Category Archives: Entreprenureship

Converge+UK Brings Together Entrepreneurs, Investors

A British conference to bring together investors, entrepreneurs, web designers and developers and other innovators was in part the result of a project created in the Landmark Education Self-Expression and Leadership Programme, according to IT News Online. The event was held on August 31st in London with about 50 innovators taking part.

“In the course they challenge you to think about the charities and community groups that you could be more involved in,” said co-founder Peter Thomsom, referring to Landmark’s SELP. I had been thinking for a long time about how to bring my friends from different work backgrounds together, so Converge+UK was a perfect project to get involved with.”

The event was designed to bring professionals from the different areas of technology, design and business together to support London’s startup community. The event featured real-life, practical examples of what’s worked and what hasn’t.

Meeting At Self-Expression and Leadership Program Leads to Jewelry Swag at MTV Movie Awards

According to an Arizona news station, two women who met in Landmark Education’s Self-Expression and Leadership Program teamed up to form a unique jewelry business, Pearl Blossom, which soon received a unique opportunity – to have their jewelry be the main item for gift bags given at the recent MTV Movie awards.

According to the women, Devy Walker was Julianne McKay’s coach in the Landmark program. Pearl Blossom’s jewelry includes unique pearl designs, including clips, that are designed to have women feel more self-expressed. Read the full news story at the AZ Family site.

Boot Camp for Young Entrepreneurs

Pamela Secord-Businessworkshop-2-jvpThis is an update on an earlier story about a camp for young entrepreneurs In British Columbia created by Pamela Secord as her project in the Landmark Education SELP. The first article described the project; this one describes the results as noted by Secord herself in the Bradner Barker.

Young Entrepreneurs Dream It, Then Do It

I have been moved by many things in my life but I have to say this one takes the cake. On March 20, 21 and 28 a Youth Entrepreneur Bootcamp was held at Bradner Hall. I took on a project to move and inspire my community and it seemed to grab hold and soon snowballed into what can only be described as wondrous.

The Bootcamp was attended by close to 55 young adults between ages 18 to 34 who were invited to participate in an effort to help them find a direction and career path for their lives. It was very moving to see these young people come into the Bootcamp on the first day being in the area of wanting and hoping and then by the end of the weekend they were all in action. Many of Bradner’s most successful entrepreneurs gave their time as mentors, advising participants about some of the pitfalls and successes they had experienced along their own career paths.

By the end of the first weekend the young people had their business plans figured out and were actually setting goals and putting their visions into action. They were told that if they were passionate about their vision and willing to stay in action, then everything else would fall into place. These amazing young people were both brilliant and very eager to be successful. One fellow said he had hear this before in university, but as part of the Bootcamp he learned what was missing – ACTION. He had lots of knowledge, which was great, but no tools with which to get his plan into gear.

After the initial weekend, the participants were given “Homework” assignments. In other words, told to start finding ways to put their plans into action. Each participant was offered 3 conference calls for support during their Action Week. I was very pleased to see them use the calls and was amazed at how much action was being taken. Almost all of the young people left the Bootcamp ready to begin the adventure of starting their own company and designing their own career path. I am continuing to receive emails letting me know what they are up to and it is so exciting!

I would like to send out sincere thanks to the following. Without your help and support, this event would never have taken place.

Landmark Education (Vancouver) for if I would not be attending the Self-Expression and Leadership program I would never have had the opportunity to create my project, through which so many lives were touched.

The young adults who took the time to attend this 3 day Youth Entrepreneur Bootcamp. I really appreciate what effort and commitment it took to participate in this event.

Tana Plewes for being my inspiration. Without Tana I may have chosen a different project. As founder of the Discovery Center for Entrepreneurship and creator of, she recruited our panel of experts: Chad Gibson and Associates, Mark Holland-RADplus, Jeff Baker-Positive Futures, and Simon Levin-AnK Apparel. The Canadian Youth Business Foundation ( is offering startup loans up to $15,000 to qualified participants intent on launching their new business. These leaders were absolutely phenomenal and were so committed to helping the kids to take the steps needed to have their dreams become real.

