Join Community Dining, Lee Capps from the Chicago Chapter of Conscious Capitalism, Illinois State Representative Scott Drury, and social impact food entrepreneurs for dinner prepared by Chef Dominic Zumpano with reverence for the means by which we fuel ourselves and an evening focused on the value of social entrepreneurship at The Gallery in Lake Forest.
Entrepreneurial endeavors have a foundation rooted in voluntary activities that foster goodwill and friendship. These types of activities naturally bring people together by seeking creative solutions to social problems that involve cooperation for our collective benefit. Elected officials who intuitively understand the value of entrepreneurship can help build vibrant communities and instill an environment that encourages innovation and risk-taking rather than one built on fear and control.
Perhaps now, more than ever, we could consider how Community Dining can help us rediscover the means of human interaction that we inherently know benefits us all - one in which we are free to connect with one another and create our own experiences with people we never would have met where authentic community naturally flourishes and ideas can peacefully collide to produce a greater body of knowledge and shared understanding. Maybe then we will begin to realize that we can thrive simply through mutual cooperation.
6:00 to 6:45: Cocktails
6:45 pm - 9:00 pm: Dinner/Program
India Spice Rubbed Tuna, Compressed Watermelon, Asian Mixed Greens (Gotham Greens)
BBQ Spiced Smoke Shrimp, Cheddar Grits + Candied Bacon
Spring Tomatoes, Baby Romaine, Blue Cheese Dressing, Black Olive Oil
True Aussie Flat Iron Steak, 'Hooyah" Veterans Beer Butter, Asparagus, Mushrooms
'Huske' Veteran Beer Company Stout Cake, Chocolate Mousse & Vanilla Gelato
Conscious Capitalism – sounds like an oxymoron. But, what would be possible if we engaged in business from a more intentional, conscious purpose? Conscious Capitalism is a movement to foster business that is purpose-driven and values-based, led by conscious leaders and serving all of its stakeholders. Lee Capps, a leader in the Chicago Chapter, will join us to share more about this important, timely movement, and how it is alive and well in the Chicago area.
State Representative Scott Drury grew up in Highland Park and now lives with his family in Highwood. Serving since 2013, Representative Drury is widely known as one of the most independent and thoughtful legislators in the Illinois General Assembly. In 2017, Representative Drury introduced the “People’s Plan” – a set of fifteen legislative proposals designed to tackle Illinois’ most vexing structural problems, including endemic public corruption, a massive backlog of unpaid bills and an unfair election system. Before running for office, Representative Drury was an Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago.
Food Artisans and Entrepreneurs
The answer is simple...
In 2012 Meg Barnhart, Founder and Co-Creator of the zen of slow cooking, wanted to create a business that could employ individuals with learning challenges - adults like her son, Doug. When she started slow cooking in 2006 to ease her mom-guilt and get a healthy dinner on the table she never imagined the slow cooker would be a vehicle for change. With her vision in place, she began looking for a partner to help turn her dream into a reality..
A few weeks later she was introduced to Jane McKay who would become her partner and Co-Creator of the zen of slow cooking.
5 years later they transformed their slow cooking food blog into a social enterprise by creating a line of premium spice blends crafted exclusively for the slow cooker.
In addition to bringing a little Zen into the kitchen of the home cook their spice blends also provide employment for adults with developmental disabilities through their relationship with Planet Access Company.
We started Chapín Coffee because we believe that every child has the right to grow to their full potential. It began with an idea: what if we could transform our passion for specialty coffee into a force to end chronic childhood malnutrition in Guatemala? Five years and many beans later, that's exactly what Chapín Coffee is empowering coffee lovers to do. For every bag of coffee you buy, Chapín serves school meals to children living in rural Guatemala through our partnership with the NGO Pueblo a Pueblo. Your purchase of Chapín Coffee helps to end hunger in the coffee-growing communities of Guatemala, where 3 of every 4 kids suffer from chronic malnutrition.
Thank you for changing the lives of these children, one cup of coffee at a time!
Gotham Greens is a global pioneer in the field of urban agriculture and a leading regional producer of hyper-local, premium-quality vegetables and herbs. Gotham Greens’ pesticide-free produce is grown using ecologically sustainable methods in technologically-sophisticated, 100% clean energy powered, climate-controlled urban greenhouses. Gotham Greens provides its diverse retail, restaurant, and institutional customers with a local, reliable, year-round supply of produce grown under the highest standards of food safety and environmental sustainability. The company has built and operates over 170,000 square feet of greenhouse across 4 facilities in New York and Chicago. Gotham Greens was a recipient of the 2015 Martha Stewart “American Made” award and was founded in 2009 in Brooklyn, New York. www.gothamgreens.com
Meg Dhamer created Pigtale Twist, which is named after a fairytale her grandmother would tell her about a little pig who worked his land in the French countryside. At night, as he worked in his barn, the town's children saw the glow of his lamp through the windows. Night after night the children visited the barn, and the little pig would read fairytales to them. In her favorite story, the pigs were preparing a fabulous feast for their friends. She remembers thinking, "I'm going to do that some day." And now it's come true.
Meg's goal was a way of supporting her family, satisfying her insatiable love of cooking, lavish entertaining and a way to give back to her community some of the blessings she had been given.
Meg and her family, her mother, Elaine, Daisey, Teddy, and pup, Oliver, reside in Illinois. Meg has an amazing talent for creating incredible meals with an opulent flair and now shares them with you! Every dining experience expresses her special passion for spectacular presentation and bursting flavors.
Founded in 2012, The Veteran Beer Company is dedicated to providing lives of quality for military Veterans through the creation of meaningful post-service careers.
