Books I’m Reading: The B Corp Handbook

I recently attended a discussion with other CEOs at the New Hampshire Business for Social Responsibility’s (NHBSR) annual conference. Many attendees came from companies that are Certified B Corporations. Author, Ryan Honeyman said it well in his introduction of The B Corp Handbook; “the B stands for “benefit”, and as a community, B Corporations want to build a new sector of the economy in which the race to the top isn’t to be the best in the world but to be the best for the world”.

This book provides testaments of Certified B Corp companies who make a long-term commitment for positive social impact that benefits everyone. I had the pleasure of listening to Senator Jean Shaheen’s short address to a crowd of 300 attendees. Afterwards, a panel of Certified B Corp CEOs answered various questions about their actions of social responsibility and leadership in their communities, explaining how they are making changes.

Various efforts made by Certified B Corporations have already been implemented by all of us here, at Northeast Delta Dental. We have installed energy efficient lights inside of our buildings and in our parking lots, our purchase of the Angwin Property behind our One Delta Drive location preserves the nearby ecosystem reminding us of the geese that find refuge on Horseshoe Pond every spring along with the duck population throughout the summer, and provides our employees with Nordic ski trails in the winter months to continue promoting health and wellness. My colleagues take part in assisting disadvantaged individuals by having regular volunteer presence at The Friendly Kitchen in our neighborhood, and save money by implementing electronic claims submissions making processing faster and easier.

Much like Certified B Corporations, my leadership role with Northeast Delta Dental has been a long-term vision as a business stakeholder invested in cultivating “the best for the world”. I encourage you to read The B Corp Handbook to see how your business can take part in The Certified B Corp Global Movement.

B-Corp Handbook Cover

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Books I’m Reading: What School Could Be

I enjoy serving as Chair of the New Hampshire Coalition for Business and Education leading critical educational efforts such as 65×25, which aims to have 65% of New Hampshire’s 25 to 64 year old population hold a post-secondary degree or relevant credential by 2025.  This is very important to the future of New Hampshire’s workforce.

Ted Dintersmith, a former venture capitalist and a generous educational philanthropist, invested the entire academic year from 2015 to 2016 traveling the country to learn more about what our nation’s schools are doing.  He documented his travels in his new book, What School Could Be.  During his journey, Ted visited more than 200 schools.  His original mission was to increase awareness for the need for innovation in education to position students for a successful future in the fast-paced, competitive, workforce.  Instead, he was inspired by teachers everywhere who are already helping their students through innovative and unique lessons.

When Ted visited New Hampshire, I had the pleasure of speaking with him and sharing my experience.  One of my personal goals during my time as Chair of the NH State Board of Education was to improve student engagement and to this day one of my favorite components of my leadership in the education of our state’s young minds is learning from teachers and sharing best practices.

If you would like to be inspired by the important work of our country’s teachers, I highly recommend reading Ted’s book.  You can find the section on New Hampshire on page 186.

What-School-Could-Be

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Books I am Reading, February 2018

I am reading four books, but each one mindfully (based on my own new book on Mindfulness), capturing my passions:

The first book is So You Think You’re A Boston Red Sox fan, by Bill Nowlin.   This book is a nice read for any Boston sports fan as it is filled with fun facts about the Red Sox and it definitely tests your Sox history and trivia.

The second book is Race Everything, by Bart Yasso, which explains how to complete any race regardless of the distance, in any environment and, most importantly, how to have fun while running!  I have found that Yasso’s latter point (having fun) is truly the key to sustained long term running.

The third book, Aged Healthy + Wise, by Coventry Edwards-Pitt which features lessons from qualitative research with inspirational elders regarding how they arranged their lives in their golden years.  As I’m getting up there, I need to learn these lessons.

And, finally, I have been enjoying Not Without Peril, 150 years of Misadventure on the Presidential Range of New Hampshire, by Nicholas Howe.  Climbing is fun, and I enjoy hiking as it is very effective cross-training for running; however, it can be dangerous.  Some of Howe’s stories, make you a bit more cautious about tackling a mountain.  Preparation is key!

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Please Be Mindful this Year

A few years ago, I joined a teleconference on my Bluetooth and I drove the entire 12 minutes home.  When I pulled in to my driveway, I didn’t even remember driving home.  This realization shook me, and from that moment on, I decided that I would no longer engage in important phone calls (on my Bluetooth) while driving.  I learned that “uni-tasking” is much more effective than “multitasking.”

Think about it, can you really give 100% of your attention to everything at the same time?  The answer is no, although much of corporate America prides itself on “multitasking.”  I don’t think multitasking is effective or anything to brag about.  I think this is how mistakes are made.  Human beings are binary — many people (including me) are guilty of multitasking, but actually when we are emailing or texting, at that moment we are not paying attention to the person on the phone, in our office, or whatever else we may be doing.  This includes catching up on emails while on a conference call, texting or catching up on emails during in-person meetings, etc.

