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Paul Jones

The second person named as CFL's Servant Leader-in-Residence is Mr. Paul Jones. Mr. Jones has been associated with CFL from its inception. He works with the Center’s Director, Dr. Steve VanderVeen, to initiate new programs.

On a Saturday morning in early 2007, VanderVeen and Jones discussed the creation of a mentoring program open to students in any major, hoping to reach as many students as possible. They were inspired by a leadership concept introduced by Professor Robert Quinn at Michigan’s Ross School of Business, which focused on personal change. Quinn’s concept, the Fundamental State of Leadership, is now used extensively in CFL’s programs. The concept defines leaders as people who are purpose-centered, others-focused, willing to live outside of their comfort zone while seeking to close their integrity gaps. That fall CFL introduced the mentoring program. There were 18 mentor/student pairings. During the next three-and-a-half years, over 200 students from a variety of majors were matched with community leaders based on career interests. During that time, Paul mentored four students in the program. “At the same time, in many ways, Paul has also been a mentor to me, bringing ideas and energy to CFL”, says VanderVeen.

“Paul is a strong proponent of experiential learning – a concept used extensively by CFL,” notes Steve VanderVeen. In this same spirit, CFL Student Consulting, provides students with real-world work experiences. Paul Jones serves as a “subject area expert” for the Student Consulting Program, bringing over 35 years of experience to supporting the development of student consultants. Part of that experience includes six years of consulting work with two of the former “Big 8” accounting firms. In addition, Paul Jones has nearly 30 years of work experience at Steelcase in a wide range of positions including assignments in Research and Development, Product Development and Marketing, and Marketing and Sales Services. He is currently the Manager of Pricing and Incentives where he leads a team responsible for program development, communication and promotion, operations, web-based reporting and customer service. “Paul creates value in every situation,” notes VanderVeen. “He is especially gifted at team-based leadership, deep listening, asking probing questions, and quickly building rapport and trust. He is also very passionate about building strong networks and creating opportunities for people to connect.”

Paul’s interest in academics has led to a wide range of contacts at colleges and universities across the country. At the University of Michigan, his alma mater, he sponsors a monthly lecture series where leading scholars and practitioners discuss new directions in positive leadership and change. He is currently collaborating on a research project with a professor from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania – a project with both practical and academic application. In addition to the many ways in which Paul Jones interfaces with students, faculty, and staff, he and his wife Diane serve as co-presidents of Hope’s Second Century Club, a group in the forefront of Hope philanthropy.

Paul believes students who want to make a difference in the world, starting today, should take advantage of the many learning opportunities at Hope, both through academic and co-curricular programs.

Here's What Students Said:

"At the beginning of my sophomore year I had the privilege to be paired up with Paul in the mentoring program. I didn’t know what to expect from our meetings, but after each meeting I was challenged. Paul would always ask the challenging questions and help in any way possible to answer them.

Paul opened my eyes to the business world with a glimpse into Steelcase. He set up meeting for me to talk with his fellow co-workers and see just what each area of Steelcase was all about. He served me by putting his best effort into guiding me in my career aspirations.

I also had the privilege to go on the Montana trip with Paul and see his vision and passion for helping others. To see a person so involved with guiding students and helping others is great to see. We all need servant examples in ours lives and Paul is certainly one of those examples to me." -- Nate DeLoof

"Hear these words from Proverbs 5:13: “Oh, why didn't I listen to my teachers? Why didn't I pay attention to those who gave me instruction?

Throughout our lives, we reflect on the past with 20/20 vision and ask ourselves those questions. “Why didn’t I pay attention? Why didn’t I listen to my teacher?”

The only answer I come up with time and time again is because teachers push us outside of our comfort zones. Paul I want to thank you for pushing me beyond my comfort level. You have given me a new direction in life. I told my dad a number of years ago I would never be an entrepreneur because I am too risk adverse, and here I am in my senior year ready to develop a prototype for my business.

So Paul, for all that you have done for me as I grow into a young man and this college I say thank you." -- Josh Jelenkek