SocialVentures Honors Founder’s Retirement at Positioned to Prosper

Allen Proctor and Vicki Bowen Hewes (left) and Positioned to Prosper guests (right) - All photos provided by Jehan Inc.

Tuesday, August 3 marked the seventh annual Positioned to Prosper event, hosted by SocialVentures at the Columbus Museum of Art. The organization welcomed community leaders, corporate partners, and ‘Buy Social’ advocates to celebrate the progression and achievements of the social enterprise community. 

Ohio Health, Huntington, CleanTurn, 180 Demo, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, and many other sponsors along with nearly 350 enthusiastic supporters made for a memorable and impactful event that celebrated retiring founder Allen Proctor’s leadership while welcoming new CEO Vicki Bowen Hewes.

Celebrating Social Entrepreneurship

Positioned to Prosper was emceed by “social-ebrity OGs” Kenny Sipes, founder of The Roosevelt Coffeehouse, and Joe DeLoss, founder of Hot Chicken Takeover, both long-time partners of SocialVentures. The organization stayed true to its mission by serving food provided by L.A. Catering, which donates its profits to LifeCare Alliance, and tables were adorned with arrangements from Petals that Inspire, a floral enterprise that offers job-skill training workshops for youth experiencing homelessness in Columbus. Other highlights included great music mixed by DJ Whitney Taylor Ray.

As part of the program, Emcees DeLoss and Sipes shared insights about businesses working to create change such as What the Waffle, Freedom a la Cart, Fonte Cucina, and several others.

Kevin Snow and Andrea Applegate, SocialVentures Board Chair – Photo provided by Jehan Inc.

In recognition of the organization’s retiring founder, SocialVentures’ Board Chair Andrea Applegate and Chief Mission Officer Molly Tafrate shared special memories of working with Proctor and presented him with an award for his vision, dedication and trailblazing accomplishments.

“In seven years, social enterprise has merged entrepreneurship with a focus on mission in a way that has energized young professionals and opened business leaders’ eyes to more ways they can benefit the community,” said Proctor. “Social enterprise is the best hope for successful employment for the millions of non-elderly Ohio adults living in poverty. The best future will be one in which all businesses strive to become social enterprises.”

Incoming CEO Bowen Hewes is an experienced ‘for impact’ leader with a passion for collaboration and empowerment. She was introduced by close colleague and social enterprise founder, Sandra Brogdon, CEO of Role Model Magazine. Bowen Hewes shared, “The greatest business success stories are the ones that create a better world for everyone, and social enterprises lead important work that strengthens our community every day. It’s an honor for me to carry the baton forward and further the SocialVentures mission.”

Social Enterprise of the Year Awards

SocialVentures has again partnered with The Metropreneur to present the ninth annual Social Enterprise of the Year Awards at Aspire 2021 September 17. At Positioned to Prosper, Susan Post, editor of The Metropreneur, announced this year’s finalists.

For the category of Emerging Social Enterprise of the Year, finalists are:

  • What the Waffle
  • Renter Mentor
  • 180 Demo

For the category of Social Enterprise of the Year, the finalists are:

  • The Roosevelt Foundation
  • Franklinton Cycleworks 
  • Growlers Dog Bones 

More information about the Social Enterprise of the Year Awards and Aspire 2021 is available on The Metropreneur.

Kenny Sipes, Emcee of Positioned to Prosper and Founder of The Roosevelt Foundation – Photo provided by Jehan Inc.

Forward Together

SocialVentures will soon release its seventh annual “State of Social Enterprise in Central Ohio.” This year’s theme is centered around continuing to move forward amidst myriad challenges, and the report highlights resilient, innovative businesses and leaders that led meaningful change despite daunting obstacles in 2020.

A big thank you to everyone who supported this year’s Positioned to Prosper event. SocialVentures furthers its mission by developing, advocating for, and funding businesses that address social problems. Learn more at socialventurescbus.com.

About SocialVentures

Founded in 2014, SocialVentures is a non-profit organization that advances remarkably good businesses—businesses that intentionally integrate social impact as a non-negotiable component of their business model. To contact SocialVentures, send an email to info@socialventurescbus.com or visit socialventurescbus.com.

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