Category Archives: Leaders

Philanthropy Runs Deep in Altruistic Michigan Family

Dick DeVos is a shrewd businessman who is based in Michigan, USA who is equally well known for his charitable works. He has worked as the director of Consumer Goods Distribution Company. He attended Forest Hill School in his early years, and he later joined the Northwood University and managed to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. DeVos has also studied at the Harvard Business School and later the Wharton School. He had been awarded various awards in his academic life such as the Grove City College, the Northwood University, and the Central Michigan University.

Dick started his career while working for the Amway Corporation in 1974. He worked hard in various departments of the company such as the research, development, manufacturing, finance, and sales. He was later promoted to be the deputy president of the company in 1984. As the vice president, DeVos oversaw the firm’s expansion in 18 countries. His persistence, hard work, and dedication made it possible for the firm to expand massively globally. The company was able to triple its sales volume under his stewardship in the international sales.

When the DeVos family made the purchase of the Orlando Magic basketball association, Dick had begun working as the president of the team. However, he only stayed briefly as the director of the team because he left to be the president of the Amway. As the chief executive officer of Amway, he supervised the growth of the firm, extending its influence to other countries in over six continents. Check out Dick’s LinkedIn profile and connect with him there to learn more about his work experience and get priceless business advice from him.

The DeVos family name is common among the families that are keen on giving back to the society. So far, along with his family, Dick has made contributions totaling $1.2 billion to various causes. The contributions have made the family join the list of the top 50 givers in the United States. Just recently, the family was ranked among the top 20, and this was seen as a good way of motivating others so that they can be helpful to the community at large.

Through its philanthropic contributions the DeVos Family Foundation has been supporting a variety of causes from the arts to education, including Dick’s own aviation high school. Most of the contributions, however, are geared towards organizations and many institutions that provide vital services to the public. Some of the institutions include the heritage foundations, the American Enterprise Institute, the Acton Institute, the Mackinac centre among many others. The family has been against popularization of the gifts they give. In most cases, they prefer keeping the donations private. See Dick’s humble response to the publicity the family received in a recent Facebook post of his.

I am incredibly grateful to my parents for initiating and encouraging by example the tradition of philanthropy within our family. We are happy to be a part of this great community!

Posted by Dick DeVos on Monday, January 4, 2016


How Will Jon Urbana’s Camp Benefit Young Kids?

The Next Level Lacrosse Camps are the best forums for kids who want to learn the game of lacrosse in a fun environment. Kids today do not have lacrosse they can watch on TV, and there are many places in America where kids simply do not have a chance to play the game. Learning the game at a Next Level Lacrosse camp will get kids on the right track in their favored sport, and these kids will come away from each camp as changed people. 32-year-old Jon Urbana runs these camps, and he focuses on helping young people make a difference in the world. This article explains how Urbana has changed the game for the better.

#1: What Does Jon Do?

Jon Urbana runs the Next Level Lacrosse Camp empire, and he manages other charities for kids who want to make a difference in the world. With online fundraisers that include Jon Urbana Supports Earth Force Inc. (link), Urbana began as a guy who was involved in the lacrosse world, but he has become a man who is a Twitter addict, a talented video maker, and a big supporter of homeless cats.

Urbana is more than capable of producing change among young people in America, and an award he posted to Facebook shows that the world has begun to take note. His initiatives have helped young kids from around the world change their lives, and Mr. Urbana has helped young kids make a difference on this planet.

#2: Cleaning Up The Planet

Jon loves lacrosse, and was a Nova fan favorite during his time as a Wildcat, but his Earth Force drive has helped create groups of kids who are trying to clean up the planet. This work has shown kids how they can make a difference in the world, and he is showing kids how widespread some problems in the world are today. Drawing from his experience as a pilot who was recognized by Anthony Foxx as an FAA certified airman (UniqueID: A5119166), he’s taught his campers the same life skills that can be applied to their lacrosse games.

Kids are learning how to make their communities cleaner, how to convince adults to become activists and how to help their classmates join the cause. This video has made its way around the internet, playing a major role in helping the group raise funds.

Donate to Jon Urbana’s Charity Drive from Jon Urbana on Vimeo.

#3: The Lacrosse Camps Have A Broader Focus

Jon Urbana wants to use his Instagram account to teach kids at Next Level Lacrosse Camps about the world as a whole. Since many of them follow him, he frequently posts pictures showcasing the marvel that is planet earth, which helps to spread the word about why we must protect all of our natural resources. Here are two pics he’s shared this week, for example:


A photo posted by Jon Urbana (@jonurbana) on


A photo posted by Jon Urbana (@jonurbana) on

He wants kids to learn about the way the world works, how to make a difference and how to live well. A collection of blog posts at Jon Urbana’s Official WordPress best illustrates the points he’s trying to make. Save those to your Pocket accounts if you have the app installed. I find myself going back to them all the time.

