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Corporate Social Responsibility in Our Community

February 26 @ 11:30 AM1:00 PM EST

Corporate Social Responsibility in Our Community // Part of the Johnson Center's FREE Brown Bag Lunch & Learn series

This event is part of the Johnson Center’s FREE Brown Bag Lunch & Learn series.

How are businesses partnering with nonprofits today? What role can nonprofits play in helping businesses accomplish their corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals and objectives?

As business leaders redefine the role and goals of business in society, there are increasing opportunities for nonprofits and community organizations to develop innovative partnerships with businesses of all types.

Join us for a panel discussion with local professionals to hear about the important and evolving role business has in our community and the different roles nonprofits play in helping companies achieve their CSR goals.

We’ll explore:

  • Trends in CSR
  • Innovative ways nonprofits of all sizes are working with businesses
  • Tactical tips & best practices


  • Chris Andrus, co-owner, The Mitten Brewing Company and founder, Mitten Foundation, Inc.
  • Kim Bode, owner and founder, 8thirtyfour Integrated Communications
  • Alice Jasper, sustainable business program manager, Local First

Kim Bode and Chris Andrus founded Small Biz 4 Equality, a coalition of West Michigan small businesses whose mission is to expand the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include explicit protections for sexual orientation and gender identity in Michigan housing, education, employment, and public accommodations. For more information, visit the Facebook page or the coalition’s website.

Facilitator: Michael Pratt, project manager, Johnson Center for Philanthropy

Cost: Free!
Attendees are welcome to bring a lunch to this event. Water, coffee, and tea will be provided.

Deadline to register is Tuesday, February 25.

Photo: Chris Andrus
Chris Andrus is co-owner of The Mitten Brewing Company and vice president and founder of the 501(c)(3) Mitten Foundation, Inc. Chris and his business partner Max Trierweiler have grown the brewing company from a small startup to a $4MM+ company with three locations and more than 100 employees, and have presided over nearly $300,000 in charitable gifts since 2012. Chris has spoken on entrepreneurship and philanthropy at Grand Valley State University, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, and Alma College, and is a regular panelist for the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce Small Business Series. Chris has appeared on Food Network, and The Mitten Brewing Company has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, CNN, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, MSN, U.S. News and World Report, and many others. Chris is a member of The Westside Collaborative Board of Directors. He is a member of the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce’s OutPro Leadership Council and serves on the Leadership Council for the West Michigan Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In 2019, he formed Small Biz 4 Equality, a Michigan business coalition whose goal is to advocate for expansion of Michigan’s Civil Rights act to include protections for LGBTQ+ persons. Chris is also a campaign committee member and speechwriter for Hillary Scholten for Congress in Michigan’s Third Congressional District.
Photo: Kim Bode
Kim Bode is owner and founder of 8THIRTYFOUR Integrated Communications, an award-winning marketing and communications agency in Grand Rapids. Kim founded the organization when it became glaringly obvious that companies need one agency to fulfill all their needs. The kickass team at 8THIRTYFOUR becomes an extension of our clients, using the best talent, innovative ideas, and up-to-date data to guide custom, integrated strategies. Sometimes being different means being better.
Photo: Alice Jasper
Alice Jasper is a community advocate, nature lover and science fiction enthusiast hailing from hails from Brooklyn, New York. She began her career with the Grand Rapids YMCA and the Gilmore Collection where she led these organizations to foster social and environmental advocacy and implement programs based on a triple bottom line framework. Based on her understanding that community engagement is critical to a successful model of sustainability, Alice began working for the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance in 2017 where she facilitated workshops and developed and implemented programs and consulting strategies designed to dismantle barriers to social equity in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors of local economies. As a professional innovator in program and policy development, Alice has applied her knowledge of the triple bottom line to mobilize communities to move beyond conversations about social and environmental advocacy and take action that will advance sustainability by way of policy reform and conscious, objective-enhancing consumerism. 
Photo: Michael Pratt
Michael Pratt is a project manager at the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University (GVSU). In this role, he is responsible primarily for leading and managing The Grantmaking School. Michael completed his undergraduate studies at GVSU, graduating with a B.A. in philosophy and a B.S. in psychology. During his time as an undergraduate student, Michael served as officer and treasurer of GVSU’s Undergraduate Philosophy Club and was the recipient of the Excellence-in-a-Discipline Award for philosophy in 2015. He was a 2017-18 Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellow at GVSU’s Cook Leadership Academy at the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies. Michael serves as vice president of the board of directors of Alternatives in Motion, a West Michigan nonprofit which recycles, distributes, and maintains mobility equipment for those in need. He is currently pursuing a Master’s of Business Administration at GVSU’s Seidman College of Business.


February 26
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Event Categories:


Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy, Grand Valley State University


Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy
201 Front Ave SW, Suite 200
Grand Rapids, MI 49504 United States
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