Online social networks can sometimes make us forget just how important it is to actually, physically, get together and meet new people. B Corp is particularly sensitive to the importance of networking—they make an extra effort to promote networking among B Corp certified and aspiring companies through a quarterly happy hour!
Lulu had the honor of hosting the fourth quarter happy hour for 2017, as part of the NC B Corp Growth Committee B Corp Happy Hour program. We celebrated local companies that use their business as a force for good with the best ways we know how—free beer, a Japanese dumpling food truck, a gameshow-style quiz, and several pounds of googly-eyed potatoes.
Our COO, Kathy Hensgen, shared a bit about the Lulu journey to becoming a B Corp as well as Lulu’s commitment to maintaining our certification. Did you know that our Morrisville building is far more energy-efficient than the old Hillsborough St. office? Our Davis Dr. facility averages 18,223 kWh/ month, whereas the Hillsborough St. office averaged a whopping 43,233 kWh/month! Plus, Lulu offsets all kilowatt-hours used with service from Arcadia Power. Wowza.
Check out this awesome video the NC B Corp Growth Committee made from the night:
After Kathy’s opening remarks, we gave the floor to a few local B Corps to talk about their experiences.
First up was Chris Bingham of Riley Life, our Lulu Jr. fulfillment partner, talked about their open hiring practices, employee benefits, and what it’s like to fulfill a truffle salt from Oprah’s Favorite Things list. In two words—overwhelmingly fragrant.
Then we heard from David Machles of Dimensions Occupational Health & Safety (OHS), who spoke of their commitment to helping clients provide safe and healthy work environments. Dimensions OHS practices what they preach. Their employees are granted flexible work hours and locations. Each decides their own hours and work remotely.
We also invited Lonerider brewer and Lulu author, Anita Riley, to discuss her work both in fermentation and publishing. When Anita’s not brewing beer for Lonerider, she spends her time working with the Pink Boot Society, an organization that promotes education and career development for women in the brewing industry. In her book, “Brewing Ambition: Recipes & Stories from the Women of North Carolina Craft Beer,” Anita compiled home-brew recipes from women in the NC Craft Beer industry. Proceeds from her book go back to the Pink Boot Society. We love Anita’s work so much that we got a keg of Lonerider’s hefeweizen, Shotgun Betty, for the Lulu kegerator to live alongside Bull City Burger & Brewery’s delicious Movember Moustache Ale.
Homebrew recipes by the women of North Carolina’s Craft Beer Industry and the stories behind them. Proceeds from the sale of this book benefit The Pink Boots Society’s scholarship fund, which seeks to assist, encourage, and inspire women in the beer industry to further their careers through education.
Once the speakers were done, we enjoyed those awesome local beers and some dumplings while mingling and getting to know each other. To keep things interesting, and to dig a little deeper into all things B, we gathered all our new Happy Hour friends for a game-show-style quiz. Who doesn’t love prizes? We asked participants a variety of questions ranging from the history of B Corps, the difference between a benefit corporation, and fun facts about other certified B Corps.
Whoever shouted the correct answer the fastest and loudest, we invited to come on down and take a chance on the Wheel of B Corp—a prize wheel with fun categories like “B Corp,” “You Pick,” “Spin Again,” “Mystery,” and “Potato”.
Our gracious B Corp friends donated all sorts of awesome swag. We had insect repellent kits from Murphy’s Naturals, Larry’s Coffee beans and mugs, B Corp pins, a free month of CompostNow** service, books from some of our favorite Lulu authors, calendars, and hydration gear.
With all the prizes given out, we retired to more mingling as the Happy Hour wound down. Everyone went home with something, be it a cool prize, a potato with googly-eyes glued to it (don’t ask why this was a prize, it just was), or a new perspective on continuing the B Corp mission.
If you’re interested, a company considering or engaged in the B Corp commitment, or just want to get some great networking ideas that don’t require a smartphone, check out the B Corps event idea page.
**CompostNow isn’t a B Corp, but we’d love for them to join the club 😉
Sheridan is Lulu’s Coordinator of Sustainability and Outreach. She is an author advocate, B Corp Champion, friend to all cats everywhere, and a clog aficionado.