other people to get motivated but everybody has their own leadership style whether that’s you know very direct or very you know passive or servant leadership or leading by example all these different things and so for to kind of continue to build off of leveraging your network because once you build that Network however it is by going out and persistently being crazy eventually you have to get somebody to buy into that and so I’m just wondering for anyone to reflect on your own leadership style and then because all of you are leaders you start something you’re a leader right all of you are leaders use that you will start something and eventually you will bring it to fruition so but how do you use your own leadership style to influence others to get the five thousand dollar you know pro bono work on an architect or or to get involved on a board when you create a board of directors or to get engaged in your process so wondering if somebody wants to talk about your own leadership style and then how you use that to influence and motivate others to collaborate and and feel free to jump in or somebody wants to steal the mic I would just say that I probably tend to be more of a servant leader and I certainly don’t think that I as leader of the school have all the answers and in fact I don’t I tell my teachers at all the time but I certainly will work with them and help find solutions to problems that we’re having and so I’m very much about working together with people and that at the end of the day certainly the buck stops with me with a lot of things but we’re all in this together it’s kind of the mantra that I that I have so and I and I tend to hire Type A personalities oh very passionate people as well so you know that’s the other thing like just you know we’ve been very conscious of who we surround ourselves we hire and in there people that just obviously are incredibly invested in our in our mission and work really well with my style of leadership there there go getters and they’re thrilled to have lots of autonomy so works for everybody the question of partnership and the question of leadership on the question of partnership it’s absolutely critical and it’s interesting now because they’re there are now venture capital firms and investment funds that will only look at in fact I think impact engine is moving this way only look at partnership teams they will now look at single leader companies for investment they’ll insist that there is a partnership part of why that matters is because the work of starting things is hard right and I’m looking at you know a spouse in there the Nellie’s husband so the work of starting things is hard so unless you have somebody that can that with whom you can come back and be an honest reflection and with whom you feel like I might let myself down but I can’t let my partner down right there’s a psychology to this there’s a real psychology to this that’s why journaling has an impact because we begin to utter and believe the things that we actually want to start believing even when we don’t believe them yet so there’s a real psychology to partnership and why that’s important in terms of leadership one of the things that’s so critical in any organizational context but particularly in a start-up context in particularly in the social enterprise context it’s that you stay focused on the work so I could choose if I was starting a charter school to look at to look at another charter school and say it feels competitive to me because I’m out here starting a charter school and she’s starting a charter school and pretty soon were like I’m looking at her like competition right it’s a self-defeating mindset that you can see nonprofits slip into if it’s about children and getting children educated then there’s absolutely no conflict of interest in fact if I really want to get pure about it if she’s got a better school that’s actually like maybe I should be encouraging some of my kids to go to her school so it’s really about suspending your own ego and keeping this

on why and I found that when when people are able to do that because part of this is not preferred as you step out you say hey if you’re going to be an entrepreneur and a self social enterprise context and you have to fund raise the when you get when you’re early at this you think I’m asking them for a favor I’m uncomfortable asking them for money because it feels like I’m asking them for money essentially for me and so the way you get past that is to say this is not about me this is not about me this is about homeless youth so can we talk about homeless youth because I care about homeless youth I’m all and I created an organization to have an impact on it where are you on this issue so it really is and that’s that’s even true with business that it really is just about the product and what you’re doing so i think part of the work is even as we ask about leadership styles because we all have them is to de-emphasize our leadership style like we’re really not central to the story it’s really not about us it’s about the work and if you can keep it there you’re going to get more money more momentum more partners yeah yeah if I could have one of you and my father talked all day that would be great um i would say piggybacking off what both of them have already sad it is a hundred percent about we it is something that I’m learning right now with a lot of the people that have offered to help me I mean I have a full-time job so like this it this certainly cannot just be a me thing without all the people that have been helping build culinary care it just wouldn’t be possible if I was doing it alone and it’s something that I think you know it working getting people excited is