Alessandra Simkin

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Alessandra Simkin

Board Member

Why do we need a new way of doing business?

In my view, it’s less about finding a new way of doing business and more about striving for better, more personal ways to do business. Businesses touch so many lives – their employees, their customers and other stakeholders. For example, today many people rely on their employers for access to healthcare, and there are ways to make that relationship less transactional and more focused on improving whole health and wellness for individuals. It’s important for businesses to truly recognize the impact that they have on people and to look for ways to bring humanity into these interactions.

Give us an idea of how have you helped make the world a better place? 

Currently, I lead communications for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut. As the pandemic evolved, I recognized that my background in health communications could be a powerful tool to ensure people have access to information about healthcare, and based on this, I made the decision to join the team.

Ever since I was little, I looked for ways to improve the world around me. I actually petitioned my neighbors on the street that I grew up on to have our town install a “Children at Play” sign to protect the neighborhood children. My desire to help people through advocating for important causes continued to grow, and that’s what led me to join the board of Conscious Capitalism in Connecticut, as well as the junior board of the Food Bank For New York City this year. 

I studied international relations and communication with an aspirational plan to use my voice to make the world a better place. During graduate school, I became interested in health and realized that I could use the power of communications to help people improve their health. This realization launched my career in public relations, which I began on the agency side advising major pharmaceutical companies. I was drawn to advocacy work during this time, and projects that I found particularly rewarding were focused on breaking stigma and raising awareness of testing and treatment for infectious diseases and mental health. 

The idea of using business as a force for good became very clear to me in the next role that I took on, which was at Danone where I led external communications for several brands and supported the company’s mission to bring health through food to as many people as possible. Danone introduced me to the B Corp movement and from there I became committed to incorporating sustainability into how I do business, and in my personal life. I look for ways big and small to challenge myself to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. For example, I like to find brands that have their B Corp Certification because that mark represents a commitment to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

During the course of my career, which has been a priority for me in my life so far, I’ve worked with companies across varying industries to raise awareness of important health issues, and I plan to continue to do this. What I realized during my journey is that I enjoy the fast pace of the private sector, and for me, working in the private sector is not mutually exclusive with doing good. In fact, I believe if everyone in the private sector looks to infuse good into their work, that’s how we’ll achieve the ideals of Conscious Capitalism.

What does Conscious capitalism mean to you?

Conscious Capitalism is making our current system more sustainable. Whether it’s creating products with more sustainable materials or treating employees with more humanity, there are always opportunities to change the status quo and strive for better. The B Corp world often talks about the concept of using business as a force for good. This resonates with me because business is such a big part of American culture, and if business can come together as a force for good in the world – we have a real opportunity to create lasting change that leaves a better world for our children and future generations.