A Social Purpose Corporation is a for-profit corporations registered in the State of Washington that carries out its purpose under RCW 23B.03.010 in a manner intended to “promote positive short-term or long-term effects of, or minimize adverse short-term or long-term effects of, the corporation’s activities” with respect to employees, suppliers, customers, the community, and the environment.

Compensation Venture Group became one of the first SPCs in Washington in 2013 and adopted the following mission statement:

Compensation Venture Group, SPC (CVG) assists organizations with allocating financial capital of the employer – cash compensation, equity compensation, benefits, and intangible work conditions – to employees and other workers through programs that optimize the financial and nonfinancial outcomes for both.

In addition, CVG invests in social impact companies, primarily through Fledge LLC, the conscious company incubator, and provides no-cost advisory services to those companies while in the incubator. CVG also offers a reduced fee structure for social impact startup and emerging companies.

CVG has created this revised Mission Statement to capture and communicate its emphasis on social impact companies and sustainable business practices. The Company has always operated in a manner that emphasizes:

  • Flexible working arrangements and profit-sharing with employees
  • Rigorous guidelines for ethical business practices and refusing new or ongoing work with clients who are seeking support for business practices that do not meet our standards
  • Environmental responsibility, minimizing the use of paper, following a reduce/reuse/recycle program, and continually monitoring our business practices for improvement opportunities as resources change
  • Seeking suppliers of products and services who support and practice principles of sustainability
  • Transparent project budgeting and billing practices with full disclosure of time worked, hourly rates, and expenses with no “administrative charges” or other add-on fees

2021 Preview

CVG’s Q1 of 2021 demonstrates a continued and increased emphasis on its impact mission:

  • Presentation on the topic of impact startup compensation to the members of Larta Institute, a not-for-profit organization based in Los Angeles – an accelerator for impact businesses
  • A coming presentation to the Certified Professionals in Human Resources-BC as a keynote speaker at the annual Symposium on the topic of compensation in high-growth companies
  • Serving as a judge for the business plan competition for the Seattle University 2021 Harriet Stephenson Business Plan Competition, presented by the Albers School of Business and Economics Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center – business plans for social and environmental impact firms
  • Serving as a judge for the business plan competition for Seattle Pacific University’s 15th annual Social Venture Plan Competition

2020 Annual Report

CVG was re-cretified as a Green America Certified Business with Green America in 2020.

Despite the pandemic, In 2020, CVG developed original content and delivered presentations to audiences at in-person (until the COVID lockdown) and virtual conferences and academic settings on the topic of sustainability and compensation to:

  • University of California, Irvine, MBA program, including content on corporate governance
  • National Association of Stock Plan Professionals San Francisco Chapter meeting, on the topic of environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) metrics for companies.

CVG’s founder and Principal served as a judge in impact startup business competitions for both Seattle University and Seattle Pacific University.

CVG took responsibility for managing the Seattle Chapter of Conscious Capitalism by purchasing the Meetup group to coordinate virtual, and eventually, in-person meetings.

Public Service

Unrelated to CVG’s compensation consulting work, the Founder and President of CVG, Fred Whittlesey, provided volunteer service to:

  • Bainbridge High School Band Boosters, a not-for-profit fundraising organization providing fundraising and logistical support for student musicians at the High School. He serves on the Booster’s Board of Directors. During the pandemic, CVG has funded the honorarium for guest musician’s “master classes” online.
  • The Salary Commission for the City of Bainbridge Island, lending his compensation expertise to help determine appropriate compensation for members of. the City Council and the Mayor.
  • Financial Beginnings, a program providing financial literacy education to middle schools and high schools, as a volunteer instructor.
  • Startups in the impact space – those with a mission to develop solutions to social and environmental challenges around the world – by direct mentoring on financial and Human Resources issues.
  • A group of “angel investors” who are focused on investing  in impact startups and how compensation management comprises a series of crucial decisions for mission-driven startups.

All of these community service activities support the social purpose mission of CVG and require resources to be diverted from revenue and profit to our impact mission.

Financial Relationship

In 2020, CVG moved its banking relationship from Chase, a company with increasing ethical and regulatory violations, to Boeing Employees Credit Union – a not-for-profit credit union open to all in the State of Washington. BECU has a significant social impact footprint.

Expansion to Canada

In 2020, CVG continued to expand its global impact mission more directly.

Because of the close ties between the State of Washington and the Province of British Columbia, Canada, CVG founded an affiliate company in BC. Conscious Compensation Group Inc. (CCGI), a BC corporation, is focused exclusively on pursuing business opportunities and delivering advisory services with organizations that pursue an impact mission. CCGI’s first investment is in a women-led hospitality business, Cordelia’s Locket, dedicated to the Conscious Compensation© model as an element to uplifting women.

Fred is also serving as a volunteer mentor to two Human Resources professionals in BC through a program with the organization Chartered Professionals in Human Resources, a nonprofit professional association for HR professionals in BC and Yukon..

