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Social Innovators Honored at Hall of Fame Event in NYC

'Visionary Social Entrepreneurs' to receive Impact Award from Social Venture Network

Submitted by: Social Venture Network

Categories: Corporate Social Responsibility, Ratings & Awards

Posted: Jun 06, 2012 – 08:00 AM EST


MANHATTAN, Jun. 06 /CSRwire/ - Social Venture Network (SVN) just announced eight additional inductees into the SVN Hall of Fame: Visionary Social Entrepreneurs. This group of values-driven entrepreneurs will be presented with the SVN Impact Award on November 13th at the Social Venture Network Hall of Fame Celebration at Gotham Hall in New York City.  This event marks SVN’s 25th anniversary and pays tribute to innovators who proved that businesses can succeed while focusing on a triple bottom line: people, profit and planet.

Recognized as “Visionary Social Entrepreneurs” are Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, co-founders of Ben & Jerry’s, Linda Mason and Roger Brown, co-founders of Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Bill Drayton, founder of Ashoka, Cheryl Dorsey, president of Echoing Green, and Lynne and Bill Twist, co-founders of Pachamama Alliance. Each entrepreneur created organizations that had no parallel at the time, and paved the way for the next generation of social entrepreneurs.

This will be SVN’s largest event to date to support their mission of connecting values-driven entrepreneurs with the people, ideas, and resources they need to succeed. Deb Nelson, Executive Director of SVN says “The focus for this ceremony will be connecting the next generation of social entrepreneurs to the legacy and values of the pioneers of social entrepreneurship”. Awards will be presented by past SVN Innovation Award winners, who represent some of the best up-and-coming talent in socially responsible business.

“The Visionary Social Entrepreneurs created models of social innovation that were very unique at the time of their founding,” says Nelson.  Honorees were rigorously vetted by a panel of 20 judges representing corporate peers, industry experts, business and organizational leaders.  There are five categories of inductees, and the results will be announced in stages building up to the final Hall of Fame awards ceremony in November. Previously announced inductees include Workplace Champions and Environmental Evangelists.

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, co-founders, Ben & Jerry’s Homemade are as well-known for their delicious ice cream as they are for being outspoken social activists, supporting fair trade and socially conscious sourcing, supporting local communities, promoting world peace, supporting the arts, and using cutting-edge, environmentally-friendly practices for packaging, production and distribution of product.  Ben & Jerry’s built an iconic brand that proves that values-driven business pays. Says Cohen, “The more activist we became, the more successful our company became.”

Linda Mason and Roger Brown, co-founders, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, a company that provides employer-sponsored child care at workplaces. Bright Horizons has been named to Fortune Magazine's annual "100 Best Places to Work in America” twelve times. It operates more than 700 child care centers worldwide. Through its partner organization, The Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, it supports more than 250 Bright Spaces in the United States that serve more than 10,000 children and families in crisis.

Cheryl Dorsey, president of Echoing Green,  an accelerator program that supports select social entrepreneurs with seed money and strategic assistance to help them launch new organizations to confront social, economic, and political inequalities and work to ensure equal access to basic human and civil rights.

Bill Drayton, founder of Ashoka, an organization supporting the field of social entrepreneurship through a social venture capital approach with the goal of elevating the citizen sector to a competitive level equal to the business sector. The organization currently operates in over 70 countries and supports the work of over 2,000 social entrepreneurs.

Lynne and Bill Twist, co-founders, Pachamama Alliance, an innovative partnership with indigenous peoples of Latin America dedicated to preserving the land and culture of tens of millions of acres of pristine Amazon Rainforest vital to the health and sustainability of the entire planet.

Participant Media is one of the event’s major sponsors along with RSF Social Finance, Dr. Hauschka, Mary’s Gone Crackers, and Halloran Philanthropies.

About SVN
Since 1987, Social Venture Network ( has been at the forefront of the socially responsible business movement, connecting, leveraging, and promoting a world-class community of more than 550 innovative entrepreneurs working to change the way the world does business and the way that business affects the world. SVN connects the leaders of socially responsible enterprises to share lessons and resources, form strategic alliances, and explore new solutions that build a more just and sustainable economy.

Interviews with SVN representatives and Hall of Fame honorees available upon request

For more information, please contact:

Erin Roach Director of Recruitment and Marketing
Phone: 415-561-6501 x12
Fax: 415-561-6435
Deb Nelson Executive Director
Phone: 415-561-6501 x16
Fax: 415-561-6435


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