The company produces, sells, and delivers craft beers of superior quality, striving to employ Veterans in every role within the organization. Whenever possible, we use Veteran-owned small businesses in our supply chain and insist that the entire supply chain have a Veteran-first hiring policy.
Our employees—all Veterans of the US military--adhere to the highest principles of military service, conducting business with integrity, courage, and loyalty.
Importantly, 10% percent of everything we make goes to charities that support Veterans causes; the other 90% goes to employ Veterans.
TeaSquares are energy snacks infused with naturally occurring caffeine from organic tea. Each bite-size square is light and airy, packed with wholesome puffed millet, crunchy almonds, and flavorful fruits. We have a social mission of supporting economic development in urban communities, and manufacture TeaSquares in the Englewood neighborhood.
Australians are passionate about quality and safety when it comes to red meat. From farmer to plate, we’ve been working on that for more than 200 years. We take pride in what we do and we don’t cut corners. We trust each other because we’re in this together. We also understand the importance of consistent quality for our customers. We care about our animals and we care about our products. We’re lucky in Australia – we’ve got more than we need. Great produce, healthy products and abundant choice. We’d like to share that with you. That means you can enjoy top quality Australian cuts of meat whenever you want. Our food, your table, enjoyed the world-over.
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We believe life is meant to be enjoyed and and that we enjoy life more when we are connecting with those we love & when we are healthy. SOCIAL was created to enhance our precious moments and complement our healthy lifestyles. Finally something actually good made by someone who really cares...
A STORY ABOUT OUR FOUNDER
Diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer at 26, Leah Caplanis had to make a decision.
She'd spent 8 years in the corporate world working for NESTLE growing brands she didn't believe in. Healthy eating has always been a passion of hers and selling something she wasn't in alignment with was making her stressed, run down, and uninspired.
She educated herself at the Hippocrates Health Institute and Kushi Institute of Macrobiotics, and experienced first hand holistic modalities such as Ayurvedic, Biofeedback, Homeopathy, Hyrdotherapy, Bowen Therapy, Sound Therapy, and more. She quit drinking for three years, went vegan for three years, and utilized herabl remedies to literally draw the cancer cells from her body.
Even though spirituality was always important to her, this healing journey brought Leah even closer to her faith and the validation that the mind is a powerful tool that creates our own realities.
After three years not giving up on her goal to heal holistically, Leah was healed from cancer.
Redefining Sparkling Wine
Now Leah is living the life she's always wanted. She is manifesting her dream lifestyle, her dream of becoming an entrepreneur, and serving others by providing something that she feels can make their lives better.
Going through cancer taught Leah the importance of CHOOSING to enjoy each day and that connecting with friends and family is #1. She saw so many of the downsides alcohol was having on those around her and wanted to create an option that allows everyone freedom to connect AND enjoy alcohol, tonight AND the next day. The freedom to enjoy life! And so she created SOCIAL Sparkling Wine.
Westside Bee Boyz, LLC was founded in August of 2014 by Thad Smith. It consists of local urban beekeepers committed to keeping, educating, and promoting urban beekeeping and honeybees as well as, other pollinators. Located in the heart of Chicago’s Westside, it is our goal to serve the city’s bees and beekeepers as stewards to both.
Thad graduated from the U-Turn Permitted program in June 2013 and subsequently began working with Sweet Beginnings as a three-month transitional jobs worker. Thad discovered his love and passion for bees and in 2014, became Sweet Beginnings’ first Beekeeping Apprentice, helping to manage 131 colonies in multiple locations and providing honeybee education. He is a founding member of a dedicated beekeeping supply store named The Hive Supply/Chicago in the heart of the Westside of Chicago. Thad brings enthusiasm and a positive attitude to his company, and has proven to be an effective leader for the Westside Bee Boyz, LLC organization.
From homelessness to business owner did not happen overnight, nor was the path paved with gold. There were many obstacles, not only business, but personal as well which could have been roadblocks to Thad's success. However, he never gave up and he believes the difference for him was the village of people who were there to support him every step of the way. This has allowed Thad to be focused on his goals and weather the storms. This initiative will allow him to bring these organizations together for one purpose, that is too “BEE THE CHAGE”.
The City of Chicago has a long history of urban beekeeping. Unlike other metropolitan cities, such as: New York, Paris, Amsterdam, and Los Angeles; beekeeping has been an accepted and virtually unregulated urban agricultural venture for decades. With an established base of urban beekeepers in the city’s long history, Westside Bee Boyz, LLC is providing Chicago’s urban beekeepers with reliable, knowledgeable, and sustainable sources for beekeeping needs.
What is "Urban Apiary Services" you ask?
We install 3 to 5 honey bee hives generally on the roof tops of buildings, however on all types of property, care for and maintain them under contract. Honey production of ~40 lbs. per hive per season can be bottled and used as promotion or gifts.
We currently manage hives at several commercial buildings downtown. We have been covered in the media for my original story and what we are doing in Chicago.
If you think you might be interested in a Beekeeping Educational workshop or partnership with us, there are a lot of reasons to increase the number bee hives in Chicago and there are a lot of ways you could use the partnership to highlight your business or property.
Online store: mkt.com/Westside-bee-boyz
We are a creative space that houses + showcases art of all mediums. Our residents include Artists on the Bluff, a Photography studio and Culinary studio.
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Paul Sippil serves as a community builder, creator, and disrupter connecting people through shared meals as part of Community Dining, a group he started in March of 2015 aiming to stimulate substantive dialogue and strengthen social bonds. Paul is a former auditor, recovering CPA, and independent registered investment advisor who acts as a crime-fighter by day focusing on uncovering the fraud, corruption, and conflicts of interest in the retirement plan industry.