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July August 2019

Where Christian faith gets down to business


Prevention-focused consulting Composting as a business Incubation for impact at CMU Community mobilization in Jordan


The Marketplace July August 2019

Roadside stand

How can we better cope with food waste?


recent study by Second Harvest, a food rescue group, found Canadians throw away almost as much food as they eat, up to 39.1 million tons (35.5 million metric tonnes) annually. Worldwide economic loss from wasted food is $1.3 trillion. Enviro-Stewards president Bruce Taylor (see story, pg. 11) says if food waste was a country, it would be the third-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions on the planet. “Us engineers are trying to prevent that from going to the landfill, (through use of) bio-digesters, composters and whatnot.”

Let it rot

Compost Winnipeg (see story pg. 16) is a social enterprise that does commercial and home organic waste pickup in some areas of the Manitoba capital, which has no curbside green bin collection. Compost Winnipeg’s Kelly Kuryk notes that many products labelled as compostable, including disposable coffee pods and “biodegradable” plastic bags, will not break down in home composters. Backyard piles never reach the temperatures need to compost these items. There is great potential in composting as a way of reducing landfill and greenhouse gases, Kuryk said. “We’ve been able to get it going for such minimal cost, and I think that when you’re looking at waste anywhere in the world… you can set up a compost site anywhere, and it can go a long way to reducing waste.” MEDA has 10 environmental specialists among its staff, working in nine countries on four continents. Projects in Jordan, Nigeria and Ukraine are looking at composting food waste. The Marketplace July August 2019

Filling the tank with table scraps?

The idea of using food waste to fuel cars has never really taken hold, except for a small group of people filling their vehicles with biodiesel from restaurants’ waste grease. Researchers at the University of Waterloo hope to soon change that and reduce greenhouse gases related to food. They have found a method of natural fermentation to turn wasted food into a biodegradable chemical that can be refined as a source of energy. The chemical could also replace petroleum-based chemicals used to make plastic packaging and drugs. Researchers at the Waterloo Environmental Biotechnology Lab plan to test their technology on a larger scale, with hopes of commercializing it in the next 10 years.

Rejecting 996

Finding personal balance is just as important for us as environmental balance is to the planet. So what to say about the Chinese technology sector’s practice of 996 — requiring people to work from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., six days a week?

Jack Ma Yun, the Alibaba Group’s billionaire founder, unwittingly started a debate over 996 when he told company staff in April that it is a huge privilege to serve company clients 72 hours a week. That didn’t go over in a nation with a work-life balance tradition that includes long lunch and sleep breaks. Internet chat groups attacked the comments. One chat group called 996 ICU implied the working hours at tech giants would make employees more likely to be spending time in intensive care units. Ma later backtracked in messages on his social media accounts, an article in the Asia Times reported. “Not only is it inhumane, it’s unhealthy and even more unsustainable for long periods,” he wrote. A recent article in The Atlantic magazine agrees. “Workism is Making Americans Miserable” notes that for many college-educated professionals, over-work has metasticized into a twisted sort of religion.

Relief for Workaholism

Author Judith Valente, whose book How to Live is excerpted in this issue (pp. 4-5), writes candidly about her struggle to find life balance. Similarly, Mennonite pastor April Yamasaki’s latest book: Four Gifts — Seeking Self-Care for Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength, mentions the toll taken in Japan by karoshi (death by overwork), and lays out helpful principles for self-care. — MS

Follow The Marketplace on Twitter @MarketplaceMEDA


In this issue



Listening, learning, leading:

MEDA president Dorothy Nyambi reflects on her first six months running the organization.


Clean technologies

Community mobilizers help Jordanians go green and save money By Dara Al-Masri

Kelly Kuryk works to build a business from food waste.

Departments 22 Roadside stand 24 Soul enterprise 20 Review

Volume 49, Issue 4 July August 2019 The Marketplace (ISSN 321-330) is published bi-monthly by Mennonite Economic Development Associates at 532 North Oliver Road, Newton, KS 67114. Periodicals postage paid at Newton, KS 67114. Lithographed in U.S.A. Copyright 2018 by MEDA. Editor: Mike Strathdee Design: Ray Dirks

Change of address should be sent to Mennonite Economic Development Associates, 1891 Santa Barbara Dr., Ste. 201, Lancaster, PA 17601-4106. To e-mail an address change, subscription request or anything else relating to delivery of the magazine, please contact subscription@meda.org

Ahmad Nanoush has a passion for environmental issues.

For editorial matters, email subscription@meda.org or call (800) 665-7026, ext. 705 Subscriptions: $30/year; $55/two years.

Postmaster: Send address changes to The Marketplace 1891 Santa Barbara Dr., Ste. 201 Lancaster, PA 17601-4106

Published by Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA), whose dual thrust is to encourage a Christian witness in business and to operate business-oriented programs of assistance to the poor. For more information about MEDA call 1-800-665-7026. Web site www.meda.org


Compost Winnipeg:


Towards resilience and sustainability

Keeping leftovers out of the landfill

Canadian Mennonite University’s Centre for Resilience helps organizations create change. By Mike Strathdee

Visit our online home at www.marketplacemagazine.org, where you can download past issues, read articles and discuss topics with others, all from your desktop or mobile device. Cover photo of Bruce Taylor by Kamil Ahmed


The Marketplace July August 2019

Soul Enterprise

Can we find secrets to modern day balance in ancient monastic practices? Award-winning author and journalist Judith Valente looks to values and practices laid out in The Rule of St. Benedict in the 6th century to find balance in her own life. The following is an excerpt from her book How to Live: What the Rule of St. Benedict Teaches Us About Happiness, Meaning and Community.


often say I suffer from two diseases: workaholism and over-achieverism. When I was in college, I took to heart the ancient Greek definition of success: the use of all one’s talents in the pursuit of excellence in a life affording scope. I decided that is what my professional life would be. I was like a champion sprinter in a constant race to claim my prize. And the prizes did come. They would feel good for a week, maybe two, then I was off again, glancing in the rearview mirror at my past successes as I sped toward the next achievement, the next big award. Friday nights would roll around and I wouldn’t have any plans for the weekend, because I was too busy during the week to make them. I often forgot to request time off at the holidays, and then it would be too late to get the time to visit my family. When I worked for the Washington Post, I often neglected to eat or get enough The Marketplace July August 2019

“Leisure — relaxation and rest — is necessary. I would go so far as to say leisure is holy.”


rest. At one point, I had to be hospitalized for malnutrition and acute anemia—a truly ridiculous state of affairs for an otherwise healthy twentysomething woman earning a good salary. In short, I had a job that included my life, not a life that included my job. In many ways, The Rule is a plea for balance. Monasteries in St. Benedict’s day had to be self-supporting, and still must be today. Those who live in them have to work and work hard. In previous eras, monasteries functioned as operating farms, growing the food they needed to nourish the community. Today, they earn income making a variety of items. The Trappist monks of New Melleray Abbey in Iowa carve caskets. The monks of The Abbey of Gethsemani make a rather famous bourbon-soaked fruit cake and varieties of fudge. The Benedictine sisters in Clyde, Missouri, sell handmade soaps, gourmet popcorn, and—believe it or not—gluten-free communion hosts. Americans work about 1,835 hours each year, which is more than they did forty years ago when there was far less automation. Yet only about nineteen percent take their full allotment of vacation time. Fear of losing a job, but also just plain workaholism might explain why.

