In this episode of the BSuite Podcast, Anne Richardson interviews Michelle Veasey, Executive Director of New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility. NHBSR is a non-profit organization that convenes, inspires, and supports businesses and their community stakeholders to build a more sustainable and prosperous state for all.
Before becoming Executive Director of NHBSR, Michelle spent 25 years in the high tech industry developing and designing software. During that time Michelle began to realize the power of business and the influence business has on society. Looking to “feed her soul” she left the lucrative high-tech field to pursue a more purpose-driven career.
Michelle decided to attend the University of New Hampshire later in life for a Master’s in Environmental Education with a focus in business. While attending UNH, she started developing a sustainable New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant certification program and volunteering with NHBSR. After further involvement with NHBSR, Michelle became the Executive Director of the program and she has held the role for 10 years.
New Hampshire Business for Social Responsibility is a regional organization that focuses on environmental initiatives, workplace practices, community engagement, and transparency. Michelle and her team provide resources and events to help educate business owners and employees to make socially responsible decisions. NHBSR has created a very supportive network of individuals that work together as businesses, but also as influential stakeholders in their communities to make improvements and create positive change.
Michelle explained how this year NHBSR started working to oppose House Bill 544, the divisive concepts language. They gathered over 300 business signatures and took out an ad placement to increase awareness in the community. The bill “defines and prohibits the dissemination of certain divisive concepts related to sex and race in state contracts, grants, and training programs,” and it was included into New Hampshire HB 2, the state’s budget bill. This effort was an exemplary example of the important voice NHBSR offers to make an impact throughout the state.
Leading an organization can be challenging, Michelle has proven her leadership abilities for the last 10 years with NHBSR. Following the servant leadership model, she provides direct support to all of the members through active listening, empathy, and foresight.
As a leader and role model for the New Hampshire business community, Michelle leads from her heart, recognizes the contributions of those around her, and is an unrelenting advocate for social change and personal growth. She inspires confidence that taking a socially responsible path to decision-making is attainable and beneficial to every organization’s bottom line.