The Boiling Point Podcast

All Hail the Czar

Introducing Michelle Reid and Mills Office Productivity

When you have a problem that needs to be solved you call in a czar. For the past 5 years, Michelle Reid has served as the czar of sustainability for Mills Office Productivity, a local and sustainable business supplier located in East Vancouver. Many years ago, Mill’s owner was approached to help tackle the homeless problem in Vancouver. They didn’t do so through handouts but rather by offering jobs to those in need and give people an opportunity to pull themselves up by the bootstraps. There were only so many jobs available in the Mill’s warehouse, so around seven years ago they expanded their program into the restaurant industry. Mills now offers an eight week culinary training program and job placement out of their Have Cafe which has helped out 800 individuals and with job retention of 50% seven years later.

Michelle oversees all of Mills’ social and environmental initiatives to ensure the B Corp is amongst best for the world.   Michelle is passionate about the local economy and the impact of local purchasing, and supports organizations such as Loco BC where she sits on the Board of Directors. Michelle is constantly striving to ensure that Mills is using the best practices for its employees, the environment and the community they reside in and takes great pride in Mills commitment to remain a leader in its field through various certifications including being the first office supply company in Canada to become a Certified B Corporation.

Check out this week’s Boiling Point for another example of how companies can make real measurable impact in their communities.

 

In this episode

  • Greg remembers a schoolyard crush.
  • He tells us how he met Michelle at the B Corp Champions event in Portland, Oregon.
  • Michelle lets us in on Canada’s only office supply B Corp.
  • We hear how Mills Office Productivity is making real strides against the plight of homelessness in Vancouver.
  • We learn why many government assistance programs do not work and what makes the Have Cafe better.
  • We discuss why an opportunity means so much more than a handout.
  • Michelle tells us how she became the sustainability czar.
  • We discuss how empathy is sadly lacking in business and in the general world.
  • Greg appreciates how Michelle is legit and owns her title and considers changing his title to chief excitement officer or chief “lets rock it” officer.
  • Dave is impressed with the amazing measurable work that Mills Office Productivity is doing in such an important area.

 

Links

- Mills Office Productivity Website

- Mills' Sustainability

- Mills' on Facebook

- Mills' on Linked In

- Mills' on Twitter

- Have Cafe Website

- Have Cafe on Facebook

- Have Cafe on Twitter

- Michelle on Linked In

- Email Michelle

 

Direct download: BP090MichelleReid.mp3
Category:entrepreneurship -- posted at: 5:00pm EDT

Out with the Dinosaurs, In with Evolution

 

Reintroducing Kristy O'Leary - Scout & Burrow

This week’s guest for the second time is Kristy O’Leary from Scout & Burrow. Kristy is an artist, entrepreneur, and social change provocateur. Through Scout & Burrow, Kristy makes a living out of spurring organizations to imagine a world made better and then pushing them to act. This is not an easy task, as Atlantic Canada is full of old school, conservative businesses people and practices that are resistant to change. Kristy cannot help but see the opportunities that could arise from our challenges and seeks to change the mind of the dinosaurs in our midst.

 

In this episode

  • We get reacquainted with Kristy and Scout & Burrow
  • Kristy lets us in on the evolution of her business since the last time she was on the Boiling Point.
  • She highlights the importance of those working within a value-based perspective to tell their stories so that others can learn what is possible.
  • We hear about the current lack of an innovative economic strategy in Atlantic Canada and what types of things could be done to change the trend.
  • She explains why it is tough to be disrupter in a conservative business environment.
  • Kristy tells us why it is important to see our problems as opportunities for new business models.
  • Kristy also reiterates her distain for Kevin O’Leary.
  • Greg agrees with Kristy’s proposition that entrepreneurs need to say yes to change more often.
  • Dave sees the importance of personal impact, legacy, and creating wealth for good.

 

Links

- Kristy on Linked In

- Kristy on Twitter

- Kristy on Facebook

- Scout & Burrow on Twitter

- Scout & Burrow Website

- Scout & Burrow on Facebook

- B Corp Website

- Kristy's first time on the Boiling Point

Direct download: BP089KristyOleary.mp3
Category:entrepreneurship -- posted at: 5:22pm EDT

From Consuming to Sharing

Introducing Kelly Lawson and ELLA

We have all heard the comment from the closest, “I have nothing to wear.” In fact, the average American woman spends approximately $300 per month on fashion items. In less than a month, 51% of these items go unworn or unused. This means that women are making a fashion investment of $250,000 in their lifetime without any type of return of investment.   This week’s boiling point guest, Kelly Lawson, is seeking to change the trend and connect like-minded women by way of their closets.

