Monday, October 12, 2009

October 12, 2009

Message From the Chair Emeritus—Richard Johanson
As we celebrate Columbus Day it is worth dwelling upon the similarity between the reality of Christopher Columbus traversing a vast ocean in a few frail boats to reach his destination and our ongoing journey to cross our extended community’s lake as a broad-based coalition dedicated to arriving at our vision for this region. While “Uncle Chris” used sails and oars to propel his tiny fleet, our armada is akin to a large contingent of ducks. From above we may appear to be gliding calmly across the water when in reality underneath the surface we are paddling feverishly. We shall reach our destination not because we made short lived waves and splashes upon the surface but because we mastered the art of propelling ourselves forward by paddling in the same direction together. The next time you see one of your fellow ducks, give each other a quack.

From Ruben Navarrette to John W. Gardner—The Same Message
The mission of the FBC is to transform our community from good to great, inspired by the book Good to Great by Jim Collins. Implicit in this idea is whether it is a company or a community, greatness requires a commitment to excellence. “Excellence implies more than competence. It implies a striving for the highest standards in every phase of life…in every endeavor and sector…in short, universally.” In a recent column, Navarette contrasted the work ethic of his immigrant grandfather with himself and came up short. He challenged all of us to let go of playing the victim or thinking you are entitled. As Gardner noted in his book, Excellence: Can We Be Equal and Excellent, Too?, The best kept secret in America today is that people would rather work hard for something they believe in than live a life of aimless diversion. The growing number of volunteers and philanthropists in Fresno are a testament to the truth of this statement made in 1961.

School/Business Partnerships Reception—A Win/Win/Win Proposition
We are looking for businesses that want to have a substantial positive impact on their community. Today in our schools we are preparing the next generation of community and business leaders. We need businesses to consider adopting a school in a partnering relationship. Any size business can participate in a school partnership and the rewards to the school and the business are substantial. It is a chance to positively affect the lives of the youth of Fresno. You are invited to a reception at The Shops at River Park, (west end of the Plaza opposite Edwards Theater near REI) to provide you with an opportunity to learn more about these partnerships. The reception is being hosted by the Joint Task for School Business Partnerships, of which the Fresno Business Council is a member. There will be good food and information provided to you in equal measure. You do not have to make any commitment beyond giving us an hour or so of your time. The reception is on Thursday October 22, 2009 at 4:00 PM. If you plan to attend or would like additional information please RSVP to Mike Wilhelm at 490-0950 or

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