Business Leaders, Entrepreneur

Sometimes the companies that do best in today’s business climate are those who adhere to traditional values of family businesses and making a difference in the lives of customers and the local community. That is what Sheldon Lavin has been doing over the years as CEO of OSI Food Group, one of the world’s largest meat processing and distribution companies. Lavin has owned this company for over 40 years and has tried to make sure that he and President David McDonald stay close to the foundation they built it on. Lavin would tell you he doesn’t prefer to run the company as simply a higher-up in an office, but actually likes to go out into the field and hear what his employees have to say.

Sheldon Lavin joined OSI Group back in the early 1970s when the company was still known as Otto & Sons. His background was actually in banking and finance, and he managed the wealth of many high profile investors for years and then was running his own consulting company by the time the Otto & Sons owners contacted him. His expertise helped Chicago-based company to grow to new levels, and soon the owners wanted him to take over as CEO. At first he declined because he preferred banking, but then he saw the potential to do even more with the company and acquired ownership shares in it. After opening Otto & Sons first plant outside the US, he renamed the company OSI Industries and from then on the company became a terrific success now operating in 15 different countries.

In honor of Sheldon Lavin’s vision that he’s pursued to build the company, he was awarded the Global Visionary award by India’s Global Vision Academy. He was also awarded the Edward Jones Community Service award at a gathering at the North American Meat Institute for his contributions to the Ronald McDonald House Foundation and service at Jewish United Fund and Chicago Inner City Foundation. Lavin has also made sure OSI Group upheld top safety regulations and was the British Safety Council’s honorary recipient of the Globe of Honour.

To know more visit @: companycheck.co.uk/director/914542187/MR-SHELDON-LAVIN/summary

Business, Business Leaders, Business Ventures, Business World, Entrepreneur

Marc Sparks is the ideal entrepreneurs’ entrepreneur as in if you were to look up the term “serial entrepreneur” in the dictionary the face next to it would be that of Sparks. Sparks has tried to launch many different programs since his graduation back in 1975. Some of those have gone on to do brilliantly while others have turned out to be completely disastrous. However, Sparks chalks it up the plans God has for him in life, and he believes that his successes and failures were part of God’s plan. It’s the only way that makes sense to Sparks to justify his overall success. Otherwise, how does a simple high-school kid from Texas sell $100s millions worth or products? To Marc Sparks, there is no other explanation than the will and grace of God. Learn more: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/entrepreneur-marc-sparks-transforms-office-to-optimize-innovative-collaboration-300024747.html

 

Outside of his entrepreneurial work Mark Sparks has a heart as big as his passion for business (http://sparktankdfw.com/). Sparks is active in countless charities and donates his time and money to many causes near to him. His foremost cause is a homeless shelter in Texas called the Samaritan’s Inn which been aiding since the late-1980s. People get a hand-up here not a hand-out. Sparks says the place houses about 160 people every single night from homelessness, and the average person stays about 5 months. They also have to turn away at least 75 people a week who want into the program and can’t make it in because the resources just aren’t there. It breaks his Sparks heart to tell anyone “no” and he wants to continue to grow the program till they never have to turn someone away again. Sparks favorite part is seeing people “graduate” the program and then go on to succeed in their lives. It’s humbling and tear-jerking for him every time someone comes back a year on and shows how well they are able to do for themselves. Learn more: http://thebrotalk.com/bro-recommendations/dallas-entrepreneur-marc-sparks-spills-must-visit-list-wineries-dfw/

 

Marc Sparks also has a burning passion to help through the charity Habitat for Humanity where he actively helps build homes for people who are less fortunate. Sparks himself has worked on over 12 new homes for families. Sparks also participates in the American Can! Academy which is a magnet school system for underprivileged children. Sparks has donated enough money to buy over 1,000 BRAND NEW computers for the schools to help the children learn and grow! Sparks is a man whose heart is as big as his pocketbook!

