Most people don’t think of Minnesota as a technology hot spot, but apparently ChangeX is trying to change that. The Dublin-based social enterprise startup has just tagged Minnesota as the destination for its first foray into the American market. And, to mark their international launch, they held a gala on September 12th at the Pillsbury A-Mill Artist Lofts in St. Anthony Main.
As CEO Paul O’Hara explained, “It’s crazy to think that barely a year ago, we were just getting started, and now we’re getting ready to launch in another country.”
So, of course, one must ask, Why Minnesota? As O’Hara explained, “We chose Minnesota for a combination of reasons…a vibrant civic society, a thriving nonprofit sector and a variety of social issues.” As part of ChangeX’s “humble” goal they want to improve the lives of 1 billion people in the next 10 years.
As O’Hara said at the gala to the crowd from Minnesota, “This whole thing is pointless without you all. So please share your ideas, join other initiatives and spread the word about ChangeX.”
It’s always nice to see the rich and famous doing well by others. And that’s why it’s heart-warming to see that Bon Jovi is being honored in New York on September 19th at the 10th Annual Clinton Global Citizen Awards. He’ll perform and enjoy being honored for the 10th anniversary of his Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation. The Foundation offers aid for housing and hunger issues in the US. He’ll be honored along with Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, Dr. Haw Abdi and social activist Adi Godrej.
Bon Jovi is joining a long list of truly worthy people in receiving the Clinton award. Past recipients include Sting and Trudie Styler, Quincy Jones and Leonardo DiCaprio. And, if you’re lucky enough to be in attendance, you’ll also see a performance by opera tenor Andrea Bocelli.
Eamon Rockey is no stranger to good food. With both parents working as professional chefs, Rockey grew up with a passion for food and a love of being creative in the kitchen. He’s also familiar with hard work, having started at the tender age of 14 at the only sushi restaurant in his (Hattiesburg) hometown after school.
But Eamon is much more than just about success in the culinary world. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and co-founder of successful restaurant Betony (which has received rave reviews in both Esquire’s “Restaurant of the Year” and Wine Enthusiast’s “100 Best Wine Restaurants” list), charity and philanthropic efforts are a high priority for Eamon Rockey.
Perhaps this explains why Rockey just hosted Produce Playoff 2016 – a “celebration of New York’s finest summer produce,” which, at the same time, is working for a charity. The Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign – which Rockey supports – is the beneficiary of this event. Rockey and Bryce Shuman (the other event’s host) invited professional chefs and beverage specialists to “’draft’ a ‘star player’ from their favorite regional grower.” Guests were also able to meet with the team of culinary experts (as well as the farmers working the event).
So while Rockey might be known for his professionalism in the creative culinary kitchen, ending childhood hunger in America is a cause he works hard to combat. As he pointed out when discussing the charity, “the more talented people there are rallying together behind the same cause, the greater the impact and the more powerful the momentum.”
It is certainly refreshing to see executives giving back to those in need. Bruce Fink is one such example. Co-founder of Executive Channel International, the parent company of Executive Channel Network in Australia, France, the UK and Holland, Fink is their Executive Chairman. One area of Bruce Fink’s time and financial commitment has been directed at The Salvation Army’s Oasis (Sydney) Youth Support Network Education Centre.
The Education Centre supports young homeless and disadvantaged people while they are in the process of completing their Higher School Certificate. Often, for people in precarious situations, re-integrating into the mainstream schooling system isn’t an option. Oasis, and their Education Centre, provides an alternative in situations such as these. They have a learning environment that is tailored to the individual learning preferences of the student.
Currently, they have over 90 employees, 25 programs and the ability to support more than 350 young people every year.
While Mr. Fink has offered financial contributions, he has also been a presence at the graduation ceremonies each year. This past year, Bruce Fink invested in upgrading and updating the learning tools that the Centre uses including textbooks, study guides, field guides and new technology. As he explained, “Education is key to young people carving out a future for a better life and I can think of very few causes that are more important than this”.
Mr. Fink was first introduced to the Salvation Army’s Oasis about six years ago. He said, “I really fell in love with the place. Many of the kids come from unbelievably difficult backgrounds and it is just extraordinary how transformative the experience of Oasis has been to them. It gives them a real chance at a satisfying and meaningful future. The work that the staff does in building trust and a loving environment, as well as nurturing these young people, is quite extraordinary!”
Mr. Fink has another important reason that he supports causes such as this one, and it’s a reason from which many of us can learn. He said he believes that it is important to show his children that “life is about giving and not just taking.”
Papa John’s International Inc. is showing its commitment to its customers and to its communities. In the communities where they operate, they will donate 500 custom-designed bike helmets to lower economic youths who participate in the Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective program (SLCBC). This is in addition to the company’s sponsorship of the Tour of Utah, which is a week-long professional cycling race.
As the Founder, Chairman and CEO “Papa John” Schnatter said,
“Papa John’s is excited to partner with the Tour of Utah and Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective. Our love for pizza, cycling and our local community go hand-in-hand. This is a unique opportunity to help support the local economy and bring people together to enjoy the sport of cycling and the great outdoors. As an avid cyclist, I’m encouraged by the good work that the Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective (SLCBC) is doing to encourage kids to stay active, while also teaching important life skills and rewarding hard work. At Papa John’s, we are proud to help ensure more kids are able to benefit from the SLCBC program.”
The helmets have a pizza-theme on them and they will be donated to members of the SLCBC.
