BiS Conference: Scaling Small Business Impact

Scaling Small Business Impact
CR 50 - This Friday @ 1:15 pm - 2:00 pm
50% of people in the US work for a small business. Like large businesses, small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) need to consider a variety of stakeholders. These players work with customers, financiers, nonprofits and elected officials. The scale of impact of small business can be captured in the two charts below that show that 77% of private sector jobs today are in small businesses, and that 70% of jobs created this decade came from small businesses.

During this session, our panelists will draw upon their mix of experiences and backgrounds to discuss how small businesses engage with their communities as stakeholders, and their role in creating economic development and communal vitality. How do businesses scale their impact and what drives that?


Ridge Schuyler
Following 10 years on Capitol Hill serving as Chief of Staff to US Congressman Rick Boucher and Policy Advisor to Senator Chuck Robb of Virginia, Ridge Schuyler became the Director of the Nature Conservancy’s Piedmont Program from 2000-2008. In 2008 Congressman Tom Perriello (VA-5) asked Ridge to serve as his “boots on the ground” District Director, a position he held for 2 years. On his own initiative, Ridge published the Orange Dot Report in 2011 which analyzed the economic struggles facing a considerable portion of Charlottesville families and proposed innovative approaches to job creation. In 2012 Ridge, an U.Va. law graduate, ran President Obama’s voter protection efforts in Virginia. 

Following the campaign, Ridge founded the Charlottesville Works Initiative, a non-profit affiliate of the local Chamber of Commerce, which is implementing the ideas from the Orange Dot Report. He currently serves as the Charlottesville Works Initiative’s Director. That effort is working to create jobs by connecting small local businesses through hubs to the anchor institutions that drive our local economy, and by working to connect individuals to those newly created jobs through a peer network.

Casey Gerald
Casey currently serves as the CEO of MBAxAmerica, an organization he co-founded. He has worked as a strategist with startup social ventures like Reboot & The Future Project, and established companies like the Neiman Marcus Group. He began his career in economic policy & innovation at the Center for American Progress. Casey is a second-year MBA at Harvard Business School, and graduated from Yale College.

Dave Fafara
David Fafara is the owner of Shenandoah Joe Coffee Roasters and Espresso Bar as well as Sun Sports, a pool management company, in Charlottesville, Virginia. A former University of Virginia men’s and women’s diving coach, he coached four Atlantic Coast Conference Divers of the Year. Prior to coaching at Virginia, Fafara spent three years as diving coach at West Virginia University. He also taught and coached in the Santa Cruz, California city schools for five years and coached at Cabrillo Junior College from 1982-85. Fafara earned a B.S. in physical education and health from North Park College and a master’s degree in counseling from West Virginia University.

Bidhan "Bobby" Parmar - Moderator
Assistant Professor Bidhan ("Bobby") Parmar teaches First Year Ethics and a Second Year elective on collaboration at the Darden School of Business. Parmar's research interests focus on how managers make decisions and collaborate in uncertain and changing environments to create value for stakeholders. His work helps executive better handle ambiguity in their decision making. His recent research examines the impact of authority on moral decision making in organizations. Parmar’s work has been published in Organization Science and the Journal of Business Ethics.
Parmar is a fellow at the Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics and the Olsson Center for Applied Ethics. Prior to teaching at Darden, Parmar taught at the U.Va. McIntire School of Commerce.

Parmar lives in Charlottesville with his wife and two daughters.

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