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

SBN News & Events

Connection Corner
Maximizing Membership

Member Spotlight

GSI Update
Member News & Events

Employment Opportunities

Featured Member Discount
Democratic National Convention Policy Forum and Reception 
Business Case for a Sustainable Economy
July 26, 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Azavea Corporation, 990 Spring Garden Street, 5th Floor, Philadelphia

This interactive discussion will bring together national and Philadelphia-area business leaders, policy makers, the media, and DNC delegates to examine the ways that America can benefit from a focus on sustainability in three areas: High Road Workplace practices; the role of tax policies and financial markets in supporting businesses that have a positive social impact; and the economic benefits of accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Speakers and Panelists
  • Denise Bowyer, Vice President, American Income Life
  • Michael Eckhart, Managing Director, Citigroup
  • Richard Eidlin, Co-Founder & Vice President, ASBC
  • Eileen Fisher, Founder and Chairwoman, Eileen Fisher
  • Jamie Gauthier, Executive Director, Sustainable Business Network
  • Jay Coen Gilbert, Co-founder, B Lab
  • Matthew Patsky, CEO, Trillium Asset Management
  • Kelly Ryan, CEO, Incourage Community Foundation
  • Marilyn Waite, Senior Manager, Village Capital
  • Howard Williams, Vice President, Construction Specialties 
  • Additional Speakers to be announced
Reception: 4:00 to 6:00 PM
Pyramid Club, 52nd floor, 1735 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA
Register for this event
SBN News: Results of the June Member Survey
As we let you know last month, SBN will be conducting brief monthly surveys to assist with decision making and ensure that SBN resources are being allocated appropriately for the programming, resources, and services our members deem the most important. Our survey sent in June focused on the SBN Event Calendar and steps we can take to make our events more meaningful to more members. Here is a brief synopsis of the survey results:

Have you been to an SBN event in the past 6 months?
Yes         80%
No          20%

When deciding to attend an SBN event, what is the most influential factor?
Speaker/Topic                   65%
Location                               10%
Date/Time                          20%
Pricing/Fees                       5%

What specific topics would you like to see explored at future SBN educational events?
  • Tech incorporated events and events related to how to make an office more sustainable
  • The difficulty of recycling items
  • More networking events for those trying to enter the green economy and sustainable business
  • Urban agriculture, land use, gentrification
  • Green building news, events, emerging trends; new ideas about how to work with other SBN members/innovation within the organization
  • The process for changing public policy
  • How to make your business more sustainable and in line with B Corp values
  • Co-operative business models; democratically run businesses
  • How can Philadelphia government become more business friendly? How can my business bid on and win government contracts, and is it the right strategy for my business? Best practices: public policies that are working now in other cities that can grow our local sustainable business sector
  • Small business growth attracting work in Philadelphia County
  • Hands-on “how tos”; field trips to certain businesses
  • Programs for local artists
Do any of these topics appeal to you? What other topics would you like to see? SBN is in the process of planning our event calendar for next year and welcomes feedback from our members. Send ideas, comments, and questions to Wendy Metzgar, Member Services Manager, at
Members often cite the connections they've made through SBN as the primary reason they renew their membership year after year. We want to feature the wonderful and unique connections that have been born at SBN, through our online directory, and in other ways in this newsletter to showcase the valued partnerships SBN has helped to create.

