All Hail the Czar
Introducing Michelle Reid and Mills Office Productivity
When you have a problem that needs to be solved you call in a czar. For the past 5 years, Michelle Reid has served as the czar of sustainability for Mills Office Productivity, a local and sustainable business supplier located in East Vancouver. Many years ago, Mill’s owner was approached to help tackle the homeless problem in Vancouver. They didn’t do so through handouts but rather by offering jobs to those in need and give people an opportunity to pull themselves up by the bootstraps. There were only so many jobs available in the Mill’s warehouse, so around seven years ago they expanded their program into the restaurant industry. Mills now offers an eight week culinary training program and job placement out of their Have Cafe which has helped out 800 individuals and with job retention of 50% seven years later.
Michelle oversees all of Mills’ social and environmental initiatives to ensure the B Corp is amongst best for the world. Michelle is passionate about the local economy and the impact of local purchasing, and supports organizations such as Loco BC where she sits on the Board of Directors. Michelle is constantly striving to ensure that Mills is using the best practices for its employees, the environment and the community they reside in and takes great pride in Mills commitment to remain a leader in its field through various certifications including being the first office supply company in Canada to become a Certified B Corporation.
Check out this week’s Boiling Point for another example of how companies can make real measurable impact in their communities.
In this episode
- Greg remembers a schoolyard crush.
- He tells us how he met Michelle at the B Corp Champions event in Portland, Oregon.
- Michelle lets us in on Canada’s only office supply B Corp.
- We hear how Mills Office Productivity is making real strides against the plight of homelessness in Vancouver.
- We learn why many government assistance programs do not work and what makes the Have Cafe better.
- We discuss why an opportunity means so much more than a handout.
- Michelle tells us how she became the sustainability czar.
- We discuss how empathy is sadly lacking in business and in the general world.
- Greg appreciates how Michelle is legit and owns her title and considers changing his title to chief excitement officer or chief “lets rock it” officer.
- Dave is impressed with the amazing measurable work that Mills Office Productivity is doing in such an important area.