Inspire more good and help make the world a better place

MissionPlant seeds of kindness to grow local leadership and share in making our world a better place, community by community.

Mission

There’s this notion that doing good is at the expense of growing your business, or it's something done out of personal passion with no expectation of business return. But we know there’s a reality that your business must be profitable to give back. We believe the good you do can differentiate your business in an authentic way that’s both good for the bottom line and the community. That’s why we’ve built a platform to make it easy and engaging for you to grow and do good every day.

Our Story

We were overwhelmed by the barrage of negative news on TV, radio and social media. It was taking a toll on our view of the world. We wanted to do something to help make a difference.

We didn’t have to look very far: it was right in front of us. Within our family, there are several entrepreneurs with more than a dozen businesses ranging from a hair salon and hardware store to a construction firm and printing company. Across the industries and geographies represented, they shared two traits: a passion for their customers and a desire to improve their communities.

We noticed how much these small, local businesses gave back and the good they generated. We were inspired by their big hearts and uplifted to see how much good was already happening every day in their communities. From this, the purpose of seedership was born: to bring greater visibility to this good and help build a sustainable kindness movement driven at the community level.

Our Story

MEET OUR LOGO

EACH ELEMENT SYMBOLIZES A CORE BELIEF

MEET OUR LOGO

The 3 leaves

Each leaf represents one of our themes: plant, grow and share. Every act of kindness, generosity or gratitude is like a planted seed. For a seed to grow, it must be nurtured over time. This is similar to building trust with community members; it takes consistently showing you care and supporting what matters to them. For an act of kindness to fully bloom, it must be shared because it makes the giver, receiver and anyone who sees the act feel elevated and inspired to do good.

The open hand

The open hand is recognized in many cultures as a sign of giving and purpose. It’s incorporated in our logo to represent that every individual has something meaningful to contribute to making the world a better, kinder place.

The small “s”

Why the small “s” in seedership? We believe that every act of kindness, regardless of size or magnitude, matters. Small acts over time can build up to something big, and every act has the potential to create a ripple effect of good that can extend far beyond its original action.

Meet the Founders

Ray Smithberger

Having grown up on a 100-acre farm in Southeast Ohio, Ray was the first member of his family to graduate from college. He attributes his farm-kid values — hard work, self-discipline and helping others—for a successful 20-year corporate career. He’s led thousands of people in organizations across the globe, built and grew business units, transformed strategies and operations to adapt to market disruptions and supported large-scale acquisitions.

In 2019, Ray joined seedership full-time to combine his passion for community with his expertise in leadership and building businesses. He is focused on helping local businesses deepen their connections with customers, employees and the community to strengthen their brand and grow.

Jennifer Smithberger

Jennifer’s passion is helping individuals tell their stories in a way that connects with others and inspires them to action. During her career, which spans New York City public relations agencies, a Silicon Valley start-up and corporate communications at three Fortune 200 companies, she’s helped CEOs and business units articulate their strategies in a way that engages employees, customers, investors, partners and the media. She also shared stories of social responsibility initiatives around the world and their impact to strengthen brands and build community. One of her most fulfilling work experiences was partnering with the Audubon Society to create a corporate community program in 2009, which remains active today and has expanded into new regions.

In 2014, she took a year career sabbatical to volunteer at various nonprofits and join a medical mission trip to Jordan helping Syrian refugees. These experiences inspired her to start exploring new possibilities to drive meaningful change in the world. In 2018, after a brief return to the corporate world, she was ready to take the entrepreneurial leap to become chief seeder at seedership.

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