We invite members to tell us about a connection you made through SBN, and if we include your story here, you will receive a free ticket to the SBN Networking BBQ at Awbury Arboretum on August 31! Submit your story (250 words or less) to Wendy Metzgar, Member Services Manager, at
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.
Maximize your membership by making your listing 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 Wendy Metzgar, Member Services Manager, at
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Karen Singer Tileworks
By Josh Giacalone
When a non-profit, a school, or a hospital receives a donation, it’s only right that the donor’s generosity is recognized. But wouldn't it be nice to thank your donors while simultaneously inspiring new ones? That’s exactly the kind of magic that Karen Singer has perfected. Located in Germantown, Philadelphia, Karen Singer Tileworks creates custom mosaic murals and specializes in creative donor recognition.
You might be surprised that KST, a ceramics company, hasn’t even bought new clay for a year and half, but it’s not easy to find a material as renewable as ceramic tile. The non-precious clay comes directly from the ground, and so long as you have a little bit of water, it’s infinitely reusable. Water also helps to bring dried glaze back to life. “Artists have gotten very good at reusing and repurposing materials, mostly out of necessity,” Karen said. But if that wasn’t enough, KST ceramics also stand the test of time: outdoor pieces last for hundreds of years, and indoor pieces can last for thousands.
It’s the kind of work that only comes after 25 years of experience. Karen is well versed in both two- and three-dimensional sculpture, which isn’t much of a surprise considering she holds a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of Pennsylvania.
Before starting Karen Singer Tileworks, Karen was an apprentice at Moravian Pottery and Tile Works in Doylestown. Henry Mercer, an influential archeologist and tile-maker, founded Moravian. His primary focus was studying the way culture gets transmitted through art and artifacts, and this history could not be more evident in the work Karen and her team produces.
Karen Singer Tileworks has proved the versatility of ceramics and earned a national reputation through their work creating donor recognition pieces. Their work ranges from small plaques to entire walls of tile, and the designs are the furthest thing from standard brass plaques. Instead, KST projects are customized to incorporate an organization’s character and culture into the art. Their finished products go way beyond putting names on a wall; they communicate a story that is unique to each individual project, and the people and relationships behind it.
For KST, SBN has presented opportunities for both business and personal advancement. Karen has been an active member of SBN for 6 years now. “I’ve been involved in a number of committees and events, but my absolute favorite was the Social Venture Institute,” she explained. The Social Venture institute (SVI) is an SBN initiative that connects emerging entrepreneurs with established business owners in the region who share their knowledge, experience, and insights. “It was such a positive and open environment. Everyone was sharing their business needs and helping others find resources.”
There was a broad range of businesses and organizations in attendance at SVI, many of whom would have never come into contact with each other otherwise. During the event, Karen connected with PowerCorpsPHL, a workforce development initiative for young adults with barriers to employment. They informed her of a young aspiring artist who was in search of a mentor. He found one in Karen, and his paintings have since been featured in locations all around the city.
Looking toward the future, KST plans to increase the amount of awards and smaller projects they do. They also hope to connect with other SBN members involved with green architecture. “Although I’ve made a name for myself doing donor recognition, I’d love to work more with builders and developers. I’m really interested in doing more community projects that help tell the story of a neighborhood.” She added, “I think we should be celebrating Philadelphia fabrication, and merging artisanry with manufacturing.”
The GSI Partners are looking forward to the coming months filled with unique and engaging opportunities. On August 11, the GSI Partners and member Roofmeadow will host a twilight tour and happy hour at Cira Green, the city's first elevated public park and a private project finalist of our 2016 Excellence in GSI Awards. Join us for this stunning tour while we watch the sunset over the city. RSVP here.
In October, the GSI Partners will host the second GSI Operation and Maintenance Course to share best practices and advance the skills of individual businesses with stormwater management. This three-day course will include two classroom days and one field day on October 20, 21, and 28.
The GSI Partners mission is to advance the local GSI industry and ensure that the greenest approaches to stormwater management are facilitated and incentivized as much as possible. As the number of greened acres increases, so does the need for regular maintenance of GSI projects; regular maintenance ensures they perform as intended, which in turn, helps to ensure that the stormwater regulations driving GCCW are being met.
This course is designed to increase the knowledge of landscape contractors and landcare managers as it relates to public and private GSI operations and maintenance. Students will leave this course with a basic understanding of the regulatory context of stormwater management, best management practices and their components, how to maintain the vegetation and above-ground components using adaptive and prescriptive management techniques, and how to diagnose and respond to safety and performance issues.
To get a sense of what to expect, check out last year’s Operation and Maintenance Course syllabus here. The GSI Partners’ Continuing Education Grants will be available for members interested in taking this course once registration has opened. Learn more about the Continuing Education Grants here.
American Best Locksmith Opens New Philadelphia Location
American Best Locksmith (ABL), SBN member since 2014, has announced a new franchise location in Philadelphia. This location will serve the emergency, residential, commercial, and automotive lock needs of its customer base, offering all the attributes American Best is known for: 24/7 availability, emergency service expertise, and up-front pricing. All American Best Locksmith technicians are licensed and insured, as well.

For more information, visit
Twilight Garden Tour: August 6, 6:30 to 8:30 PM
 Guided Tours  • Live Music • Local Cheese & Drinks
We invite you to spend an evening with us to get a glimpse of how vision and hard work can change a community while learning about a variety of creative ways to build green space in an urban environment. The evening will include curated, small group tours of the nursery that are designed to inform and inspire you. Enjoy seasonal fruit, locally made cheeses, and refreshments. Philadelphia Brewing Company and Rowhouse Spirits will be serving beer and spirits made just blocks from the farm. Jazz pianist Patrick Fitzgerald will play throughout the twilight.
Get your tickets at:

Landscape Architect
SALT Design Studio

Sustainability Specialist
Re:Vision Architecture

Programming Coordinator
Greensgrow West

SBN Members receive a 15% discount on food at Earth Bread + Brewery!
Earth Bread + Brewery is an earth-friendly restaurant that puts respect for the environment and the comfort of their guests above all else. The restaurant’s passion is founded upon honesty, sustainability, environmental stewardship, and a sense of place in our community. Earth supports local agriculture, local breweries and small producers from around the world.
215-922-7400  |  |
Copyright © 2016 Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia, All rights reserved.

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