Beyond the schools, DeJoria’s personal philanthropic interests stretch across continents and are aimed towards organizations that help others help themselves. He is extremely passionate about Grow Appalachia, a non-profit organization John Paul founded to address the problem of food security in the region. The project supports families of Appalachia to grow, preserve and sell food locally, helping to create a sustainable food production system. As one of the first cruelty-free companies, John Paul Mitchell Systems is a leader in the fight to ban animal testing. JP makes no apologies for his feelings of disgust with “people taking advantage of the lives of animals, or the environment simply for monetary gain.” Have you been inspired yet? On the other side of the globe, DeJoria has been a major supporter of Food4Africa, sponsoring thousands of vitaminenriched meals for orphans affected by AIDS. Across the sea, he supports MINESEEKER, a European based non-profit devoted to the removal of landmines. DeJoria serves on board for both the Creative Coalition and Robert Kennedy’s Waterkeeper Alliance. A dedicated advocate for energy efficiency, DeJoria was named 2009 Goodwill Ambassador by the Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Organization at the United Nations. But wait, there’s more! He has acted as an adviser to government agencies including the U.S. Navy Seals, the CIA and the Asian-Pacific Economic Forum.
Not only should you be inspired by all that JP has taken on, you should be exhausted just at the thought of it all. Rather than opting to retire years ago and bask in his success John Paul continues to work hard simply to give back.
“We’re able to change the world and make it a better place to live. And that’s one of the biggest motivations of being in business today.” - JPD It was only a few years ago that John Paul returned to the El Torito where he was so kindly taken care of. To his surprise, the very same waiter was still there. “I saw you on TV. I remembered you. You’re the same guy,” the waiter said to JP. DeJoria returned the favor. “I gave him one hell of a big tip.” So, what inspires John Paul DeJoria? People. People like Lee Meyer, the fellow biker that gave JP and his son a place to live; John Paul’s mother, who loaned him that $350 which translated into a global empire; the actress, Joanna Pettet, who knocked on his car and opened her home; and then there’s the waitress and waiter who fed him and his son. As a result of these humbling experiences, the world is indeed a better place because John Paul DeJoria was inspired.
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People Water - Jef Holm
Water Hero Springs a Well of Opportunity Cause-driven businessman and humanitarian Jef Holm shares how being named Americaâ€™s No. 1 bachelor has given rise to the effort and cause closest to his heart.
WRITTEN BY Melynda Thorpe Burt
It was the moment of truth for Jef Holm last January when he stepped from an airplane onto the tarmac having just arrived in Nicaragua. It would be months before his life and dating interests would play out on national television, but on this day, the young entrepreneur from St. George, Utah had landed in a recovering nation to learn whether or not the culmination of his education, ambition and a highly original business plan would see itself to fruition. Founder of a startup company with an ambitious double bottom line and do-good platform, Holmâ€™s business uniquely centers around a concept he says he has personally dedicated his life to doing: helping people. And in a country where families have practically unlimited access to drinkable tap water, in-home filtering systems and countless bottled water brands competing for consumer attention, Holm explains that it can be difficult to understand the magnitude of the global sanitary water crisis. In a March 2012 report to the United Nations by UNICEF and the World Health Organization, 783 million people in developing countries were reported to have zero ready access to safe drinking water. And adding to the magnitude of the pandemic, a reported 3.4 million deaths are annually attributed to water-related illness.
And this, according to Holm, is where the idea for People Water was born: “I have always been interested in humanitarian work, and I realized one day that everyone needs clean water, but not everyone has access to it like we do.” That’s when he decided, “I wanted to find a way to do something about it, and create a successful business doing it.” In October 2010, Holm and co-founder Cody Barker of Orem, Utah, set up shop for their new bottled water business and began pursuing channels for distribution with zealous ambition. They believed that by establishing sophisticated profit margins, using eco-friendly plastic bottles and offering articulately branded, high quality natural spring water, their message to consumers could confidently read something like this: “Every time you purchase People Water, you are both serving someone in need and helping to save the planet.” They subscribed whole-heartedly to what Holm describes as the concept of a double bottom line. “Like any other business, we are committed to generating revenue and increasing our margins,” he said. “But at the same time, we are devoted to funding water-related humanitarian projects in countries with critical need.” So, while laying plans for bottling, branding and selling water, the two also began scouting areas of the world to assist with water projects. “We decided we could measure our success based on how much clean water we could actually make available, and building water wells in deprived regions of the world seemed to be the answer,” Holm said. Based on the estimate that an average well delivers approximately 1,000 liters of clean water per day, People Water developed what is termed a Drop for Drop Initiative. Simply stated, Drop for Drop means that for every bottle of People Water sold, an equal amount of water will be provided by building or repairing wells in waterdeprived areas of the world. With calculations and a clear mission, the business partners went to work peddling People Water and securing product placement in as many gas stations and grocery stores as would accept another brand of bottled water. But for Holm and Barker, every bottle sold counted as one step closer to the goal of building their first water well. And then it happened. Fifteen months from the establishment of their company, People Water had something to celebrate. “We had finally sold enough bottles to build our first well and we were on our way to Nicaragua,” Holm said. From Holm’s description of events: We arrived in Nicaragua and members of our crew are getting sick and requiring I.V.s. There have been car wrecks, multiple flat tires, and we barely escaped armed robbers. Our well truck is broken down. It seems like everything we have worked so hard for is falling apart.
