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Small For-Profit CEO of the Year: Social Contract Managing Partner Ronald Berry

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Ronald B. Berry, III, believes that leading an organization requires meeting colleagues and employees where they are. 

“Before COVID, the work environment was less forgiving,” said the managing partner for Social Contract, a Wilmington-based organization that helps communities solve complex social problems.

Ronald B. Berry, III, believes that leading an organization requires meeting colleagues and employees where they are. 

Ronald Berry | PHOTO COURTESY OF SOCIAL CONTRACT

“We work with issues that are challenging,” he said. “So, for me, providing a work environment – in our case a hybrid one – where people can be their best selves is important. Often, that means getting out of their way.”

Not surprisingly, Berry, who holds a bachelor of science from Wilmington University, has been a leader since his days at Polytech High School where he became class president, a star on the baseball team and state champion for presentation management in Business Professionals of America competition. That training has served him well. 

“One of my favorite values is evolution,” he said. “My early work in sales taught me that there is no failure only learning; that a ‘no’ is the first step getting to the next ‘yes.’”

Since joining Social Contract in 2018 as project manager, he has worked his way to become one of its leaders alongside founder Meghan Wallace. Together, the pair have led the organization to earn $4 million in revenue and have doubled its staff. Previously, Berry has held roles at Fireside Partners, including managing director. Berry believes in cooperation and generosity, creating environments where collaboration and connection flourish.

Berry’s experiences in business positions that emphasize the need for cooperation and collaboration have been important in his current role where he has to constantly reach out to other organizations for joint activities. 

“Whether in business or personally, it’s crucial to establish a shared platform, an event where everyone can comfortably connect,” he said. 

Generosity, he added, is another of Berry’s values that lead to successful cooperation, establishing “an atmosphere where everyone can be their Sunday best.”

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