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3 posts from April 2010

April 29, 2010

In Women We Trust: Lynn Tilton

Lynn Tilton puts her money where her mouth is - LOTS of money - about $7 billion give or take a million. 

I never heard of her until last week, and this week I can't get her words or her mission out of my mind. Here she is on EconoWatch in 2008 at $5 billion and 30 companies, today she has 70 billion invested in her Patriarch Partners group in companies from helicopters to Spiegel Catalog.

Lynn is focused on saving good companies with a solid structure, who may have lost their way, from being chopped up and sold in pieces. She has taken her ideas to Wall Street and Congress and now is taking them directly to the street - main street to be precise.

Saving America's self-esteem one company and job at a time is something I can get behind.


And here she is a year later on Power Lunch a little blonder, bolder and a few billion bigger. She has a plan for saving companies and jobs with her SMERescue, for small and midsized businesses.


April 18, 2010

Green Women Celebrate Earth Day's 40th Birthday

Screen shot 2010-04-03 at 7.01.35 AMWhoo Hoo! Light 'em if you got 'em, Earth Day's 40th birthday is here on April 22. It's time to pause and praise the thousands, maybe millions of Green Women making every day Earth Day by greening their homes and encouraging others through their blogs and community action projects. 

From mommy bloggers like Heather Hawkins and Renee Limon from EnviroMoms to members of the Green Mom Carnival to the team behind the Eco Mom Alliance and their 25,000 green gal pals - women everywhere are joining to support each other's work. 

All the awareness and buzz that they generate is fabulous. In tandem and equally important (but not as visual) are the women working in the B2B zone helping to bring the building, products and investment side of things into the main stream. Together the two groups are co-creating the next eco-culture. 

Coming up on April 28th, The Green Standard Organization, lead by Deborah Dunning, will be hosting a thought leader forum on sustainable standards in DC. They'll be covering the processes, education, financial backing, buildings, products... everything a business needs to make it on a global scale. Deborah's known for her ability to translate sustainable product performance information into a user-friendly format. Between her and another visionary, Marilyn Farmer of Green Building Pages, no one has an excuse that they can't learn what it takes to be sustainable. 

Also at the forum are Leanne Tobias, LEED AP and expert in sustainable commercial real estate projects and portfolios. Working with Leanne, is Martha Paschal. Martha also works with commercial real estate and watches for ways to match Federal stimulus funds to energy-efficient, multi-family projects. 

Another partner in sustainability is Debra Italiano who is so incognito that she doesn't even have a Linked in page, yet if you dusted a sustainable business deal for fingerprints you'd find hers all over it. Without women like these locating opportunities and turning owners into partners, many enterprises wouldn't see the light of an investment day. 

It all comes down to cold, hard, GREEN cash. Without the business of business buying into and enabling change, the green momentum we see now would never make it into mainstream culture. That's where Mindy Lubber, the President of Ceres comes in. (watch her below) Ceres is the leading coalition of investors, environmental organizations and other public interest groups. The group touches trillions of dollars and helps guide mega companies into being more environmentally and socially responsible or face the consequences in their stock value. 

And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Coral Rose who was at the inception of WalMart first sustainable product experience. Look at what Wal Mart's sustainable direction has done for their profit margin and influence since then. 

These women represent the millions of other women who are holding their ideals high and keeping the green torch burning in the most carbon-free way. At some point soon, perhaps this year, the B2C and B2B worlds will meet. At that moment we'll have the rebirth of a sustainable economy and one heck of a party. 

Happy 40th Earth Day!

April 03, 2010

Which Came First, the Ads or the Cultural Change?

Screen shot 2010-04-03 at 5.09.39 AM

Are we changing the culture or is the culture changing us? Recently my enlightened brother sent me a collection of ads from our childhood, (thanks Bill) how absurd, how stupid, how PRESENT in everything we saw or read back then. If you watch Mad Men, you have a good idea how these insane ideas were created, approved and given a run-of-media. 

Can you imagine the outrage if a company ran something like this today? Women bloggers such as Yvonne DiVita would be all over it and the company would have to overcome years, maybe decades of the moment's bad judgment. That's the power of checks and balances in today's wired world. 

Screen shot 2010-04-03 at 5.10.13 AMIf it was still a man's world per se, would we see the things that women value coming to market today? To phrase it another way, will the world become more sustainable because a company decided it was the moral thing to do or because it's the economic thing to do? My money's on the latter.

Screen shot 2010-04-03 at 5.09.22 AM Screen shot 2010-04-03 at 5.09.05 AM The ads of the 50s and 60s happened because the values of those creating, approving and running the ads put them there. The ads you see today are being created, approved and run by a different gender to please a very different audience - the female consumer. Consequently, feminine values are beginning to permeate the social system. 

With the help of millions of bloggers, 50 years from now our grandchildren will see ads that are equally absurd - ads that promote bottled water, non-organic food and products that pollute the water and damage third-world societies. 

No company wants to be on the wrong side of culture, it's the fastest way to lose marketshare. 

P.S. in the NY Times on  4.11.10  Nike is beginning to see the push back when it continues to back faulted star athletes. Women and men aren't buying the message or the product... and worse (for Nike), they are willing to write why in a public forum that will be searchable for years. 

Screen shot 2010-04-22 at 6.13.50 AM