New Sun Rising is excited to welcome Leigh Solomon-Pugliano in her role as Director of Opportunity. The primary responsibility of this new position is to scale the impact of established social businesses and nonprofit organizations through the Grow program. Additional duties include further development of Vibrant Communities, the organization’s framework for regenerative community development built upon equity, entrepreneurship, and place. Core Vibrant Community strategies include Culture, Sustainability, and Opportunity, created through Planning, Resources, and Connectivity, in order to create an authentic community Identity.
To achieve these goals, Solomon-Pugliano will develop a Grow programs and services to support established, growth-stage businesses and projects, plan and deliver workshops and entrepreneurial education seminars, increase the diversity of earned income opportunities, support the administration of Vibrancy Funds’ loans, grants, and awards, and more.
Solomon-Pugliano’s past work mentoring and consulting for social entrepreneurs prepares her for this position. She joins NSR from her own consulting firm, Straight Forward Consulting, which provided start-ups, non-profits, and creative entrepreneurs while accentuating diversity, equity, and inclusion. Her experience as a mentor stems from work with New Sun Rising and Social Venture Partners.
In addition, Solomon-Pugliano is the founder and director of a New Sun Rising fiscally-sponsored project: Barrels to Beethoven, a social enterprise launched in 2014. Programming focused on music education and development of the steelpan and includes youth programs, summer camps, and supplementary school curriculum. Barrels to Beethoven holds workshops that not only teach attendees how to play the instrument, but also how to construct it — in order to preserve the process of making and maintaining the instrument.
Since joining the NSR team, Solomon-Pugliano is focused on the development of the Grow program and is currently designing a Grow Residency program for projects, businesses, and social organizations that will foster sustainability through business mentoring, professional development, revenue model development, and civic innovation while finding new and collective solutions to community problems.