kind of one of the things that I’ve learned is a networking a whole bunch going out there and spreading the word and talking about it I was really shy about talking about it at first I was just kind of going with it but being 24 most of my friends are out doing you know other things at bars and I was going home and working on a business plan or working to coordinate meals for families or sending menus so it was something where it was kind of like people would look at me being like oh you’re so you just feel so high and mighty about it it’s like I don’t I’m just trying to this is what I want to do so that was really interesting once I started talking to everyone at anyone the right people kind of jumped on board and it really was just more conversational and now I’m learning you know now that I’ve made the conversations and had volunteers jump on board people are really kind of get our cause just to the core of what it is you know everyone likes a good meal everyone likes to sit down and eat one so it isn’t a whole you know it isn’t a hard sell for us um which has been amazing because a lot of people unfortunately know someone that knows someone or they have had a parent passed away from cancer as well or they know someone who’s sick and they get they get it and that’s been really huge for us but one of the biggest things for me is kind of under step ting that I don’t know everything when it comes to building a business I pretty much know nothing except for the fact that I know personally these meals are important and they mean something to someone and that has been the biggest kind of advantage for me in in building this organization is really just accepting that I don’t know everything and asking questions anyone that I talked to you that you know I think could be helpful it’s like you know what do you think about this or how do you feel about that and people like to help is another thing that I’ve realized too they really want to be a part of something and in terms of leadership I’m still figuring that out but what I’m growing to discover is kind of one of the best ways for to be a leader is asking questions and understanding what other people are looking for in their lives so if I’m trying to get you know a PR professional on board to help and volunteer her time to be you know pitching and helping us grow by spreading the word you know what is she looking for in her life does she have an organization she’s dedicated to already you know just figuring out what their interests are how you can help them personally with what they’re doing and then kind of encouraging that and their personal growth through what you’re doing has been has been huge but definitely using the word we I would say is like the number one thing I’m learning right now you know i’ll send emails using the word I and then I get you know business professionals back who have been helping me grow and they’re like Kourtney always use wheat this is not you um so that’s been I think I my biggest yeah it’s interesting because I

well while everyone was talking I’m thinking about the nebulous term networking right what is networking mean and it’s all of these things and and what you just articulated there i think is really important and to summarize that what in terms of networking i mean i can network with everybody in here but what i really want to try to find out is where is that connection it’s where we can find some sort of mutually supportive arrangement where what I’m doing naturally assists you and what you’re doing naturally assists me and if that doesn’t exist that’s okay you know because we can only handle so many contacts you know in a day right i mean the military to go back to that the military is a rain by teams and squads and platoons and companies by designs because it’s all three by five people all the way around because you can only handle so much but when you’re able to build those connections through through a mutually supportive interest I think you end up having a multiplying effect there and I think that’s really poignant so what I want to do right now is I want to i’ve seen kind of glancing over and I’ve seen folks taking some notes and thinking about some stuff and and at the risk of not having any questions come from the floor which I know is not going to happen because we’ve got a fully engaged audience here I’d like to open up for a couple of questions for maybe the next five minutes or so and and for anybody so please if you could state your name and just kind of real quickly like who you are and who you’re with yeah did you have a question almost even that one of the things you encounter presidency to bring on for example so we actually acquired a staffing company that’s been around for years somebody called civics taffy yeah I’ve never heard of that yes a long time and they’re actually you know along the lines of social enterprise in terms of you know really helping challenge populations you know get back into the workforce so yeah that’s what we did we acquire them okay we’re talking about two things well first of all we’re an employer you know so yes we hire people and many of them have had criminal backgrounds and we do help people get jobs that have criminal backgrounds okay so I’m going to answer the question as an employer of people that have criminal backgrounds and you know we understand that the vast majority of people that do have criminal backgrounds that we serve actually may have underlying issues the root causes may be for example drug and alcohol addiction you know as an example lack of education you know things like that so we work very hard and helping people address and solve those issues and you know we’re a growing organization