Message From the Chair Emeritus—Richard Johanson
As Dick is out of town, I decided to share his principles for living that he included in his first book, A Passion for Stewardship: The Legacy of a Generation. Dick has served as the FBC torchbearer since its founding in 1993. He has inspired many to grow beyond narrow concerns into stewards of the whole. He listed the following thirteen principles at the end of his book: 1) Trust and be trusted; 2) Have some heroes; 3) Acknowledge Your Frailties; 4) Accept some challenges; 5) Set the bar carefully; 6) Create a sense of urgency; 7) Don’t just care—act! 8) Adopt a code of conduct; 9) Have a confidant; 10) Find a mentor; 11) Never stop learning; 12) Love kids; 13) Be inspired--be inspiring.
Connecting and Leveraging Resources Locally, Regionally and Statewide
Understanding how a community works, how to measure and achieve success and developing the skills and abilities necessary to serve is a humbling challenge. For more than a decade, we have sought to do just that in partnership with other regions across the state of California. At the outset, there was a general understanding that the “three E’s” were essential building blocks for a strong community—economy, environment and equity. However, most leaders understood one, sometimes two of these domains. Few had working relationships across them. Over time, many of the regions have built networks of relationships within each sphere and across them. In Fresno, we added a fourth circle to encompass the whole and a new operating system, the Community Values, to build trust. Stewards look through this larger lens to discover ways to link, align and leverage resources so that all might thrive. If you serve on a board that might have an interest in learning more, let us know.
Firing Up and Stoking the Engine—Why A Strong Private Sector Matters
A successful life and community requires many kinds of literacy. An absence of financial and entrepreneurial literacy often lies at the center of failure. Blame and quick fixes are distractions. The Kauffman Foundation is devoted to personal and economic entrepreneurship. One of their recent articles offers a path forward both in terms of rationale and specific policies to shift resources and alignments across fundamental arenas. The key areas include education, workforce, infrastructure, intellectual property, taxes, and commercialization of university innovations. If you are interested in the full policy dialogue, it is available upon request.
Neighborhood Based Transformation
There are many ways people have tried to address poverty and its many symptoms. There is a growing emphasis on a Four Sphere approach recognizing the importance of a concurrent focus on the economy, the quality of place, leadership development and removal personal barriers. Many participants are seeking an effective balance between personal and community responsibility—empowering individuals while changing the context. A special thank you to Doug Davidian, Lee Ayres, Kris Walter, Kurt Madden and Ken Newby who are applying their entrepreneurial skills and diverse experiences to this difficult and long standing challenge.