The production team who helped me set up and assisted as and when needed. The team included my lovely husband, Bob Secord, Sharon Smit, Debra Brandt, Emily Thoen, Dakota Barker, Kathy Nipkow, Ruby Jaggernath, and Mandy Kidd.

Mt. Lehman Credit Union manager Gene Blishen for being my first supporter who made me realize I really could pull this project off. Also for donations of prizes, advertising, photocopying and to Dawn Collins from the credit union who patiently spent time with me on the photocopying.

Bradner Elementary’s Sharon Christian and Principal Harold Feiter for loaning me the use of many things from the school.

Bradner Community Club for donating the use of the hall and any members who helped me have things run smoothly.

Anny Kosovic for designing my flyer.

Aldersgrove Credit Union for donating pens, cash which was put toward refreshments and stress balls for all the participants which, but the way were a huge hit.

Elsie Weiss (Aldercenter Remax Realty), Sue Hunt (Sunset Gourment Consultant and Hunt Security Systems), Bob and Wendy Hauser (WEstcoast Amusements) for prize donations.

Wilway Lumber, Chuck Webb (Fraser Financial Group), Dr. Schlagntweit, Rone Price (President and CEO of the Abbotsford International Airshow) and the Bradner Barker who donated money in support of this event.

Finally, thanks to the Mentors who are indeed a special group. They have generously agreed to offer their support and expertise to the Bootcamp participants for the next month. Carryl Peters, Bruce Fatkin, Debra Brandt, Lois Dyck, Elsie Weiss, Gord Beebe, Arnold Falk, Herbie & Lorraine Feischel, Miki Boleen, Donna Dixon, Consuelo Clarke , and Ruby Jaggernath.

Free Program for Entrepreneurs Created in Abbotsford

The Abbortsford News of British Columbia reports about a ‘boot camp’ for entrepreneurs created out by Pamela Secord as her project in a Landmark Education program. The free three-day course is designed for adults ages 18-34, and is designed to instill both the business acumen/information and the personal confidence for these young people to successfully start their own businesses. The course is taking place on March 20, 21 and 28.

The entire event is being supported by a wide range of local businesses, whose heads will be speakers at the first two days. The first two days will both look at basics of financing, business planning and marketing, as well as the passion and purpose it takes to start one’s own business. Then during the week, each person will be coached by the speakers in daily phone calls.

On the final day, the group will reconvene to share their progress. They will also be teamed up with a mentor on that day to work with them over the next month. The article indicates that there are 30 people currently registered, with room for many more. It runs from 10am to 4 pm each day on the first weekend (March 20-21) and from 12 to 5pm on the 28th. It takes place at Bradner Hall, 5305 Bradner Rd. To register call Secord at 856-1676.

Here is the complete story by Ashley Wray from The Abbotsford News.

Jamaica Gleaner Writes about Step Up For Life

mary-kay-lsd.jpgMaryKay Mullally, a Jamaican born woman whose Self-Expression and Leadership Program of training women to run marathons and half-marathons led her to form the “Step Up For Life” organization, was recently interviewed by the Jamaica Gleaner, a leading Jamaican newspaper. Mullally talked about being honored by ABC News and Prevention Magazine as one of five winners of their Picture of Health contest, which gave the award to women making an inspiring difference in the health of other women.

MaryKay Mullally — Making a Difference

by Barbara Nelson

Tired of running a software development team in California, Jamaican-born MaryKay Mullally became involved in self-development seminars. One of her courses involved developing a half-marathon-training group. The result? “I ran my first marathon in January 2002, two months before turning 41,” the now vibrant 47-year old mother of two, said.

“It was one of the most challenging yet exhilarating things I’ve ever done. I had to dig deep physically and mentally to keep going when my muscles were burning and the voices in my head said I wasn’t going to make it. It required that I be present in each moment, focus on the finish line and just take the next step. Completing that marathon made me feel like I could do anything.”

twists and turns

She was one of five women featured in the June 2008 issue of Prevention magazine, vying for the top prize in the second annual Prevention/ABC News Now Picture of Health contest. The women were selected because they showed that “life does get better after 40, and that you can find your healthy path no matter how many twists and turns it takes to get there.”