From the beginning, St. Benedict refused to let work overwhelm. He wanted his communities to be productive. He didn’t want people working until they dropped or as if little else mattered.

of America’s most successful companies, Amazon. com. Amazon managers described a practice known as “Purposeful Darwinism.” It marks a way of weeding out employees who don’t work fast enough or don’t adapt quickly. Workers told of receiving calls from their bosses on Thanksgiving Day and Easter Sunday. “It’s as if you have the CEO of the company in bed with you at 3 a.m. breathing down your neck,” one Amazon engineer told the Times. Employees coined a term for this type of relentless work ethic. They call it being an “Amabot,” a human apparatus that aims to be as resilient and fleet as the mythological character for whom the company is named. Amazon’s chief executive, Jeff Bezos, said the practices employees described to the Times do not represent the company’s values. He called them “shockingly callous.” The Rule emphasizes that people aren’t interchangeable parts. The monastery, St. Benedict says, is to offer two kinds of food at meals, so the person who may not be able to eat one kind of food may partake of the other. Kitchen servers receive something extra to eat before they begin work so they won’t get hungry waiting on others and grow weary, or worse, begin “grumbling” about the job they have to do. ◆

Idleness is the enemy of the soul. Therefore the community should have specified periods for manual labor as well as for prayerful reading. — from Chapter 48, “The Daily Manual Labor”

This line from The Rule is often quoted: Idleness is the enemy of the soul. But it is easily misunderstood. I think of idleness as the mindless piddling away of time that leads to nothing. That’s not the same as leisure. Leisure — relaxation and rest — is necessary. I would go so far as to say leisure is holy. St. Benedict expends considerable time outlining the hours for work and rest. Kitchen servers and others who are assigned tasks can request help so that they may serve without distress. In a chapter called “Assignment of Impossible Tasks,” Benedict says if a task proves too difficult for someone, after giving it a good effort, the worker can ask to be reassigned. Should they see, however, that the weight of the burden is altogether too much for their strength, then they should choose appropriately the moment and explain patiently to the superior the reasons why they cannot perform the task.

How to Live by Judith Valente. Copyright © 2018 by Judith Valente. Used with permission from Hampton Roads Publishing Company. Judith Valente has written four spirituality books and two poetry collections. She is a former staff writer for The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post and former on-air correspondent for Religion & Ethics Newsweekly on national PBSTV. She gives frequent talks and guides retreats on the intersection of work and faith. Visit her at www.judithvalente.com.

— from Chapter 68, “Assignment of Impossible Tasks”

How many workers today would feel comfortable telling their bosses their job is too hard? Not many, I would venture. In 2015, the New York Times carried a lengthy story on one 5

The Marketplace July August 2019

Listening, learning and leading MEDA president reflects on her first six months on the job By Dorothy Nyambi Q: What are your first impressions giving leadership to MEDA? My first six months as MEDA’s president flew by in a whirlwind of activity. It has been a time of listening, learning and leading: familiarizing myself with the scope and purpose of our priority areas of work, visiting our supporters and partners in the field, and, most importantly, meeting the people and communities we serve. I have been fortunate to spend time meeting with board members, Waterloo office colleagues and supporters in Ontario, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Manitoba and Germany. It has been an amazing opportunity to understand MEDA’s history. History is important. It is also important that we do not get stuck in history. It should help shape the future and we should remember: what we do today — and the future we give MEDA — will become our history of tomorrow. MEDA has done a wealth of work using business solutions to alleviate poverty through granting, impact investment and technical assistance around the world. From humble beginnings in 1953, the story of the Sarona dairy farm in Paraguay that MEDA’s founders helped to support and where it is today, captures the sustainable development work we strive to achieve now. Time and experience have taught us how to be more efficient and to tailor our work. New economic developThe Marketplace July August 2019

ment innovations help us to achieve results in a shorter time span. MEDA’s approach and use of blended finance — combining grants and investments (equity and or debt) — with technical assistance has been effective in sustainably improving lives and creating meaningful employment in developing and emerging markets. Q: What are you hearing from supporters? It is always good to do more listening than talking. This approach has served me well. From the MEDA board of directors, I am hearing the need to position MEDA for clarity, focus and going to scale. Whether it is a long- time supporter or a young professional just getting acquainted with MEDA, people have consistently shared a vision for MEDA to expand our support base beyond the Mennonite community. We will do that while retaining the values we are founded on. MEDA has accomplished so much. How do we tell that story to serve as the foundation for moving forward? We have a wonderful opportunity with our new strategic planning process. This platform will allow us make the changes and adjustments required for MEDA to continue being relevant under steady and managed growth. Q: What have you learned so far? Ensuring we have a clear strate6

gic direction is crucial as we move forward in the international landscape. Our MEDA colleagues bring substantial expertise and talent to the organization. The value of our data and information, how we process it, share it as a global resource, and tell our story and our impact are key. Visiting, speaking with and listening to supporters in MEDA hubs throughout North America and in Germany has been rich and affirming. The commitment and dedication of MEDA supporters, in giving both time and money, is phenomenal. They care about the organization. Expanding our donor base is an important step in our future growth. We need to engage individuals and organizations who appreciate our values and are excited to partner with MEDA. Q: What do you see for this next phase of leading at MEDA? Leadership is something that we’re never done developing. I aim to lead by acknowledging that learning does not stop. Unlearning, where necessary, is equally important. Having a strong executive leadership team working together and an engaged board to support the efforts has been invaluable. To succeed, you must cultivate relationships with colleagues, and both mesh with and influence the culture. I have spent time on strategic assessment and reflection. While we continue to collect data, we have enough information to set goals and targets to move MEDA forward.

photo by Susie Cochran

MEDA president Dorothy Nyambi (right) with IDE Canada president Stu Taylor during a visit to Winnipeg. Nyambi hopes the two development agencies will find ways to work together.