and many of the people that come through a program actually benefit tremendously from the work that we do in terms of helping their lives and there’s nothing they’d like to do better than to help other people get through it as well so for us it’s a golden opportunity to hire someone that has the potential to be successful in our field but brings that story with them that’s going to make them incredibly you know influential to the person that they’re trying to help in terms of sharing their own experiences and how they personally were able to overcome it so we do hire a lot of people with the experiential piece that helps people move along and we also of course hire people with the academic background so we have a good mix I want to say oh we have in our network about 400 employees and about half of the people that we employer actually graduates of our program and I want to tell you that even with you know the backgrounds and placing people in jobs we had a contract for example that went on for three years with the Department of Labor that required us to do job

training and job placement and they tracked us they audited us and they wanted to know that we were really doing the work and making it making it happen in a way that was sustainable and we love when people come in audit us and want to track our stuff because we don’t always have the money to do the follow-ups you know and this contract came with that so they did it and they reported that not only was our job placement rate at about eighty five percent for this tract which involved hundreds of hundreds of people but also what was great about it was the retention rate was eighty-seven percent for a period of nine months which is what the period of the contract allowed for them to track for what was even more phenomenal about those numbers was the fact that this was a very specific contract that was geared only for ex-offenders that had come out of the criminal justice system within the last six months so these were the hardest people to find jobs for and what we found two and I think this will be backed up by some studies that I’ve heard about is that the retention rate actually for ex-offenders is much higher than the general population because they don’t have the luxury of walking off a job and thinking their condition making that you know door opening happen they probably wouldn’t have gotten a job on their own so they really really appreciate and are grateful for the opportunity and with our job training programs and with our job readiness training programs we really help people not only teach them not only how to get a job but how to retain that job and how to excel and how to thrive and really how to help that employer from day one so it’s a big it’s a big focus of our organization obviously thanks I here and then here hearing I can hear it but a key as now now or 40 impact haven’t we give Oh r love star we broke even how they’re for world war Oh so I just name so Courtney so just we’re going to go for maybe five more minutes and then we’re going to eat and we’re going to talk a table so maybe a quick one minute answer and to address impact versus performance for us we definitely don’t have any of like the studies done that Nellie’s organization has had the opportunity to do we do plan on doing that down the road just to have that those measurements i mean our annual report has to have some some numbers in it for us personally just on a regular day-to-day basis from what we’ve seen is just the fact that you know one person in particular you know we were delivering a meal every single week and her first meal she was figuring out what she wanted to order and it was she had this whole menu from hub 51 in front of her and it was like what am i going to get so she was hesitant with me over the phone and what she was going to order she picked you know salmon more bland items and then kind of one like you know hurrah in there to see what she could eat and it really was a measure of how much was kind of kind of going to stay down and and what it was going to taste like and all of that all the factors that go into it when you’re going through treatments and it was amazing to get a phone call an email from her after she ate it and it really was just as simple as I can eat I can actually hold food down I can eat and the next three menus that she got she kind of just went crazy so that’s really the core of what we do is really just getting you know our families and the individuals that are going through treatments excited and make them realize that you know this you

can’t eat you know food can be exciting it’s not your taste buds are not ripped from you you you’re going through all these changes but I promise a good meal is possible so that’s kind of what we see and you want to sure take a stab at impact yeah so definitely you know we have being up being a public school we have all of the normal test scores and attendance rates and sorts of things that we have to be reporting and that’s certainly very important important part of our story and the good news is that you know we’ve increased test scores we outperform our neighborhood schools many many times over and great attendance oh I like kind of stuff but what I think with the stories I like actually like to tell or what I call small moments and these are these these countless things every day just walking down the hallway you know and I see one student helping a little first grader helping another first grader put on a band-aid on his finger because he got you know scratched at recess or something like that and you know on the one student just saying well we take care of our friends here at agc that’s just what we do so so yeah so it’s