Honoring Corporate Responsibility at The Alliance for Business Leadership’s Give Back Awards

| Jesse Mermell, President of The Alliance for Business Leadership

These days it would be easy to think that the business world is filled with bad guys, but don’t let a few rotten apples spoil the bunch. Here in Massachusetts, we have a wealth of companies and business leaders using their platform and privilege to lift other people up. On November 16, The Alliance for Business Leadership will be honoring business leaders and companies at the Give Back Awards, an evening of service at Cradles to Crayons that honors folks from the private sector who walk the walk when it comes to corporate social responsibility.

The finalists for the Name You Should Know Award are younger leaders on the rise whose work to leave the world better than they found it deserved to be spotlighted. Tali Golan heads up philanthropy and inclusion for TripAdvisor, where she fights for immigrants and refugees across the globe. Capstone Community’s Jason Korb preserves historic properties while turning them into affordable housing. Jody Rose runs the New England Venture Capital Association, and spearheads initiatives around gender and racial diversity. Aimee Sprung leads Microsoft’s community engagement, championing everything from STEM education in underrepresented communities to urban farming. These four exceptional young leaders represent a generation of emerging executives who understand that creating opportunities for people is good business.

The finalists for the Company You Should Know Award are businesses whose work in the interest of the greater good should be celebrated. Mamaleh’s Delicatessen has adopted revenue sharing, to make sure that dishwashers and cooks earn a wage on par with front of the house staff. Indigo is using science to create healthy, sustainable agricultural products. The Other Guys Moving Company gives a second chance to individuals often left out of the job market, and pays them above industry average. Project Repat upcycles old t-shirts into quilts, manufactured in America by workers earning a living wage. As these companies grow, they are setting the standard for socially responsible business everywhere.

Lastly, Red Sox President Sam Kennedy will be honored with the Eli J. Segal Award. Sam is at the forefront of the work the Red Sox Foundation does to support underserved communities in Massachusetts, especially in the areas of health care, scholarships, and youth sports. The namesake for Sam’s Award — Eli Segal — was the owner of the American Publishing Corporation who used his business acumen and connections to serve the public as the head of AmeriCorps and to lead the Clinton Administration’s Welfare-to-Work initiative in the 1990s. Eli Segal set the standard for business leaders who use their power to improve the lives of others, and the Give Back Awards are a chance to pay tribute to him and to acknowledge the many businesses and individuals following is example.

And what better way to honor that legacy of service than by giving back. All of these incredible people and organizations will be recognized not at a traditional rubber chicken dinner, but with an evening at Cradles to Crayons working together to assemble packages for children in need.

Don’t let the bad apples drive the narrative about the business community. Here in Massachusetts, our good apples are leading the way.

Jesse Mermell is the President of The Alliance for Business Leadership, a coalition of progressive business leaders united in the belief that social responsibility and sustainable economic growth go hand-in-hand. She empowers business leaders to use their power and privilege to advance social change. 

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