Q: What comes next for MEDA? We need to determine the greatest needs in international development, what MEDA can bring to the table to address these, and with whom we should be partnering with to accomplish this. Partnerships are key to address issues of gender inequality and protection of the environment. With 65 years of proven results, MEDA is poised to tackle these issues head on. MEDA builds lasting impact through business opportunities and proven methods. Seeking new ways of delivering our expertise and creating even more impact will be key to help position MEDA for the next 50 to 100 years. It’s critical that MEDA

think and operate in innovative, progressive ways to continue to lead in this increasingly busy space. We must be nimble and responsive to the changing needs and opportunities in the world around us. Bill and Melinda Gates (whose Gates Foundation funds global development programs and provides support to MEDA projects) said it so well in their year-end letter — they wish they had thought 10 years out, 10 years ago! The speed of change in our society is accelerating. Evolution in many areas is measured in terms of weeks, no longer years. We must be prepared to operate in this accelerated mindset in innovation, partnerships 7

and collaboration. By collaborating with others within and outside of the Mennonite community, we will have greater capacity to build sustainable livelihoods for entrepreneurs around the world. No organization has all the answers. There is always room for improvement. It is OK to fail in some areas and not be shy to talk about it. While MEDA has continued to build on a solid track record of success, here are some of the areas in which we are excited to broaden our thinking and our practice: MEDA should focus our program work and be clear about who we are, guided by our vision, mission and values. Our strategic planning process will help us to clearly define what we offer, what our competitive advantage is, and how we can be most effective in our work. We can improve how we tell the story of our economic development work — literally changing entrepreneurs’ lives, lifting them out of poverty. Alongside the development aspect of our story, we must be clear about who we are as a faith-based organization. Our actions speak to our Christian faith roots and our Mennonite beginnings. As we examine our areas of specialization, we will look for ways to become more cutting edge and continue to be leaders in economic development. MEDA will also work to diversify our funding sources from private, government and other institutional donors. Melinda Gates’ book The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World is inspiring me. Meeting MEDA members and donors has provided moments of “lift” for me as a leader. As I look at my personal journey there are many moments of lift. MEDA’s work in international development puts us in a privileged position. With that responsibility in mind, we must continue to invest in smart solutions and the vital work of our partners in the field so they continue to have their moments of lift through our work. ◆ The Marketplace July August 2019

Why you should raise your kids to be plumbers By Calah Alexander


here’s a serious shortage of skilled labor now and it’s a threat to our kids’ futures. I’ve been telling my kids since they were old enough to know what college is that they will never, ever go there — not unless they get a full scholarship and manage to graduate with a degree in a lucrative field and zero student debt. Over my dead body will I see my children begin their adult lives saddled with enormous debt and facing dismal employment prospects, because that is no way to live your life. I know

The Marketplace July August 2019

this first-hand. I’ve often said that my goal is to raise a plumber, an electrician, a welder, a nurse, and a mechanic. Everyone laughs when I say this, responding with something like “then you’ll have all your bases covered!” And that’s true, but I’m not joking — and what will end up happening is that my kids will have all their bases covered. They’ll have steady employment in lucrative fields and be in possession of valuable, highly prized skills — something most college graduates are sorely lacking.


In fact, the shortage of skilled workers is becoming so acute that the wages are spiking. Meanwhile the price of an undergraduate degree is likewise spiking, but the value of that degree is in rapid freefall. NPR recently reported on how the overemphasis on 4-year degrees is negatively impacting our economy and setting up young adults for failure. While a shortage of workers is pushing wages higher in the skilled trades, the financial return from a bachelor’s degree is softening, even as the price — and the average iStock RawPixel debt into which it plunges students — keeps going up. But high school graduates have been so effectively encouraged to get a bachelor’s that high-paid jobs requiring shorter and less expensive training are going unfilled. This affects those students and also poses a real threat to the economy. “Parents want success for their kids,” said Mike Clifton, who teaches machining at the Lake Washington Institute of Technology, about 20 miles from

Seattle. “They get stuck on [four-year bachelor’s degrees], and they’re not seeing the shortage there is in tradespeople until they hire a plumber and have to write a check.” Sure, being a plumber isn’t as glamorous as entering the corporate world — but it’s likely to be more lucrative, less stressful, and far more rewarding. There’s something intrinsically valuable in fixing problems, and when the plumbing goes out, that’s a serious problem. A plumber can come in, fix that problem, collect a check the homeowner gratefully writes, and walk away knowing that they made someone’s life a little better that day. Contrast that with a corporate sales job, where you spend most of your day cold-calling clients to sell them a product or service they may (or may not) need. Are you helping people and solving problems? Maybe,

“There’s something intrinsically valuable in fixing problems, and when the plumbing goes out, that’s a serious problem.” but chances are you’re still going to have to work hard to talk them into cutting that check. And it’s unlikely you’ll walk away from a successful sale feeling confident that you’ve helped someone, because even if your product or service does help them, you won’t be around to see it. Add to that the fact that you’ll return home to a tiny apartment or, more likely, your childhood bedroom in your parent’s house because 80 percent of your paycheck will go to paying off your student loans for the

next several years, and suddenly that corporate job doesn’t look so glamorous after all — especially if you factor in job security. The truth is, a company can always find someone else to sell things. But a master plumber looking for an apprentice has a small pool of skilled workers to choose from — and that skill, like so many trades, is valuable. Our economy depends on the infrastructure that allows life to happen, and it’s the skilled workers who build and maintain that infrastructure. So yeah, I hope my kids grow up to be plumbers. It might not be glamorous, but it’s one of the most valuable careers they could have. ◆ This article originally appeared on the Aleteia. org website. https://aleteia.org/2018/06/20/ why-you-should-raise-your-kids-to-be-plumbers Reprinted with permission © Copyright 2018 Aleteia SAS all rights reserved

Faith and family business consolidation: Can farmers learn from the experience of religious congregations? By Bill Long


ne usually doesn’t think of the church as providing many lessons to production agriculture. But if we put our ear to the ground and realize some stark realities about American churches, we see that challenges they face, often unsuccessfully, in transmitting faith and a lively sense of community to the next generation are mirrored in the farm experience. Two stories from my personal knowledge illustrate the pressures on churches today. My niece is marrying a Methodist minister later this year. He serves not one, but four congregations. The largest of these has 25 worship attendees while the smallest has six. They are all within a 30 minute drive of each other. Might consolidation make sense? Yes. Do they want to consolidate?