 

 

Business Leaders, Business World

Eric Lefkofsky is the CEO and co-founder of Tempus, which is a technology company that has built a super operating system to be used in battling cancer. Eric is also a founding partner of Lightbank, a company that ventures in fund investment in matters to do with disruptive technologies. On the other hand, he is the chairman and co-founder of Groupon, an e-commerce marketplace globally as well as a co-founder of Uptake Technologies. Uptake Technologies is one of the world’s largest industries in predicting analytics platform. Echo Global Logistics is a logistic outsourcing and technology-enabled transportation firm, and Inner Workings is a provider of managed promotional and print solutions globally.

Tempus mission is to redefine the way genomic data is used and applied in a clinical setting. The company’s major goal is to ensure that each and every patient benefits fully from the treatment of those individuals who come before by ensuring they provide physicians with the adequate tools that learn and gather more data. Also, the company provides transcriptomic and genomic services and analyzes germline and somatic molecular data along with therapeutical data to ensure they empower physicians to make a compelling data-driven decision.In the year 2006, Lefkofsky together with his wife formed a charitable trust by the name Lefkofsky Family Foundation. Its mission is to support charitable and educational organizations, scientific and causes around the entire world. The Foundation’s primary purpose is to ensure that advance initiatives and high impact programs can improve the living standards of human life in the communities. The foundation focuses on human rights, education, arts and culture, and medical research. The grant making is always evaluated quarterly, and higher part of the money is focused on Chicago which is Lefkofskys’ hometown, whereby arts and culture take the largest donations.

Eric’s education support initiative focuses on Greater Chicago area where they engage in helping younger children as well as giving charters to schools, scholarship programs and after-school programs for the disadvantaged youth. The foundation also engages in supporting medical centers particularly those that care for children as well as give donations to pancreatic cancer. Also, Lefkofskys has supported research in the treatment as well as the cure for lung cancer, thyroid cancer, and leukemia. The foundation has also partnered with Motorola Mobility and Google to create 1871 FEMtech, with the hope and goal of enabling and encouraging more female tech to break into the field as entrepreneurs.

Business Leaders

The world that involves the use of dating apps can sometimes be perceived as an intimidating place. However, there are still some apps that have greater improvements. One example of such app is the Bumble dating app. It is described as the feminist dating app because it is up to the woman to initiate conversation after getting the perfect match. When you are interested in using the app, you only need to download and install it, and then set your profile picture. Afterward, you start swiping. Therefore, when you swipe right, it implies that you are interested in the person. The advantage of using the app is that you can shake the phone to undo the swipe. The user interface is also not that clunky, and therefore it is easy to operate.

According to research, statistics indicate that a quarter of the Britons uses dating apps even if they are in a relationship. Moreover, 24 percent of this particular number still keep their profile active. The percentage rose to 34% in the Northern Ireland. Nevertheless, dating apps have remained one of the key resources in finding the perfect match for the relationship. For example, 35% of the people from Scotland who uses the Tinder app have added that the approach has resulted in a meaningful relationship among couples.

About Whitney Wolfe
Whitney Wolfe is an entrepreneur from the United States of America. As an entrepreneur, Whitney Wolfe is the CEO and founder of the Bumble dating app. She is also one of the co-founders of the Tinder dating app. When it comes to education background, Whitney Wolfe went to Southern Methodist University, from where she gained knowledge in the international studies.

Whitney Wolfe ventured in the entrepreneurship field at age 19. While attending college, Wolfe used to sell bamboo tote bags to the people and areas that are affected by the spillage of the BP oil. Whitney Wolfe also partnered with one of the stylish celebrity, Patrick Aufdenkamp to establish an organization known as Help Us Project. However, after completing her college studies, Whitney Wolfe traveled to the Southeast of Asia to work with orphanages.

Read more about Whitney Wolfe at https://www.ft.com/content/58c69c92-08b6-11e7-97d1-5e720a26771b .