................... Just when it seemed like there was nothing more we could do, the most amazing thing happened. The people in the village all gathered around us and literally pushed the truck up the mountain. ................... The village of Taquezal is by far the most deprived place I have ever been and the people were so happy when we finally arrived. We started drilling and drilled all through the night and into the next day. Nothing. We learned that the local women walk three to five miles each day to carry water back to the village that isn’t even sanitary. And it is making them sick. They need this water. Is it going to work? Everyone is standing around us, watching, hoping, and praying. ................... It happened! It really happened! We hit water and it exploded 30 feet into the air, spraying like a fountain. It was magical. The kids started dancing and splashing and everyone was laughing and cupping water into their hands and drinking and singing. Pretty soon we were all dancing. One of the village women walked up to me and thanked me saying that now they don’t have to be sick any more. It’s working and it’s going to save lives. Until that day, Holm said everything had seemed like ideas. “But that night after all the celebration, I said to myself, ‘This is real and I am going to dedicate my life to doing this kind of work.’” Since that first trip to Nicaragua, People Water has continuously been graced with good fortune. Last fall, Jef became one of 25 contestants competing for the heart of Emily Maynard on ABC’s reality dating show, The Bachelorette. Appearing on national television brought immediate attention to his cause-driven business and concern for the world water crisis propelling People Water into a spotlight of good fortune the company could not have anticipated. The exposure for People Water went even further with Maynard’s July announcement that she had selected Holm as the show’s winner, dubbing him “the dream boy” during the show’s season finale rose ceremony. Resulting in a flurry of publicity including morning talk show appearances, news interviews, photo shoots, tabloid headlines and a tsunami of internet and social media posts, Holm had the opportunity to showcase People Water globally as he traveled to Africa with Maynard (and media in tow) to visit two of his company’s well sites. “It was a lot of fun sharing my work and passion for People Water with Emily,” Holm said. “The producers of the show did a great job of showcasing what I do and we count ourselves very lucky for the national attention the company is receiving.” right: Jef Holm - Co-Founder, Ken Bretschneider - C.E.O., Cody Barker - Co-founder, Chief Water Giver. Photos by Matt Clayton.
MEN’S ISSUE 2013
â€œPeople Water is currently providing 6,607 gallons of clean water a day to those who used to be without.â€?
Seth Howell - Marketing Director Matthew Wride - COO Bill Markham - VP of Product Development Photos by Matt Clayton.
While unexpected yet exuberantly appreciated, People Water’s staff has now grown from its original two to 20 to keep up with demand, and has completed 26 well projects throughout Nicaragua, Haiti, Ghana and Ethiopia. Distribution channels include a successful online store and significant partnerships with mega chain markets including 7-Eleven, Albertsons, and Whole Foods, and recently, a distribution agreement with Marriot Hotels. “I heard someone once say that we all have to think anyway, so why not think big,” Holm said. “I have tried to apply that motto in every aspect of my life.” Regarding People Water,
“I knew I wanted to do something that was going to help a lot of people, and I knew I wanted it to be really big.” Big it is. From pounding the pavement in the company’s early beginnings to a storybook 2012 tale of good fortune, Holm said the company has set a benchmark of funding 500 wells in the next three years. “To see people’s lives changing because they now have clean water to drink, that’s what it’s all about,” Holm said. “I knew that day in Nicaragua that this would be the kind of work I would commit my life to – the kind of work that is truly making a difference.”
Melynda Thorpe Burt has worked as a traveling feature writer covering subjects in many places including New York City, Hollywood, and Washington D.C., and Hueccouno, Peru. She has published in several national magazines and began her career at the New York City firm, FleishmanHillard PR. Burt is former creative services director and communications instructor at Utah Valley University, and she currently enjoys serving as media relations coordinator for DOCUTAH International Film Festival. Burt manages her own marketing, advertising and public relations agency in Southern Utah and is the proud mother of two sons Noah and Jonah.
MEN’S ISSUE 2013