In this month's Member Newsletter: News & Events, Member Spotlight, Maximizing Membership & more!
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Member Newsletter
September 2016
Welcome New Members

SBN News & Events

Connection Corner

Maximizing Membership
Member Spotlight

GSI Update

Policy Update
Member News & Events

Employment Opportunities

Featured Member Discount
Best Practice Forum
Navigating Local Funding Sources

September 22, 9:00 - 11:00 AM
SBN Office, 2401 Walnut Street, Philadelphia

This program will showcase Little Baby's Ice Cream, a small-batch, hand-made, super-premium ice cream and non-dairy frozen dessert company specializing in unique and surprising flavor combinations since 2011. Co-founder Pete Angevine (above) will discuss how Little Baby's has steadily and organically grown its triple bottom line business with the help of numerous free resources from the City and foundations, strategic positioning, and hard work.

"Sometimes, all you need to do is bust your butt to be in the right place at the right time with the right people, and then simply ask," says Pete.

After the presentation, members of an expert panel will offer insights and ideas regarding securing local funding and ask questions to invite the audience into the conversation. Panelists include: Heather Hanowitz (Vice President, Commercial Business Market Manager, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation), Archna Sahay (Director of Entrepreneurial Investment, Department of Commerce, City of Philadelphia), and Jonathan Snyder (Director, Business Financial Resources, Department of Commerce, City of Philadelphia).

 Space is limited; register here.
SBN Member: FREE | Yet-to-be Member: $15

Entrepreneurs' Roundtable: Educating a 21st Century Workforce
With Councilwoman Helen Gym

Pyramid Club, 1735 Market Street, Philadelphia
September 21, 8:30 - 10:00 AM

One of the most progressive voices to join City Council in years, Councilwoman Helen Gym took office this January after establishing a successful track record in grassroots community organizing. Gym has been an ardent advocate for education reform since 2006, but from the moment she took the oath of office, she has brought a laser focus to several issues far beyond those she is most known for. While confronting poverty and lack of housing, she has also found time to promote good job creation and business accountability

SBN's September Entrepreneurs' Roundtable will host Councilwoman Gym for a discussion about "Educating a 21st Century Workforce." The program will start with a light breakfast and networking, feature an hour of moderated conversation between member businesses and Councilwoman Gym, and conclude with half an hour of general Q & A.

This event is sponsored by: Just Laws.

For more information or to RSVP, please contact Saleem Chapman, SBN Policy and Advocacy Manager.

This program is open to SBN Members only. 

SBN's online Sustainable Business Directory

Have you visited the Sustainable Business Directory lately? We encourage you to check out your listing in this go-to resource for finding sustainable businesses in the Greater Philadelphia area. Search by company name, category, or sort by a number of badges to find exactly what you’re looking for.

 Make sure that your listing is as dynamic as possible. Is your logo included? Is your company’s description complete? Are your social media links available (Level 2 and up)? If you are unsure about what you can include or would like general assistance, please contact Bradford Bucknum, Member Relations Associate, at
At SBN, a lot of the work that we do is focused on developing events and a supportive local business environment where businesses can connect and discover the myriad ways, some apparent and some unexpected, that they can support each other. Networking is a benefit of SBN Membership that can sometimes be hard to measure; however, one way that we can qualify networking potential within SBN is through telling the stories of how our members have built connections.

