2015 Chairman’s Message

Greetings and best wishes for a bountiful 2015.

May this coming year be one of your best ever.

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SEA North Texas is still growing and yes we have had growing pains. We’ll be sharing our successes and plans and hope you join us this coming year in what promises to be a vibrant year, of programs, people and networking opportunities.

Some of our changes include structure. We have a smaller board now and an additional advisory board so that all can participate to the best of their time and abilities allow. This planning structure developed out of our strategic planning retreat, held in July; facilitated by Ann Ranson of BottomLine 3 marketing.

The outcomes of that retreat:

  • To build stronger brand awareness.
  • Develop membership by delivering relevant and valuable member benefits.
  • Have an engaged and diverse board that works to implement its strategic objectives.
  • Provide educational programs and resources that meet the needs of our members and the social enterprise community at large.

The goals were developed after a member and affiliate member survey was sent out earlier this summer. The results – and thank you to all who participated, indicated a desire for stronger programs that specifically address the needs of present and prospective member’s growing their social enterprise.


So we’ve listened and some new initiatives are underway including:

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This coming year will see the beginning of Social Enterprise University.

Five classes will be held as part of the University:

  1. Social Enterprise 101
    • A hands on guide to establishing a social enterprise- the how’s, steps and challenges to achieving sustainability.
  2. Building a Sustainable Business Culture
    • The how to’s of engaging employees, hiring employees, and getting your board members on board with the social enterprise process.
  3. Sales and Marketing for a Successful Social Enterprise Venture
    • Developing a Plan.
    • Understanding marketing and sustainability.
    • Strengthening your brand.
  4. Strategic and Business Planning
    • How to develop actionable, measurable results.
    • Writing a one-page business plan.
  5. Telling Your Organization’s Story
    • A Building Block to Financial Sustainability.

We’ll be sending out more information soon and one thing we can promise is state of the art information, the best teachers, and pricing you will not be able to resist.

Part of this University will be the hands on coaching you requested, so it won’t just be a series of workshops – your teachers will also be available for coaching help.

Networking & Mixers

The popular mixers will continue several times a year. This last holiday festivity was a great success. We held it at the Stoneleigh Hotel on December 9th and had great food and fun, guests and surprises.

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Along with or combined with our mixers we’ll have community site visits. A couple are in the works so look for more information on how you may participate.

Highlights of the Year

BigBang 2014

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SEA NTC had a booth at the last BigBang event – sponsored by the Dallas Social Venture Partners; held at Paul Quinn College. An exciting day, lots of visitors, great presentations, including a fish tank – of presentations competing for a $10.000 prize. The winners – students from Paul Quinn who are starting a business catering to families where both work, who may not have time to cook!

Summit 2014

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Held in Nashville, April 13-16th, the conference was one idea after another of usable, practical tools an enterprise can use to increase sustainability.

Summit debrief May 15th

Dallas also had the honor of sponsoring two of the 50 Under 40 group – Katie Hanners, formerly with Catholic Charities TIN and WORN, and Chad Houser with Café Momentum. Both talked about their experiences and learning. Chad also had a chance to participate in a “shark tank” experience, where he presented the concepts of Café Momentum and how it works. The completion was fierce, the stakes high and he did well. He gave us the inspiration for accomplishing something similar at our chapter.

In March we had a workshop on Measurements for Social Enterprise. This is one topic we will be including in our SE University as there is much interest in the need for measurement and accountabilities.

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Best practices

In preparation for our planning retreat we surveyed other chapters throughout the country. Our goal was to determine what best practices, challenges, member needs and value are offered by other SEA chapters. We want to model from the best, and as one of the newer smaller chapters we know we have a lot to learn.

New website revamp

To accomplish some of the social media and digital technology outreach and posting we had wanted with our former platform we realized changes to our existing site needed to be made. That is in the works.

Our goal is for the new platform to allow us a stronger and broader base to communicate from.

So stay tuned…

Thank you for your involvement this year. We appreciate you and look forward to growing with your help and participation.

Warm regards and happy New Year,

Niki McCuistion,
Chair