CCGI contributes financially to RAVEN.  RAVEN raises legal defense funds fo Indigenous Peoples in Canada to defend their rights and the integrity of lands and cultures. RAVEN purses both social and environmental solutions.

2019 Annual Report

CVG became a Certified B Corporation in 2013 and was recertified in 2016. CVG did not seek recertification in 2018 due to the certifying organization’s divergence from business-based sustainable values and reorientation toward sociopolitical views.

CVG became a Green America Certified Business with Green America in 2017 and was recertified in 2019.

CVG’s current investment portfolio includes equity positions in:

  • Global Shares, plc, a provider of equity compensation administration solutions to support employee ownership programs in companies around the world
  • Fledge LLC, the conscious company incubator and accelerator
  • RealizeImpact, a not-for-profit investment firm whose mission is to fund and support impactful startups
  • Evrnu, SPC, a developer of bio-based fiber for renewal of cotton garment waste into premium garments

In 2019, CVG provided consulting services to not-for-profit organizations providing services for social purpose causes including socio-emotional learning programs, healthcare collaborative service for underserved populations, and conservation and sustainability.:

Also in 2019, CVG reviewed corporate social responsibility and/or sustainability statements of its major suppliers to ensure consistency with CVG’s mission.  These are:

Alaska Airlines (www.flysustainably.com)
Marriott Hotels
Avis Budget Group (Budget Rental Cars)
Lyft

In 2018 CVG discontinued using Uber given the continuing controversies at that company regarding corporate governance, treatment of employees and contractors, customer safety, and conformance to laws and regulations.

In 2016 through 2019, CVG staff provided pro bono mentoring and consulting to companies enrolled in the Fledge program for social impact startups.

In 2019, CVG developed original content and delivered presentations to audiences at conferences and academic settings on the topic of sustainability and compensation to:

  • University of California, Irvine, MBA program, including content on corporate governance and B Corporations
  • Podcast hosted by Fledge LLC:        Guest #16 – Fred Whittlesey – Conscious Compensation©
  • Global Equity Organization’s Americas Regional Conference – meeting for equity compensation professionals, hosted by not-for-profit organization

2018 Annual Report

CVG became a Certified B Corporation in 2013 and was recertified in 2016. CVG did not seek recertification in 2018 due to the certifying organization’s divergence from business-based sustainable values and reorientation toward sociopolitical views.

CVG earned the Green Business certification from Green America in 2017 and was recertified in 2018.

CVG’s current investment portfolio includes equity positions in:

  • Global Shares, plc, a provider of equity compensation administration solutions to support employee ownership programs in companies around the world
  • Fledge LLC, the conscious company incubator and accelerator
  • RealizeImpact, a not-for-profit investment firm whose mission is to fund and support impactful startups
  • Evrnu, SPC, a developer of bio-based fiber for renewal of cotton garment waste into premium garments

In 2016 through 2018, CVG staff provided pro bono mentoring and consulting to companies enrolled in the Fledge program to social impact startups in Lima, Peru, multiple nations in Africa, and Seattle.

In 2018, CVG developed original content and delivered presentations to audiences at conferences and academic settings on the topic of sustainability and compensation to:

  • University of California, Irvine, MBA program, including content on corporate governance and B Corporations
  • Northern California Human Resources Association’s annual conference, HR West
  • A 5-part webinar series for the Northern California Human Resources Association
  • Presidio Graduate School, offering an MBA program in sustainability

n 2017, CVG developed original content and delivered presentations to audiences at conferences and academic settings on the topic of sustainability and compensation to:

  • Northwest Compensation and Rewards Forum, Annual Conference, the local chapter of not-for-profit WorldatWork
  • University of California, Irvine, MBA program, including content on corporate governance and B Corporations
  • GlobalHR conference, held on campus at Microsoft
  • WorldatWork Executive Compensation Conference

In 2016, CVG staff developed original content and delivered to professional audiences through conferences, seminars, webinars, and academic settings for organizations including:

  • Employee Share Ownership Centre (London/Davos)
  • Madrona Venture Partners CFO Summit
  • Rewards Northwest, by the Northwest Compensation and Rewards Forum
  • Pinchot University – MBA in Sustainable Business program, Values and Value Creation course

In 2015 presentations were made for organizations including:

  • University of California, Irvine – Merage School of Business (Irvine)
  • Employee Share Ownership Centre (London/Davos)
  • Certified Equity Professional Institute at Santa Clara University (Santa Clara)
  • Global Equity Organization (London)
  • Western Pension and Benefits Conference (San Francisco)
  • Academy of Management (Vancouver BC)
  • Ambrose University (Calgary)

Fred Whittlesey created and developed the curriculum as an Adjunct Professor for the MBA-level course Total Rewards Systems at Seattle Pacific University, taught this course in Summer Quarter 2017, and donated more than 50% of salary earned to the University earmarked to assist students with disabilities.

Fred also volunteer teaches math to fifth graders one to two hours per week, and volunteer teaches financial literacy through Financial Beginnings, a not-for-profit organization based in the Pacific Northwest.