No way! The comforts of memory, combined with the difficulty of imagining an alternative scenario, lead many congregations to prefer death to life. Then, on the other hand, in my community are a number of new church “start-ups.” They all seem to be called things like “Abundant Life” Church or “Relevant” Church or something similar. Stocked with young people who sing choruses unknown to those in the smaller congregations, these newer churches seem to be thriving. But one wonders if these have sprung up more out of weakness than strength, and whether they will soon face the issues of the four-point Methodist circuit.   The church in our day is, in many instances, not passing down 9

its legacy successfully to the next generation. Issues of community style, of memories attached to a place, of unwillingness to let go of power, of impatience with the pace of change—all of these are perhaps mirrored in the struggle of farm families as they pass down their legacy, and property, to the next generation. If there is one lesson the church teaches, it is that it is very difficult, but almost always worth it, to pass down the “faith.” Would the farming community say “Amen!” to that? ◆ Bill Long is an award-winning author, consultant for foundations and businesses (for profit and non-profit), biblical scholar and attorney. He lives in Oregon. This article originally appeared in the May 2019 issue of the Ag Progress Dispatch newsletter. To read more from Ag Progress, visit: https://www.agprogress.com/ ag-progress-dispatch-archive

The Marketplace July August 2019


Innovation to prevent and reduce waste Blockchain is either the next big thing or yet another over-promising technology whose practical applications have yet to be realized, depending on who you ask. Vancouver’s Plastic Bank says it has a way to boost recycling around the world, stop the flow of plastic into our oceans, and help people living in poverty to build better lives, using Blockchain. It does this by providing above market-rate payments for plastic waste, giving people an incentive to collect it. Plastic can be exchanged for money, items or Blockchain secured digital tokens. It hopes to gather one billion people together to monetize plastic waste and improve lives.

The Marketplace July August 2019

Plastic Bank estimates that the average person uses 185 pounds (84 kg) of plastic per year. They say it costs $44 a year to extract that amount of ocean-bound plastic, about 4,200 bottles worth, from the environment. ◆

Edible chopsticks

Ever feel bad about using disposable chopsticks at your favorite Thai, sushi or Chinese restaurant? More than 57 billion pairs of disposable wooden chopsticks are produced in China every year for export around the world. That much wood is like cutting down close to four million trees a year, a story in Fast Company magazine suggests.


Eleme, one of China’s biggest food delivery firms, has come up with a tasty way to fight deforestation and reduce waste without switching back to using a fork. The company has developed edible chopsticks made of wheat flour, icing sugar, milk power, butter and water. They produced over 10 million pairs within six months of introducing the product. Other innovations cited in the magazine’s World Changing ideas awards include an electric-powered intelligent chassis developed by a California company to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions emitted by buses, vans and trucks. ◆

Business for the benefit of companies here and people around the world Ontario firm teaches companies how to increase profits through wasting less


ruce Taylor’s decision to start his business came from realizing his regular job was getting in the way of volunteer work he felt led to do. Taylor is president of EnviroStewards, an award-winning consulting firm based in Elmira, ON. He started the company in September 2000 with two motivations – the ability for him and other staff to be able to take time off to volunteer, and “to be able to focus on prevention instead of cures.” After working for three other consulting firms, his faith led him to want to explore a new approach. “Consulting engineers make their money by curing problems, we don’t make very much money by preventing them,” he said. Engineers get large fees for cleaning up toxic waste sites, “but it’s much less expensive to design the system so you don’t lose the chemicals in the first place.” That philosophy has garnered Enviro-Stewards, which has 16 staff, numerous awards. Earlier this year, it was the only Canadian firm to win the Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Award for partnerships in support of the United Nations’ SDGs. Each Enviro-Stewards team member gets 20 hours of paid time to volunteer annually, and as much

Bruce Taylor visits with Jogo Regina, a biofilter owner in Kajo Keji County, South Sudan. Helping Africans get clean water is a passion for Taylor.

unpaid time off for the same purpose as they want. Projects have included participating in a Habitat for Humanity build day along with clients and suppliers, and accompanying Taylor on trips 11

to South Sudan or Uganda. Two of Enviro-Stewards’ clients, including an executive with the Tim Horton’s coffee chain, have been to Africa with him. Taylor’s African avocation grew out of “reverse culture shock” that he The Marketplace July August 2019

experienced after returning to Canada from an initial overseas volunteer stint. A later trip to South Sudan in 2004 to help build an orphanage resulted in him setting up a water filter there and set the stage for many other trips. Asked to return to help teach people how to build bio-sand filters, he began annual African trips. Realizing that a charity model limits acceptance of technology, he used a business model to make his work self-sustaining. After teaching 17 students, he hired the three most promising to start a business installing filters for $100. Those efforts have resulted in 1,488 filters being set up as of the end of 2018, mostly in South Sudan and Uganda. Each of those should serve 10 people and last up to 25 years, he said. “We’ve never received any money for this really. Some of our clients choose to get involved. Once you save them a whole bunch of money, some of them are willing to

give some of it back.” Taylor’s firm hosts an annual golf tournament to raise money for the water filter project. In addition to his annual 10-day overseas trips, he spends a couple of hours per week supporting those efforts from his Elmira office or speaking at conferences, colleges and schools. He calls Conrad Grebel University College his favorite place to speak, as it involves “zero presentation,” with environmentally-conscious students peppering him with questions for an hour and a half. Taylor has developed a game board to teach business principles and has used it in seminars both in Africa and Canada. Enviro-Stewards is a Living Wage employer, committed to paying all workers at least $16.15 an hour, which is considered the lowest wage necessary for a person to be able to provide himself/herself with food, clothing

and shelter in Waterloo Region. “The only folks it affects is the cleaner, entry level, some co-op students, but there is something to be said for everybody knowing that everybody is treated fairly. You don’t want people working two or three jobs, and you don’t want them thinking about the other job while they are working on your job, and how they are going to make ends meet.” Raised in a mainline church, Taylor had no spiritual involvement during his post-secondary studies until his final year, when he began to wonder why we are on the planet, and what life is all about. After a friend showed him a video about the resurrection of Christ, he began a two-year study of the Christian story and the meaning of life. “If you want to find out, you have to sort out who Jesus was.” He came to accept the Biblical story as true but didn’t want the

Elmira firm regularly honored by B Corp movement

Aqua Clara Kenya, a social enterprise that works to increase access to safe drinking water in Africa, for membership. Aqua Clara is now the first B Corp in Kenya, Taylor said. Enviro-Stewards has ranked in the top 10 per cent of each category B Corps are ranked on for each of the past several years. “It’s a really inspiring community.” That experience has not convinced him to join other business groups. When the Canadian Federation of Independent Business asked him to join, they told him one of their value propositions would be opposing increases to the minimum wage. His response: “I’m trying to promote a living wage, why would I pay you to advocate the opposite?” ◆

A reluctant joiner


ruce Taylor is so reluctant to join industry associations that he almost didn’t join one that has regularly honored the firm that he heads. When Taylor was speaking at a conference in 2011, a fellow speaker, Bob Willard of environmental firm Sustainability Advantage, suggested that Enviro-Stewards, Taylor’s firm, should apply to become a B Corp. B Corps are companies that have received a private certification for meeting standards related to accountability, social and environmental sustainability and being transparent to the public. The B-Corp website indicates that almost 2,800 firms in 64 countries, representing 150 different industries have receive B-Corp certification. Taylor was reluctant to spend the $500 membership fee, arguing that he could build five sand

