JBU SIFE Team Hosts Benefit Dinner

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Siloam Springs, Ark. (February 7, 2005) - John Brown University’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team invites business men and women to a dinner and lecture with Don Soderquist, former vice chairman of Wal-Mart, as he addresses the importance of leadership and ethics in today’s business climate. The event will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 15 from 7:00-8:30 p.m. at AQ Chicken in Springdale.  SIFE is asking for a minimum contribution of $30 per person. Funds raised will go toward the JBU SIFE Guatemala and Honduras projects. “We are grateful to Don Soderquist and others who have supported the SIFE vision of activating students to make a difference in the world,” Dr. Joe Walenciak, chair of the JBU business division and Sam M. Walton free enterprise fellow said. “Don has been a big part of JBU SIFE and has been a role model and has walked the talk of making a difference in the lives of others.” Last year, JBU’s SIFE team held a dinner to raise funds for their Guatemala trip, and Don Soderquist was the speaker.  This was a successful fundraiser not only to raise awareness about the trip, but also to make the community aware of SIFE. In the isolated mountain community of Santa Cruz Baja Verapaz, Guatemala, JBU’s SIFE team has sponsored medical clinics, helped improve infrastructure and provided educational programs. In San Antonio Aguas Calientes, SIFE team members are helping to make the dream of education come true for the children by working to improve a local business. During spring break, March 18-26, members of the JBU SIFE team will send a team of 16 students and faculty to work with these ministry projects. That same week, other members of the SIFE team will go to Honduras. The “Honduras Experience 2005: To the Rescue of the Youth” team is composed of 16 students and two faculty sponsors who have a heart for Honduras and its people. Their mission is to reach the young people of Honduras who have been involved in street gangs but are now in the process of rehabilitation. The team plans to teach these young people moral and Christian values, business skills and leadership concepts that will enable them to reintegrate into society and set higher expectations and goals for their lives. “We continue to build around the strengths and passions of our students to make lasting differences in he lives of people right here at home and around the word,” Walenciak said. “These projects in Guatemala and Honduras are examples of the incredible things that students can and will do when education combines the training of their minds.” Soderquist served Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. for over 20 years and continued Sam Walton’s legacy, becoming known as the “keeper of the culture.” Soderquist led the company as chief operating officer during a period of exponential growth as Wal-Mart grew from the largest retailer in the world to the largest company in the world, reaching into ten countries and employing over 1.4 million people. Don spends the majority of his time traveling the world challenging today’s leaders to shape the future of business practice in a positive manner. He is also the executive-in-residence at the Soderquist Center for Leadership and Ethics at John Brown University. To reserve your seat for the benefit dinner, contact Tiffany Taylor at (479) 238-8595, or taylort@jbu.edu, by Friday, Feb. 11. John Brown University is a private Christian university, ranked eighth by U.S. News & World Report in the Southern Region. JBU enrolls more than 1,900 students from 43 states and 40 countries. JBU is a member of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.

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