Whole Foods CEO on mission to improve capitalism’s reputation

Florida Blog

Capitalism: a network of selfish corporations run by greedy, heartless tycoons — that was John P. Mackey’s view of America’s business community when he was a college student in the 1970s.

But a healthy dose of Adam Smith, Milton Freidman and other free-market economists — and a pivotal moment in which employees and customers helped rebuild the first Whole Foods store after a devastating flood — changed his mind, big time, Mackey told The World-Herald in an interview while in Omaha.

Mackey, 60, chief executive and co-founder of Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods and now co-author of “Conscious Capitalism,” is on a mission to rebrand capitalism and improve its reputation by demonstrating that love, passion, idealism and empathy play a central role in creating successful, competitive businesses.

Continue reading on Omaha.com

Conscious Culture at Publix Creates the Wal-Mart Slayer

Florida Blog

Forbes Magazine in August covered Publix and how their Conscious Culture and employee ownership is helping them win the grocer war in Florida. Publix’s president, Todd Jones, who started out as a bagger 33 years ago stated, “We believe that there are three ways to differentiate: service, quality and price… You’ve got to be good at two of them, and the best at one. We make service our number one, then quality and then price.”

Read the rest of this commentary from Conscious Capitalism Florida President & CEO Vinny Tafuro.

Employee ownership for a Conscious business?

Florida Blog

In our summer update we highlighted an August Forbes magazine article featuring Publix as the Wal-Mart Slayer which highlighted the fact that Publix is an employee owned business with a Conscious Culture.

The Guardian recently published an article on How to implement employee ownership that we thought would be worth a share.

From The Guardian:

Economic competitiveness and high performance are a central part of the DNA of employee-owned companies. Crucially, over the past 15 years, shares in employee owned businesses have considerably outperformed those in the FTSE All-Share Index according to the independent quarterly EO Index. So, where do you start if you are interested in successfully adopting employee ownership?

What are you thoughts on employee ownership?

Summer Update 2013 for Conscious Capitalism Florida

Florida Blog
Chapter News


It’s been an exciting few months since our announced launch by the Tampa Bay Business Journal and we have had a great reception from Florida’s various stakeholders. Our state’s business and nonprofit communities keep providing examples that illustrate Florida is already embracing the idea of Conscious Capitalism.

Additionally chapter President & CEO Vinny Tafuro has had conversations with the University of South Florida, University of Tampa, and University of Florida about student outreach in the fall semester in an effort to kickstart our first college chapters for Conscious Capitalism.

Benefit Corporations

With Delaware becoming the 19th state to enact Benefit Corporation law in July, Conscious Capitalism Florida has increased our efforts to pass the legislation in Florida during the 2014 session. This new corporate entity will provide limitless possibilities to use for-profit business to drive positive change through innovation and entrepreneurship.

B Corp legislation will open Florida up to over $3 trillion in impact investment money. Additionally B Corps can also help sustain Florida’s important agriculture industry and lands far into the future by allowing private for-profit land management to include sustainability standards without government regulation.

State News


Forbes Magazine covered Publix and how Conscious Culture and associate ownership is helping them win the grocer war. Publix’s president, Todd Jones, who started out as a bagger 33 years ago stated, “We believe that there are three ways to differentiate: service, quality and price… You’ve got to be good at two of them, and the best at one. We make service our number one, then quality and then price.”

Live Nation

Live Nation who operates two amphitheatres in Florida announced that all their concessions at its 38 amphitheaters around the country will serve only local produce and humanely-raised meats. Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino said “We know from working so closely with the artist community and from the fans that come to our events, that it’s important to many of them as well.”

Columbia Restaurant Group

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Richard Gonzmart of the Columbia Restaurant Group broke ground on a new restaurant named Ulele along the Tampa Riverwalk. The project combines the restoration of a historic landmark, highlighting Native American tradition, and serving sustainable local produce and seafood to illustrate stakeholder integration.

The Florida Aquarium

The Florida Aquarium officially launched their Seafood Now program on World Oceans Day in June. The program invites restaurants to learn more about the best choices when it comes to serving sustainable seafood. During World Ocean Week, Mitchell’s Fish MarketByblos CaféDatzParkshore GrillOishi Sushi and SteakhouseThai Thani, and Whole Foods served a special sustainable seafood menu, with part of the proceeds benefiting The Florida Aquarium.

CCF Aims To Encourage Higher Purpose In Business

Florida Blog

Contact: Vinny Tafuro


Conscious Capitalism Florida Aims To Encourage Higher Purpose In Business

TAMPA, FLORIDA, May 13, 2013 – Conscious Capitalism Florida, Inc., a Florida Non-Profit and official chapter of Conscious Capitalism, aims to raise awareness of the growing international movement for doing business with a higher purpose.

On Friday, the Tampa Bay Business Journal reported that “the organization’s mission is to encourage the private and academic sectors to make conscientious decisions that utilize capitalism and the free market to solve problems outside of the purpose and capability of government and non-profits,” which is echoed by Vinny Tafuro, President of Conscious Capitalism Florida, author, and entrepreneur.

Tafuro is joined by Barb Scherer, George Zwierko, and Mike Petresky as founding board members of Conscious Capitalism Florida. The organization received its charter after Tafuro met with Doug Rauch, the organization’s national CEO, formerly of Trader Joe’s and trustee John Mackey of Whole Foods Market at Conscious Capitalism 2013 in San Francisco. They are currently seeking 501(c)3 status as an educational organization and have cultivated numerous advocates throughout the state.

Conscious Capitalism builds on the foundations of Capitalism – voluntary exchange, entrepreneurship, competition, freedom to trade and the rule of law. These are essential to a healthy functioning economy, as are other elements of Conscious Capitalism including trust, compassion, collaboration and value creation.

“Practicing Conscious Capitalism enriches your life and the lives of people you do business with. And it’s without a doubt, the most fun, enduring and profitable way to build a sustainable business.” says Kip Tindell, Chairman & CEO, The Container Store, and trustee of the national organization.

The organization plans to educate by speaking with business leaders and community groups, connect conscious and innovative ideas around the state, develop college chapters, encourage the passing of Benefit Corporation legislation, and host a Conscious Capitalism Florida Summit.

You can learn more and join their efforts at www.ConsciousCapitalismFL.org.


Tampa Bay Business Journal Covers Conscious Capitalism Florida

Florida Blog

The Tampa Bay Business Journal reported this week on the formation of Conscious Capitalism Florida and in Editor, Alexis Muellner’s column “Taking it In” this week, explored the effort behind benefit corporations, which Conscious Capitalism Florida plans to support legislation for their formation. In their latest installment of the “One Question, One Minute” video series, chapter President Vinny Tafuro talks about what businesses have to gain by getting involved.

Below is a portion of the article covering our chapter’s formation of the past few months.

Conscious Capitalism chapter aims to help ‘small’ businesses do ‘big’ things

Conscious Capitalism Florida has formed with a small group of strong local supporters.

In three months, the Florida non-profit established a chapter, launched a website and social media presence, and advocated in Tallahassee for the economic development opportunities of so-called “benefit corporations.”

It now has 15 paid members.

The organization’s mission is to “encourage the private and academic sectors to make conscientious decisions that utilize the free market to solve problems outside of the purpose and capability of government and nonprofits,” said board member George Zweirko, partner at Rumbo Marketing in Tampa.

First on the agenda: awareness.

When you put …