Alnoba Co-Founders to Receive UNH’s Social Innovator of the Year Award

Thursday, October 24, 2019

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DURHAM, N.H.—Harriet and Alan Lewis, co-founders of Alnoba, have been named the 2019 Social Innovators of the Year by the University of New Hampshire. Alnoba is a sustainable and socially responsible venue in Kensington for leadership development programs, meetings, retreats and social events that provides a unique place to reflect, connect and create change. They will be honored at the annual NH Social Venture Innovation Challenge Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019.

The presentation of the award coincides with the live final round of the challenge, where eight finalists in each track will present their ideas to a panel of judges. The Lewises will also participate in a keynote dialog. Following the keynote, the top three winners in each track will be announced and awarded cash and in-kind prizes. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

The Lewises are well known for their visionary leadership, building Grand Circle Travel, a small travel company they acquired from the original founders in 1985, into a global enterprise comprised of a family of travel companies committed to changing people’s lives by offering high-impact experiences to travelers and building communities (in the U.S. and around the world) through philanthropy, social entrepreneurship and volunteerism. They embody the model of business, which is financially successful, but that also integrates innovative models of corporate community engagement, to change lives for the better.

As philanthropists, they have made a significant commitment through the Lewis Family Foundation to support the development of courageous leaders to improve society and the environment, supporting many nonprofits with financial support and leadership development. With the establishment of Alnoba in Kensington, Harriet and Alan are building an innovative social enterprise, an education and retreat center, model sustainable campus and farm, and gathering place with a mission to develop courageous leadership and sustainability models to help change people’s lives, create stronger communities and save the Earth. The SVIC and Social Innovator of the Year Award is organized by the Center for Social Innovation & Enterprise, a partnership of the UNH’s Sustainability Institute, Peter T. Paul College of Business & Economics and the Carsey School of Public Policy. CSIE’s mission is to inspire, train and support the next generation of changemakers. It is an interdisciplinary center offering high-impact experiences for UNH students to apply their academic learning in real world settings.

Lead sponsors of the SVIC are Impax Asset Management, Kennebunk Savings Bank, Nixon Peabody, Timberland; sponsors are AMI Graphics, CCA Global Partners, Cirtronics, Clean Energy NH, Cole Haan, Lonza, MegaFood, New Hampshire Business Review, New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Prime Buchholz, ReVision Energy and W.S. Badger.

The University of New Hampshire inspires innovation and transforms lives in our state, nation and world. More than 16,000 students from all 50 states and 71 countries engage with an award-winning faculty in top-ranked programs in business, engineering, law, health and human services, liberal arts and the sciences across more than 200 programs of study. A Carnegie Classification R1 institution, UNH partners with NASA, NOAA, NSF and NIH, and received $260 million in competitive external funding in FY21 to further explore and define the frontiers of land, sea and space.