Penny Ordway is the founder of eviama life, a green spa in Philadelphia. Unsure if a new brand extension made sense for her business, Ordway collaborated with Orly Zeewy, a Brand Architect and long-term SBN supporter to find out.
Often, when businesses want to grow they imagine that the path towards expansion includes adding  products or services, or widening the scope of their business concept. Instead of encouraging businesses to embark on new ventures, Zeewy first helps “businesses articulate and identify what they are already doing well” and how they can see their success from a new perspective. For Zeewy, this initial question is the most auspicious way to conceptualize how your business could grow—by harnessing the skills and success that they already possess.
Zeewy guided Ordway to identify that she could reframe her goals for extending her brand not through new products, but through health and wellness workshops. It was clear that Ordway was already educating her clients and fostering a unique and welcoming space for people to learn about wellness; therefore, creating a workshop calendar seemed like an obvious fit for eviama life.
Zeewy’s goal is to save businesses months and sometimes years of aggravation and money lost pursuing an idea that might not naturally align with their company’s culture, resources, or capacity. It can be difficult to cut through the chatter and activity of social media, and Zeewy’s gift is to help her clients not only communicate their vision but also to express that messaging in a way that “cuts through the noise.”
“Penny is passionate about what she does,” said Zeewy. “eviama [life] is truly a magical and amazing space.” Zeewy wanted to make sure that Philadelphians are aware of this space and for Ordway to recognize and embrace what she has created so she can align her vision with future brand extensions.
Learn more about eviama life spa at You can also schedule online with their app, “eviama life.” Follow eviama on Instagram.
Learn more about Orly Zeewy at and follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Submit your connection story idea to Bradford Bucknum, Member Relations Associate, at
Each month, SBN hosts Entrepreneurs'
 Roundtable events. These breakfasts, hosted at the Pyramid Club, are designed to give you access to policymakers in an intimate and conversational setting. As a Members-Only event, make sure to take advantage of these events.
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: 12th Street Catering
By Bradford Bucknum
From two stories up, on a hot metal roof in August, I scanned the landscape. I stared into the brimming boughs of mature West Philadelphia trees eclipsing the brick facades of familiar row houses. Through intersecting utility lines, I viewed the elevated skyline comprised of university buildings in the distance. Below, a thrum of cars traveled down Spring Garden Street towards the Schuylkill River.

“Smell this,” said Chef Jon Jividen as he handed me a Pineapple Sage leaf that he crushed in his hands. We stood by eight 275 gallon food-grade liquid storage containers that had been horizontally bisected, filled with soil and were full of vegetables and herbs. We ate candy-sweet sungold tomatoes and admired the bees buzzing around basil flowers.

This rooftop garden is not a feature of a burgeoning urban farm; instead, this agriculture project sits on top of 12th Street Catering’s headquarters. Two years ago, Michele Leff, President of 12th Street Catering, and David Fetkewicz, Vice President, formulated the idea to install the rooftop garden, and since their Culinary Director Chef Jon Jividen is a passionate garden hobbyist, they handed him the keys to the project.

12th Street Catering’s organic rooftop container garden is not the company’s sole environmental practice; they also have an active composting program, company-wide recycling policies, some that utilize their on-site compactor for recycling cardboard and plastic, and they also make sure that all corporate deliveries arrive with biodegradable plates and utensils made from fallen palm leaves and corn starch.

Michele and her team implemented some of their sustainability practices over twelve years ago, but she admits that once the catering company moved into their new facility eight years ago, the size of the building has allowed 12th Street to focus even more on sustainability. When asked if there was any push-back from employees when she introduced many of these practices, she responded, “No – this is a unique group of people that has been together for a long time and we are like-minded. It has become our philosophy that no matter what decision that we always do the right thing.”

Chef Jon agreed, adding that it is important to communicate to employees that these policies, for example their composting practice, were not designed to just add another step to work flow but for a specific purpose. In addition to composting, some of 12th Street’s food waste goes to a local pig farm. Michele and Chef Jon concurred that once the policies are clearly explained and implemented, then employees tend to “feel better about the work they did that day.”
Michele attributes 12th Street’s smooth adoption of these practices to the company’s commitment to employee retention over the years. Many people who have worked for 12th Street Catering have worked for Michele and David for over 25 years, and because of this Michele noted that at their events, she has witnessed a “quiet ballet” that occurs during set-up because her experienced staff knows exactly what to do to execute a beautiful and seamless event. Not only has 12th Street Catering focused on building relationships with their employees, but they also have a long list of clients who have relied on 12th Street year after year to consistently provide unique and dynamic events.

