Shawn Lindsey

Shawn Lindsey (Panelist)


How can we use our entrepreneurship to benefit our region?

Bellafina Chocolates is inspired by the creativity of young people, Appalachian Sustainable Development is motivated by healthy, sustainable and locally-sourced food, and Spearhead Trails’ passion is getting people out into the natural beauty of this region.

From making chocolate, to feeding communities, to becoming one with nature, all three participants of the social entrepreneurship panel have one thing in common: a vision of creating good for their communities. By looking forward, these social entrepreneurs have seen their big ideas blossom into sustainable businesses that work to empower and support local economies.

People are at the center of each business. They’re the consumers, the employees and the leaders. Recognizing the importance of who a business affects is one of the most important aspects of starting a business. So, where should you start?

During this session, panelists will discuss how we all can forge results out of innovative ideas, see how businesses can create small and large change into a region, and how we can create a sustainable environment for broad economic growth.

SHAWN LINDSEY is the executive director of the Southwest Region Recreation Authority, also known as Spearhead Trails. Tasked with creating an outdoor recreation economy in the seven coalfield counties of Southwest, Va., Lindsey oversees staff training, and project and contraction management. He has worked with farmers and communities to develop unique projects involving environmental best practices in both rural and urban areas.

He comes with more than 20 years' experience in public works, utilities and community development, and has overseen countless grant projects. He has published several articles around customer service and presented keynote presentations for various conferences in the environmental sector. Lindsey has a Bachelor of Science degree in political science with a concentration in social and behavioral sciences, and a master’s degree in public management from East Tennessee State University.