The Chief’s Table Podcast | Nonprofit Entrepreneurship, Promoting Literacy And Transforming Grief Into Inspiration With Brian Floriani, Founder And Chief Advancement Officer Of Bernie’s Book Bank – Corporate and Company Law

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Throughout life, we all have key experiences that shape who we are. Sometimes, those experiences can even change our career paths or instill a deeper sense of purpose within us.

For Brian Floriani, his father’s death was an experience. It was not only an emotional change, but it also gave him the inspiration and courage to change careers. As a result, Brian founded Bernie’s Book Bank, a nonprofit that sources, processes and distributes free children’s books to underprivileged children. Originally served the greater Chicago area, but has now expanded.

In this episode of The Chief’s Table, Kim and Brian discuss how to express grief in positive ways, as well as the importance of increasing book ownership and literacy in America.

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They also discussed Brian’s new venture to support literacy, Freedom Promotions, a for-profit company that dedicates 100% of its profits back to bold literacy initiatives across America, along with Bernie’s Book Bank . Freedom Promotions takes cues from the “consumerism as activism” trend popularized by brands like TOMS, Bombas, Newman’s Own Dressing and others.

While factors such as increasing corporate social responsibility will likely continue to play an important role in the future of Bernie’s Book Bank and Freedom Promotions, Brian also emphasizes the importance of living a purposeful life. Through his work, Brian said he hopes to help others find their purpose as well.

About Brian Floriani

Prior to founding Bernie’s Book Bank, Brian was a lead instructor for Golf Digest Schools in Lake Tahoe and West Palm Beach. After leaving his job in the golf industry, Brian began working with struggling readers. Then he began to envision a business that would distribute children’s books to underserved families. He first collected children’s books in his garage and distributed them in age-appropriate bags to local children.

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Since then, Bernie’s Book Bank has distributed over 23 million books to Chicago children and families. The nonprofit aims to increase book ownership and improve literacy among those it serves.

Brian served as executive director of Bernie’s Book Bank until 2018 when he transitioned to the role of chief advancement officer. In her current role, she supports Bernie’s Book Bank by cultivating strategic relationships with partners across various industries.

Listen to the last episode.

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