“We aren’t short-sighted,” said Michele. “We aren’t interested in selling one-off events; instead, we want to build relationships with clients.” And even though they have close relationships with long-term clients, Michele half-joked that some of 12th Street’s clients may not even know about their sustainability procedures. For 12th Street Catering, implementing environmentally conscious practices is not a marketing-based decision; instead, it is part of their company’s culture or as Michele said, “It’s our natural philosophy and all of us really care about the environmental footprint and we are willing to live it and invest the extra effort that it takes to adopt these practices.”

Of course, some of 12th Street’s clients are aware of their green practices and appreciate having the option to choose a caterer with a commitment to sustainability, but Michele knows that they cannot rely on their commitment to sustainability to maintain their client base. She knows that first and foremost 12th Street must continue to offer the quality catering services that Philadelphia has come to expect for over 25 years. 12th Street does this by listening to their clients and continuing to intently focus on all of the small details that must come together to create a memorable event.

“Catering is all about the details,” said Michele. “You have to think of everything in advance and every small detail matters.” Michele and her team see this attitude as being similar to their perspective on sustainability: small actions have a big impact. Whether it’s the success of a catering event or the implementation of a new sustainable business practice, 12th Street continues to stay true to their shared cultural values as a company. And just like their commitment to listening to their clients, 12th Street continues to listen to the ideas that pop in their heads, including a rooftop container garden and whatever sustainable practice they will introduce next.
GSI PARTNERS UPDATE: GSI Monitoring Grant Pilot Program
The GSI Partners have been developing a pilot grant program to support the need to collect data on performance of private sector green stormwater infrastructure projects. The intent is to increase the collective knowledge on the degree to which GSI performs.  With greater understanding of how GSI performs, performance metrics and calculation methods can be updated, designs can continue to improve, and there can be more comfort and confidence from the development community that GSI is the most effective and affordable way for them to meet stormwater regulations. Supporting this kind of data collection will fulfill GSI Partners research and innovation objectives and advance the state-of-the-art of the GSI industry.
To learn more about the GSI Monitoring Grant Pilot Program or the GSI Partners, please register to attend the next Quarterly Meeting on October 25.

About GSI Partners:
The Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Partners is a signature initiative of SBN working collaboratively to advance the local GSI industry, innovation, and the local economy as it relates to GSI. Formed in 2012 in response to Philadelphia’s ambitious and innovative stormwater management plan, Green City, Clean Waters, the GSI Partners advocate for the greenest approaches to be facilitated and incentivized as much as possible, and for the public and private investment to remain as local as possible. Members include locally-owned engineering and landscape architecture firms; landscape design, build, and maintenance firms; and material suppliers whose services and products pertain to GSI. Many GSI Partners are recognized as industry experts locally, regionally, and nationally.
POLICY UPDATE: The Good Economist

Office of Sustainability Greenworks 2.0 Preview, the Netflix Tax, the latest on the Good Economy Challenge and more! To stay up to date on our latest policy work, check out August's issue of the Good Economist
“The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.” Jane Goodall
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) defines a threatened species as any species (including animals, plants, fungi, etc.) that are vulnerable to endangerment in the near future. There are more than 40,000 species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, a global conservation status listing and ranking system.
As a member of America’s First Zoo Camera Club, Marianne Leone has spent a lot of time photographing the Philadelphia Zoo’s collection of animals, and she was compelled by the “species in danger” stamp on the zoo’s signage. Wanting to combine her passion for photography and her concern for wildlife, Leone amassed a collection of over 1,000 images from her photography shoots at the zoo. Her photos capture the personality of the animals, and many of her shots provide an up-close and personal experience of these stunning creatures. Looking at her photographs, you are immediately struck by how similar the animals’ features and mannerisms can be to ours. “What makes me the most sad about the state of these animals was the thought that my nieces and nephews and their children may never get to see a polar bear or an orangutan or a tiger or a blue dart frog in captivity let alone the wild,” she said. For Leone, photography is a way to connect the viewer emotionally to the cause, which in this case is the conservation work done by the Philadelphia Zoo Global ConservationFund. A donation of $20 from each copy of her photography retrospective, 1 Zoo. 10 Years. 100 Photographs., will be made to this fund. The book is available for sale at