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dams in Africa and provide clean drinking water for 50 people for the same expense. Willard paid the $500 fee, his Enviro-Stewards consulting firm received a “sugar baby” award, and the sponsor got a “sugar daddy” trophy. Once in the door, Taylor was convinced of the value of being part of the B-Corp community. Last year, he sponsored


commitment of becoming a Christian. Eventually, he came to be convicted that his career was an idol and began to trust God, putting following God ahead of following his career. The turning point was when he felt God telling him to confess to taking some office supplies from his employer, something that he had done years earlier as a co-op student. “That little thing was much harder than going to South Sudan during the civil war or taking a leave of absence for a year.” One of his firm’s consulting jobs was for a BC winery that was using most of the town’s water capacity. Enviro-Stewards helped that firm reduce their water use by half and cut the amount of wine lost in the production process by two-thirds. Pointing out that Jesus turned water into wine, Taylor has no difficulty justifying his work with wineries. He would draw the line at

Bruce Taylor favors a business approach to providing safe water.

hard liquor manufacturers or military firms and admits that he is having “a bit of heartburn about cannabis.” One of its most prominent recur-

ring clients, Maple Leaf Foods, has engaged EnviroStewards to do utility audits of 35 of its plants to help them reach their goal of reducing their water, energy, greenhouse gas, and waste footprint by 50% by the year 2025. That work has already resulted in $2 million in annual savings for Canada’s largest food processor. Another project Enviro-Stewards is working on through a grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation is doing food loss and waste-prevention assessments at 50 food and beverage processors across Canada. The assessments completed by Enviro-Stewards under the program to date are averaging $350,000 annually of savings with a payback of nine months. Asked about future business goals, Taylor’s thoughts turn naturally to his international efforts. He’d like EnviroStewards to be able to hire a volunteer and mentoring co-ordinator, focusing on international water work. ◆

Reaping rewards from greater environmental efficiency can be a challenge for the consultant


elping companies reduce waste and energy use is often more profitable for the client than it is for the consulting firm helping them achieve those savings, Bruce Taylor admits. Taylor’s company, Enviro-Stewards, switched its business model 10 years ago to receive a service fee plus a payout equal to part of the savings it achieves for customers. The average payback on most of its recommendations is less than one year. That approach sounds easier in theory than it is in practice. “There’s no problem up front, but it’s afterwards when you try to collect the money (that challenges arise),” he said. Working directly with owners has often been easier than corporations, he said. “By the time you are talking about getting paid, they

already have everything they need.” In one case, an Alberta client told Taylor that he wouldn’t honor a contract signed by his brother, who was no longer president of the firm Enviro-Stewards had helped. In another, a Campbell’s Soup facility won an award for its energy savings after implementing EnviroStewards’ recommendations, then closed the plant and moved the production to the US. Enviro-Stewards has never taken legal action to recover what it is owed. “Most of the time we just negotiate something less. You’re not going to get a good referral by suing people,” he said. Taylor has resolved the issue by charging more up front for EnviroStewards’ work and guaranteeing the annual savings. “It’s a good way to differentiate ourselves, since there is no other consultant that would do that.”


Engineering change is the company’s tagline. Engineering is the easy part, changing cultures is the difficult part, he said. “Really, ours is a trust-based business. You have to look at this guy and say — I trust him to make changes in our factory.” Many jobs come after people hear Taylor speak at a public event. “What we are selling, people have never bought before, really. So, they don’t really know it’s available to them.” He is now looking further afield to make the business case for efficiency. The Government of Ontario has eliminated energy conservation incentives for businesses in the province, which had been Enviro-Stewards’ largest market. In response, Enviro-Stewards is doing more jobs across Canada, and bidding on work in Mexico and the United States. ◆

The Marketplace July August 2019

Clean technology ambassadors are changing Jordanian communities By Dara Al-Masri


he last time Ahmad Nahnoush visited a family’s house to check their new electricity bill, he noted a reduction of 25 Jordanian dinar (about $35 USD) from the previous month’s bill and felt a sense of accomplishment. The 27-year-old geology engineer is one of 108 ambassadors working with Future Pioneers — a Jordan-based non-profit organization specializing in community empowerment — to raise awareness about the use of clean technologies in the Jordan Valley area. He has always been interested in

environmental issues, including ways of decreasing the human impact on the environment and reducing waste. “I have so many ideas for recycling or reusing waste, but I did not find an organization or fund that can support me to implement,” he said. One of his ideas is to reduce plastic waste by collecting plastic waste and turning it into floor tiles that are lightweight, easy to install and environmentally friendly. Being a science teacher, Nahnoush enjoys sharing his ideas with students and raising awareness about photos by Dara Al-Masri

Ahmad Nahnoush enjoys raising awareness about clean technologies among his community. The Marketplace July August 2019


environmentally friendly practices and initiatives. This is one of the reasons why he joined Future Pioneers as a community mobiliser and ambassador for clean technologies. Future Pioneers is one of the partners that work with MEDA’s Jordan Valley Links (JVL) project which aims to build the capacity of women and youth to become clean technology entrepreneurs. The project, funded by Global Affairs Canada, is implemented through partnerships with several groups, including community-based organizations (CBOs) such as “Min Ajliki Ya Biladi”, which means “For You My Country.” Run by 24-year-old Waed Al Blaylat, it is one of many working in different areas of the Jordan Valley. Nahnoush works as part of Al Blaylat’s organization to raise awareness in South Shouneh, an area in northwest Jordan. The overall campaign brings together community influencers. It trains them to promote the adoption of clean technologies (such as solar/photo-voltaic systems, energy-efficient air conditioners, etc.) within their communities. It also raises awareness on topics such as environmental sustainability, including ways to reduce resource consumption and decrease their impact on the environment. “It is so easy to use renewable resources in our area, but people are not aware of the low costs and how much they could reduce the impact on the environment by adopting

Waed Al Blaylat and her 15 volunteers have reached 2,000 families with information about clean technologies.

