Monday, March 31, 2014

Magic Moments Gala 2014

Please join us for a delightful evening on Friday, April 11 at 5:30 pm at the St. Cloud River's Edge Convention Center.

This year’s event theme is Growing Up Big…highlighting the long-term impact a match relationship can have on the life of a “Little”. 

We are thrilled to have Gary Marsden as our guest speaker at the Gala with his former "Little Brother," Vince Mohs. They were matched 38 years ago! 

Gary Marsden

Gary Marsden is the co-founder of Marco and serves as its Chairman of the Board. Originally, a 12 person Typewriter Shop, Marco is now a 736 100% employee-owned information technology company in 33 mid-west locations. Gary was the St. Cloud Chamber Entrepreneurial Success Award winner in 2000 and earned the Minnesota Entrepreneurial Award from the US Small Business Administration. In 2004, Marco was named one of the Top 25 Best Medium/Small Companies to Work For in America.

Gary is known for his heart and passion for the community, setting an early example for donating time and talent to area causes. In 1974, Gary decided to become involved in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. 

Vince Mohs
Vince Mohs' father died in a plane crash when he was only 4 years old. When Vince was 9 years old, his mother thought it would be important for Vince to have a male role model in his life, so she enrolled him in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Vince was matched with Gary Marsden as his Big Brother. Vince says that his relationship with Gary had a huge impact on his life and helped him make good choices in life. Both Gary and Vince feel that it was a wonderful match.

Vince graduated from Apollo High School in 1983 and Saint Cloud Technical College with a degree in Sales and Management in 1986. In 1984 while attending college, Vince was hired as a delivery man at Marco by his Big Brother, Gary. After graduating in the spring of 1986 Vince became a sales representative at Marco, focusing on the sales of office supplies to commercial accounts in the St. Cloud area. In 1987, his product offering changed from supplies to commercial office furniture. Sales volume generated by Vince continued to grow through the 1990’s and he was promoted to the position of Director of Sales of the furniture division in 2003. In 2011 the furniture division was sold to Northern Business Products, where Vince was Director of Sales until his departure in May of 2013. 

Gary and Vince continue to be friends. Gary is pleased to know that his role as a mentor has had a positive, life-long impact on Vince's life.

In 2000, Vince joined the Board of Directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters, serving until 2007. After leaving Northern Business Products in 2013, Vince rejoined the BBBS Board of Directors. In December of 2013 Vince became a “Big Brother” and was matched with a Little Brother. He is confident that he will find his experience as a “Big” just as meaningful and rewarding as his experience as a “Little”. Vince married Lori Spychala in 1992 and has a daughter Raquel (17) and a son Matthew (15). Vince met Lori through mutual friends at Marco.

All proceeds from the Magic Moments Gala will be used to help fund Big Brothers Big Sister’s youth mentoring program benefiting children who are facing adversity. There are currently 130 children in central Minnesota that are waiting for a Big Brother, Big Sister, Big Couple or Big Family.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Being a Good Mentor

Being a Big can be a greatly rewarding experience not only for your Little, but also for you. Being a Big is a great opportunity for you to make a difference in a child’s life as well as help to improve your own. As a new Big, one of the biggest things you can do is mentor your Little. With that in mind, we have compiled a few tips to help you become not only a great Big, but also an awesome mentor!

1. Be Positive
We cannot stress how important it is to be a positive role model. The best mentors are ones that are respected by their Little and those that they interact with. Your Little will be able to learn a lot from you when you show them a positive side to every situation - good or bad. This may involve you having to create situations where your Little can become involved in stuff that will teach them new things.

2. Be Interested
This tip should come as no surprise. Your Little will be able to tell if you want to spend time with them or not. In order to establish a personal relationship, you must show genuine interest in what they have to say and what you do with them. You also need to get to know them for who they are and what they value.

3. Share Your Experiences
Good mentors are able to share stories that are appropriate and helpful for their Little to learn from. You will have to be open to sharing your stories of failures and mistakes because this is where the best opportunities to learn come from. 

4. Ask Questions
We recommend asking open-ended questions to your Little. This will help you be able to identity their values as well as their needs and passions. You will then be able to form a more personal relationship where you can share your wisdom and advice.

5. Be a Good Listener
This is just as important as asking questions. You must be a good listener when your Little wants to talk. This greatly benefits Littles to have someone that they know they can trust to talk to about anything. 

6. Give Helpful Feedback
As a mentor you have the opportunity to help shape another person’s life. You have probably been through most of the things your Little will ask you, and you know how to handle them better than they do. By giving your Little helpful feedback, you can give them further insight into the situation, and help them develop specific skills and qualities needed to handle different situations.

7. Acknowledge Achievements
Make sure you always acknowledge the achievements your Little accomplishes. This means more to them than you could imagine and will help them to strive to accomplish more.

You became a Big to help shape and form the lives of younger generations in a positive way. Following these few simple tips will help you be the best mentor you can be!