Gateway: News

Business with a Mission event seeks to inspire businesses to have global impact

The fourth annual Business with a Mission event is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 24) in Gig Harbor.

The goal of the event is to provide business leaders with a way to connect and use their talents to have a global impact in reducing poverty.

“We want to challenge business people to use their talents to help the world,” said Elisabeth Cochrane, CEO of ACE Development Fund, the organization hosting the event.

Cochrane realized years ago during her work with the poor in India and Nepal that the only way she was going to effect long-term change was to bring in jobs.

ACE Foundations was started in 2010 as a way to bring in sustainable industries to break the cycle of poverty in these impoverished areas.

The Business with a Mission events were started shortly after to connect business people and give them an opportunity to donate their talents and experience to help change the world.

“The idea is to take what we’ve learned in our careers and give back,” said Scott Smalling, a speaker at the event and founder of the nonprofit organization Relief Bed.

Four other speakers will join Smalling at the event on Saturday, sharing their experience in business and the projects they’re working on in 20-minute discussions.

The other featured speakers are:

▪ Albert M. Erisman, former director of technology at Boeing

▪ Heidi Stephens-Mentz, founder and CEO of Imani Bank

▪ Dan Weibe, founder of Rossdown Farms & Natural Foods

▪ Joel Parker, founder and president of Nations Foundation

“(This event) gets people together to network ideas and turn talent into higher ideals,” Smalling said.

The event this year will be longer, with more time for networking and roundtable discussions after the speakers have concluded.

The event will be held at The Gathering Place at Harbor Covenant, 5601 Gustafson Drive NW.

Cost is $30 and includes a catered lunch. Event registration is available online at

Andrea Haffly: 253-358-4125