SocialVentures Announces New CEO

Vicki Bowen Hewes (right) will take the helm of SocialVentures as Allen Proctor (left) retires

SocialVentures Founder & CEO Allen Proctor will retire on July 1, 2021. Proctor will move into the role of Founder & CEO Emeritus as Vicki Bowen Hewes takes the helm as the new CEO of the organization.

Bowen Hewes spent time in the corporate world before founding Dress for Success Columbus in 2007. During her tenure, the organization grew to be a top global affiliate and consistently ranked in the top five of Dress for Success organizations empowering women to achieve economic independence. In all, Bowen Hewes brings nearly 30 years of combined nonprofit, private industry and social enterprise leadership experience to the new role.

“It’s an honor to continue Allen Proctor’s trailblazing vision,” Bowen Hewes said. “My career has been dedicated to strategically guiding mission-driven initiatives to join forces and propel meaningful change. This role will allow me to leverage that experience – to support SocialVentures’ continued strong trajectory and to advocate for businesses and nonprofits leading the change they wish to see in the world.”

Initially founded by Proctor in 2014 as the Center for Social Enterprise Development, the organization has become the go-to resource for educating the Central Ohio community on socially-conscious businesses. Rebranding to SocialVentures in 2017, the organization’s mission is to advance remarkably good businesses that intentionally integrate social impact as a non-negotiable component of their business model.

SocialVentures helps connect social enterprises with advocacy efforts, educational opportunities, access to capital and more. It also maintains a marketplace of local social enterprises to help consumers make conscious spending decisions.

“Social enterprise is the best hope for eliminating the economic and social divide that continues to hold back central Ohio,” said Proctor. “I am thrilled that Vicki Bowen Hewes will be taking the reins of SocialVentures to continue the remarkable expansion of this mission-driven approach to business in our community.”

Bowen Hewes will work with Proctor and the SocialVentures staff over the summer on the transition.

“Through her highly successful leadership experience, she has demonstrated the skills necessary to take SocialVentures to the next stage,” Proctor said of Bowen Hewes. “She brings a strong network that she will introduce to social enterprise and its enormous benefits to women, historically underrepresented groups, and the too many individuals who have been excluded from sharing in the gains from economic development in our community.” 

Proctor’s retirement will be recognized at SocialVentures annual event, Positioned to Prosper, to be held Tuesday, August 3 at the Columbus Museum of Art.

“This is a bittersweet moment for the board and for the organization,” said Andrea Applegate, Board Chair of SocialVentures. “Allen is a gift to our community. Years ago, he saw a need, recognized a solution, and with true entrepreneurial spirit, founded an organization that contributed to establishing the social enterprise ecosystem in Columbus.

“Today, we have SocialVentures that works to support and grow mission-driven businesses and nonprofits. The board was hard pressed to find someone to carry Allen’s vision forward, and we could not be more impressed with Vicki Bowen Hewes’ background and experience. She is a gem in her own right. We are thrilled for the future of SocialVentures with Vicki at the helm.”

The Metropreneur has worked with Proctor and SocialVentures on its annual Social Enterprise of the Year Awards presented at Aspire. For the past four years, SocialVentures has partnered with The Metropreneur to present the awards which recognize the sustainable impact of new, growing and well-established social enterprises in the community.

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