Our mission

Inspire more good and make the world a better place, community by community.

OUR STORY

seedership® was founded with an unyielding belief and lofty goal: People are inherently good and want to make the world around them better, so let’s empower them to do that in a way that enhances their lives and builds a sustainable kindness movement.

We were overwhelmed by constant negative coverage in the news and on social media, so we searched for a way to make good more prevalent in our lives.

We didn’t have to look far: It was right in front of us. Within our families, we had entrepreneurs owning more than a dozen businesses from a hair salon and hardware store to a construction firm and financial investment firm. Across the industries they represented, they shared two traits: a passion for their customers and a desire to improve their communities. They pursued both with zeal, but sometimes they were at odds with one another. We made it our quest to help them align these two worthy causes because we realized they had the courage, tenacity and influence to be powerful change agents for good in their communities.

MEET THE FOUNDERS

Ray Smithberger
Ray grew up on a 100-acre farm in southeast Ohio. There he learned the value of hard work, self-discipline, and helping one’s neighbor without expecting anything in return.

Ray left the farm and became the first person in his family to graduate from college. He enjoyed a successful career in the corporate world, leading thousands of people in organizations across the globe, billion-dollar business units, and large-scale acquisitions. Ray focused on driving growth and improving performance during times of significant change and market disruption by using strategy, planning, operations, and execution to create value. All along, he gave back by sharing his passion and experience with the local community, serving on nonprofit boards, and actively volunteering.

In 2019, Ray joined seedership® as the company’s full-time kindness evangelist. In this role, he focuses on combining his degree in biology with his years of leadership experience to promote the behavioral and biological benefits of kindness and how it can lead to connections that help businesses grow through the good they do.  
Jennifer Smithberger
Jennifer has a passion for helping people tell their stories in a way that connects and engages with others and inspires them to action. During her career, which spanned New York City PR agencies, a Silicon Valley startup, and three Fortune 200 companies, she helpedCEOs and business units articulate their missions and develop content and messaging tailored to employees, customers, investors, and the media. She also incorporated stories of the good employees did in their jobs and communities to showcase the ripple effect of kindness. One of her most fulfilling work experiences included building a community program with the Audubon Society. It remains active today.  

In 2013, this lifelong city girl got married and became a stepmom, prompting her to reflect on her choices, legacy, and values. She took a year off to volunteer at multiple nonprofits and participate in a mission trip in Jordan to help refugees fleeing a civil war.These experiences changed her perspective on teamwork and purpose. In 2018, after a brief return to the corporate world, she took the entrepreneurial leap and became chief seeder at seedership®. She hasn’t looked back.

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About the Team

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We started with one goal – to make the world a better place.  Our careers in the corporate world were satisfying, but we felt a need to contribute to a greater purpose. We began serving on nonprofit boards and volunteering for various charitable organizations. This left us wanting to see the impact of donating our time or resources and wondering if there was a different way to contribute.

We explored a lot of questions. Who are the stewards of change in the local community?  What could we do to make kindness more visible? Was it possible to transform doing good into a routine activity versus one done once in a while?

We didn’t have to look far for inspiration. Within our families, there are entrepreneurs owning more than a dozen businesses ranging from a hair salon and hardware store to a specialty paper goods company and construction development firm.  They shared two traits: a passion for their customers and a desire to strengthen their communities.

So we set out to create a platform to showcase good, inspire more good, recognize those who give back, and start a sustainable movement to make the world a better place.

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