Thursday, 15 June 2023 12:14

‘Think A Little Bit Differently’: New Book By Local Philanthropist Encourages Others To Challenge Inequalities

Ed Mitzen (Photo provided). Ed Mitzen (Photo provided).

SARATOGA SPRINGS — A new book written by local entrepreneur and philanthropist Ed Mitzen hopes to encourage people in his position to “do things differently” relating to systemic and racial inequality in America.

Mitzen’s book, titled, ‘Wealthy and White: Why Rich Guys Like Me Have to Show Up, Step Up, and Give Others a Hand Up,’ focuses on systemic advantages in society, and how people in Mitzen’s situation can help make a difference for others.

“What we’ve been trying to do, and what this book is all about, is to try to encourage folks like me to think a little bit differently about systemic problems in our country,” said Mitzen.

Mitzen is the founder and CEO of Fingerpaint Marketing, and co-founded the non-profit organization Business for Good alongside his wife, Lisa Mitzen, in 2021. He said the work with Business for Good has been “a journey.”

“We’ve learned a lot in the last couple of years, and had what I think is some significant impact,” said Mitzen. “I thought it would be nice to put it down on paper, to encourage other guys in my position to be able to look at things a little bit differently, and do things differently.”

Business for Good supports individuals in starting or growing their businesses, with Mitzen saying to help fix inequalities, we must “get people up the income curve.” 

The book provides examples of this, including Blooms by Marie, a florist in Albany founded by Marie Campbell, a Black single mother of four, Mitzen said. Business for Good issued a grant to Campbell’s shop, and also assisted with renovations.

“We helped renovate her flower shop, we gave her a new website, we helped to refrigerate her van so she could transport flowers,” said Mitzen, who also utilized his connections to help set up Campbell for floral sales through Albany Med, where she had worked as a nurse for nearly 30 years.

“Made a couple of phone calls, and the next thing you know, she’s in there and she’s more than doubled her business,” Mitzen said. “The impact that has on her and her family is insurmountable. It’s life-changing for them.”

Business for Good also donated $1 million to the three known living survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre in 2022. Mitzen said the three have “become good friends of ours,” noting he recently met them for lunch in New York City.

“We’re trying to attack a lot of the injustice and inequality in this country by a lot of different means,” said Mitzen. “Today, the survivors, they’re in their 100s and they’re coming to New York City for the first time. … Then I think on Thursday, we’re supposed to go on CNN and talk about our experience together, and their experience. All tied around Juneteenth.”

Mitzen said that ultimately, he hopes his book helps people in his position start to think differently.

“I want people to think differently, and attack these problems with a little bit of a different slant,” Mitzen said.

He said that the book is not “a how-to,” but examples of how the Mitzens and Business for Good have been able to impact people, in hopes of inspiring others to do the same.

“And it’s also, it’s a very honest discussion about mistakes we’ve made,” said Mitzen. “What we’ve learned along the way. … I hope that it inspires some people to just think a little bit differently.”

‘Wealthy and White...’ is available on Amazon and at

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