Purpose Beyond Profit: Social Justice is our Business

Interview by Billy Shore

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Which is more important, ‘what’ you do or ‘why’ you do it? The two trailblazing business leaders on this episode of Add Passion and Stir are driven by more than just the bottom line. Jeff Swartz, former CEO of Timberland, and James Beard Award-winning chef Tony Maws (Craigie on Main, Kirkland Tap and Trotter) prioritize social justice in their work. Speaking with Share Our Strength founder and CEO Billy Shore, Swartz and Maws express their passion for purpose beyond profit. “It took me 30 years to figure out that the question is not ‘what?,’ it’s ‘why does it matter,’” says Swartz. “It wasn’t altruistic – it was deeply needful. I wanted a purpose beyond making the quarter.” Under his leadership, Timberland supported nonprofits like Share Our Strength and City Year. Maws sets high standards for his work fighting child hunger with the No Kid Hungry campaign. “I wish I could do more. There are kids that are not being provided with food and the happiness that comes with it… to me it’s just revolting,” he states.

In this tumultuous and uncertain time in our country, Swartz, Maws and Shore also discuss how we can all cope. The election made Maws think differently. “I’m looking for my own bullet points: what are the things that I can do? How am I going to have an impact?,” he says. “It needs to be more than what I have been doing.” Swartz is also ready to act. “The election’s not over,” he says. “People [are] not asking the right question. They should be saying ‘Here’s what it is… now what are we going to do about it?’” He is certain that we all have to do our part. “Sitting on the sidelines and being an angry victim just doesn’t cut it.”

Listen to this motivating conversation about finding purpose and meaning in your life.

Resources and Mentions:

No Kid Hungry

Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending child hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.

Craigie On Main

At Craigie On Main, Chef Tony Maws, Boston’s Best Chef (Boston Magazine) and one of America’s Best New Chefs (Food & Wine), combines his trademark French-inspired “refined rusticity” with an unyielding passion for the best local, seasonal, and organic ingredients. Our à la carte menu and tasting menus change daily, so you can be sure our ingredients are the very best of the best that day.

Kirkland Tap and Totter

A laid-back gastropub in Somerville, MA. We offer classic cocktails, an extensive beer list, and rustic meals prepared on a wood-fired grill.

Timberland

Our unique culture and product designs are inspired by the rich New England heritage of our company. Everything we make, every store we open, every aspect of our business has been founded upon the outdoor lifestyle – whether that involves wooded trails or city streets – and a Timberland community that thrives on giving back.

City Year

At City Year, we believe education has the power to help every student reach his or her potential. However, in high-poverty communities there are external factors and obstacles students are faced with every day that can interfere with their ability to both get to school and be ready and able to learn.

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