LAKELAND (FBCH)—Chief executive officers from across the country met at Florida Baptist Children’s Homes recently to focus their expertise on benefitting children connected with the ministry.
The group volunteered their time at the personal request of Jerry Haag, FBCH president and FBCH children hosted the opening dinner.
Several years ago, Haag had a vision of bringing together the best and brightest minds to help children. Haag believes that to “make a difference in the lives and eternities of children, it will mean bringing every resource and everyone to the table.”
Bill Simon, president & CEO of Walmart Stores U.S., shared with the group that even with the constant demands on his schedule, “every chance I get to be back in Florida, I take it, especially when invited by a good friend like Jerry.”
Simon, who previously served in Governor Jeb Bush’s cabinet as secretary of the Department of Management Services, told the group, “being average is terrible.”
“No one wants an average doctor or pilot,” Simon said. “Average does not deliver the fulfillment we long for.”
Ed Crenshaw, CEO of Publix Super Markets, Inc. hosted the group. Crenshaw and his wife, Denise, have a tremendous heart for children. They, along with Publix, have been supporters of Florida Baptist Children’s Homes and the entire Florida community and will host the CEO Children’s Council in 2014.
Seven times New York Times best-seller Don Yaeger, told the group that “greatness is attained by doing common things uncommonly well.”
Yaeger is a journalist, campaign strategist, government consultant, gifted writer and renowned speaker. He was also a member of an elite group that was mentored by UCLA basketball coach John Wooden. He and his wife Jeanette have established a fund with a percentage of his speaking revenue to help FBCH foster children.
David Wilkins, secretary of Florida Department of Children and Families, said faith-based programs provide help for 20 percent of the children in the state’s care and that Florida Baptist Children’s Homes is the gold standard in childcare. David is a former board member of Florida Baptist Children’s Homes and was pivotal in the development of Orphan’s Heart.
Haag challenged the group during its roundtable discussion to “Pray Big” and “Dream Big” for the children. “Imagine with me a world where every child has food to eat, a safe place to sleep, and a family that loves them.”
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