COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 16, 2018 — Jeff Zearfoss, owner of social enterprise businesses Common Cause Catering and Local Relic in Colorado Springs, and a member of the Colorado Institute for Social Impact (CI4SI) Board of Directors, was recently named by Catholic Charities USA as the CCUSA Volunteer of the Year for 2018.

“I’m honored to be recognized at the national level for the work that I’ve been doing,” said Zearfoss. “It’s exciting to be a part of a larger movement around Social Enterprise and Social Impact businesses, which has found such a strong foothold in our community.”

The CCUSA Volunteer of the Year Award is given annually to an individual who embodies the mission of CCUSA — to provide critical services to those in need, advocate for justice in social structures and call the entire Church and other people of good will to do the same. Catholic Charities agencies across the U.S. nominate candidates for the award from nearly 300,000 volunteers.

Zearfoss has been a lead cook for 13 years at the Marian House Soup Kitchen of Catholic Charities of Central Colorado, where a hot meal is served 365 days a year to an average of 600 people a day. He leads a team of 40 volunteers who plan and execute the equivalent of a four-course lunch.

Jeff and his wife Melissa founded Common Cause Catering with a desire to build a business that provided a social benefit to the community. Common Cause Catering employs individuals transitioning out of homeless and domestic abuse situations, helping them find dignity through work. They are exposed to a range of skills including kitchen safety and sanitation; menu planning and execution; and front-of-house skills like bussing, hosting and serving.

“We are very excited for Jeff to receive this award from Catholic Charities USA,” said Liebert. “He’s been at the forefront of the Social Enterprise movement in Colorado Springs, even before we started the Colorado Institute for Social Impact, and now he’s one of the leaders in the community setting a great example of what can be accomplished. To be recognized out of more than 300,000 volunteers, tells you how special Jeff is.”

In addition to Common Cause Catering, Jeff and his wife established Local Relic, a Social Business and restaurant incubator, in 2015. Located in The Carter Payne, a renovated church in downtown Colorado Springs, Local Relic has a hop cropping program with local hop growers, regional art on its bottles, and a bottle-recycling program. They have helped 37 individuals work toward self-sufficiency through their Social Business efforts.

“Local businesses and members of the community have been so gracious in supporting the Social Enterprise movement here,” Zearfoss added. “We are fortunate to have the Colorado Institute for Social Impact here in Colorado Springs, and to be in the center of this nationwide movement. It’s exciting to have a nationwide platform to draw attention to all of the wonderful things that the movement is accomplishing in our own community.”


Formerly the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado Foundation, the Colorado Institute for Social Impact (CI4SI) is focused on serving social impact organizations with access to education and resources. CI4SI also seeks to increase wareness amongst consumers about these types of entities and how their money goes further when they purchase products from a social impact business. CI4SI’s mission is to “Harness Social Impact to accelerate the evolution of business.”

CI4SI’s impact services include: education and training, Social Return on Investment (SROI) measurement, events and networking, consultation services, and speaking engagements.

For more information, visit Colorado Institute for Social Impact, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or like us on Facebook.


Mary Wagner



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