A short time ago, Kelly took an idea that she had been toying with for some time and developed the iPhone app, ELLA. With ELLA, women can sell their unused or slightly used clothing for cash. With $50 billion in nearly new items sitting in US closets every year there is a lot to choose from. Not only are you helping out a fellow woman by purchasing from them, but you also help the environment so that all of these items don’t end up in a landfill. Check out this week’s Boiling Point to see how you or your loved one could make some money or perhaps find a great deal on a fashionable item.

 

In this episode 

  • Greg and Kelly crack open a beer from Saint John’s Moosehead Brewery.
  • Kelly tells us how living in a dorm during university helped to spawn the idea for ELLA.
  • We discuss how ELLA is an idea for the sharing economy.
  • Greg suggests that apps like ELLA would change a person’s retail purchasing decisions to consider resale value.
  • Kelly tells us about how ELLA’s data will be able to track the best brands to buy for resale purposes.
  • She also discusses the amount of effort that goes into taking an idea to fruition.
  • Kelly tells us that the only thing you can be sure of in a start-up is your own process.
  • Kelly drops the line, “If you want money, ask for advice. If you want advice, ask for money.”
  • She also lets us know that she is still seeking investment capital and urges BP listeners to contact her if they are interested.
  • Dave loves Kelly’s entrepreneurial spirit and thinks it is great to see someone have an idea and do something with it.
  • Greg is struck by the fact that this idea hadn’t emerged in a big way already because it does good in so many ways.

 

Links

- ELLA's website

- Kelly's email

- Kelly's Twitter

- ELLA on Twitter

- Kelly on Linked In

- Kelly Lawson Photography

- Get the ELLA app

- Moosehead Brewery

- The ELLA APP Video

 

 

 

Direct download: BP088KellyLawson.mp3
Category:entrepreneurship -- posted at: 2:33pm EDT

The Intersection of Passion and Innovation

 

Introducing Shawn Leger and FORCE 3 Innovations

When passion and innovation merge the results can be powerful. Someone who knows all about this situation is Shawn Leger. Shawn has worked in the rehab field for 16 years and he also has a passion for finding solutions to his customers needs. One day he was fitting a wheelchair for an elderly man when he noticed he kept leaning to one side. Shawn found out that this man was a career truck driver and his lean was a result of his many years sitting on the road. This got Shawn thinking about the posture of those who have to drive for a living and resulted in him forming FORCE 3 Innovations to help solve the problem. The product he has now patented and tested can lower back pain, increase tolerance, and provide enhanced health outcomes. The product could also be the only one of its kind that would keep drivers awake longer. Not to mention, that it comes integrated with technology to remember your preferred seat configuration and configurations can be uploaded to clinicians to access if the configuration is correct for your posture. Check out this week’s Boiling Point to hear from a leader fueled by passion.

 

In this episode

  • Greg and Dave ambush Shawn with an interview.
  • Shawn tells us about how he first knew he had the entrepreneurial bug.
  • He gives us his background in the rehab industry with Medi Chair.
  • Shawn explains how the rewards of helping out clients can often be better than money.
  • We hear how FORCE 3 got started.
  • He tells us that the essence of innovation is knowing that situations can be better.
  • Shawn tells us about the other industries that are taking notice of his work.
  • He tells us how his chair evolved an IT feedback function.
  • Shawn tells innovators to get moving and that roadblocks can be overcome.
  • We hear that one of the most important things to do in business is to listen and consider advice.
  • Greg loves Shawn’s spirit of innovation and how he can see opportunities and take them
  • Dave is inspired by the intersection of passion and innovation in Shawn’s journey.

 

Links

- Shawn on Linked In

- FORCE 3 Innovations website

- MediChair New Brunswick website

 

 

Direct download: BP087ShawnLeger.mp3
Category:entrepreneurship -- posted at: 6:47pm EDT

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