by MeiMei Fox, Forbes Contributor

“Businesses hold most of the resources in the world, and I believe they have a responsibility to be part of the solution to many of the world’s most pressing challenges : poverty, hunger, climate change, etc. The state of the world demands that businesses step up to do their part.” So says Atlanta McIlwraith, senior manager of community engagement and communications at Timberland.


[Photo: McIlwraith celebrating Timberland's two-millionth tree planted in Northern China’s Horqin Desert. (Courtesy of Timberland)]

The global lifestyle brand works hard to make its products responsibly, protect the outdoors, and serve communities around the globe where employees live and work. Lately, McIlwraith's focus has been on meeting with potential partners who can help bring Timberland’s urban greening efforts to life. From 2001-2015, the company planted 8.7 million trees. They plan to make that 10 million trees by 2020.

In a nutshell, McIlwraith’s role involves building partnerships, driving community impact, and telling stories. She leads a team of Global Stewards, passionate employees who volunteer for a two-year term to drive service and corporate responsibility in their locations, adapting global strategies in locally-relevant ways. She also manages Timberland’s award-winning Path of Service volunteer program, which provides employees with 40 paid community service hours per year. For partnerships, McIlwraith recommends and manages Timberland’s relationships with nonprofit organizations that align with company goals.

atlantamcilwraith_blog_2.png[Photo: McIlwraith led volunteers to reconstruct gardens in the South Bronx, NY. (Courtesy of Timberland)]

As a child, McIlwraith already was deeply connected to her life purpose, which was to save the environment and help people less fortunate than herself. It wasn’t until she got to college, however, that she learned how to channel that concern through activism. Her first jobs focused on community organizing for an electoral campaign and then Public Citizen’s CongressWatch in Washington, D.C.

While living in D.C., McIlwraith had an idea to launch her own socially responsible business. Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, was her inspiration. McIlwraith read Roddick’s book, Body and Soul:  How to Succeed in Business and Change the World, to determine the best way to approach the business leader, and found that she couldn’t put it down. “I literally stayed up all night to finish and walked away with an overwhelming conviction that I needed to work with Anita,” McIlwraith said. Eight months later, she had secured at job at The Body Shop, designing and launching the company’s public awareness and action campaigns for its U.S. retail stores.

Eventually, McIlwraith landed on corporate social responsibility (CSR) as the place where she wanted to play, and Timberland has proven a great place for her to do so. Her job allows her to make a difference on a global scale and empower others to do the same – whether by supporting a community garden in the Bronx that enables residents to grow their own food, or helping reforest Haiti and improving farmer incomes in the process.

McIlwraith finds that cynicism and apathy are some challenges she faces in her chosen career path. But, she says, “the reward is knowing that I’m part of creating a successful model of sustainable business. I am proud to work for a company that sets an example of doing well while doing good. I don’t have to check any values at the door to get my job done at Timberland.”

McIlwraith offers this advice to young people who want to make a career change or start a new career that is aligned with their life purpose. “Be curious, take risks, and trust your gut. Leverage your networks. Learn what you need to do to get hired in that field and read relevant books, follow the news, take a class, and/or join a professional network or association with people who can guide and mentor you (like Net Impact). Volunteer in your community on specific projects that can help you have a meaningful impact while developing the skills and experiences you’ll need to make your case to potential new employers. Ask for feedback on every interview so you can learn and improve. Finally, don’t give up. The right opportunity is out there for you; you just need to find it.”

Read the original article here  

New Hampshire businesses urge lawmakers to adopt clean energy policies

Published: January 2, 2018

More than 50 New Hampshire businesses are calling for the NH Legislature to advance clean energy policies that they say will support economic growth and business development.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Hypertherm, Hannaford Supermarkets, Velcro Companies, Timberland and Worthen Industries are among the businesses that have signed on to a series of “Clean Energy Principles” and sent a letter highlighting those principles to state lawmakers. 

“As businesses and employers invested in New Hampshire, we believe that transitioning to a clean energy economy will improve our own competitiveness and our state’s prosperity, health and security,” the letter begins.

It then lists the five principles:

 • “Energy efficiency and clean energy solutions are essential to our businesses. Strengthening investments in market-driven clean energy programs will help New Hampshire businesses be more competitive and grow our workforce.”

