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University of La Verne’s Community-Minded Business Group a Tough Act to Follow … by Larry Stewart

May 1, 2013
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Sowing Seeds for Life CEO Vicki Brown, left, and University of La Verne President Dr. Devorah Lieberman have enacted many outstanding programs to benefit the community.

Sowing Seeds for Life CEO Vicki Brown, left, and University of La Verne President Dr. Devorah Lieberman have enacted many outstanding programs to benefit the community.

The University of La Verne’s ENACTUS team of outstanding business students, headed for the national championships in Kansas City following their recent regional win in Orange County, was honored at a special ceremony in the Campus Center Ballroom Tuesday, along with a number of community leaders affiliated with the group.

The national competition will be held May 21-23 at the Kansas City Convention Center, with the winner there advancing to the ENACTUS World Cup that will involve students from 38 other countries.

La Verne’s regional victory was its fifth straight and sixth in the seven years the competition has been held. Winners are based on their presentations that show community involvement and what they are doing to make the world a better place.

ENACTUS, which stands for Entrepreneurial Action US, was formerly known as SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise). The name was changed last Sept. 30. The new name, it is believed, emphasizes the commitment to “using entrepreneurial action as a catalyst for progress.”

Although La Verne’s ENACTUS members emphasize they are a team, one individual singled out Tuesday for a special award was MBA student Sajaad Shah. Getting individual awards from the students were their advisors, Dr. Issam Ghazzawi, associate professors of business management, and Kevin Marshall, professor of law and economics.

Among the community leaders honored were Vicki Brown, CEO and founder of the Sowing Seeds for Life food pantry, Clive Houston-Brown of the Pomona Rotary and La Verne Mayor Don Kendrick, who was unable to attend the ceremony.

The ENACTUS motto is “Changing Lives One Life at a Time,” and the La Verne group does that in many ways. The fight against hunger is one of its main objectives. The group has teamed with Campbell Soup in its “Let’s Can Hunger,” drive and has been involved with Sowing Seeds for Life (SSFL) in a variety of ways.

One way is that a group of ENACTUS students conduct a career preparation workshop at the twice-a-month SSFL food pantries held in the parking lot at DPI Labs, 1350 Arrow Highway. The students assists the people with such things as creating resumes and searching for jobs and even prepare them for job interviews.

Brown, who is also the president and CEO of DPI Labs, an aerospace manufacturing company, said, “I can’t put into words just how tremendous these young people have been in helping us help the needy. We serve 6,000 people per month, and the ENACTUS students deserve a lot of credit in enabling us to do what we do.”

After Tuesday’s ceremony, Brown expressed her appreciation to Dr. Ghazzawi and University President Dr. Devorah Lieberman, who was among those in attendance.

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Sowing Seeds for Life, which provides food, clothing and services free of charge to some 6,000 people per month in the East San Gabriel Valley, will hold its annual Cinco de Mayo event Wednesday from 3-5 p.m. in the parking lot at DPI Labs, 1350 Arrow Highway in La Verne.

Besides being one of Sowing Seeds for Life’s regularly scheduled pantries that takes place the first and third Wednesday of every month, there will be a piñata filled with goodies at this one. And there will be other activities for children, including assistance in making special gifts Mother’s Day gifts.

Sowing Seeds for Life was founded in 2007 by Vicki Brown, who is also the president and CEO of DPI Labs, an aerospace manufacturing company.

For further information or to work the event as a volunteer, call 909 392-5777.

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