My Experience with "Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses"
By Allegra Derengowski, CoOwner, Birchtree Catering, LLC

As owners of a small business, my partner and I have never been exposed to business classes or entrepreneurial courses. We learn everything on the job, and there’s always a sense that we could be doing things better, stronger and faster.

This summer I participated in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program at the Community College of Philadelphia with 26 other small business owners, learning from amazingly talented faculty and staff everything from reading financial statements, to hiring and firing employees, to growing revenue.

The program was created to give established entrepreneurs a boost in their business, teaching them how to look for opportunities all around them and accelerate their growth to the next level. The structure and seriousness of the program was much needed among the daily chaos of running a business, and the end result is that I am leading my employees with more confidence, I am better connected to the resources around me, and Birchtree has clear goals going forward.

As Birchtree enters its 9th year, we are realizing how important our relationships are with our clients, our vendors, our friends and our networks, and 10KSB has given us a giant network of small businesses throughout the Philly area who share our struggles, our success, our loneliness, and our courage. I’m honored to be part of this group, and to be able to share my experiences with the SBN community!

SAVE THE DATE: Thursday, October 20
Certified B Corps are building a bridge towards a new economy - one in which everyone enjoys a shared and lasting prosperity. Each year, the community comes together to affirm, generate, and advance the goals and activities that will help us achieve our collective vision. Join them on October 20 for B Inspired, an inspiring afternoon of short personal talks by leading B Corps from across the world as this year’s retreat kicks off in Philadelphia. Each of these diverse leaders will draw on their unique experiences in life and business. Additional information is forthcoming.


One of the most important artists of the 20th century was our neighbor. He walked among us. He lived among us. He was not born here, but he became a man and a professional musician here. Help celebrate John Coltrane's birthday next month on September 23rd, 2016. He would have been 90 years old.

In collaboration with Temple University Libraries, WRTI, PhillyCAM, Jazz Near You and other partners, Philadelphia Jazz Project will celebrate John Coltrane's birthday with nine days of FREE events from September 12 - 25. 

Learn more about Philadelphia Jazz Project's nine day celebration of John Coltrane's life at…

Store owners throughout Philadelphia put their best face forward every day. They're a big part of what makes your neighborhood feel like home.

Nominate your favorite business for the 2016 Storefront Challenge, a citywide contest recognizing Philly's best storefront façade improvement projects!

Any store that has taken the initiative to improve their façade between October 2014 and September 2016 is eligible for nomination. Anyone can make a nomination, and there is no cost. Feel free to nominate yourself and others who demonstrate that good design is good business.

Deadline for nominations is TOMORROW, and winners of the Storefront Challenge will be announced at a special celebration on October 6 2016. Don't pass up this opportunity to gain exposure and show what exciting things are happening in your neighborhood!

Learn more and nominate your store or others by tomorrow. September 15!

The Storefront Challenge is a joint program of the Community Design Collaborative and the Philadelphia Department of Commerce.


Executive Director
Greensgrow Farms

Membership/Communications Intern

School-Based Program Coordinator
Big Brother Big Sisters Independence Region

SBN Members receive 15-25% off marketing packages with Natural Awakenings Philadelphia.

Natural Awakenings Philadelphia magazine is a health and wellness free publication that has recently launched in Philadelphia to 30,000 "niche" readers: 

"Always green never glossy!"

215-922-7400  |  |
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