by Bill Shory, President, Fleur de Lis Communications
I should have seen it coming.
Back in July of 2021, the newest member of the FDLC team, Taylor Durden, was getting set for her first potential client meeting, and I was nervous. It wasn’t that I had any doubts about her as a colleague – I had hired her once before, as weekend anchor at WAVE-TV, and she’d been extraordinary – but I just wasn’t sure how long it would take her to transition from news into the business world.
Now, anyone who’s ever met Taylor – especially in the last year - can guess what happened next. She knocked it out of the park. Like I said, I should have seen it coming.
To be sure, a big part of that success was due to Taylor just being who she is: a genuine person, and a skilled communicator. But it was also partially due to who we were meeting with: the folks from Canopy Kentucky.
Canopy is a nonprofit which encourages businesses to commit to responsible practices – for their employees, for the community, and for the environment. They had a vision to offer a state-level equivalent of the internationally known B Corp certification – basically, a process that socially-minded businesses could go through to prove that they are committed to doing well by doing good. Canopy was looking for someone to help tell that story.
Taylor was immediately excited about working with them, which made me realize something about our team. As former journalists, Taylor and I had spent a good chunk of our lives driven by the belief that – on a good day – we were going to save the world. It was just natural, then, that we’d gravitate toward that same principle in our business – and want to work with people who had that same ethos.
My co-founder Tara Goode and I had already moved in this direction instinctively. Our first three clients were nonprofits, and they were all natural fits for the causes we pursued in our personal lives. Taylor’s arrival made us realize this was more than a coincidence – it’s who we are.
The mission statement that grew out of that – to tell the stories of people and organizations who make the community better – has framed our growth ever since. There are now five of us, all with a similar commitment to service. While our client list includes some large commercial clients, it also features socially-focused enterprises like Interapt, large nonprofits such as Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentuckiana, small community organizations like Helping Hand of Hope and the Addie and Baylor Foundation, the Give for Good Louisville campaign (which connected us to Whitney/Strong), and of course, Canopy Kentucky.
When it comes to clients like these, we’ve always been committed to “walking the walk” with the organizations whose stories we tell. That can mean volunteering, donating, or leveraging our personal networks when we can. In the case of Canopy, it means we went through the certification process just like other companies will – and we’re now proud to say we’re now one of the very first Canopy certified businesses.
This process wasn’t easy, but it was beneficial. Many of the requirements involve processes, policies or ideas that many small businesses like ours never get around to. Going through the certification gave us a roadmap for building out our business, and the Canopy team supported us all along the way. We’re definitely better operationally because of the certification process.
First and foremost, though, we’re storytellers. And we’re proud of the story this certification tells about our company. It’s a tangible expression of our commitment to benefit our clients, our community, and each other.
So… that one meeting I was so worried about led to all of this. We’re helping Canopy tell its story, which ultimately helped define our own.
Yep. I should have seen it coming.