A Spotlight on Four Folks Giving Back

November, of course, brings thoughts of Thanksgiving. But there are many reasons to be thankful all year round—and many people to be thankful for, good people doing good things that make the world a little better for all of us. So here’s a little thanksgiving to four Nashville residents making a positive impact on those around them.

Jennifer Masley, wellness entrepreneur and founder “Queen Bee” of EiO & THE HIVE

EiO & THE HIVE serves its ever-growing number of loyal patrons—#thehivetribe—locally and sustainably sourced and deeply nourishing organic food. EiOAndTheHive.com

What inspired you to start EiO?   

I had always romanticized owning a restaurant, mostly because of the connectivity piece, the emotional space that we open when we eat. My desire within EiO has been to create an energy where people feel really good about the food they are eating and the space they are eating in: the Hive.

In what ways does EiO give back to the community?

I feel strongly that building community is as much a social responsibility as anything else. Our parking lot parties, free yoga and fitness classes, along with being an aid station for Achilles International athletes are two very important integrations in our business model. We support our neighborhood school fundraisers and have some upcoming dinner/conversations with local health experts.

Can you sum up EiO’s mission in a single sentence?

At EiO & THE HIVE, we are committed to sourcing local and organic ingredients, we work directly with local farms to not only purchase from them but also to help them grow. Sustainability is a key value of our business. We compost nearly all waste, recycle what we cannot compost and produce very little trash.

What does the future of EiO hold?

We are looking at expanding into the airport, and I’ve just started the process of writing my first book in collaboration with the editor of Plate, Chandra Ram. EiO will be highlighted in the book. 

John Hardin, founder and president of HardWin Adventures  

HardWin Adventures is a multi-sport event company that organizes challenging events for athletes of a wide range of abilities. HardWinAdventures.com 

How did HardWin get its start?

 Our first event was the Sasquatch Trot which was held at my family farm in Watertown, Tennessee, in 2012. My best bud, Cody Goodwin, and I had the idea to put together a trail running company in Nashville after an adventurous run up Clingmans Dome. For that first race, we hung flags on branches through deer paths and expected people to be happy. We have come a long way since.

What inspires you to do what you do?

I don’t know why, but I have always enjoyed putting on events. Perhaps it is because I’m good with people. I have an easy time understanding all walks of life. I think this helps me provide people with a genuine experience. But when it comes down to why I keep putting on these not-so-profitable events, it’s because of people and their efforts. I get a real high from their smiles and tears as they finish. The human spirit is a beautiful thing. The more it is tested, the brighter it shines. HardWin affords me the privilege to look each person in the eye who crosses that line and shake his or her hand. Something mutual is shared at that moment. In a sense, all who get out there and push themselves is my family. I truly love this family. I can’t get enough of it.

Tell us about the new kind of towel you invented. 

The NoSwet Towel was an idea I had after returning from my car from a long hot run at Percy Warner Park. I have a background in designing electronics, so I put my manufacturing skills to work and created a towel that soaked up but not through. I was so tired of bringing a towel to my workouts only to have it soak through into my seats. I also did not want something that would stay on my seats like you see with seat covers. So with that idea and four years of refining the product, I created the NoSwet Towel. I just introduced it to the Nashville market as a test but will be expanding it soon. For each towel that is sold, we give $1 to Percy Warner Park.

Rowan Miller, co-owner of MillarRich/MillarRich Properties/the Old School Restaurant and co-founder of the nonprofit Old School Farm  

Rowan Miller has many irons in the fire, but his work with Old School Farm is special. The organic farm supplying the Old School Restaurant is actually a nonprofit providing meaningful employment to adults of all intellectual abilities. OldSchoolFarm.org

What do you find most gratifying about your work?

I think the versatility of what we do with the different businesses and how we work together on various projects making a social impact in the community as a whole. The opportunities to travel and look at different ways other countries are using new technologies to make environmental changes and implement some of these in our own communities is exciting. I feel its vital that we don’t settle for the status quo when it comes to business and our environment and to continue to look at ways we can improve starting locally.

What do you like to do in your free time?  

I try to make sure I get a round of golf in each week. Running, cycling and hanging with my sheepdogs help me relax.

Ed Sieffert, president of L&S Development and Parks Real Estate broker

Ed Sieffert has been president of L&S Development for six years and a broker with Parks Real Estate for five years. L&S is a small, locally owned company that specializes in residential home development, building from ground up at the highest level of quality every inch of the way. e.sieffert@me.com

Tell us about your work with the Nashville chapter of Achilles International, a nonprofit that allows people with impairments to participate in races.  

I love participating with Achilles. It gives me an opportunity to come out of my comfort zone and help people to get outside and exercise who wouldn’t normally get the opportunity. Giving of my time and helping others accomplish a goal are most rewarding to me.

So what do you enjoy outside of work and Achilles?

I am an avid boater. I love being out on the lake and enjoying the water with family and friends. Any type of outdoor or sporting activity is a great time for me.