The Jobs Partnership: 1

> Orlando, FL

Jeff and Marc The Jobs Partnership of Florida primarily seeks to help underemployed individuals to train for and secure new jobs. But executive director Mark Stanakis is also interested in transforming the workplace itself. That has been achieved at one Orlando employer--Vermeer Southeast. There, CEO Kris Den Besten has blended his business practice with his strong Christian faith through “SHINE,” a corporate culture model he designed and implemented at the regional construction equipment dealership six years ago.

Den Besten explains that SHINE grew out of a challenging question he asked himself in 1999: “Business is going great, but what are you doing to make a difference?” Seeking his answer, he kept returning to Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:16: “Let your light shine before all men, that they might see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” From this text, SHINE was born:

S—Serve Others
H—Honor God
I—Improve Continually
N—Navigate by Values
E—Earn Recommendations

When launching SHINE, Den Besten declared to his board of trustees: “We must measure our success by how we live out our values and not by our profits and revenues alone.” The approach has transformed the work climate at Vermeer. Den Besten reports that since receiving training in these principles, his employees understand that honesty and integrity are hallmark features of those who succeed in the workplace.

Stanakis first heard about Den Besten’s model at a Sunday School class, when a Vermeer employee publicly thanked God for his boss’s Biblical leadership. Stanakis quickly realized that the SHINE model could be introduced to other local business leaders as a way of increasing the “soft skills” among their employees. Today, Jobs Partnership collaborates with Den Besten in teaching the SHINE principles to Orlando firms as an effective means of developing employees, increasing productivity, and quantifying the core values of integrity and honesty in the workplace. To date, half a dozen companies have completed the training. In commenting on the expansion of his model, Den Besten remains humble: “I’m just a business man. I need to excel at my work, and when I do, it gives me a platform for my ministry.”


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