Chris Miller Chief Executive Officer, The Mission Center, L3C
Chris Miller received his undergraduate degree in Communication Science from Truman State University with minors in Political Science, International Studies and Philosophy and Religion and his Masters in Political Studies from the University of Illinois with a concentration in the politics of poverty and the practical application of political science in low-income communities.
After a brief period of service to then Lt. Governor of Illinois, Pat Quinn, Miller served under Joe Dunn at the Illinois Coalition for Community Services (ICCS) as a community organizer in 74 rural and urban communities in Illinois ranging from Rockford in the north to Cairo in the south. Through this role, he assisted hundreds of low-income social entrepreneurs start, scale and sustain non-profit organizations that were organized to address issues of common concern in their communities.
In 2007, Miller was recruited by Washington University in St. Louis' Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies as its first Community Outreach Coordinator. In addition to providing technical assistance to both commercial and social entrepreneurs, he developed the community based social entrepreneurship education program and oversaw the University's Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Competition (SEIC). The competition is now considered to be the largest nonprofit business plan competition in the world and awards over $155,000 a year in social venture capital to early stage social enterprises.
As a direct extension of his work with Washington University and its affiliated agencies, Miller began to develop the concept of The Mission Center, L3C in early 2007 with his colleague from the Brown School of Social Work, Barbara Levin, Coordinator of the Alliance for Building Capacity at the country's top ranked school of social work.
It was through that collaboration that led Miller to design an operational model of nonprofit management that places at the center of all back office operations the advancement of the organization's mission. Rather than "building the capacity" of the social worker or program manager to be better at payroll and accounting, TMC's model seeks to take out of the hands of the nonprofit professional all of those things not core to its charitable purpose and core social programs.
The conceptual aspects of TMC, L3C had been fully formed by early 2009 and Miller began putting in to place the operational infrastructure needed to launch and scale the venture.
In an effort to ensure that he had the skills and experience necessary to successful run a hybrid, for-profit company, Miller left Washington University in the summer of 2009 to join Yurbuds, a St. Louis based commercial venture that had participated in the entrepreneurship program and business plan competition he helped run. As the fourth person in on the company, he worked with the rest of the management team to get through the initial product launch and helped develop a national marketing campaign that resulted in the company being named Forbes Magazine's "9th Most Promising Company in America for 2009."
By January of 2010, Yurbuds had reached a critical mass of success and Miller began to make the transition from it into the Mission Center, L3C where he has been full-time since April 1st. Website: http://www.missioncenterl3c.com/ LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/clmilleriii Twitter: http://twitter.com/MissionCntrL3C Articles The Blurring Lines Of Charitable And Commercial Activities Redefining Capacity Building St. Louis Celebrates First "Social Enterprise Week" The St. Louis Social Venture Capital Fund And The Social Enterprise Ecosystem Of Support