these practices,” Nahnoush said. The Jordan Valley area is the lowest point on earth. Jordan is characterized by long, hot, dry summers and short, cool winters. Solar water heaters are one of the most-used sources of renewable energy throughout the year in Jordan. The challenge communities face in adopting these heaters is their limited incomes and the high costs of the product — around 500 JOD ($705 US). This is where JVL’s project, the community-based organization and Nahnoush’s role comes in; helping communities adopt solar water heaters and PV systems while supporting them in finding ways to finance these technologies. Al Blaylat worked relentlessly to gain

her community’s trust and support and to find inspiring and passionate ambassadors to raise awareness about clean technologies within the community. With 15 volunteers, her target was to reach 900 families in the area. “It was difficult to gain the community’s support since I am a young woman running the CBO and having them understand the aims behind the organization.” Still, she exceeded her target and reached 2,000 families. Through the volunteers, the families learned ways of saving energy, understood the benefits of using solar power, and found a difference in their electricity bills after installing the solar system and using energy efficiently at home. “Families were 15

reluctant to pay JOD 500, but I told them that there are ways to borrow the money with low interest rates and was able to link them with organizations that could support them,” Nahnoush said. To help these families find sources of income, the JVL project is also introducing savings and loans groups, which will help families save money as a community and use the money later for a project, item or service they want to buy. Nahnoush continues to raise awareness about clean technologies within his community, something he enjoys and loves to do on the side. He hopes to eventually implement one of the many ideas he has for clean technologies. ◆ The Marketplace July August 2019

Turning greens into garden gold Compost Winnipeg sees business opportunity in organic waste.


innipeg residents could make much better use of their leftovers, Kelly Kuryk thinks. Unlike many Canadian communities that put their kitchen scraps into green bins, people who live in Winnipeg send most of their organic waste to the dump with garbage. At the same time, much of the compost sold to gardeners in Manitoba’s capital is imported from British Columbia, Quebec and the US. That’s a situation Kuryk, project

nipeg’s first recycling depots in the 1980s, collecting cardboard, pop cans and other high-value recyclables, prior to the advent of curbside pickup. Kuryk joined the centre in 2014, when it had been looking at starting a social enterprise to further its mission and develop a new funding source. She was considering starting a small business collecting compost. The centre hired her to do a feasibility study. Her environmental science background included consulting for Photos by John Longhurst the federal government, doing green building assessments, volunteering with CUSO in Chile, teaching about gardening and composting. After completing a Master’s in Education, and having children, she wanted to start a small business. “I just wanted to grow something and have an impact.” Results of the study were encouraging. “It looked pretty good at the time.” She quickly realized the venture needed equipment and a lot of capital to get going. “The first year, we weren’t sure we were going to be able to make a go of it. We were trying to do everything, with little to no budget.” Kuryk started a boutique service for offices but found she couldn’t get critical mass to expand in that market. When a competitor went Compost courier Tyrell Benton and Compost Winnipeg project manager Kelly Kuryk with bins and machinery out of business, Compost WinThe Marketplace July August 2019

manager for Compost Winnipeg, would like to change. “We’re missing a huge part of the equation,” she says. “All of the resources that just go into the landfill every day. It’s pretty heartbreaking.” Compost Winnipeg was launched on Earth Day (April 22) 2016, after developing a business plan and consultations with clients. This lean start-up grew out of Winnipeg’s Green Action Centre (GAC). Originally the Recycling Council of Manitoba, the GAC pioneered Win-


nipeg took over their clients, including some larger commercial firms. Next, Compost Winnipeg tested people’s appetite for curbside residential pickup. A day after a CBC Radio story about them, they had 100 clients signed up. “We couldn’t run all over the city picking up everywhere, so we focused on a few neighborhoods that were denser (with at least 15 clients).” Fairly quickly they had a few hundred inquiries, but couldn’t service them all due to capacity. She added a co-worker, rented a truck and continued to expand. Compost Winnipeg now has eight staff, with plans to hire several more. Its pickup fleet consists of three trucks and an electric bicycle with a cargo trailer that can be used about six months a year. Kuryk is pleased Compost Winnipeg passed one million pounds of collected organic waste earlier this year and is now basically breaking even. Their busiest day is Tuesday, when they do pickups at 140 residential and commercial sites, gathering 5,511 pounds (2.5 tonnes) of organic waste. “The people that are signing up with us are on the forefront of wanting to reduce their waste,” she said. Residential customers pay $25 a month, get a five-gallon bucket to leave by their front door, and empty their waste into compostable bags that line the bucket. After collecting biomass, staff put the material in the largest truck and drop it off at a commercial compost site. Currently they must pay the compost site to accept the material. Given that most of the compost sold at garden centres is imported, Kuryk thinks there is a business opportunity in processing and selling cured compost. Getting there isn’t as simple as building a pile and letting it rot. “You can’t just start dumping compost in a field and start a compost site.” Compost Winnipeg plans to develop a state-of-the-art, commercial pilot composting site on the Cana-

Kelly Kuryk

dian Mennonite University (CMU) campus and join CMU’s Centre for Resilience incubator. Discussions for the $300,000 project started in early 2018. Between a third and half the needed funds have been committed. “We want it to be something that fits into the site, which is fairly urban, and is a place that people can visit,” Kuryk said. James Magnus-Johnston, who heads up CMU’s Centre for Resilience (see story, pg. 18), is confident the effort will proceed. “This is a highly well-regarded project,’’ he said. Compost Winnipeg is an ideal fit with the Centre for Resilience’s focus on social and ecological resilience, supporting businesses and practices that are restorative, he said. “There are few ways that present as straightforward a model as composting,” making soil out of waste, he said. He believes the project has business, educational and stewardship value, including reducing CMU’s waste. Kuryk hopes university students, researchers and other school groups will be able to visit the “in vessel” composting site. Backyard composting is usually cold composting. Unless people have a large amount of material, the pile will not generate the heat required to keep it active year-round. 17

Commercial sites can keep working in the coldest weather if the volumes, moisture and ingredient mix are done right. A healthy commercial site will reach over 131 degrees Fahrenheit (55 degrees Celsius), pasteurize the material and kill any pathogens, she said. “The microbes breaking down the material generate heat.” There are several types of commercial composting systems. The in-vessel system planned for CMU rotates, driven by an electric motor. The system insulates and rotates the compost, allowing for control of moisture and smells. After three to seven days of processing, the compost can be moved to bins. “The longer you can cure it, the better. Ideally, you produce it and let it sit one next year and sell it the next year.” Compost Winnipeg will move its operations into the Centre for Resilience once the pilot starts. The project will include a 40 by 100-foot building plus adjacent space for compost curing pads. Solar panels on the building roof will generate power for the project, with support from Bullfrog Power, a Canadian green energy retailer. Even once the CMU pilot site is up and running, some of the material Compost Winnipeg collects will still have to be sent to another site. Some commercial pickups are contaminated with garbage, recycling and coffee cups. “The larger the number of people there are, the more complicated it gets.” Launch of the pilot may be another year away. More staff time is needed to speed up fundraising and development of a business plan for selling the finished product. The pilot will create jobs, raise public awareness and provide a new revenue source for Compost Winnipeg. “Create a new job, help someone start a garden, it all sounds perfect to me.” “I think there is an appetite (for a broader program for compost pickup),” she said. “People are showing us that by paying us.” ◆ The Marketplace July August 2019