Business Leaders, philanthropist

Each person in their life time wants to leave a legacy. Something that many can look back and say, “That was a life well spent, a life of giving, a life in the service of others.”. As time passes many trials and tribulations come our way and it is those experiences that help us grow into people of character. A person who can easily see the other side of the fence. Dick Devos is such a man and his charitable giving is rivaled by none.

Dick Devos is the son of Rich Devos a man who built an empire empowering other people with the philosophy that “If you can imagine it, then you can do it!”. Rich Devos helped build many a millionaire and his son Dick was placed on that same road. After many years of hard work Dick Devos became the man his father wanted him to be. A philanthropist that never once forgot his roots, who he was, and who he must always be. The years Dick spent working for Amway corporation here as well as abroad made him a more well-rounded businessman. After many years with Amway to include the restructuring of the corporation Dick Devos began the Windquest corporation followed by becoming the manager of the Orlando Magic, an NBA basketball team.

 

Ultimately, in 2006 Dick Devos still working with Amway and Windquest decided to run for Governor of Michigan. Spending almost 40 million dollars of his own money he came up a bit short and was defeated. The Devos family is not used to defeat and so Dick Devos turned his efforts to the nurturing of children. What could be better?

 

In a very special way it is the educational system that has attracted Dick Devos and his lovely wife Betsy and they have brought to bear their substantial fortune to this venue. Starting with a very small Potters House Christian Academy Dick Devos began a crusade to fund scholarships for the poorer families and to give them an opportunity to choose the educational system best suited for their children. With school age children of his own it became a quest to make sure that every child had the same type of educational opportunities his children had. Of the 139 million dollars in donations almost 35 million of that went to schools and educational funding. In addition, a little over 20 million went to Health and Human services and another 20 million went to The Arts.

 

As diverse as their generosity is, it is the way they give that should be noted. They have a ‘No interference, No questions asked’ philosophy, that allows the recipients of Dick Devos’ generosity to put the money to the use that they deem most beneficial.

 

Dick Devos and his family have been a solid main stay for the state of Michigan each year. Always ready to put their best foot forward. His wife Betsy is now the Secretary of Education in the Trump Administration and Dick is very supportive of her role in government. The Devos custom has always been to live by the Golden Rule and Dick Devos exemplifies that tradition each day.

Business Leaders

Richard Blair is an extremely skilled and certified financial adviser. In addition to a college degree, Blair has spent much time fine tuning his skills by earning many certifications to help clients in all stages of life.

His list of certifications include Certified Fund Specialist, Certified Income Specialist, Certifiec Tax Specialist, Investment Adviser Representative, Retirement Income Certified Professional, Certified Estate and Trust Specialist and Certified Annuity Specialist. (1)Coming from a family of teachers,(1) Blair has always understood education to be an important and life changing commodity.

According to Wealth Minder, Richard Blair Wealth Solutions managed to combine his interest in education with his personal enjoyment of the world of finance to become a trusted, reliable and respected financial adviser. In 1994, one year after completing college, Blair founded his independent financial advising institution, Wealth Solutions. Wealth Solutions was founded to help those in or around the Austin, Texas area with their current financial needs as well as their future plans for retirement.

Planning is often the most important of any task. Without a proper plan, there cannot be a proper path to achieve a goal. Blair believes this is particularly true in the finance world. Over twenty years of experience has lead Blair and his team at Wealth Solutions to develop their own plans and strategies for the most efficient and productive way to help clients.

The first step is to determine where the client stands financially. It is necessary to understand this first as it is the springboard for the rest of the plan. The second step of Blair’s plan regards investing strategies. This step is going to differ from client to client. Wealth Solutions monitors the market closely to help client’s investments increase.

This can be managed, for example, by purchasing and selling investments depending on current market trends with the client’s long term goals in mind. The third part of Wealth Solutions’ financial plan pertains to insurance needs and possible future medical needs which may arise in a client’s life. This aspect is just as important as the others because it not only protects the individual or corporation, but the families as well.