 • “Clean energy solutions help us protect the beautiful natural resources of our state, our tourism economy, our health and our way of life.”

 • “Strong state policies to enhance access to energy efficiency and renewable energy will shift our economy away from imported fossil fuels, reduce energy costs and support locally produced clean energy resources — keeping our energy dollars in New Hampshire’s economy.”

 • “Investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy make us more resilient by reducing exposure to fossil fuel price volatility.”

 • “Developing clean energy systems and technologies to meet the needs of a changing global economy provides economic opportunities for the businesses and people of our state.”

One of the businesses signing on to the letter is Wire Belt Company of America in Londonderry, whose CEO, David Greer, said, “Clean energy is good for businesses and New Hampshire’s economy, and it is the right thing to do for our planet. Renewable energy helps businesses like ours compete with other states who have lower energy costs.”

In fact, Greer said, “We plan to almost double the size of our rooftop solar system because it helps cut our energy costs and gives us more predictability.”

According to Colleen Vien, sustainability director at Timberland, “access to renewable energy empowers businesses to make decisions and investments that benefit the environment, the economy and our bottom line.”

New Hampshire currently ranks last among the New England states in energy-efficiency investment, and lawmakers have an opportunity to do more to help decrease demands on the energy grid — helping to reduce overall energy costs for all consumers, the businesses argue.

Michelle Veasey, executive director of NH Businesses for Social Responsibility and an organizer of the statement, said the signatories “are encouraging lawmakers to adopt policies that position New Hampshire to be competitive and innovative. Lawmakers have an opportunity to follow the lead of the private sector and put the state on a sustainable path towards a thriving economic future.”

Another organizer of the statement, Alli Gold Roberts, senior manager for state policy at Ceres, a nonprofit that works with investors and businesses to promote sustainability initiatives and polices, said, “Investing in clean energy is good for business, and we applaud businesses for elevating their voices in support of strong clean energy policy.”

Among businesses signing the letter: 36Creative; 7th Settlement Brewery; 900 Degrees Pizzeria Admix; Alnoba; AutoBeGreen; Bowst Interactive; Bruss Project Management; Co-op Food Stores; Dartmouth Hitchcock; Filtrine; FoodState; Gale River Motel; GDS Associates Inc.; Global Round Table Leadership; Good Start Packaging; Grappone Automotive; Gravity Group New England; Great Bay Community College; Green Alliance; Green Energy Options; Hannaford Supermarkets; Henry Whipple House; Hypertherm; mage 4; LighTec Inc.;  Lucky & Me; Merritt & Merritt; MicroSpec Corp.; Nemo Equipment; NESG; New England Commercial Solar Services;  Outdoor Industry Association; Pause, a Mindfulness Practice; Pax World Funds; Pete and Gerry’s; Petersen Engineering; ReVision Energy; Ridgeview Construction; Stephenson Strategic Communications; Stonyfield Farm; Strategic Potential LLC; The Hvizda Team; Throwback Brewery; Timberland; Velcro Companies; and Wire Belt Company of America; W.S. Badger and Co.; Worthen Industries; and Yes! Ventures.

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by Bea Boccalandro


We take a third of our waking breaths at work. As if this hefty contribution of time weren’t enough, we also invest emotionally. We agonize over a conflictwith a colleague, obsess over a forthcoming presentation, rejoice in attaining a quarterly goal and otherwise live the ups and downs of our workplaces.

No wonder we arrive home barely capable of boiling water for a macaroni dinner. Work consumes whatever enthusiasm, brilliance and patience we might have possessed upon awakening. The next day we repeat the cycle of expending most of our time and energy at the plant, store or office. 

In other words, work is rarely a sideshow to life. Most often, it’s the immobile core around which we find time to enjoy neighbors and family, pursue interests, find love and raise children.

Yet, the most common critique I get of my presentations is that, by helping people to make a social impact from their everyday work or to “job purpose,” I overvalue work. Our personal lives, not our jobs, are meant to fulfill. Work is merely a mechanism to affording a fulfilling personal life, say my critics. 

Don’t think that I’m a dour workaholic disinterested in family, friends and fun. I’ve turned down speaking engagements because they conflicted with my mom’s birthday, a weekend of skiing with friends and, most pathetic of all, my need for sleep. Clearly, I’m not a paragon of career ambition. Like my critics, I confer more importance to my non-work life than to my work life. Most of us do. That hardly means, however, that we should accept work that depletes rather than enriches. 

