From the CFK Board Chairman, Chris Forbes, the CEO of Knovel. Thanks to Chris and all the great employees at Knovel, CFK was able to provide a special surprise this holiday season for the families in need at P.S. 160 in Jamaica, Queens.
Crowds are not new to Manhattan, yet getting to Knovel’s New York City office during this busy holiday season is a bit more challenging than usual. You have to maneuver your way through throngs of people who are shopping, gawking at festively decorated windows, and milling around Rockefeller Center to see the tree and ice skaters. It’s a season of giving and receiving in a year that has challenged many.
In this context, I reflect upon what I’ve accomplished personally and professionally as one year ends and another begins. From a business perspective, Knovel has had a strong year measured by 90%+ subscription renewals, new customers, team growth, on-time product development and good employee morale in a tough year. Our planning for 2010 is in high gear, and the bar is high. So my time has lately been dominated by budget negotiations, sales projections and product planning meetings. In this swirl of activity, it was important for me not to loose sight of the value of spending quality time with family and giving back to the community.
I’ve been involved with Change for Kids for many years and currently serve as the Chairman of the Board. It’s been a rewarding experience. We partner with New York City public schools to bring underprivileged children enrichment programs, such as literacy, arts, music, and fitness, that engage them in a way that their proficiency in core programs (e.g., math and reading) sees measurable improvement. Over 85% of the families that send their children to the schools we support live below the “poverty line,” so they would not have access to these programs without Change for Kids (CFK). Through the 14 years of our existence, we have seen many lives changed for the better. Take a look at this video, and you’ll get a sense for what we do.
As you consider your personal and professional goals for 2010, I encourage you to support a charity or cause you are passionate about. Volunteer your time, donate toys, books, or clothes. Raise awareness about an organization or issue. The possibilities are endless. Cash donations, while always welcome, are increasingly difficult for people to make. Don’t underestimate the value your of enthusiasm, time, talent and insight.
Every holiday season the Vice-Principal of P.S. 160, a 90% poverty-rate school situation in Jamaica, Queens makes an effort to provide something special for her most-needy students and their families. This year Knovel employees sponsored 10 families from P.S.160 donating children’s clothes, toys and books. Here’s Mike Quinzio, our program director, delivering gifts last week.
We’ll keep you posted on all of our community activities throughout the year.
In the meantime, if you are interested in Change for Kids, you might consider reading to our children, helping out in our offices, or taking part in one of many other activities – check out these volunteer opportunities.
Happy New Year!