Newswise — The Lewis Institute at Babson College will honor three entrepreneurs, each creating significant social impact through game-changing business models, with the 2016 Social Innovator Awards. This year’s recipients - Gavin Armstrong, Founder of Lucky Iron Fish™; Bernie Glassman, Founder of Greyston Bakery and the Greyston Foundation; and Bill Bolling, Founder of the Atlanta Community Food Bank - will be recognized at a campus event on April 7, 2016.
“Our 2016 Social Innovator Award recipients are truly positive disruptors,” said Cheryl Kiser, Executive Director of The Lewis Institute and the Babson Social Innovation Lab. “From architecting the notion of food banking, to designing an elegant solution for iron deficiency, to championing open hiring as an economic and social value driver, this year’s recipients are recognized for setting in motion breakthrough interactions that lead to social innovations at their best.”
Each year, The Lewis Institute’s Social Innovator Awards recognize recipients for their inspired and innovative commitment to helping solve important social challenges through sustainable business models.
“I’m proud to join The Lewis Institute in honoring these three creative change makers,” said Babson College President Kerry Healey. “As a global community that is dedicated to creating economic and social value everywhere, we understand the importance of recognizing and supporting those who continuously strive to change the world around us.”
Gavin Armstrong is a PhD candidate at the University of Guelph and a committed impact entrepreneur. He is currently the Founder and President of Lucky Iron Fish™, a social enterprise attempting to alleviate iron deficiency around the world using a simple health innovation. Through this role, he was honored as one of Forbes ‘30 Under 30’in the Social Entrepreneur category in 2016.
A long term advocate and activist against hunger and malnutrition, Gavin is the first Canadian to receive the William J. Clinton Award for international work against hunger and is the inaugural recipient of the international Michaelle Jean Emergency Hunger Relief Award. In 2015 Conscious Company Magazine featured Gavin as one of the seventeen 'Rising Social Entrepreneurs' of the year. As an undergraduate student, Gavin signed the University of Guelph up to be the first Canadian University to become members of Universities Fighting World Hunger (UFWH), an organization of universities worldwide dedicated to promote awareness of, and take action against, hunger and malnutrition.
Roshi Bernie Glassman is a world-renowned pioneer in the American Zen Movement. He is a spiritual leader, published author, accomplished academic, and successful businessman with a PhD in Applied Mathematics. He is the founder of the Zen Peacemakers and Greyston Bakery, an effort to help alleviate the widespread homelessness in the Yonkers, New York-area. The bakery provides jobs for inner-city residents who lack education and skills, and is known for its ‘open-hiring’ practices, where anyone can sign up regardless of background. His unique blend of visionary leadership, analytical acumen, and entrepreneurial vigor remain a cornerstone of Greyston’s operations. He is now focused on the promotion of Socially Engaged Buddhism, the development of Dharma Centers (Zen Houses) in impoverished areas to serve the local population, and in nurturing communication and interaction between affiliates of the Zen Peacemakers.
Bill Bolling was one of the original architects of the food banking movement and has applied that critical thinking as a tool to address social and community issues. He served as Executive Director of the Atlanta Community Food Bank since founding the organization in 1979 until June 2015. Over the span of 36 years, he led the Food Bank's distribution of more than half a billion pounds of food and grocery products through a network of more than 600 local and regional partner nonprofit organizations that feed the hungry across 29 Georgia counties. As a charter member of Feeding America, the national network of food banks, Bill was instrumental in the start-up of food banks across the country.
Bill is a frequent speaker on topics related to hunger, poverty, regionalism, affordable housing, and public policy reform. His skills in bridging various public sectors have made him a leader in strengthening the community to serve those most in need. Georgia Trend magazine named Bill their 2012 Georgian of the Year, and in January 2015, he joined Georgia Trend’s Most Influential Hall of Fame and has received multiple awards recognizing his boundary-spanning view of the world.
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About The Lewis Institute
The Lewis Institute at Babson College illuminates pathways for students, faculty, social entrepreneurs, foundations and corporate partners seeking social innovation solutions. By drawing upon Babson’s core methodology of Entrepreneurial Thought & Action®, the Institute activates unexpected yet fruitful collaborations and integrative designs for action. The result is business prosperity and societal improvement.
About Babson College
Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for Entrepreneurship of All Kinds®. The top-ranked college for entrepreneurship education, Babson is a dynamic living and learning laboratory where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society. We prepare the entrepreneurial leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to make a difference in the world, and have an impact on organizations of all sizes and types. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value. Visit www.babson.edu