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Posted by on Sep 5, 2016 in Economy, Work | 1 comment

The Missing Piece of Colorado’s Pension Crisis: Rethinking Retirement on Labor Day

The Missing Piece of Colorado’s Pension Crisis: Rethinking Retirement on Labor Day

  Labor Day, the federal holiday dedicated to honoring the dignity of work, is a fitting time to take a fresh look at Colorado’s pension problems and offer a new perspective. This June, news outlets were in an uproar when Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) CEO Gregory Smith praised a paltry 1.5 percent return on 2015 investments as “good” news. With 500,000 Coloradans depending on PERA for their retirement, the $28 billion gap between assets and what is promised to retirees has hard-working men and women simmering. The fear and frustration is understandable. But to face this challenge, we need more than clever accounting tactics or scapegoating nervous fund managers. We need a better story about ageing, retirement, and the purpose of our work. Three simple truths can help. 1. We’re not getting any younger, but we are living longer. The Denver Office on Aging forecasts that by 2035 the number of Coloradans older than 60 will swell from one-in-six today to one-in-four. Actually, the entire developed world...

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Posted by on Aug 26, 2016 in Economy, Faith and Work Movement, Work | 0 comments

The Top 5 Struggles of Christian Business Leaders

The Top 5 Struggles of Christian Business Leaders

Behind the veneer of confidence, bold risk-taking, and decisive leadership, all of us in positions of influence struggle – especially CEOs.  Considering these challenges tend to be perennial challenges for Christian business leaders, what experiences and/or resources can pastors, para-church leaders, and other business leaders provide for the executives in their network? What still needs to be done in the faith and work movement to serve leaders in this area? Recently I grabbed the phone and called my friend Greg Leith, the CEO of Convene, a group that serves other Christian CEOs, to ask his opinion on the topic: “Greg,” I said, “Based on your experience serving Christian CEOs around the country, what do you believe are the top areas that Christian CEOs struggle with?”  “I’ll tell you,” Greg said, in a matter-of-fact tone. Turns out, they had recently just polled hundreds of CEOs connected to Convene about the tension points they feel on a daily basis. “The first one is universal and common among everyone we polled,” he said....

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Posted by on Feb 23, 2016 in Economy, Work | 0 comments

Banking Alone

Banking Alone

  Recently I received an urgent plea from Mike, a young investment banker in New York. Mike had just graduated with his BA in financial economics from Columbia University. Having read my review of Kevin Roose’s Young Money, he knew that investment banking meant 100 hour work weeks, acidic professional environments, and often working for the kinds of banks that Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone in 2009 called, “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” Mike knew he needed to prepare spiritually before jumping into a position even as a junior analyst. Before he started his job, he wrote me in an email, “I’m taking advantage of this in-between phase to search for ways to sustain some semblance of a devotional rhythm once my time becomes exceptionally scarce in the near future.” Mike then confessed the reason for reaching out to me. With utter humility, he wrote, “I’ve been on the hunt for someone, anyone,...

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Posted by on Jan 4, 2016 in Art, Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Culture, Economy, Education, Finance, Media, Nonprofit, Politics, Science, Technology, Theology, Work, World | 0 comments

Announcement: Launch of the 5280 Fellowship

Announcement: Launch of the 5280 Fellowship

Today is a big day. Today my colleagues and I at Denver Institute for Faith & Work, in partnership with Gordon College, announce the launch of the 5280 Fellowship, a 9 month experience for emerging leaders beginning in the fall of 2016. After years of planning, design and forging partnerships, each element of the program has fallen into place. And now what we are now offering is, I believe, one of the best faith-based fellowship programs in the US, and perhaps Denver’s premiere leadership experience for young professionals. I know those are big claims. But I believe the 5280 Fellowship has the potential to deeply impact Denver for generations to come. And I’m not alone. Some of Denver’s finest pastors – like Robert Gelinas (Colorado Community Church), Brad Strait (Cherry Creek Presbyterian), Rob Brendle (Denver United), Brian Brown (Park Church) and Hunter Beaumont (Fellowship Denver) – believe the Fellowship can be a life-changing experience for young professionals who want to deeply engage themes of calling, work, and culture. Young...

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Posted by on Nov 23, 2015 in Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Economy | 0 comments

Consumerism: What Do People Really Want?

Consumerism: What Do People Really Want?

Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on Consumerism Gone Wild. It was first published on patheos.com.  Perhaps the best response to wealth disparity in America today can be summarized in two words: Karla Nugent. Karla is the Chief Business Development Officer at Weifield Group Electrical Contracting in Denver. In 2014, she won the Denver Business Journal’s 2014 Corporate Citizen of the year award. Why? Denver’s economy is booming, and as the economy has required more skilled laborers, Weifield has hired more electricians. In the building boom, Karla saw a chance to serve. Behind Karla’s leadership, Weifield opened up a philanthropic arm that donates to four communities: women & children, head of household, military and “less fortunate.” But they also brought the needs of the community right into their company. She created an apprentice program in partnership with Denver Rescue Mission, Stout Street, and Peer One – local nonprofits that work with the homeless, formerly incarcerated and other at-risk communities. Weifield hires people coming out of homeless or other at-risk...

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Posted by on Oct 27, 2015 in Economy, World | 1 comment

Obsessed With Work – or Just Bored?: Bringing the Conversation About Work Across Acoma Street

Obsessed With Work – or Just Bored?: Bringing the Conversation About Work Across Acoma Street

  It’s well past 1pm. Across Acoma Street, I see a woman in her early 20s, baggy sweat pants and cigarette hanging out her mouth, tossing an empty Mountain Dew bottle in a dumpster that’s been parked in her driveway for months. She squints at the sun, as if it’s an unwelcome guest disturbing her slumber. Next door is a man, mid forties, sitting on his porch. Can of Coors Light in hand, he chats with his cat, as if expecting to hear a punch line to a joke. A broken beer bottle shimmers on his sidewalk. Of course, being the upper white middle class office dweller that I am, I type emails furiously at my computer, staring at them both, wondering why they aren’t working. But maybe I shouldn’t be so shocked. Some argue that our culture is obsessed with work. But is that really true? To be fair, yes, it’s true for a narrow slice of the population. The top 10% define themselves – find their deepest worth and value...

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