This charming woman, who attended St. Andrew High School in Jamaica as a young girl, ran two more marathons in 2003 before creating Step Up For Life in August 2004. Step Up For Life was initially launched as a project in the Self Expression and Leadership Program, one of the core programs of Landmark Education. This program gives people an opportunity to express themselves fully, make a difference in their community and have other people people participate.

“I wanted to empower women with this program by helping them to do something they would never have done and never thought they could do so they could take that into other areas of their lives and know they could do anything by taking one step at a time with the support of other women just like themselves. I wanted women to experience the freedom I felt when I ran and have a tool they could use to reclaim their health. I had 50 people sign up and had to turn people away,” she said.


Of the original 50 women, 40 made it to the starting line at the inaugural Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco and all finished. For many it was the most empowering experience of their lives.

In January of 2005 MaryKay launched Step Up as a business, running three sessions per year to train for local San Diego Half marathons. Just fewer than 1000 women have participated to date.

“I have now expanded my business into a wellness coaching practice and have helped hundreds of men and women to lose weight and reclaim their health and wellbeing. So my focus is more on this aspect of my business,” she explained. MaryKay also coaches people via the phone over a period and helps them to achieve their individual health, weight or fitness goals.

Since being profiled by Prevention magazine and ABC News, she has been contacted by scores of people including high school friends with whom she’d lost touch.


“One phone call I will never forget,” MaryKay said, “came from a woman in Texas on the morning the competition was announced on ABC’s Good Morning America. She told me that she weighed 300lbs and had tried every diet in the book and had failed miserably. She said she hated herself and the night before had gone to bed hopeless and resigned. That morning she turned the TV on to the segment and for the first time in months she had hope through my story. At that point she immediately went to her computer, cast her vote for me, looked me up on Google and called me. When I hung up realizing that my dream to impact millions of people was already being fulfilled, it was all I could do to not breakdown and cry.”

ABC News declared all five finalists winners and MaryKay donated her winning cheque of US$5,000 to NEADS (Dogs For Deaf and Disabled Americans), of Princeton, MA. The organization trains rescued dogs to assist persons who are deaf or physically disabled in leading more independent lives. To learn more about MaryKay’s wellness program visit Step Up for Life

To see the story in its original form, visit the Jamaica Gleaner website.

Rays of Hope

rays-of-hope-1.JPGWhen Effie Brunson took Landmark Education’s Self-Expression and Leadership Program last year, she became inspired to both make solar power more widely available in her home state of Texas, and help low-income families reduce their energy costs. She took on both of these goals with the creation of Rays of Hope, which works with other notable local organizations to provide and install solar photovoltaic systems on houses that are either being built or retrofitted for low-income families in Austin.

Rays of Hope is working to provide five homes with these solar PV panels this year, through funding from state and local organizations such as solar panel manufacturers and other members of the business community. Earlier this year, Rays of Hope was written about by the Texas Solar Energy Society, whose article appears below.

A Chance to Make a Difference

As fuel costs continue to rise and people become increasingly aware of the relationship between climate change and emissions associated with traditional energy generation, the demand for cleaner resources is growing. Solar power systems can meet this demand by providing clean energy with no emissions. Austin Energy’s current strategic plan includes a goal of delivering 30% of the energy they provide from renewable resources by 2020 with 100 megawatts of that renewable capacity from solar power. We’d like to help Austin Energy achieve that goal.

Rays of Hope is committed to helping low-income homeowners with relief from high utility bills by providing solar PV systems to meet the energy needs of these households. The project will purchase solar electric equipment and coordinate the installation of that equipment by hand-on workshops open to the public. Rays of Hope eliminates the initial investment costs for these residents, enabling them to positively impact the environment and significantly reduce what is often their 2nd highest monthly expense.

The pilot installation will take place March 13 and 14 at 6912 Villita Avenida in Austin, on a house being constructed by American YouthWorks Casa Verde Builders. Once complete, the house will be put on the open market to be sold as affordable housing.  American YouthWorks is an organization which gives at risk youth a second chance through job training programs and education in their charter school. By donating to Rays of Hope, you will be helping to purchase a solar array for a low-income family, giving them financial self-sufficiency and exposure to solar technology.