(Photo courtesy of Vetri Community Partnership)
For years, Kelly Herrenkohl and her colleagues at the Vetri Foundation for Children would get phone calls and queries from folks asking for grants. That’s all well and good, except for one thing — Vetri is a nonprofit, not a grantmaking organization.
So, to eliminate confusion, the nonprofit recently rebranded as Vetri Community Partnership.
Founded by local chef Marc Vetri and restaurateur Jeff Benjamin in 2010, Vetri Community Partnership promotes healthy food and subsequently healthy living for students through programming. Just last month, Vetri and Benjamin sold their restaurant group Vetri Family to Urban Outfitters.
According to executive director Herrenkohl, that acquisition will have little impact on the nonprofit.
“The Vetri Family restaruants have always supported our fundraising efforts by offering their guests an opportunity to give a little extra on their bill at the end of their meal,” Herrenkohl said. “The restaurants match those donations dollar for dollar. Urban has agreed to continue to do that even though they are now the owners of the restaurants.”
That agreement was worked out early on in negotiations. And while Herrenkohl said the acquisition is completely unrelated to the rebranding process, the timing is certainly convenient.
“This conversation about the name change has been ongoing for six or eight months with our board of directors,” Herrenkohl said. “Most of us did not know about the conversations with Urban until a week before the announcement.”
Vetri Community Partnership’s rebranding strategy was fully developed this past summer, and Herrenkohl said the nonprofit worked with brand strategists who helped the organization talk through exactly who they are, what they do, what they want to do and how they can communicate that message more effectively.
With a more focused mission and message, Vetri Community Partnership is better prepared for its brand to be promoted in outside markets. Plus, the nonprofit now has a new president in former Big Brothers Big Sisters of America COO Marlene Olshan.
Actually, they found her in one of the Vetri Family restaurants.
“She has always been a really good restaurant patron,” Herrenkohl said. “Jeff Benjamin got to know her through that — that’s how they met. They struck up a friendship and relationship over the years.”
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