Business with a purpose at Canadian Mennonite University Campus-based co-working space supports social entrepreneurs Winnipeg — James Magnus-Johnston has had a close-up view of many of the things that can go wrong in business. Now as the director of Canadian Mennonite University’s Centre for Resilience, he gets to mentor and nurture emerging social enterprises for the benefit of the broader community. “The centre is really trying to incubate nascent projects that have impact,” he said. “The challenge is being really intentional with what we’re hosting, and how those opportunities also present learning opportunities for students.” The coworking lab and experiential learning hub, which opened in spring 2018, occupies 6,000 square feet on the fourth floor of the Founder’s Hall building on the CMU campus. It houses a range of businesses and non-profit organizations. Tenants are called entrepreneurs in residence. Occupancy is done on a month to month basis, allowing flexibility for both the centre and the entrepreneurs. “I know how quickly cash flow can ebb and wane.” Earlier this decade, MagnusJohnston, 37, was working in business restructuring, articling to become a trustee in bankruptcy. During his financial counseling and work with cash flow, he realized he wanted to apply those skills in his own business. The Marketplace July August 2019

Five years ago, as he began teaching at CMU, he joined with four partners to start Fools & Horses, a Winnipeg coffee shop that takes a triple-bottom-line approach to benefiting people and planet as well as profit. Working across the street from where the first location opened, he wondered: “Wouldn’t it be nice to have an independent gathering spot in this neighborhood?” Wanting to test a business model that aligned with his values, he discovered a project that was “a whole other Ph.D. (degree) for me.”

“These are all people who are taking risks to improve society in some way.” He has also been involved with several other start-ups. Fools & Horses was committed to paying its employees a living wage (which was about $14 an hour in Winnipeg in 2014 when the business opened), even when the owners couldn’t pay themselves. They also committed to using local suppliers and limiting or eliminating waste as much as possible. Magnus-Johnston exited that business in January due to work and study commitments. Fools & Horses 18

now has two locations, and could soon have three or four, he said. Two of the original founders are still involved in the company. Finding a balance between local suppliers and customers who expect things like avocado toast was challenging, he said. The coffee shop needed to push the edges to discover if “folks who have concerns about equality and the environment, whether or not they are willing to pay for those values.” Commitment to the environment is a core value at the centre. Part of the renovation project prior to its opening included super-insulating the ceiling and installing triple-pane windows to increase the energy efficiency of the entire building, while maintaining its heritage designation. Much of the centre’s office furniture was made in Manitoba, and wood from reclaimed ash trees was used in doorframes. The site lends itself to quiet reflection and contemplation, and some residents enjoy taking breaks walking in the woods adjacent to the building. The mixture of old and new allows Magnus-Johnston to quip that residents enjoy “contemporary office space, at the top of a castle, next to a forest.” Susan Kuz is a positive psychology consultant who is one of the residents at the centre. Her firm, Being Pukka, moved into the space in June

James Magnus-Johnston pic by Kristen Sawatzky

2018. She investigated tal charity; a magaseveral other co-op zine that focuses on working spaces in Winamateur sports in the nipeg, but found they province, and others. “didn’t have the same A future entreprevibe, sense of relationneur-in-residence is ship and community.” working on a plan to proKuz is impressed vide housing for former both by the healthy gang members, using environment the centre shipping containers. offers, and the types of Many of these organizations Magnusentrepreneurs, “soloJohnston has attracted preneurs” who work to the space. “There’s a alone, are doing cutting lot that appealed to me. edge work that doesn’t Everyone is so friendly, fit within the norms of helpful and respectful of their industries, Mageach other.” nus-Johnston said. Entrepreneurs con“These are all nected with the Centre people who are taking for Resilience have risks to improve society found it through a vain some way.” riety of circumstances. Magnus-Johnston Some live near the has designed a Social campus, are connected Innovation Lab course to area Mennonite in which students test churches, are current ideas on behalf of the or former members of entrepreneurs who are the CMU community or resident in the centre. That effort focuses on know Magnus-Johnston, design thinking, prowho is Anglican. cess-oriented outcomes “Since it’s based at and finding a safe space CMU, it must fit CMU’s to try new things. orientation and misJames Magnus-Johnston believes in social enterprises as a means Success for the sion,” while being welto improve society. centre will appear in coming to people who many ways, he said. “If we’re nurturaren’t motivated by a faith orientaate in Winnipeg’s downtown core, ing nimble, adaptable but grounded tion, he said. he said. “We’re not trying to become students, that will be successful from About half of the entrepreneurs a loud incubator. We’re trying to bean institutional perspective. Also, on at the centre have an explicit connec- come a quiet, high-focused, librarytion to a faith community, he said. like environment that enables people the other side, having some kind of impact.’’ Working at determining “who it to get work done.” He will take a two-year leave is that wants to be here, and why” Entrepreneurs in residence at the from CMU starting this fall to work is an ongoing discernment piece for centre include a wide range of social on doctoral studies in Montreal in Magnus-Johnston. enterprises. the area of economics for the AnthroThere are about 20 people repreThey include: an architect pocene (a proposed era dating from senting 21 different social enterprises working towards his accreditation the commencement of significant currently working out of the centre. who is interested in social imhuman impact on the Earth’s geology Another eight are interested in joinpact; two lawyers who specialize and ecosystems). ing, either when they are ready or in workplace-related harassment During those studies, he will when space is available. claims; a firm that works to reduce maintain a part-time connection with The Centre for Resilience consumption of chemicals through the centre, providing leadership from shouldn’t be thought of in the same the use of eco-friendly technologies; a distance while day-to-day issues way as co-working space providers an entrepreneur who does workare handled by a co-ordinator who such as We Work, or a half dozen place coaching; the Manitoba arm other business incubators that operof A Rocha, a national environmen- will be hired soon. ◆ 19

The Marketplace July August 2019


What do they say on Friday night? By Wally Kroeker The Culture Question: How To Create A Workplace Where People Like To Work by Randy Grieser, Eric Stutzman, Wendy Loewen and Michael Labun (ACHIEVE, 2019, 227 pp., $26.95 Cdn.)


f you could eavesdrop on your employees on Friday after work, what would you hear? “TGIF” (Thank God It’s Friday)? “I hate my job”? These might be signs of an anemic workplace culture. But don’t despair; there’s hope. The four authors of this book believe you can transform your company into a workplace where people like their work, like each other, and are more engaged in the organization’s mission. All four work for ACHIEVE, which aims to help employers “create great workplaces.” What do they mean by “culture”? Not perks like a complimentary cafeteria food or free massages. Culture involves “values, mission statements, leadership styles, and expectations for how employees treat customers, clients, and each other.” It is a company’s personality, “as distinct as a fingerprint.” They see it as “the most significant factor that influences happiness, work relationships, and job satisfaction.” Companies with ailing corporate cultures seldom thrive, the authors say. Among other things, they suffer hidden costs from high turnover and sluggish productivity. Organizations that don’t create healthy cultures “will eventually be replaced by those that do.” The authors examine six healthgiving priorities, backed by surveys of more than 2,400 people on what makes (or breaks) a great workplace. 1. Purpose and values — The Marketplace July August 2019

