Meet the beelove™ and Sweet Beginnings leadership team

Brenda Palms Barber
Chief Executive Officer, Sweet Beginnings, LLC
Founding Executive Director, North Lawndale Employment Network

“The success of a social enterprise is reliant upon the production of a high quality product.  At Sweet Beginnings, we are committed to our triple bottom line mission, which includes the production of a first rate product while in the service to our community.”

Since becoming the North Lawndale Employment Network’s founding Executive Director in 1999, and CEO of Sweet Beginnings, LLC in 2004, Brenda has grown the non-profit organization from two to 14 employees and has generated an annual budget of $1.9 million.  Brenda is the visionary dynamo behind Sweet Beginnings, LLC, and has been deeply committed to creating innovative opportunities for the men and women of Chicago to gain and keep employment.  She has launched each beelove™ product, increased distribution of them, and has ensured the results-driven training of hundreds of Sweet Beginnings team members .

Annually, NLEN serves 1,200 men and women, placing 75% in unsubsidized employment and placing others in its transitional jobs program, referring them to entrepreneurial tracks or helping them to secure additional skills and education.

Brenda’s passion is the success and purpose-driven work of the NLEN organization and the clients served by it. Her applied skills for changing lives and creating real success stories among former offenders is an inspiration to those she serves and the many supporters of NLEN and Sweet Bginnings, LLC throughout the Chicago community and beyond.

Learn more about Brenda

Phil Adams

President, Board of Managers, Sweet Beginnings, LLC

Phil brings to the Board of Managers a passion for growing social enterprises in order to empower their community-based organizations.

He is an expert in strategic communication planning and integrated communications, applying extensive experience with healthcare and consumer products marketing to the Sweet Beginnings social enterprise.
Learn more about Phil

John Hansen – Head Beekeeper

Ann Stevens – Volunteer Beekeeper