MEMBER PROFILE

Live Well Brands

Live Well Brands is one of a portfolio of companies that all contribute a portion of their revenues towards supporting civically positive activities through several dedicated nonprofit organizations – World Business Academy, Omega Point Institute – as well as other civically minded non-profits. Civic engagement is equally important as share-owner profit – along with environmental stewardship, the welfare of our employees, the health and wellbeing of our customers, business partners, and others.

Q&A

Rinaldo Brutoco - Founding President & CEO, World Business Academy

Why is a healthy democracy important to achieving your company’s purpose?

No company operates, even though for many years they thought they did, in a parallel universe separate from the society from which they arise. For a long time, businesses didn’t understand this. Without a healthy democracy, we will break into civil war in this country, and nobody makes money in wars except armaments and ammunition suppliers. As a conscious, organic personal products company, Live Well Brands would not fare well in a destabilized nation.

Why are voting rights important to your business?

Because if you don't have equal voting rights, then what you're creating is classes of society which are permanently stratified, and the lower class of society, as Karl Marx observed over time, will then revolt.

How do you encourage your employees to become more civically engaged?

Very simple, model behavior. At bare minimum, we support giving paid time off to vote, and to volunteer to support voting rights. In addition, we look to support things like what PepsiCo just did with the National Urban League to specifically support Black owned restaurants that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. We are thrilled to see the success the World Business Academy has had with all the companies that we've worked with over the years that had Stakeholder Capitalism at the core of their model - all have excelled. And now we have the living proof of that because those are the companies on the JUST Capital 100, and they're consistently year after year (tracked now for four years) outperforming the Russell 2000 Index.

What are your company’s other projects to help support voters, protect elections, and overcome political divides?

Well, what we've done is to create a percentage of our net profits that will be set aside for nonprofit purposes. So, it's our own version of one cent per piece. And of this designated general nonprofit fund, 10% of that number is going to be invested in nonprofits with the greatest chance of advancing the goals of a healthy, functioning, civil society, with the remainder split across other key programs like environmental stewardship, gender & diversity inclusion, basic needs and services, and other essential programs that contribute to a healthy, resilient world. Specifically, our focus on civil society may include basically all the attributes of how we live together, not just how we vote. But if you don't have equal voting, you don't have a civil society, you’ve got an uncivil society. And what'd you have is Jim Crow, or worse, you'd have Reconstruction. You'd have authoritarian impulses; you'd get fascism.

Why did you decide to become a member of Business for America?

Because I think the business not only prospers better if we all see ourselves as Stakeholder Capitalists, but I think that the individual company fares better, and that's the commitment I'm making.

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