Workplace culture is “the most significant factor that influences happiness, work relationships, and job satisfaction.” Almost all people who liked their work (98 per cent) said their organization had a meaningful purpose. Do your staff know not only what you do, but why? Does your corporate mission statement convey real purpose, or just promotional puff? How, for example, does your organization seek to make the world a better place? 2. Meaningful work — This is ground zero of employee engagement. Most surveyed people who liked their work (93 per cent) also said they found it challenging in a positive way. They felt more motivated when daily work aligned with 20

their interests and abilities. 3. Leaders who care — Empowering, accountable leaders set the tone for everyone else. Of people who liked their work, 82 per cent said their supervisor cared about them. 4. Build relationships — Many employees spend more waking hours at work than at home; camaraderie can pay off with increased productivity. Practical tips help leaders navigate minefields like cliques and office romances. 5. Peak teams — Teamwork does not “just happen,” it is “deliberate and methodical.” Greater diversity, even the presence of disruptive voices, can bolster innovation and output. “The best employees want to work with others in organizations that get things done.” Almost all surveyed employees who liked their workplace (93 per cent) also liked their coworkers. 6. Manage conflict — Conflict is bad, right? Not if it is handled well. “In fact, managing conflict effectively usually strengthens relationships,” the authors claim. Doing it poorly sours the climate, wastes time and erodes work quality. Notably, most of those (82 per cent) who didn’t like their jobs said their leaders resolved conflict poorly. The authors conclude with a framework for culture change. “Healthy cultures are durable cultures,” they say. “No matter what industry you are in, having a healthy workplace culture is truly one of the best competitive advantages.” If you want to run a great workplace, get this book. ◆ Wally Kroeker is the author of several books dealing with the connection between faith and work. He edited The Marketplace magazine for 35 years until his retirement in 2017.

Improving efficiency and saving energy at a Ukrainian farm By Mujtaba Ali


EDA is working to increase the income of 44,000 farmers in four areas of Ukraine. Its Ukraine Horticulture Business Development Project (UHBDP) is a $14.1 million US project funded by Global Affairs Canada. The project targets the development of the horticulture sector, improving the wellbeing of farmers and small and medium-sized horticulture businesses. The UHBDP project is proving how environmental sustainability can be integrated to increase the productivity of the Ukrainian horticulture sector through education, access to reliable information, access to technology and smart incentives. The mixture of Soviet-era and European-inspired infrastructure in Odessa and surrounding areas are mesmerizing and the people there

are extremely friendly. A highlight of a recent visit by staff from MEDA’s Waterloo office was the trip to a table grape farm on the coast overlooking the Black Sea. The farm is in a beautiful location next to pristine water and a bustling summer tourist town. The farm’s owner, Tetyana Smaglyuchenko, received a small grant from UHBDP. The purpose of this grant was to encourage the adoption of time and labor-saving technologies which increases efficiency and volume of crops. She will be using the grant to purchase a chilling and storage chamber for her grapes so they don’t spoil too quickly. She has also chosen to be a leader in the community by growing her crops sustainably. Her farm is powered by solar

panels, and the operation to water her crops requires no power but rather relies on gravity to do the work for her. She also has planted fast-growing Paulownia trees to reduce winds coming from the sea and damaging her crops. She has added a voice box to scare away birds pecking at her crops, limiting the use of chemicals on the plants. Recently, she purchased a neighboring field and is now in the process of growing organic grapes there as well. Ukraine is truly a spectacular country. The dedicated and friendly people invigorate MEDA staff to continue working to improve the lives of those less fortunate than us. ◆ Mujtaba Ali is an Environment & Climate Change Intern at MEDA’s Waterloo, Ontario office

MEDA staff visit a MEDA client at her table grape farm near Odessa, Ukraine, next to the Black Sea. From left to right: Mujtaba Ali, Dmytro Kravtsov, farm owner Tetyana Smaglyuchenko and Alexandra Harmash. 21

The Marketplace July August 2019

Ritzy treatment


he guest at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta had committed a major “oops.” When he left his hotel room to catch a flight to Hawaii, he forgot his laptop in his room. He desperately needed it for an important speech he was giving at an international conference in Honolulu the next afternoon. Lucky for him, Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company cofounder Horst Schulze had earlier established a policy empowering every employee to spend up to $2,000 to make sure a guest is

The Marketplace July August 2019

happy. His peers in the hotel business were shocked, but Schulze meant it. Mary, the housekeeper, located the laptop, but didn’t trust an overnight courier to get it to the patron in time for his speech, so she boarded the next plane and delivered it in person. Did Mary take advantage of the opportunity to tack on a quick vacation? No. She flew back to Atlanta on the next flight. When she arrived, there was something awaiting her from her boss. It was a letter of commenda-


tion from Horst Schulze himself. — Wally Kroeker Adapted from Excellence Wins: A NoNonsense Guide to Becoming the Best in a World of Compromise by Horst Schulze (Zondervan, 2019)

ber, #5 Lloyd Fischer (staff, later became MEDA’s first fulltime executive director) #7 C.A. DeFehr, #8 C.C Schroch, #9 Henry Pankratz, #10 Erie Sauder, #16 Maynard Sauder, #17 Ed J. Peters, #18 E.G. Snyder, #19 Ivan Martin, #21 Lyle Yost, #22 Ed Kipfer, #23 Frank Ulrich, #24 Howard Yoder, #26 Ray Sauder, #28 Don Liechty, #29 J. Winfeld Fretz, and #30 one of the sons of Orie O. Miller. If you can name any of the others in this photo, please e-mail your answer, and where they are sitting, to mstrathdee@meda.org

Ohio MEDA supporter Frank Ulrich sent along the photo above. It shows a meeting of the MEDA board and supporters, around 1959, in the Atlantic Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. Ulrich wonders if any Marketplace readers can fill in the gaps of names. A copy of the picture he provided lists the people in four rows, front to back beginning on the left, 1-8, 9-16, 17-22, 23 -30, Bill Snyder at the back between the second and third rows is number 31. Other names identified by Ulrich and former board member Tom Jutzi are: #1 Kenneth Longacre, #3 Levi We23

The Marketplace July August 2019

The Marketplace July August 2019


Profile for The Marketplace magazine

The Marketplace Where Christian faith gets down to business July-August 2019 Vol. 49, Issue 4