Unitasking instead of multitasking can be carefully guided by the concepts of mindfulness, a special kind of attention that requires devoting of our conscious attention, to one task at a time.  My favorite recreational activity is downhill skiing because to ski fast, and safely, down the mountain, I must be completely focused and present.  If I am not paying attention, I run the risk of hurting myself or others.  This conscious focus certainly takes discipline; however, organizations who have embraced this concept, like Northeast Delta Dental, have noticed a real change.  We all have a lot of work to do; however, instead of giving less of our attention to multiple things, it is far better to give all of our attention to one thing.

Following this mindfulness mantra, I recently co-authored a book with organizational leadership expert, Annabel Beerel, PhD.  The book titled, Mindfulness. A Better Me. A Better You. A Better World, will be available on Amazon in the coming weeks.

I challenge all of you to try to be a little bit more mindful this year.  Again, mindfulness is a discipline that must be practiced; however, this book will provide readers with a framework and a history of successful mindfulness practices that we hope will be a helpful resource on you mindfulness journey.

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WZID Christmas is for Kids Radiothon

I recently joined WZID, during their annual Christmas is for Kids Radiothon, of which Northeast Delta Dental was a proud sponsor.  The event raised more than $195,000 over two days (December 7th and 8th) to support Child & Family Services of New Hampshire.  You may listen to my interview here.

We are proud to be in the company of many generous organizations supporting this important cause including: Fairpoint Communications, Cross Insurance, Bellwether Community Credit Union, SNHU, Halle Oil, Autofair, Catholic Medical Center, OptumInsight, Granite State Credit Union, NH Blacktop Sealers, Manchester Harley Davidson, Eastern Bank, Ira Toyota, Anagnost Companies, TD Bank, Eversource, Macy Industries, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, and Merchants Automotive.

The WZID Christmas is for Kids Radiothon helps Child & Family Services of New Hampshire further their mission to advance the well-being of children through providing an array of social services to strengthen family life and promote community commitment to the needs of children.

Happy Holidays!

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Granite State Baseball Dinner is a big win for local charities

One of my favorite annual events is the Granite State Baseball Dinner, presented by Northeast Delta Dental, recently held at the Radisson Hotel Expo Center, Manchester, New Hampshire.  The attendees are baseball fans and representatives of businesses who help to make this fundraiser successful, with the spotlight on honored baseball personalities.

This year’s lineup included 17 celebrity guests, five of which were spotlighted as honored guests:  Luis Tiant, who pitched for six major league teams and is recognized as one of the most durable pitchers of his generation; Claudia Williams, author of Ted Williams, My Father: A Memoir, recounting her relationships with one of baseball’s brightest stars; pitcher Chris Carpenter, perhaps one of the most widely recognized players from the Granite State; Tony Perez, one of the most popular Cincinnati Reds of all time; and Rico Petrocelli, who spent his entire 13-year career with the Boston Red Sox. We were proud to honor Johnathan Davis (in absentia) with the Gold Crown Award from Northeast Delta Dental as the Fisher Cats’ 2017 Player of the Year.

The Granite State Baseball Dinner is always positive and fun for everyone who attends.  It benefits three terrific organizations: the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD), New Hampshire’s only comprehensive full-service children’s hospital (www.ChaDkids.org); the Ted Williams Museum, devoted to preserving and building on the rich traditions of our national pastime, baseball (www.tedwilliamsmuseum.com); and the Fisher Cats Foundation, a statewide charitable organization providing scholarships to college-bound New Hampshire and Massachusetts high school student athletes and supporting youth organizations and charities throughout the state (www.nhfishercats.com).

Through sponsorship donations, ticket sales, silent and live auctions, and raffle ticket sales, more than $100,000 was raised in 2017; and, since 2007, the dinner has generated more than $1.7 million for these three worthy charities.

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Tom speaking to the crowd at the Northeast Delta Dental Granite State Baseball Dinner

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Easterseals New Hampshire, Northeast Delta Dental team-up to help veterans smile

On Friday, November 10, Northeast Delta Dental and Easterseals New Hampshire worked together to provide free dental treatment to more than 50 Veterans at the Oral Health Center’s Veterans’ Appreciation Day.

The genesis of this commemorative day is Dr. Shannon Farrell, who leads the Oral Health Center and recently lost her father, a veteran and recipient of two Purple Hearts.  To reduce transportation barriers for veterans attending this special event, the Manchester Transit Authority generously offered free, round-trip, transportation on their fixed routes to any veteran.

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Dr. Shannon Farrell examines a patient before administering care during Veterans’ Appreciation Day at Easterseals NH’s Oral Health Center.

Occasions like this truly demonstrate that if there is a health need in New Hampshire, businesses, private citizens, and nonprofits can work together to improve outcomes.  We are proud to support our military heroes and play a small role in helping them improve their oral health.

As a business, another way we help veterans with their oral health is through the availability of the Veterans Affairs Dental Insurance Program (VADIP), a national dental insurance program for veterans enrolled in VA health care.  This program is designed to offer veterans the best value and service available very affordably.  Learn more about VADIP here.

I am grateful to our military heroes for their service to our country.  Northeast Delta Dental is proud to have many veterans on our team.  We honored our veteran employee colleagues at a special luncheon on Friday, November 10, during which we presented these employees with a National Defense Service Medal.  Thank you for your service!

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