As the Executive Director of the SLCBC, Davey Davis, said
“We at the SLCBC are very grateful to receive these helmets from the team at Papa John’s. Every kid should get the opportunity to ride a bike, and this donation supports us in helping more kids to ride safely and have fun while doing it.”
Whether you love golf or just love the idea of being surrounded by celebrities, the American Century Golf Tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course started yesterday on Tuesday, July 19th and will continue until Sunday the 24th. As one of the most prestigious golf events, the American Century raises money for local and national charities. Tickets start at $20 a day and allow spectators to roam around the perimeter of the course and to enjoy food vendors and a great atmosphere.
Appearances are supposed to include comedian Larry the Cable Guy, ex-49er Jerry Rice, Green Bay Packer Aaron Rodgers and Justin Timberlake. The event will take place at the Edgewood Tahoe Gold Course at 100 Lake Parkway.
Science is exciting and can be quite profitable. That’s the important message that Dow CEO Andrew Liveris is spreading to children. Many kids, as Liveris explains, turn their backs on math and science in elementary school or middle school because they find it too challenging. What they don’t realize, however, is the potential to do really creative and exciting work if they would stick to their science classes.
Andrew Liveris is trying to get this message across to today’s youth by entering schools and showing some of the amazing results of their scientific and mathematical backgrounds. For instance, the leader of Dow and his employees have brought new running shoes into schools to show the kids how they discovered a new molecule that the major shoe manufacturers are now using to create lighter shoes.
During the recent Forbes Reinventing America summit in Detroit, Andrew Liveris Philanthropy explained about science and math that, “It’s a sexy industry. It’s really cool to be a nerd and to be an engineer. I’m sorry. I get a little excited about this.”
Michigan Governor Rich Snyder chimed in at the summit as he said, “Dow is a great model of doing it the right way. We’ll make talent the centerpiece of everything we’re trying to do.”
It is certainly refreshing, and important, to see how Dow Chemical and Andrew Liveris Philanthropy have made education a priority – and how they are putting their money where their hearts are. Many of their partnerships and charitable works focus on what Dow has described as “building the workforce of tomorrow” and these include STEM education with job training, teacher training and an emphasis on science in education.
A few of their philanthropic programs include working with Delta College the Midland, MI to create training programs for displaced workers. They have hosted a symposium to introduce “African American, Hispanic, Native American U.S. doctoral and postdoctoral scientists to…careers in industrial research.” Dow has partnered with Change for Equation which focuses on improving STEM education. Dow supports the 100kin10, an initiative to train 100,000 new STEM teachers by 2025.
Dow has a philanthropic Dow’s Matching Gifts program which matches Dow employees dollar for dollar for up to $10,000 per person or $100,000 per institution each year.
These are a few examples of the many ways that Dow and Andrew Liveris are working to emphasize education including science and math education in particular. Let’s hope that other companies will follow suit.
It’s always heartwarming to hear about organizations and volunteers who really make a difference. Recently, the Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga was able to build two homes in Milton for the Davis and Sakki families. And they did so with the help of a shocking 793 volunteers including Mark Adly, Sarah Agnew, Christine Awad, Mina Awad, Bobby Gocool, Amber Gocool and many others.
On Friday, May 20th, many people were on hand as they cut the ribbon to these two homes and gave the keys to the Davis and Sakki families. On hand during the ceremony were home sponsors Gordon Food Service and Whirlpool Canada, Major Gordon Krantz, Gary Carr, MP Lisa Raitt and many others.
In addition to the physical and financial help from people like Bradley Greaves, David Grad, Bobby Gocool, Orlando Aponte, Bavi Aravinthan and others, there were many sponsors involved. The sponsors included Starbucks, Scooters Catering, Pat’s Party Rentals, Fastsigns Burlington, Metro and Fly Media.
This is certainly a fascinating find. American are more interested in giving charity than they are in voting. During the last presidential election, 53.6% of American voted according to the Pew Research Center. During the same year, 59.7% gave to a charity of their choice, according to the Philanthropy Panel Study.
Last year saw Americans giving more than they ever have before, with a total donation of $373.25 billion. Voting rates have remained tightly within a 9% point range since the 1980s, however.
The US is actually quite low when compared to its peers in voter turnout. We came in at 31st out of 34 countries. Interestingly however, we outpace most countries when it comes to giving. In the private giving category, American give twice as much as do those in England and Canada. And America is as much as 20 times more charitable than are residents of other developed countries, according to numbers from the Philanthropy Roundtable.
Nashville country-rocker Tim Montana has partnered, for a second year, with Gibson Brands to raise money for the Chris Kyle Memorial Benefit and Auction. He is contributing a one-of-a-kind guitar that is inspired by the military service of Chris Kyle, the “American Sniper.” The guitar was handmade in the Gibson custom shop and has a shell casing from a round that Kyle fired during a firefight in Iraq. There is also a portrait on Chris on the guitar.
Last year, Montana and Gibson raise a whopping $121,000 with their first “American Sniper” – inspired guitar. The proceeds this year will benefit Spirit of a Hero, a nonprofit that is focused on veterans and vetted by the Kyle family.
The guitar will go up for auction at 3pm on Thursday at www.charitybuzz.com/chriskyleguitar. The annual Chris Kyle Benefit will then take place on Friday and Saturday in Texas.
As Henry Juszkiewicz, chairman and CEO of Gibson Brands, said “It is a pleasure to collaborate with Tim Montana again to support the men and women who have so admirably served our country. It is a truly special one-of-a-kind guitar that pays tribute to Chris Kyle while also supporting the amazing work of the Chris Kyle Memorial Benefit.”