Rhode Island – Small State, big challenges, bigger opportunities and an even bigger vision

Rhode Island is a small state with big challenges – high unemployment, declining income and limited choices, but Joy Poland of Building Bridges 2012 along with a group of Rhode Island business thought leaders and consultants in collaboration with the Rhode Island State Society of CPA’s and the Social Enterprise Organization of Rhode Island have decided it’s time for a change.

After the June CPA continuing education event entitled “What Really Drives Business Value, Business Growth & Successful Transition Planning” and the subsequent challenge made by Keynote speaker Paul Herman of HIP Investor, Rhode Island businesses decided to create the first-ever new metric, new business pilot program; Re-Define, Re-invent, Re-vitalize Rhode Island™.  The pilot is being designed to take a comprehensive, multi-sector, cross-disciplinary approach to solving their business and economic challenges.

“By implementing sustainable business strategies that are aligned to an impact-focused framework of Health, Wealth, Earth, Equality and Trust, we believe this type of business model can lead to financial stability, job creation and the potential success to drive business value, social enterprise and  profitability as well as reduce costs and risks for businesses.  This is about integrating a “people-driven” business model into our traditional “profit-driven” business models to create what we are calling a “Prosperity-Driven” Business Model –  it’s the triple bottom line that can create big wins for all stakeholders.”

This RI team is currently developing the mechanics of the pilot program and selecting their team of consultants, participants and sponsors.  Admirals Bank, one of the principle pilot sponsors, focuses on relationship driven deposits and lending supported by the Bank’s loan acquisition portfolio. As the nation’s leading FHA Title One Home Improvement Lender, they assist homeowners in acquiring funding for projects that will add value to their homes. They specialize in solar and energy efficiency products which allow homeowners to produce clean energy. Deposits generated through the Admirals Bank Bespoke Banking department provide assistance to the Bank’s lending divisions.  Bespoke Banking is an individually tailored, highly customized relationship banking model equipped with a full suite of deposit products and unparalleled services to enhance your everyday banking experience.  Admirals Bank is a Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender.

The initial roll out of the pilot is intended for October 2012 in tandem with a New Metric, New Business Paradigm seminar that Mr. Herman will again be a keynote speaker at.  The seminar will highlight the new metrics and ESG criteria that need to be translated into business strategies, measured and reflected in financial statements to accurately depict business value and risks in the 21st century.  The seminar and pilot will also highlight some specific qualities of transformational leadership and how CPA’s and social entrepreneurs can be those leaders and the catalyst for positive business change now.

The pilot will use a multidisciplinary assessment to establish baselines in the 5 impact areas of Health, Wealth, Earth, Equality, and Trust and will utilize 5 specific business strategies and trainings aligned to these 5 areas:

Health ~ Stress/Wellness Culture

Wealth ~ Employee Benefits, 401K Plans and retirement assets scored for sustainability, impact and risk

Earth ~ Energy and Real Estate Efficiency’s

Equality ~ Leadership Training/ Employee Engagement

Trust ~ Mini Valuations, Sustainability Reporting and re-created financial statements.

The program will be broken down into modules and each discipline executed one at a time.  Assessments and results will be collected and quantified and then integrated into financial statement and sustainability reports.

The pilot has 5 main objectives and a distinct Community Signature™ that will seek to demonstrate how these strategies and metrics can:

1.  Enhance business profitability, bottom line and business value (EBITDA)

2.  Reduce costs and risks for businesses

3.  Create positive social impact AND create jobs

4.  Demonstrate how to score your investment portfolio for Sustainability (ESG) and Impact and why it is important to do so

5.  Quantify data and use it to re-create financial statements that more accurately depicts company value and risks

The community signature will link to and support Rhode Island’s education system by bringing visibility to the No Child Left Inside Legislation and the need to create a more holistic approach to education by integrating curriculum centered on environmental literacy and emotional intelligence.

Concurrent with the pilot a focus will be placed on designing curriculum to continue to develop and educate the CPA and business community on these new metrics and potentially create a version of that curriculum to integrate into the schools as part of the NCLI movement and tie to the evolving RI Environmental Literacy Plan.

Will your CPA lead you to a more sustainable world? In Rhode Island, that’s the goal.

“We believe the innovative forward thinking CPAs in collaboration with other business thought leaders and social entrepreneurs will be the transformational leaders in this new metric/sustainability space.  The ones that recognize this will be of most value to their clients.   Our goal is to ensure that all of our CPAs and the business community have access to the education and resources to compete now and for the future.  Creating a sustainable CPA practice and sustainable business models should be of primary concern in these times of rapid economic change”

Robert Mancini, Executive Director RISCPA
Joy Pettirossi-Poland, President Building Bridges 2012

If any CPA firm, business or group would like to take the Paul Herman challenge and participate in our Pilot please contact Joy Pettirossi-Poland at joyppoland@aol.com. We would love to have the exciting opportunity to work with other thought leaders across the state!

Click here for October 4th event details – Can You “Make More Profits By Building a Better World”?

Leave a comment

Avatar About the Author: The Rhode Island Small Business Journal is a printed monthly magazine and an online resource for the aspiring and start-up entrepreneur and small business owner.

previous arrow
next arrow