I baked a bland quiche once (well, OK, several times). It delivered calories and eliminated hunger pangs but had no other positive attributes. I cleverly tried to highlight the silky chocolate mousse and free-flowing alcohol during dinner conversation, but these could not redeem the meal.

Sadly, many of us have jobs like my quiche. Our labor allows us to meet basic needs like food, shelter and safety, but feels dull. We, therefore, downplay work. We autopilot through five-sevenths of our days, re-engaging with life on Friday evenings for two precious days. Yet, under the dead weight of our jobs, we’re unable to pull ourselves out of the workweek doldrums to claim a rewarding life. This explains why if we’re very dissatisfied with work, it’s almost certain (84%) that we’re not very satisfied with life.[1] Similarly, if our job satisfaction drops by 10%, our life satisfaction drops, on average, by 6%.[2]

Creating a fulfilling life around drab work is as difficult as creating an extraordinary dinner around a flavorless main course. It’s a heck of a lot of work for a minuscule chance at success.

It’s time we accept that our best chance at a fulfilling life is through fulfilling work. This week, I challenge you to explore what changes to your job would make it, and thus your life, more rewarding. Let me know what you discover.

Bea Boccalandro is founder and president of VeraWorks, a global consulting firm that advises executives and helps brands make a positive social impact, including Aetna, Bank of America, Disney, FedEx, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Levi’s and PwC. Bea focuses on “job purposing,” the management practice of heightening employee engagement, performance and wellbeing by igniting everyday jobs with social purpose. To learn more about job purposing, download Bea’s free Job Purposing Essentials paper for managers, or follow Bea here on LinkedIn and on Twitter.

[1] Tom W. Smith, “Job Satisfaction in the United States” (Chicago: NORC/University of Chicago, 2007).

[2] Happiness Research Institute and Krifa, Job Satisfaction Index 2017 (Copenhagen: Happiness Research Institute, 2017). 


by New Futures

A dramatic rise in the number of drug-related deaths in New Hampshire has focused the state’s attention on the dangerous rise in opiate and opioid abuse occurring. It has also prompted public policy efforts to address the problem. Headline news reports of heroin, fentanyl, and other drug-related deaths are startling and disturbing, but as horrific as the number of drug-related deaths are, they still represent only a fraction of the personal, economic, and social costs of drug and alcohol misuse in New Hampshire.

Along with the focus on the rise of opioid use, there has also been an increased awareness of the constraints that slow labor force growth is placing on New Hampshire’s economy; highlighting the need to maximize labor force participation and productivity.

This is why New Futures, a health and wellness advocacy organization in New Hampshire, recently released the updated economic report titled pie_chart.png“Substance Misuse in New Hampshire: An Update on Costs to the State’s Economy and Initial Impacts of Public Policies to Reduce Them“ which focuses on the costs of substance misuse in the Granite State. This report uses additional data and improved methodologies to estimate the costs attributable to substance misuse in four broad areas: the productivity of individuals and businesses, criminal justice, health care, and other costs. The cost to New Hampshire of substance abuse has increased from $1.84 billion in 2014 to $2.36 billion (not including $604.6 million in costs related to premature deaths) in 2015. This is an amount equal to over $21,000 annually for every individual in the state who is dependent upon or abuses alcohol or drugs. The annual cost of drug and alcohol misuse in New Hampshire is equal to over three percent (3.32%) of the state’s annual gross state product.

Nationally, and in New Hampshire, the longer-term prospects for economic growth are being challenged by two primary forces, slow growth in the labor force and declining growth in productivity. By reducing the number of individuals in the labor force and by decreasing the skills and productivity of individuals who are in the labor force, substance misuse in New Hampshire exacerbates key demographic and human resource issues that contribute to slower economic growth in the state. This report reiterates the fact that the greatest cost of substance misuse in New Hampshire is in the form of the lost productivity of individuals in the state who are dependent on or who abuse alcohol or drugs.

alcdrugs.pngIn 2016, policymakers in the State of New Hampshire took a number of important steps to confront the increasing problem of substance misuse in the state. As a result of state and national policies enacted in recent years, there are now greater opportunities for New Hampshire residents to receive needed treatment and recovery supports. The report documents the impact the Affordable Care Act requirements for insurance coverage of substance use disorder and mental health treatment services. This report takes a look at the expansion of Medicaid, and what affect that has had on substance misuse treatment rates in New Hampshire. Finally, the report examines how treatment capacity has expanded in response to ACA requirements for the inclusion substance use disorder treatment in health insurance coverage and the expansion of Medicaid in the state.  