it’s interesting because telling stories like that certainly for donors can be heartwarming but that doesn’t always make them want to write them at that million-dollar check so it’s it’s tricky so as much as I am not a fan of standardized testing we do we do have to share that information but we always like to like I’d like to say a kind of spice it up or round out that picture with some of these impact stories and the other thing that I didn’t necessarily think of when I was starting this school is sometimes actually how hard it is to keep track of those stories too so just in a thing I wish I would have known six years ago is to just take a thousand why already take a lot of pictures but take more pictures take video keep it keep a diary every day when you’re driving home you know think about what happened today when you get home you know dictate it or something just keep keep a journal of what what what’s going on because i think you know certainly there are things that have stuck out in my mind but I know I’m missing a lot of those small moments too from five years ago so so yeah so it’s well that’s culture positive energy good question i have time in a couple of said I’d rather please three years and all that stuff simon Sinek started by he talks a lot of live creative team donation how to facilitate that so so with that was you know what was staying positive with was starting with your boat as it may the state mistake made by Ashley so much better than this statement and you just get out there to do with the president Allah here so it’s already like hospitals in the area as far as our victim release party I ship that mentality that that is you know if you start working here idea I say it’s something and then again all that supplement we can sell the stronger share what you know and then finding people there is crazy is asking that we have to drive the law of attraction so so my dad just thanks Carl I’ll give you two books that we read in flank five Academy one is poke the box by Seth Godin it’s a call to action it’s it’s you know the metaphor he uses is he says ship it you know he says don’t sit talk ruminate discuss I mean we like to do these things to network network can be productive network can also be a stalling technique so his pushes go ship it which is this thing just do the work that’s one book i think his phenomenal the other book is shawn Achor he’s a Harvard professor he wrote a book called the happiness advantage basically anybody here read it I’m hearing some hit the basic his basic paradigm again shawn Achor the happiness advantage his basic thing is in its born out through research and again I’m we live in the personal in terms of what what I’m doing what we’re doing but he says the

American paradigm and it’s a distinctly American paradigm is that we have to succeed first before we have license to be happy we have to first go to get schools get the massive screws right then get the job then make the money then have the kids but some time some imaginary time when we are like 89 right in the house is clean and the kids are gone we can take a breath take a bow and be happy and and it’s a false paradigm but it’s literally a paradigm that many of us I think live under and he says research actually suggests the exact opposite which is that when we are happy that’s the greatest predictive determinant variable of future success actually just the opposite and so my push with that and I guess it now make these my parting words is for all of us including convicts people with criminal convictions on their records it’s about getting to an authentic place about who we honestly are because so much of when we talk about startup is like the risk is I don’t hope that any of you come do what I have done or any of these other talented women have done what Paul has done I hope you do what you are going to go do and there’s a great story for every single one of you regardless of where you come from out the question was asked success I’ll tell you what my favorite success story coming out of flank 5 was a woman who had now worked for 30 years she’d raised kids and she came in and she said I’m under qualified to be here because I don’t have a professional history and I said you’re absolutely wrong I said what are you interested in doing she goes well I want to coach my daughter had a drug addiction and I want to speak to other mothers with children with drug addiction I said guess what you were the only person I know qualified to do that so you are all uniquely qualified to do something be authentic to it honor it don’t try to be somebody else go be yourself and you’re going to find success I wish you look there any any other books well then those are great closing words I couldn’t think of a more appropriate close to that so I’d like to thank once again Anne and Todd and Courtney and Nellie for joining us and let you know that yeah please a round of applause the good news is that the discussion isn’t over we have food and we have some drink and we still have 10 minutes on the schedule but we’ve got the atrium for as long as you all want to stay here and continue to network with a purpose but the tables are set up on the side just to facilitate a specific conversation but certainly we want to encourage everybody to stick around enjoy the food continue the conversation continue to dialogue and and don’t let this be something that you just came to sat at listen and then forget about decide on something today and do it right so just do it so again on behalf of national louis university and and and everybody who put this together wherever dan is at and Dan put all this together with his team and everybody else thank you so much goodnight you