Business Leaders

Mike Baur is a co-founder of the Swiss Startup Factory the best ICT Accelerator in Switzerland. He is a resident of Fribourg Switzerland. He has been working with Swiss private banking for over 20 years. Through this period, he has risen from just an apprentice to an executive board member of the big Swiss Private Bank. This has been a significant achievement since in his teenage days he had a keen interest in Finance and Banking.

 

Mike Baur holds an MBA from Rochester University and an Executive MBA from the University of Bern. Mike is reputed for utilizing most of his time with the Swiss youth entrepreneurs and mentoring them. He also provides financial support to Swiss Startups. Today Mike Baur is the Chief Executive Officer of the Swiss Startup Factory. He is responsible for fundraising and financing startup projects.

 

 Swiss startup factory is an organization whose mission is to transform Switzerland startups to international companies. He does so by providing quality services in developing revolutionizing industries. The company is privately financed, and it was founded in the year 2014. It offers unique services to its young subscribers.

 

The company has a team of mentors to guide budding entrepreneurs and funding their projects. The Swiss Startup Factory has two visions, which are; to run a startup accelerator program with global standards for all available startup accelerator programs, and to have the ability to provide startups with whatever the services they need for them to run and grow with minimal or no hindrances all year round.

 

The Startup Factory announced a partnership with a Geneva-based Finetech Accelerator Fusion to reach more startups, mentor them, and provide them with facilities they may need to grow their businesses to from ground level to international standards.

 

Both companies are working to help the startups from the early stages where they create prototypes to assist them in hand over their products smoothly to market beta testing. The collaboration between the two organizations will help them create joint events, widen the mentor exchange network, cooperate with universities and provide shared offices for the startups.

 

The Swiss Startup Factory runs a three-month accelerator program which aims to provide a platform where startups can get free coaching, mentoring, office space, and financing for the viable projects they present to the platform. Since the company started, it has been a success, and it has been reaching more and more startups daily.

 

Business Leaders, Habitat for Humanity

Marc Sparks is an entrepreneur and business owner, he helps other entrepreneurs in developing their businesses and generating revenue. Starting from the ground up, Mr. Sparks begins the process by building a business model and then helping the fledgling companies secure the needed resources to be a success.

He recently redesigned and relocated his firm, Timber Creek Capital, LP, where he hosts up to three different fledgling entrepreneurial companies while introducing them to a productive and lucrative style of business. Focusing on creating a quality work environment that’s conducive to producing collaborative and high-quality work, Mr. Jacobs firmly believes that a positive and interactive environment can lead to an almost 25% increase in the possibility of success for entrepreneurs.

A successful businessman with over a dozen successful startups in his past, Mr. Sparks is now focused on offering his considerable experience in the field to other members of the business community. His personal experiences in the trials and tribulations of entrepreneurship led him to write his first book, “They Can’t Eat You” which outlines his journey in learning the realities of entrepreneurship.

After outlining and codifying his unique approach to business Mr. Sparks, started yet another business, Timber Creek Capital, LP. Timber Creek Capital, LP allows him to use his considerable experience and provide entrepreneurs assistance in launching a successful business.

Mr. Sparks takes on up to three companies at a time and mentors them through the process of creating a viable business model, all the while offering them access to resources like banking, marketing, capital, office space, etc.

By removing the some of the inherent risks of entrepreneurship, Mr. Sparks allows the emerging business a chance to solidify their vision, without having to sacrifice their ethos in the face of mundane realities. The Timber Creek system supports and nurtures the entrepreneurs, providing a solid and secure base for the new business to operate from.

Mark Sparks is also a philanthropist who works closely with Habitat for Humanity in building housing for families, running his non-profit, Sparky’s Kids and he has also been involved for over two decades with The Samaritan Inn a large homeless shelter in Texas.

Business Leaders, Business World

The society we live in has made us believe that success can only come after getting exceptional grades in high school and then attending a prestigious college. There is, however, one person who has proved this notion wrong. Marc Sparks graduated from college with an average grade of C+, but this did not stop him from becoming an entrepreneurs’ entrepreneur.