Although the total cost of substance misuse in New Hampshire’s economy continues to rise there are many ways businesses can step in to actively help work toward solutions. The first is creating and implementing a recovery friendly workplace model for your company or small business. This can be as easy as having an open door policy with your employees or even simply asking them about how their home life is going. Another way a business can have a recovery friendly workplace is by meeting one on one with employees suspected of having a substance use disorder or mental health crisis to lay out options for them and connect them with resources. We also always urge employers to make reasonable accommodations to assist someone who is fresh out of treatment to maintain sobriety to ensure that they are able to leave early or come in late when appropriate in order to attend any group meetings. It is also important that business leaders and managers recognize that individuals who may not have a substance use disorder themselves may have to access Paid Family and Medical Leave time in order to care for a family member who may have entered or just left treatment. A quick step employers can take today is to make sure employees are thorough educated on the behavioral health services offered through their medical plan. Lastly, business leaders can also call their legislators for continued support of programs that have been proven effective such as Medicaid Expansion, Paid Family and Medical Leave and local resources such as Safe Stations program.

New Futures plans to continue to spread awareness and evidence-based information on the many different ways substance misuse can impact a community, a state’s economy and workforce development.

New Futures welcomes the chance to connect with you. You can reach the team at their office, (603) 225-9540 or via email at They also love when folks drop by. 10 Ferry St. Suite 307 Concord NH 03301. this report on the New Futures website

by Bea Boccalandro

Think your fancy modern job is better than the primitive jobs of our ancestors? 

caveman_beaboccalandro_image.pngMaybe not. 

It’s unlikely cave dwellers grumbled about the day they endured to put dinner on their stone tables. Anthropologists believe pre-historic humans legitimately enjoyed working. The legacy of these happy laborers appears to survive in our genes. Why else would so many of us hunt deer, catch fish and gather berries for fun?

What's more, our modern view that work is the unpleasantness necessary for survival would confound our forefathers and foremothers. Hunter-gatherer communities didn't even have a word for “work.” Procuring food and shelter were not distinctly different from playing with the kids or drawing on the cave wall.

We upright and suited modern humans, on the other hand, mostly see work as a necessary transaction. Fewer than half of Americans are happy workers, per research by the Conference Board. We don’t only have a word for this unpleasantness, we have several: Labor, grind and toil, to name a few more.

Why has work devolved from fulfilling to depleting over the centuries? Mainly because we inadvertently stripped it of social purpose. More than just a way to feed our nuclear families, the work of generations past inherently made a positive social impact. Hunting and consuming a wooly mammoth, for example, was a community endeavor that fed and clothed dozens of individuals. It felt meaningful and connected.

Don’t sharpen your flint and rush into the forest just yet. There is a way to keep today's comfortable jobs and recover the fulfilling purpose that is our legacy. It’s a practice called job purposing that stretches jobs, just a tad, to make a positive social impact through everyday work. If you work at a restaurant, job purposing might entail serving a meal to homeless individuals after closing or sourcing ingredients from local family farms. If you're a hairdresser, job purposing might be a matter of becoming trained on local domestic violence services and connecting clients when appropriate. Whatever your job, you can twist it towards social good. For six simple ways to do this, see prior post. 

History of work expert Richard Donkin says that “The creatures that stepped down from the trees and began to roam upright over the land appear to have developed something beyond the need to survive ... they seem to have moved with a sense of purpose.” Donkin believes this has been passed down to us. “If anything drives our organizations today it must be a similar purpose.”

What can you do today to reclaim your legacy, as a human, of purposeful work? (Whatever you decide to do, I would love to hear about it.)

