Doing Well by Doing Good: Business, Art and Nonprofit Collaboration

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Zeal Optics, Snowboard Outreach Society and Artist Pat Milberry collaborate for profit, community well-being and environmental beautification.

For Zeal Optics, increased profitability came through a collaboration that showcased an artist and benefitted a nonprofit organization. In an economy that rewards efficiency and self-interest, three Coloradans show us how collaboration can be prosperous and provide a blueprint for others to do the same.

For more than 25 years, Zeal Optics in Boulder, CO has designed and produced world-class sunglasses and goggles that empower an outdoor lifestyle while protecting the environment (all their products are made with plant-based materials). In 2023, for the first time, they collaborated with Denver-based artist Pat Milbery to design products intended to inspire and make an impact by donating a portion of proceeds to Eagle County-based nonprofit SOS Outreach. The Open Hearts Collection is now the bestselling product line in the entire catalog.

Join Vail Symposium for a case study in how business, art and non-profit collaboration and innovation has built on strengths to create benefits and ripple effects far beyond their initial investment. Erik Williams (Vail Valley Partnership) moderates a discussion with artist Pat Milbery, Seth Ehrlich (Executive Director, SOS Outreach) and Mike Lewis (Sr. Director of Global Marketing, Zeal Optics) about the collaboration, vision, execution, art, global success of the products, and the national impact to American youth. Consumers and companies can catalyze change – this program will present the business case and inspire prosperous collaboration.

Production Date: 
Monday, January 8, 2024

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