The following letter was sent by John Batdorf as written testimony before a Michigan House committee considering house bill 6454 to provide for two new types of corporations in Michigan - Triple Benefit Corporations, where its mission is equal to profits, and Public Benefit Corporations, where profits are subordinate to mission.
September 21, 2010
Dear New Economy and Quality of Life Committee,
My name is a John Batdorf. I am a resident of Shelby Township, Michigan. For fifteen years, I managed a successful healthcare computer systems company in Grand Blanc, MI which grew to 15 employees. In 2000, I sold the corporation and turned my attention to non-profit ecological work as board member and then executive director of Upland Hills EAC. At UHEAC, I co-founded an Earth Day festival in Rochester, MI which grew to over 50,000 in attendance and provided a high-profile platform for Michigan businesses, community leaders and over 60 non-profit organizations, to promote their green/wellness products, services and programs.
Due to concerns of UHEAC board members regarding the cost of producing major events, in 2009, I co-founded and managed one of the first L3C companies in Michigan, TriGreen Development L3C, to produce the annual event. Although the festival continued to be successful, the L3C business form did not suit the company’s business expansion plans and the company was closed.
To continue to offer a major community green event and to extend our promotional and educational services throughout the year, we recently founded MI Green Team Inc. Our mission is to "promote green living, business and community through the premier green/wellness network in Michigan". The corporate form fits our business growth plans much better than an L3C. Unfortunately, when we formed MI Green Team Inc., we did not have the option of a corporate profit/non-profit hybrid analogous to an L3C. As a consequence and due to concerns about corporate profit-making (versus L3C profit subordination), our government and non-profit partners are hesitant to participate with us as fully as they have in previous years. Although these concerns are understandable and surmountable, they do limit our ability to provide the community benefit which is our primary focus.
We appreciate the initiative to provide an alternative to the current profits-only-focused corporate form, since our mission is to pursue the triple bottom line of producing environmental, social and economic value. We strongly support passage of House Bill 6454 to provide for Public Benefit Corporations and Triple Benefit Corporations. It will put Michigan on the forefront of the important effort to apply entrepreneurial methods and motivation to benefit our communities and environment. I believe that these corporate forms will place Michigan at an advantage in attracting dynamic businesses and individuals willing and able to benefit Michigan’s "new economy and quality of life".
MI Green Team Inc.
PO Box 81113
Rochester, MI 48308