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Posted by on Mar 30, 2017 in business, Economy | 0 comments

The Public Good of Faith Expressed Through Work

The Public Good of Faith Expressed Through Work

  Three stories of Denver business leaders serving their neighbors by providing good jobs It’s often assumed that faith is a private matter. Fine for your personal life, but less appropriate in the workplace or public life. Yet time and time again, I’ve seen that when faith becomes a public matter – and is expressed as working for the good of one’s neighbor – there are transformative results for the entire community. Take for example Karla Nugent, chief business development officer at Weifield Group Electrical Contracting. Two years ago, my friend Bryan Chrisman at National Christian Foundation in Colorado connected us. “You gotta meet Karla,” he said. “She’s doing just what you’re talking about at Denver Institute for Faith & Work.” So we met for coffee, and after 45 minutes I was speechless. Her company was blossoming and now had 350 employees. She had a deep, intrinsic belief in the dignity of the work of electricians that she employs, and had innovated an apprenticeship program that was employing men with...

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Posted by on Mar 22, 2017 in Economy, Education, Work | 4 comments

How Do We Change? Formation in the 5280 Fellowship

How Do We Change? Formation in the 5280 Fellowship

  How do we change? I’m 34 years old, have four kids, and have been in the workforce for 9 years. And for me, there is no more pressing question in my life today than How do I change? In the past three years, the stress of leading a growing organization, trying to be a good father, and accomplishing my professional goals has exposed, well, cracks in the foundation of my character.  My precious wife has been so patient with me as I stumble, fall, and get up again – only to find myself back where I started. As I’ve spoken with peers about their lives, careers, and relationships – especially young professionals in Denver and Boulder – I’ve seen common traits among many of us: We’re around people and “social networks” all the time, but we feel lonely, and not deeply known by others. It’s the great irony of a social media age. More noise, but less deep relationships. In our careers we’ve gotten good at a technical...

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Posted by on Feb 28, 2017 in Architecture and Design, business, Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Economy, Work | 2 comments

Affordable Housing: What You Need to Know About the Most Critical Issue Facing Colorado Today

Affordable Housing: What You Need to Know About the Most Critical Issue Facing Colorado Today

  Imagine with me for a moment. Imagine you and your new spouse have been outbid on four straight houses in two months. Instead of buying your first home in Denver, you finally decide to work remotely, move back to the Midwest to be closer to family, and leave Colorado. Now imagine you’re a business owner at lunch with a real estate developer who is fighting off three simultaneous lawsuits from trial lawyers representing a homeowner’s association. He tells you, “I’ll never build condos again. Never.” Finally, imagine you work construction and rent an apartment near Five Points. In the past eight years, your rent has increased from $900 per month to $1600. Exasperated by rising costs – and stagnant wages – you move to Frederick, 40 minutes from friends, family, and your job site. Dejected you grab a beer with a friend after work. Your friend tells you that back in 2006, his grandma gave him $5,000 for down payment on a $175,000 condo. Today, that condo is...

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Posted by on Dec 30, 2016 in business, Economy, Work | 0 comments

Investments for the Kingdom

Investments for the Kingdom

Eventide Funds has confounded the investment world with its success—and it’s biblically based principles. Not long ago, when reporters wrote about Robin John, the cofounder of Eventide Asset Management, a subtle snicker rumbled under the surface. One called him “The Believer”; others pointed out the odd language on his Boston-based mutual fund company’s website: business as an “engine of blessing” and “biblically responsible investing.” Theology as the foundation for picking stocks? Is this guy for real? Today the murmurs seem to have faded, and for good reason. Since its launch in 2008, Eventide’s flagship mutual fund (a pool of money professionally invested in stocks, bonds, and other securities), the Gilead Fund, has given shareholders a 13.70 percent annualized return as of September 30, 2016, compared to 9.03 percent for the Standard & Poor’s 500. To put that into perspective, an investor who put $10,000 into the fund at its launch would be worth $26,050 today. The Gilead Fund has been covered as a top performer by The New York Times,...

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

We All Proselytize

We All Proselytize

  “Kelly, what does proselytize mean?” “Evangelize, but with negative connotations.” I had to ask my wife last Sunday night because the word came up in a discussion with a local Christian entrepreneur. I’ll paraphrase what he said: “In my company, we believe in the power of entrepreneurship to create flourishing communities. And I’m very open about my Christian faith with my employees when it comes up. But I would never engage in proselytization.” When he said it, I mostly agreed. The word just sounds like rude, arm-twisting – or possibly even an illegal activity. Encroaching on other people’s faith makes many of us feel uncomfortable at worst, and often offended. It’s usually a good way to seriously tick off your co-workers. But what does “proselytize” even mean? I looked it up in the dictionary and here’s what I got: “pros·e·lyt·ize ˈpräs(ə)ləˌtīz/verb: convert or attempt to convert (someone) from one religion, belief, or opinion to another.” Well, that’s interesting. This word simply means trying to change somebody’s beliefs or...

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Posted by on Dec 14, 2016 in business, Economy, Work | 0 comments

Nourishing the World: Spending an Evening with Dan Dye, CEO of Ardent Mills

Nourishing the World: Spending an Evening with Dan Dye, CEO of Ardent Mills

  As we walked into the kitchen, our senses came alive: the smell of freshly baked bread, the shine of stainless steel appliances, the smile of Chef Daniel Marciani, and the sight of risotto, chocolate quinoa desserts and caramelized spread. We felt like we had just walked into Babette’s Feast. The food was the unexpected capstone of an evening the 5280 Fellows spent with Dan Dye, CEO of Ardent Mills, the largest flour producer in the country.  Ardent Mills, a new company that was spun off from ConAgra, CHS, and Cargill just over two and a half years ago, has 42 production facilities in the US, over 2,000 employees, and – get this – serves an estimated 100 million per day with their products. Chances are, if you ate any kind of bread product today, you are being nourished by Ardent Mills. As we gathered around the conference room to hear Dan’s story, he candidly shared about life as the leader of a $4-billion-year company: the advent of his...

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