Article from the Jasper Journal 3rd Quarter 2019
Written by: Kevin Strawbridge
What an honor it is to join the Jasper Ventures team! Jasper’s strong growth journey over the last few years makes it a great time to be here. I am humbled by the experience, passion, and drive of the team members I am working alongside, and look forward to working across the company leading Strategic Planning for Jasper Ventures.
First, a little about me: My amazing wife, Michelle, and I have been married almost 25 years. Because of her, I came to know the Lord in 1993 due to her faith and witness to me. We are blessed with three incredible children – our daughters, Landry (19) and Leighton (17), and our son, Layne (12).
My work history began with accounting; I then moved to management consulting, and ultimately came to the corporate world. I progressed through several roles to eventually lead divisions and companies as either a president or CEO. I have faced challenges on multiple levels and shepherded teams and companies toward fulfilling goals and objectives. I anticipate putting all that experience to good use as we continue to grow.
It is clear God has blessed this company over the last 27 years. In turn, the company has been a faithful steward of all that it has been given. In order to increase stewardship, the company has added the capacity of strategic planning.
All of us start each day with intentions, moving through the day ingesting and completing tasks, and end knowing more work lies ahead of us. Each day is a point in time, and our points in time are really part of the plan God has for all of us. To make each point in time more meaningful, our company must be thoughtful about aligning our plans to God’s plan.
We are strategic in our planning in order to have all our points in time accrue to long-term benefits personally, for our company, and for our community. And ultimately, all to the glory of God.
We are at a defining moment in our company and, as Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy said, “when a defining moment comes along, you define the moment… or the moment defines you.” We are defining our moment by embracing planning.
Jasper Ventures is now more intentional about building a plan of action to support our continuing growth. Growth is a good problem to have. But it is still a problem. In our case, we are seeing hyper-growth, which is putting pressure on all points of our people, processes, and systems. I have seen and experienced many businesses and situations, and hyper-growth is not uncommon. We will work through issues, create improvements, and drive our success over the long term.
As a company, we have proven we build great plants. As a team, we have shown the intent to continuously improve on what we have done and do better going forward. No big company started off big. Companies start small and then set about investing time, talents, and resources to grow and succeed.
I am excited that Jasper Ventures recognized what needs to be done and is following through on that. We will continue to grow; we will continue to see challenges and face those challenges. I, together with our leadership, am committed to reducing the challenges over time. This will be an evolution, not a revolution. Change and growth are managed activities. This requires the collection of a broad set of information, synthesizing it to find viable and sustainable solutions, and implementing change through communication, action, and coordination.
To that end, a focus on stewardship is essential. A biblical worldview of stewardship is using and managing all the resources God provides for the glory of God and the betterment of all He has created. This means managing everything God brings into our lives in a manner that honors God and impacts eternity. Eternity is a long time, so we are planning long term.
The parable shared in Matthew 25:14-30 sums this all up nicely. A master puts his servants in charge of his goods while he is away on a trip. Upon his return, the master assesses the stewardship of his servants. Traditionally, this parable is seen as an exhortation to Jesus’ disciples to use their God-given gifts in the service of God and to take risks for the sake of the Kingdom of God.
We are all here to take the talents we have been given, plan to grow them, and give back more than that with which we have been entrusted. I plan to do all I can to help us all hear from the Master, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.”