Stories are often the best way to envision and comprehend how a principle or practice looks when it comes to life. We share here some stories that demonstrate transformation—of individuals and organizations that ultimately transform culture.
In 2003, Serving Leaders and Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation joined the vision of founder Lisa Thorpe-Vaughn in creating Amachi Pittsburgh to serve our region's children of prisoners, "ensuring that all children are rightfully recognized as children of promise." Today, under the leadership of Anna Hollis, Amachi Pittsburgh continues to build on Lisa Thorpe-Vaughn's strong founding vision to bring people of faith together with "children of promise" in close, loving mentoring relationships.
One tremendous example of how the Leaders Collaborative supports and encourages Leaders to think differently about their businesses can be found at Henne Jewelers. John Henne, President of Henne Jewelers, participated in the Leaders Collaborative pilot cohort in 2007 and his sister and partner Meg Henne Gibson participated in the second cohort in 2008. As many in the Pittsburgh area know, Henne Jewelers in Shadyside is a fourth generation family owned business. A family of strong faith, the Henne’s have always been deeply committed to the region in a variety of ways, supporting a myriad of organizations through community and board service as well as donations and sponsorships.
Shortly after completing the pilot of the Leaders Collaborative in June of 2007, one of our participants Patrick Colletti, President of Net Health Systems, a healthcare software company, began to explore the possibility of bringing the core Strengths Development learning to his company.
David Batstone, founder of Not For Sale Campaign, joined Serving Leaders for a city-wide event also co-sponsored by Northway Christian Community and New Community Church. The Not For Sale Campaign equips and mobilizes "smart activists" to deploy innovative solutions to re-abolish slavery in their own backyards and across the globe." Their goal is to end slavery in our lifetime.
At the 2007 "Signs of Hope" congress, two hundred leaders from Pittsburgh's community gathered at the Heinz Regional History Museum to hear Bakke share stories from scripture and from cities around the world that illustrate God's strategic purpose in forming cities and calling people to work together in and for them. Bakke reminded the attenders that we will all, eventually, live in the city—the City of God spoken of in Revelation—and that God is a city builder.
In 2009, with the planning, capacity building and leadership support of Serving Leaders and the Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation, Storehouse for Teachers was launched. The mission of SFT "to serve kids and their teachers by providing a resource center where school and classroom supplies are distributed at no cost."
In 2000, Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation sponsored a group of young Mennonite entrepreneurs and artists by helping them acquire the former Union Baptist Church, a long-abandoned landmark structure. Building on the work of the Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience (PULSE)—the Union Project catalyzed the united effort of a dozen PULSE alumni in a bold entrepreneurial endeavor.