BALLE Reinvents Itself As Seattle Good Business Network

This is a long overdue update on the exciting changes mentioned regarding the future of BALLE Seattle. Coming out of Winter 2010 meetings, we have decided to re-organize and re-brand as Seattle Good Business Network with new leadership. Christine Hanna, Colleen Butler, and Derek Hoshiko are joining forces to drive the local living economy agenda forward. We’ve been busy! Please read below for a report on the work we’ve been doing, and exciting events coming up.

New Website: Check out our website at http://www.seattlenetwork.org. It has been updated to reflect our current status – please take a moment to browse around and learn more about our vision and purpose, team, steering committee, advisors, and anticipated member benefits and programs.

Steering Committee & Advisors: We’ve assembled a Steering Committee of roughly 20 local businesses and convened two half-day working sessions with them to help us refine our vision and purpose, member benefits, outreach approach, and other strategic directions. Several are existing BALLE Seattle members, but most are new to the organization. They are very enthusiastic and ready to help build our base of founding members – the “Founding 150.” We’re also fortunate to have access to group of seasoned advisors as we navigate our way through this first year.

Membership: To have the kind of impact we know is possible, we need an active and sizable business membership. Building the member base will be a priority for the foreseeable future. With continued input from the Steering Committee over the coming weeks, we will finalize member criteria, levels, and benefits, and expect to begin accepting Founding 150 memberships in May. If you have a local business, we hope you’ll consider joining!

Fundraising: The new organization will be professionally staffed and we are actively fundraising from mission-aligned agencies, private foundations, businesses, and individuals. Membership dues will also provide critical financial support. If you have funding leads or ideas, please let us know!

Existing Programs: Derek and several other volunteers are providing continued stellar program support for SLICE, Eat Local Now!, and the Stone Soup Project as Colleen and Christine focus on transition work and organizational and membership development. Over the coming months, we will work to integrate these programs as appropriate with our member benefits and services.

Directory Project: In December of 2009, the City of Seattle provided a small grant (matched by Web Collective) to BALLE Seattle to develop the first phase of an online local business directory. You can see our progress on that project here: http://directory.seattlenetwork.org. While we don’t yet know the ultimate path the directory project will take, this first phase lays the foundation for several options, including a robust member directory, and a directory for participants of a city-wide ‘”buy local” campaign.

If you have any suggestions, questions or ideas, please contact us at http://www.seattlenetwork.org/contact.

Upcoming Events:  Transitioning to A Resilient Seattle

  • Date: Saturday, May 1, 2010
  • Location: Garfield Community Center, 2323 E. Cherry St. Seattle

In an uncertain future, resilience is the capacity to bounce back and thrive. How can we unleash our collective wisdom to reduce carbon emissions in response to climate change, rebuild community resilience in the face of dwindling oil supplies, and strengthen our economy in the face of economic instability? These are the questions we all must ask – and answer. Please add your voices to a process of discovering a more resilient Seattle. http://www.transitionseattle.com/events/

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