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Gratitude, Making a Difference and Facebook

Bonnie & Fred Cappuccino
At Greenfield Services, we are truly grateful for the relationship we have enjoyed with our clients, partners and employees again this past year.

For the last three years we have expressed our gratitude and helped those less fortunate by donating a portion of profits to a charity whose mission it is to combat famine and promote economic development around the world.

This year we wanted to do something a little different.  While World Vision is still a highly deserving NGO, they are nevertheless a very large organization, with lots of support.

The idea came to my partner Heinz and me when we attended an event in our little town of Alexandria this past fall to benefit a much smaller and equally deserving cause: Child Haven International.  Inspired by the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi, Child Haven “assists children and women in developing countries, who are in need of food, education, health care, shelter and clothing, emotional and moral support.”

Their founders are Fred and Bonnie Cappuccino, a couple who have made their home in nearby Maxville since the early 70s.  Locals will tell you lots of stories about this remarkable duo, not the least of which is that, over the years, they have adopted 19 children in addition to raising their own two biological children.  In 1985, they started Child Haven to help more.  I heard Fred joke that this was the only way he could prevent Bonnie from adopting more kids!

Now in their 80s, Fred and Bonnie are assisted by family and volunteers in the running of their eight homes: five in India, one in Nepal, one in Tibet and one in Bangladesh. Child Haven is a registered charity in Canada, the United States and India.  It operates on a shoestring (about $1,000,000 annually) and receives no government subsidy.

To help this worthy cause, we had thought of donating $5 for each new “Like” on our Facebook Page.  Truth be known, if our idea went “viral” we wouldn’t have an unlimited budget.  Instead we will donate $1,500, regardless of what happens with our Facebook page.  Still, we think we can help by spreading their story.  Will you please help us by clicking that you “Like” us on Greenfield's Facebook Page, letting your network know about Child Haven?

To make a donation yourself, please click here.

Whatever holiday you celebrate, we wish you the gift of time to enjoy this holiday season with those you love.  And may 2011 bring you health, happiness and fulfillment!

Greenfield Services Collaborates with Queen's University

Queens MBA Students
(L to R) Queen's University students Harish Gopal, Ashtad Pouredehi, Borce Gjorgjievski, Roshan Kalra, Doreen Ashton Wagner (Greenfield Services), Nathania Go, Meagan Rockett (Greenfield Services), and Ted Hincks.
Last September I agreed to participate in a student project, part of the Queen's University MBA program.  At the time I did not know the precise nature of our collaboration.  I was contacted on November 24 and asked if we could meet with the students one week later!
According to team leader Roshan Kalra, the purpose of the visit was to "provide a look into a company with a direct and observable operating process."

The students chose Greenfield as the subject of an assignment for their MBA course “Operations Management”.  Their task is to map Greenfield's existing process and recommend a redesign of the process.

As an entrepreneur, I have always believed in having "fresh eyes" look at our operation, to help us improve the way we do things.

Up until now, this has been mostly through new employees and various trainers and consultants we had hired for various programs.  While I had said yes a few months back, I thought the project would not take place because I had heard nothing since.  In addition, there was the question of "observable process"; since our work focuses entirely on data, I assumed our process was just a little too abstract.

While I have yet to see their report, I was pleasantly surprised by the calibre of questions from this multi-disciplined team.  These students are not just business students.  They come from an impressive variety of cultural and educational backgrounds:

My main contact, Roshan Kalra is a law & economics grad.  Ted Hincks has an environmental engineering background.  Electronics & communications engineering are Harish Gopal's specialties.  Ashtad Pouredehi has management consulting & accounting credentials.  Nathania Go studied in management engineering, marketing and graphic design, while Borce Gjorgjievski majored in computer science.

Their work is due December 15.  We look forward to reading their "process re-engineering" report!