Member Feature: The Green Alliance
A conversation with Mike Bellamente, Managing Director and Co-Owner
Serendipity (n): finding something good without looking for it.
We love hearing stories that involve serendipity, and it certainly sounds like there was some at play when Mike went to meet up with his friend Sarah Brown, owner and director of The Green Alliance, for a drink at the Thirsty Moose last October and left with a deal as the future owner of The Green Alliance.
As is often the case, it’s all about timing. Mike was getting ready to start his own environmental consultancy, having worked for Climate Counts, a collaborative effort to bring consumers and companies together to address solutions around global climate change. Using a scorecard that rates the world's largest companies on their commitment to addressing climate change, consumers can make informed decisions about their purchases. Sarah Brown, had taken this scorecard and modified it to apply to a local area, providing members of The Green Alliance with a pocket shopping guide to help them make informed purchasing choices. At the time the two met last October, both Mike and Sarah were both at an interesting crossroads.
Mike says it’s one of the most enjoyable endeavors he’s pursued in his life, where unexpectedly his interests both past and present came together with an opportunity to help move a respected and appreciated business into its next chapter. The transition happened within a few short months and last January Mike found himself stepping into his new role. As most people know, The Green Alliance hibernated over the winter, which allowed Mike and his team to regroup, talk with member businesses about priorities, and create a plan for moving forward that best serves members, consumers and the organization. Two things became clear— people really enjoy the storytelling. Sharing stories about people, who happen to own and run businesses, gives consumer a face to connect with beyond the name of a business. These personal connections help foster and expand the community we live and work in. Second is that the Green Alliance green card, which gives members a discount at member businesses, is something that people appreciate. Loyalty speaks volumes. It became clear that it’s really difficult to rate companies using a one size fits all system- especially if you consider comparing a solar provider, a pest control company and a yoga studio. They are just different so you will see the scorecard go away.
Enter Naked Bullfrog. What, you ask, is Naked Bullfrog? It is a new interactive platform that focuses on consumer engagement around sustainability. Consumers will use Naked Bullfrog to find and refer businesses that are committed to sustainability so that one can feel good about your purchases and reducing your impact. Think of it as a Green Yelp or Angie’s List. The name itself is symbolic—with naked referencing a commitment to transparency and the bullfrog speaking to both being both loud and green. Naked Bullfrog will have kickstarter effort underway from November 16 to December 16th. Check it out if you haven’t already. The Green Alliance is not going away—there’s just a new member of the family, so to speak.
We asked Mike what he’s most excited about as he looks ahead to 2017. His answer—the people. In his previous roles his work had him working with a national or international audience. Mike’s work at The Green Alliance gives him the opportunity to talk and connect with people in his own backyard. We all know how much it means to make connections between friends, colleagues, and business partners…and if you are able to do so knowing that sustainability is a shared priority that just feels good. Mike is happy that NHBSR and The Green Alliance are partners and members of each other’s organizations and shares that he really values NHBSR and being able to network with like-minded businesses through programming and events. NHBSR is certainly happy for the partnership as well.
Mike welcomes the chance to talk with anyone who is interested in learning more about The Green Alliance or Naked Bullfrog. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 603.828.2626.