“Family is important to me.”
This is hard to do. I am supposed to
tell you about myself, but it is bad form
to use “I”, but I will do my best. 😁
Because I saw the hard work of so many parents and volunteers serving our children, I realized I needed to help. As a 25 year resident of Oak Ridge, most of my activity has been associated with either operating Pure Desire Coffee Shop, where Bistro 150 is now, or raising children. I never did much for the community, but now I want to help.
Two things have concerned me enough to feel the need to get involved. The first is my role in ORYA. The youth of Oak Ridge are not being treated fairly. The park, for example, was built at a time when there was less than 1/2 the youth population of today, yet some on the town council seem reluctant to expand services for this growing population. The council voted to limit park “active recreation areas” to 20% (2 councilpersons wanted 15%). Oak Ridge needs more active recreational areas for our youth and young at heart. To just meet the needs of ORYA we need 2 more multi-purpose fields and 4 practice fields. We also need things like basketball courts, water splash areas, tennis courts, volleyball courts, exercise areas, etc. OAK RIDGE IS AN ACTIVE FAMILY COMMUNITY!!
Secondly, many of my fellow citizens are concerned about rezoning, especially when the council overrules its own Zoning committee’s decisions to deny applications. We need to take a solid look at what we want Oak Ridge to “feel” like. We came here because of a lifestyle provided by Oak Ridge. Comments like, ‘We have to provide certain types of structures’, is not true. We can keep Oak Ridge as we want it.
But, the most important reason is my desire to take my experience and help serve my community. Oak Ridge needs professionalism and wisdom as it charts its course into the next level of growth: A FAMILY COMMUNITY OF THE FUTURE.
As to my experience…
My experience through business spans over 30 years. As a dedicated entrepreneur, I have founded seven companies. It has been said, “If you have never made a payroll then how can you lead a city?” I have hired over a thousand employees and never missed a payroll. Charting courses and building organizations is where my business career has taken me.
As a leader, I co-founded the International Digital Association, which became the largest graphic arts association of its day. Building relationships and setting standards developed my sense of working together for a common good.
Finally, it was my experiences in business that brought me to my real love, serving people. My wife Gina’s example as a full-time teacher and mother seemed so much more rewarding than my quest to build organizations. Through my faith and her example, I found that serving people, not just money, was infinitely more rewarding.
Gina and I founded Servant’s Heart, a company that provides services to adults with disabilities. With a day center and six group homes, we serve those people who face challenges every day. As a board member of the Oak Ridge Youth Association (ORYA) I get to serve your children, and through that service see the need to become a voice for family concerns.
Meet the Team…
We are just getting started, why not join us? Just select the tab “get involved” and let us know who you are and how you want to help.
Please consider helping Van as he looks to bring Family desires to Oak Ridge town council. Contact him and let him know you stand with him.