Using his expertise in business planning and strategy, Marc has guided many companies to financial success.

According to Crunchbase and Angel.co, Marc Sparks believes that success is not brought by luck but rather by hard work. He credits his success in business to his faith in God and the positive attitude he has acquired after several setbacks in his career. Despite being very successful, Marc does not think of himself better than others. That explains why he is so generous in sharing about what has made him successful. In his book “They Can’t Eat You,” Marc outlines his path to success to encourage others.

Marc Sparks knows too well that without financing, start-ups cannot go anywhere. As a venture capitalist, he has given many promising start-up businesses money, and many have become very successful. He is also a renowned philanthropist who has donated to several programs in Texas in addition to being a volunteer in several organizations.

When it comes to helping other entrepreneurs, Marc Sparks never gets tired. Spark Tank is his latest endeavor that is a social innovation challenge aimed at empowering social entrepreneurs to change the world. The winner of the challenge is awarded $5,000 to continue impacting lives in the community.

Two rounds of the Spark Tank Social Innovation Challenge have been completed, and the winners announced. In Round One of the challenge, a total of 14 applications from across Texas were received. The three finalists were House of Eli, Metro Relief and Dogs Matter.

Dogs Matter was announced the winner and was presented with a trophy and a check for $5,000. Many more applications were received in Round Two where the winner was Mommies in Need. The two other finalists were House of Eli and Families to Freedom.

Applications to Round Three will be open as from September to Oct. 1, 2016. The applications must be made online. The eligible applicants are only 501(c) (3) organizations that have been operating for less than two years. Read more:  Marc Sparks (Author of They Can’t Eat You) – Goodreads

A panel carefully reviews each application before choosing three finalists. The chosen finalists are given a maximum of 10 minutes each to present their ideas before the panel in person. A Q&A session follows the presentations where each finalist is given a maximum of 10 minutes to respond to questions. Each program is evaluated on the basis of the presenter’s ability to tell a story, the ability to measure results and the impact the $5,000 will have on the program.

Business Leaders, Business World

Lake Tahoe’s north shores community has seen better days. First, a drought took a heavy toll on local businesses and resorts that depend on visitation dollars. Then an incorporation battle threatened to change the area’s civic and business climate.
Squaw Valley Resort CEO Andy Wirth says he is relieved that both problems have been resolved.

“Our community has had a rough go over the last few years,” said Wirth. “First the weather then the incorporation effort. I wasn’t sure if we would survive it.”

With the help of El Nino, early storms are hitting the area and producing massive amounts of snow. This pleasant surprised led to area resorts opening well before the ski season.

Backers of the Olympic Valley incorporation (Learn more: http://www.rgj.com/story/life/outdoors/recreation/2015/12/03/squaw-alpine-boss-looks-turn-page-divisive-fight/76735928/) effort formally withdrew this past week.

Wirth says the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent to fight the incorporation effort was money well spent. Had the effort passed, the local area would have experienced higher taxes and decreased services.

Wirth says regardless of how they tried to spin it, it would have been disastrous for the community.

Backers answered Wirth’s allegations by stating that the efforts to stop incorporation seemed to be more personal than business. California’s Local Agency Frmation Commission agreed with Wirth and pumped the breaks on the effort.

Wirth says despite the division, the one thing they all have in common is the love for the area.

Wirth has been a mainstay in the community since he was installed as CEO in 2010. Since that time, he has transformed Squaw Valley Resort into one of the best in the U.S., if not the world.

He has over 25 years in the resort industry, having worked for Steamboat Springs Resort for several years. Wirth says he was determined to address all of the issues put forth by visitors over the last few years. He started with a complete overhaul of the ski area and infrastructure. The latest plans call for a gondola to connect Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.

In an effort to enhance airport travel, the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Board recently made Wirth a member. “His extensive experience within the resort industry and international airline experience makes him the obvious choice for the position,” said a board member.