Jon’s camps teach life lessons, and he works with kids who want extra assistance in making a difference. Urbana goes out of his way to make life better for his campers, always reachable through a contact link on his website.

The Next Level Lacrosse Camp empire is merely the tip of an iceberg that empowers kids. The kids who want to make a difference can go to a lacrosse camp, learn from Urbana and come out as different people with a new take on the world.

A Simple Tool For Effective Goal Setting

Following through on my long term goals has been an uphill battle all my life. I have good intentions, create a great plan, but somehow I will not complete the task. I know I’m not the only one that becomes complacent with seeing a task through to the end. Marc Sparks, a successful entrepreneur and the founder of Timber Creek Capitol, has written a blog on the subject. The advice he gives is valid and simple.

Sparks says the first and most important thing to do is to write a list of your goals. Use pen and paper. In this age of tablets and desktops we have lost the connection created by the act of writing. Personally, I have found that when I do this, it gives me a good idea of what I hope to accomplish in a given period of time. Doing it once a week will make sure you aren’t looking too far ahead of yourself. Sure, long term goals are great, but by brainstorming on them every week you can see your progress. Breaking down larger tasks into smaller steps will make them seem less difficult. Writing transforms ideas into physical reality.

A handwritten list also brings with it a certain amount of accountability. Staying honest with yourself is vitally important. Mark Sparks is adamant about the advantages handwritten lists have over electronic ones. Even though it would be faster to type it, his advice is that quick and easy isn’t always the better option. The idea is to create new habits in your life. Having something tangible like a piece of paper makes the process all that much more real. I agree wholeheartedly. Sure, writing is more cumbersome than typing, but I have a more powerful connection to my own penmanship than words floating on a screen.

I have discovered that by following Sparks advice, I can see progress where once I would think there was none. This simple, yet effective suggestion has given me a more positive outlook, especially when I feel the goal is too far off for it to matter. My short term goals have benefited from this process is well. This is a tool I will definitely continue to use.

Source: Marc Sparks Blog

The Dalai Lama of Business; Joseph Bismark


I am a bit of a health nut and in doing some online research into health products, one man’s name kept popping up. Joseph Bismark is the Founder of Qi Group which sells health and wellness products. I came across an article on the WordPress We don’t Love these Hogues and was intrigued by what I read. 

Joseph Bismark is a unique human being. He has become a big success in the business and marketing fields but that in itself is not the amazing part. Before entering the business world, Mr. Bismark actually studied to become a monk at an ashram for eight years. After leaving, he achieved what seemed like overnight success and now has several lucrative companies. Of course, people are uniquely interested in how this happened but there is no surprise there. Mr. Bismark attributes his achievements in the business world to his understanding of ashram living. Creating balance in life will then lead to balance in business. Not only does Mr. Bismark treat each of his employees with respect, but he chooses to treat each managerial decision as a collective of ideas rather than an edict from “the boss.” 

A large part of Mr. Bismark’s philosophy is making sure his corporations achieve harmony with the rest of society. This idea inspired Qi Group to create many non-profit entities that give back to the community and meaningfully contribute to the health and wellness of all people. For example; the RHYTHM Foundation in a non-profit organization that brings arts and music to people around the world. 

It seems that Joseph Bismark has achieved something truly unique. Not only has he created balance in his business life but he has managed to bring social responsibility, business and financial success and spiritual harmony all together to create an community of positivity to everyone he reaches.

Joseph Bismark – Combining Employee Health And Business Wealth

I have always taken a keen interest in socially responsible businesses. A corporate desire for profits drives our economic engine, but often depletes our spiritual engine. Nevertheless, there are business leaders who recognize that the business bottom line does not have to be at odds with the well being of a businesses employees, customers, and other stakeholders.

Recently I came across an article on Left Handed Right Mind about Joseph Bismark, the Managing Director of the Qi Group. Bismark is an example of a business leader who understands how to grow a business in a socially responsible manner. Bismark, who spent nine of his formative years in an ashram in the Philippines, is able to combine successful business practice with a keen sense of social responsibility. For example, under Bismark’s leadership the Qi Tower in emphasizes paperless business practices. He also co-led efforts to convert one of the company’s resort properties to solar power.

What particularly impresses me about Bismark, however, is his commitment to the well being of his employees. Bismark views his employees as teammates, not subordinates. He encourages his employees to achieve their highest potential, and allows them to express their creativity to benefit both themselves and the company. Bismark, perhaps due to his upbringing in an ashram, also recognizes the need for spirituality in the workplace. I rarely have founded corporate leaders, including socially responsible ones, who allow for spirituality to play a role in the workplace or in business decisions. Bismark, however, recognizes that the economic demands of business do not foreclose incorporating spiritual concerns into the decision making process.

Lest anyone think that concerns of wellness and spirituality impede the business, Qi has undergone exponential growth since Bismark became managing director in 2008. The verdict is clear, business and social concerns can coexist, so long as a dynamic leader such as Joseph Bismark can guide them together.