The Socially Conscious Business

The Socially Conscious Business:
Making Business Good
Thursday, April 29, 2021
5:00-6:00pm ET

Values-based marketing can be good business. Today’s consumers name “authenticity” as the most important factor or their purchase decision. Politically and socially conscious, they expect the brands they support to back up platitudes with action.

Corporate values can also help align employees, product, and supply chains. Extending those values into the market benefits creates a positive customer experience, increases marketing efficiency, and boosts sales.

Our CEO, Christine Alemany, is moderating this dynamic discussion on corporate social responsibility. She will be in conversation with Vanessa C. Burbano, Assistant Professor of Management; Dan Price, CEO of Gravity Payments: and Christina Volgyesi, Vice President of Marketing at Dr. Bronner’s, to discuss the research and how companies can thrive by leading with their values.

This roundtable is organized by Columbia Business School Women’s Circle and is open to Columbia University alumnae.

More about the panelists

Vanessa C. Burbano is an Assistant Professor of Management in the strategy area at Columbia Business School. She was named to Poets and Quants’ 2019 list of Best 40 Business School Professors Under 40. Burbano researches the strategic implications of socially responsible and irresponsible firm practices. Her research has been recognized with awards including those from the Strategic Management Society, the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability, the Responsible Research in Management Award, the Impact for Investment Research Prize, the Berkeley Sustainable Business and Investment Forum, the International Association of Business & Society, and the Industry Studies Association. Her work has been published in Organization Science, Management Science, Strategic Management Journal, California Management Review, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and Organization & Environment, and has been featured in Forbes, Fortune, The Financial Times, and The New York Times.
Christina Volgyesi is Vice President of Marketing at Dr. Bronner’s, the top-selling brand of natural soaps in North America. Dr. Bronner’s is definitely a special company – mission-driven, family-owned. It gives away 45% of profits annually to activist and philanthropic causes while maintaining industry leadership and very little employee turnover. Christina’s responsibilities include helping shape brand strategy, as well as developing cause-marketing, and advocacy campaigns. She’s also taken a leadership role in developing and managing industry-wide campaigns in support of living wage, fair trade, and industrial hemp farming.
Dan Price
Dan Price is the Founder & CEO of Gravity Payments. Dan shaped Gravity on a different set of values not normally seen in the workplace – honesty, transparency, and responsibility – that made Gravity a trusted name in credit card processing. In 2015, he gained recognition after he raised his company’s minimum salary to $70,000 and lowered his wage from $1.1 million to $70,000. Beyond Gravity, Dan’s mission is to create a world where values-based companies reshape the economy, so business stops being about making the most money possible. Instead, he wants leaders to recognize that business should be about purpose, service, and making a difference. Dan believes it’s not about doing business as usual anymore but doing business better.
Christine Alemany
Moderator, Christine Alemany ’04, is an engineer by training and a marketer at heart. She balances art and science to make an impact for organizations — from reinvigorating brands to generating demand and creating new revenue streams. Over the years, her teams have consistently met or surpassed revenue and profitability goals at startups and Fortune 500 companies alike. Christine is a Columbia Business School alum and serves on its board for the Women’s Circle. Currently, she is writing a book on to help people identify “spin” in the world while serving as the CEO of TBGA, a marketing and branding firm.