At CBI, we call our corporate philosophy the “Live Love Serve Philosophy.” In fact, we believe so strongly in the power of loving and serving others, that we created the Live Love Serve Foundation an organization that is an extension of CBI Workplace Solutions and provides financial support, volunteerism, and advocacy for individuals, religious organizations and other charities in the communities where CBI Workplace Solutions operates.
The Live Love Serve Philosophy is the fabric of our CBI culture, and our Associates and Leaders all embrace the idea that it is our duty to love and serve all individuals God places into our lives. Charlis Brock, Executive Vice President and Market Leader in the Charlotte and Tennessee markets exemplifies the Live Love Serve Philosophy each and every day. Not only is Charlis’ leadership instrumental when it comes to the success of the CBI business, but outside of the office she also devotes her time, talent and treasures to an organization called Vapor Ministries whose mission is to alleviate poverty in third-world environments while bringing social, economic and spiritual life to these communities.
In her role as a member of the Board of Directors for Vapor Ministries, Charlis is a Leader in Action. She is passionate about her work with Vapor Ministries and shared more with us in an interview below:
Q: How did you first hear about Vapor Ministries?
Charlis: David Longo, CBI’s Founder, Chairman & CEO was introduced to Micah McElveen, the Founder & CEO of Vapor Ministries, by his friend Brett McDonough when he was invited to attend a Kingdom Enterprise Forum. The Kingdom Enterprise Forum is a meeting of business executives who are committed to leveraging the businesses they lead to serve God’s Kingdom. David got to know Micah and his wife Audrey throughout the meeting and learned more about their organization and mission. David was inspired by their personal faith journey and invited them to present to our Associates at our annual CBI Christmas Party that year. I still remember that presentation today, and I too became inspired after hearing their story.
Q: What was it that really drew you into Vapor Ministries as you learned more about them?
Charlis: After I first met Micah and his wife, I began to learn more about Vapor Ministries and their mission. This organization travels to the poorest communities in the world and provides for both the spiritual and physical needs of the people in these communities. Micah and his teams teach the people in these areas about Christ and God’s love, but they also work to create opportunities for community members to provide for themselves. I really like that Vapor Ministries offers a more holistic approach to bridging the gaps between spiritual and physical needs, and I also like that the work the organization does is tangible and you can actually see the results of your efforts.
Q: You said that when visiting a new community Vapor Ministries creates opportunities for community members to work and provide for themselves. Can you tell us a little bit more about how they do that?
One of the first things Vapor Ministries does when landing in a new place is set up what they call Sustainable Centers. These Centers are usually formed in large outdoor spaces – campuses, soccer fields, outdoor properties – and this is where community members come for basic healthcare, fresh water, education on disease prevention and nutrition, spiritual teachings and more. The teams at Vapor Ministries make the Center their home base while they are visiting, and they host multiple events and activities to draw in community members and begin fulfilling their ministry of alleviating poverty while teaching the Word of God. Once the Centers are established and fully functioning, the team at Vapor teaches individuals in the community to keep the Centers running so they can be sure it is still a resource once Vapor Ministries moves on. This creates jobs for many individuals who would not have had employment otherwise and secures a lifeline to Vapor Ministries’ message and teachings.
Additionally, it has become common for the Sustainable Centers to draw in local artisans who sell their goods to others. These simple opportunities lay the groundwork for a small economy to form in these poor villages giving them a chance to continue to build and thrive on their own for years after.
Q: Wow. That sounds fantastic. So tell us a little bit more about your specific role on the Board of Directors. How do you provide support?
The Board of Directors for Vapor Ministries is the governing team for the organization. We provide oversight for strategic direction, planning, budget management, support and growth of the field teams and a lot more. As a result of my years in the design industry and my time at CBI, I’m able to provide support in the areas of marketing, design, construction and business strategy. My background and experience are strengths when Vapor Ministries embarks on building new Sustainable Centers and is looking to grow and market their organization in different ways.
I am serving a 4-year term on the Board, and I’m currently in my second year. I feel like I finally have my feet under me and am contributing value from my skill set. I also continue to be more and more amazed by Micah, his wife and the folks at Vapor Ministries. They really are great stewards of their resources and the global impact they are making is phenomenal.
Q: To wrap up, what else do you want us to know about Vapor Ministries and the work they are doing?
I encourage those reading this article to visit Vapor Ministries’ website to learn more about the amazing things they are doing. There are so many ways to get involved with this organization if you are compelled to do so. We are always looking for people to volunteer or shop at Vapor's domestic thrift shops that raise money to support the organization. There are opportunities to travel with Vapor Ministries to a third-world environment and see firsthand how they set-up Sustainable Centers and work their mission.
Finally, Vapor Ministries just completed a documentary about Micah and his mission. Watch it here and see first hand Micah's passion and vision for Vapor Ministries.
We hope you enjoyed our first Leadership in Action post. Check back Monday, November 16, 2020 for another story.