Bea Boccalandro is founder and president of VeraWorks, a global consulting firm that helps companies — including Aetna, Bank of America, Disney, FedEx, Hewlett Packard Enterprise IBM, Levi’s and PwC — contribute to societal causes. Bea focuses on “job purposing,” the management practice of heightening employee engagement, performance and wellbeing by offering them the opportunity to make a societal impact through their everyday jobs. To learn more about job purposing, download Bea’s free Job Purposing Essentials paper, or follow Bea on Twitter.

MEMBER FEATURE: a conversation with Ashley Larochelle, Vision Activation Manager


We’re all familiar with line “Love makes the world go ‘round,” but what about food? Doesn’t food make the world go ‘round, too? “I think you can make acase for that,” laughs Ashley Larochelle. Ashley is the vision activation manager at the New Hampshire company called FoodState. If anybody can make the case, it’s Ashley and her colleagues!

Founded in 1973 in Derry and now based in Londonderry, FoodState manufacturers and sells whole food supplements nationally and, increasingly, worldwide. The firm’s two brands, MegaFood® and INNATE Response Formulas®, were launched, respectively, in 1983 and 2003 when the company was named BioSan. In 2012, Robert U. Craven became CEO following the retirement of company founder Carl Jackson, and BioSan became FoodState.

Producing wholesome and nutritious supplements has always formed the “what” of FoodState’s business; Ashley says the “why” is something everyone at the company has been doubling down on in recent years. “Our mission is to improve lives and inspire others to do the same,” Ashley explains. “At FoodState, we’re all about community, and community begins at home in the way the company treats its employees and in the way we steward the environment.”

foodstate_1.jpgFor starters, the company’s employee-run Wellness Warriors bring health and wellness close to home by helping to make FoodState a healthy place to work through organized team runs, lunch and learn events, educational posting, and reimbursement not only for gym membership but also for the purchase of home exercise equipment and videos and membership in local CSAs. A second employee-run group, of which Ashley is a founding member, is the Culture Club. Drawing members from every corner of the organization, the CC has introduced some pretty neat community-building initiatives. These include quarterly Town Hall meetings for all staff, 24 hours of paid, community volunteer time, and an annual MVP program for employees who really wow their managers. A leadership development program called Flight School developed at FoodState offers managers a platform to develop best practices while strengthening company culture

foodstate_2.jpgAs a green company, FoodState uses primarily unboxed, glass bottles in its product packaging and, in 2016, was able to conserve over a million gallons of water used in its manufacturing processes by updating some processes and equipment. The company dedicates its sourcing efforts to supporting small, family-owned enterprises doing business on a smaller scale. “We source locally wherever possible,” says Ashley, “but regardless of where a particular ingredient comes from, we are fanatical about its purity and just as fanatical about being transparent to our customers.”

In the growing, multi-billion dollar natural products industry, FoodState enjoys no inconsiderable national renown for its unabashed advocacy of making trust and transparency the key differentiators setting the good players apart from the not-so-good players. To walk the talk and drive the point home, FoodState became the first company in the nation to offer 24/7 live streaming of its manufacturing facilities and to post, unabridged, all reports from third-party quality inspections.

With BHAGs* such as “ending nutritional poverty,” “changing the world,” and “improving lives and inspiring others to do the same,” FoodStaters rarely lack for lots of motivation in their daily work. And who can blame them if they do agree that love isn’t the only thing that makes the world go ‘round?

Please help us welcome Ashley and the FoodState team!

Ashley welcomes the chance to speak with anyone who is interested in learning more. She can be reached via email at or by phone (603) 216-0910. 


* Big, Hairy, Audacious, Goals


NHBSR Welcomes Two New Board Members from Pax World Investments & Cirtronics

New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility (NHBSR) is pleased to welcome Chris Rooney of Pax World Investments and Jessica Kinsey of Cirtronics, to the organization’s board of directors.

NHBSR Welcomes Two New Board Members

November 2016

NH Businesses for Social responsibility welcomes new board members!

NHBSR Announces New Board Members from Stonyfield and Dartmouth-Hitchcock

Concord, New Hampshire, November 2, 2016 – New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility (NHBSR) is pleased to welcome Lisa Drake of Stonyfield and Melissa Skarupa of Dartmouth-Hitchcock, to the organization’s board of directors.

2016 Sustainability Slam Winners Announced


New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility’s Announces the Winners of the 2nd Annual Sustainability Slam