To inspire then develop potential young urban entrepreneurs through collaboration with suburban executives and mentoring acquired through this initiative.
To witness these youths emerge as vibrant contributors to society as they enter commerce grounded in vocational, financial, ethical, and moral accountabilities.
“Dennie Welsh WAS the REAL HEIR APPARENT to Lou Gerstner to become chairman of IBM. Unfortunately, he became incapacitated due to illness and was forced to retire. Lou thought very highly of him and thought he was actually a very good businessman and an extraordinarily highly ethical man.” -Wall Street Journal
If you were blessed to know Dennie, you would understand that statement. “God is good!” He would tell me in our weekly email exchanges during the last several years he battled a brutal terminal illness. On January 1, 2004, he closed yet his biggest and most important pay day, as he met his Maker, whom he adored, face-to-face. Dennie, without a doubt, stored many treasures in heaven during his earthly life.
Those that didn’t really know Dennie say he was a self-made man starting at an entry level with IBM and retiring in line to be its next chairman. I knew Dennie, and the reality was he achieved what he did because he was self-abandoned and did everything for the glory of his Lord.
I first met Dennie in 1991, and as time passed I began to see he really liked me which I found peculiar since there was nothing I could offer him. You see, I had many experiences during my professional golf career teaching other high-level guys. I was even a personal golf instructor to the chairman of a fortune 500 company. While working at their clubs, I was their “friend” because I had something they wanted, but as soon as I left, they would no longer take my calls. It then became clear that what was between me and these other guys was a skill that could be replaced, but between Dennie and me was the Blood of Christ.
In closing, these words of Brother Lawrence best summed up Dennie’s life. “We ought to give ourselves up to God, with regard to things both ‘worldly and spiritual’ and seek our satisfaction only in the fulfilling of His will, whether He lead us by suffering or by comfort, for both would be equal to a soul truly resigned.”
While I miss you dear buddy, I’m so happy that you are finally feeling better and full of God’s abundant grace which you so freely shared. Your life was a true testimony!
Game of Life Foundation, G.O.L.F.
The purpose of The Dennie Welsh Business & Ethics Urban/Suburban Initiative is a dedication to the educational and vocational growth of at-risk children through promoting highly ethical living and excellence. This initiative will target high-risk children in the county. Some of the initiative’s components include life coaching for youth in the areas of skill development, financial basics, business basics, business development and reaching out to others who are where they were.
This initiative’s design combines the knowledge and skills of suburbia with the rigorous faith and personal transparency of the urban community. It brings Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc. to a culture that may never see their state college. In essence, it’s about rigorous honesty combined with abandoned faith leading to a degree earned from the University of The Have-Nots from which suburbia could benefit from attending a semester or two. Together they develop a unity of cultural collaboration which develops a complete people lacking in nothing. We build upon the discipline, ethics, and excellence in Dennie Welsh’s life and upon the philosophy, most high-risk families experience in parallel in the lives of suburbia, i.e., seeing one another as one, with (while not identical) multiple and interrelated life challenges. These multifaceted challenges require a comprehensive approach of excellence that recognizes and, most importantly, identifies with “haves versus have nots” lives. The following outlines the initiative's components in more detail.
Those kids in the suburbs don’t get a pass here. Many of them have grown up in an alternate reality of entitlement and most can wait to be sprung from the nest. They’ve grown up in big houses with overachieving part-time parents trying to fill a void while chasing an ideal they’ll never catch. They also put part of that ideal on their children’s backs as they leave the nest with no idea of “who” they are. They are then indoctrinated with radical views by another team of surrogate parents who ignites an misplaced anger and hatred which has been acutely manifested and turns it chronic.
The Kitchen Table is a collaborative urban/suburban comprehensive youth life coaching and training initiative.
My desire while on the back nine of life is to begin playing a training role in these lives. I feel akin to these kids in many ways. I too grew up fearful of being laughed at or being made to feel stupid for something I said or did. To understand and feel these youth inside of me doesn't require me to be African-American or Hispanic. It just required me to get rigorously honest about myself and obtain a humility I never had while I was covering up with a superiority complex driven by my fear. It is the desire of my heart to help these kids through the experience, strength, and hope I have gained and train them to discover their giftedness and abilities and how to apply them to become prosperous contributors to society and serve the purpose God created them uniquely for. Of equal importance will be the training of how to give back moving from "Takers" to "Givers.”
At one time, the kitchen table was the gathering place for family and friends. The kitchen table was where homework was done, cooking was learned, discussions were held, and it was the place where “the learnin” took place. In most homes today the kitchen table has been replaced by a fast food island where we grab something quick and run from task-to-task through our microwaveable lives yet never seem to get it all done.
At The Kitchen Table life’s basics are communicated in terms usually related to the youth’s area of giftedness. Coaching these youth by relating their God-given gifts to their giftedness makes it possible for them to visualize “their” life goals and dreams. Relating the competition in sport to the challenges of life trains them to “respond” in a manner they can relate to for the challenges life will send their way. Our motto, “If You Do What Most Won’t – You Will Enjoy What Most Never Will” is especially valuable since learning to take responsibility and play life on life’s terms, straight down the middle without excuses, cheating or mastering spin, will give them the winning edge in the game of life.
In keeping with full disclosure, the initiatives noted below are the first choice for collaborative initiatives and are subject to change due to unforeseen obstacles we may discover during the due diligence process.