On May 16, 2015, the weekend before inaugurating the Year of Vincentian Family Collaboration in the Vincentian Family, a “first” happened in Philadelphia, Pa. A meeting was held between members (who are specialists in the world of business and finance) from the US Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP) and a team from the Vincentian Family Haiti Initiative Commission (VFHI). Their purpose was to study the efforts being made in rural Haiti to create a fish farm as a social business and to ground it in sound business practices.
After a meeting of the VFHI Commission with David Barringer (CEO of the SSVP) in Haiti in February, Dave requested volunteers from the Society to assist in this effort. This request met with a generous response from Vincentians from far and wide. The meeting was quite productive. They offered much practical advice regarding many practical start-up concerns and long-range planning issues. Much work will be done both on the ground in Haiti and electronically with the newly constituted Business Advisory Board. The next face to face meeting will happen in Philadelphia a year from now.