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Business as Mission Network:: Turn Good Business and Missions into Great MinistryTurn Good Business and Missions into Great Ministry with News, Resources, and Tools from the leading businesss leaders, authors, pastors around the world

Texas Building Company's 225 Employees Impact Lives Around the World

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to sit down with Tod Bush of Red Dot (http://www.reddot100x.com/) and hear the fascinating story of a healthy, profitable and growing business in Texas that is multiplying their impact 100 times over by making a difference with their 225 employees, in their community and around the world. Here's their story, in their own words.

By Toni Garrard Clay- About five years ago, the president of Red Dot Building Systems took hold of an idea. As the head of the family-owned metal building and manufacturing company with offices in Athens, Tyler, and Richardson, Texas, Ted Bush knew he helmed a good company, a strong company. What he wanted, though, was to foster an environment where greatness was possible, where employees could not only prosper, but also flourish, where the impact of their success could be felt not only locally, but also globally.

Lee Bush, Ted's father and Red Dot chairman, recalled encouraging his son during that time to write a long-term mission statement. "I said, ‘Write a mission statement that will share your vision of what you want people 100 years from now to know about this company.' "He and others worked on it and ended up with a statement saying, essentially, ‘Our purpose is to please God by turning our success into lasting significance - and we want the entire family of Red Dot to be part of that.'

From that vision, a program called Red Dot 100X was born. The multi-faceted program utilizes Red Dot's financial successes to fund humanitarian outreach projects at home and abroad. The core idea behind Red Dot 100X is to show the love of Jesus Christ to others in a compassionate and meaningful way and in the process help people - both aid recipients and employees alike - reach their full potential. The program operates at three levels:

1) Doing Good - As Red Dot employees become aware of immediate needs in Athens and the surrounding community, designated funds are used to empower employees to help "our neighbors in crisis." Everyone at Red Dot is encouraged to look for ways the company can help make a difference in peoples' lives.

100X also periodically organizes company wide outreach events designed to allow those in the Red Dot family to collectively help people in need in the local community. Transform Saturday volunteer work days, Thanksgiving food drives, and adopting families during the Christmas holidays are examples of ways 100X mobilizes its employees to help impact the lives of their local neighbors.

2) Offering Hope - Christmas gift catalog - Every year before Christmas, Red Dot partners with a humanitarian aid organization that has a long track record of caring for and giving hope to the orphaned and oppressed children of the world - Samaritan's Purse. Every Red Dot employee is given the Samaritan's Purse humanitarian aid gift catalog and a designated allowance to be spent on gift options designed to "offer hope" to a child or family living in poverty. After employees and their families experience the fun of choosing gifts for children in need, Red Dot orders and pays for these gifts through Samaritan's Purse.

Marriage enrichment retreats - Red Dot believes hope is crucial for marriages as well so it is committed to providing opportunities for its employees and their spouses to find encouragement in and hope for their marriages through its 100X marriage enrichment retreats. These weekends focus on God's design for marriage in a fun, non-threatening environment.

3) Transforming Lives


Described as "big projects making a big difference in a big way," Transforming Lives is the arm of 100X that provides financial support for large international projects. In most of these cases, Red Dot employees are directly involved in executing or promoting those projects as part of a mission team.

Under the Transforming Lives portion of the 100X program, Red Dot, in partnership with Buckner International, has sent more than 100 employees over the past four years to locations across the globe: Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Russia, Romania, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Many of these one or two week trips - funded entirely by Red Dot at no loss to an employee's vacation time - involve working in orphanages in an over-the-top way. In addition to members of the team investing a great deal of time and emotion to shower their love on orphaned children, trips involve acts such as renovating a laundry facility and dorm rooms, installing state-of-the-art playground systems, tiling floors, funding the construction of transitional homes for orphans who would otherwise be "graduated" to the streets, orchestrating celebratory "You are Special" carnivals, giving Christmas gifts, providing funds to build schools and baby homes, and more.
"I believe this company is on to something great," wrote Detailing Manager Steve Jay, who traveled to Kenya on one of the first 100X trips. "I feel at the end of our careers, we'll look back at all of the work we've done and point to the mission trips and everything else the 100X program is doing as the most important things we have done in our jobs." Jay's feelings are echoed over and over again by Red Dot employees who experience these trips. Management has committed that everyone who wishes to go will eventually be sent.

"It's tremendously important to use our success to significantly impact the lives of others in a lasting way," said Red Dot 100X Director Tod Bush. "Our employees are the reason Red Dot is successful, so they should be directly involved in helping children and families in need around the world."Tod Bush has directed the 100X program for over two years with part of his duties being organizing and leading the international mission trips as well as finding projects Red Dot can fund that will make a real difference in the life of a child in need. He came to the position after 14 years as an assistant district attorney for Dallas County - serving the last 10 as a prosecutor representing Child Protective Services. He said the experience prepared him to understand some of the issues abused and neglected children face in the countries Red Dot teams visit. "It has also helped me be better at handling some of the despair I encounter in the orphanages," he said.That battle against despair is something each member of a trip must grapple with to some degree or another. The irony, of course, is that however wrenching an experience may be, the individual always brings back emotionally more than was given away. "Those blessed to serve on a mission trip witness a lasting commitment to changing lives," wrote Director of Project Management Roy Clay, who in 2007 worked with a Red Dot team in the slums of Ethiopia replacing leaking tin roofs on the primitive homes of foster parents. "Our lives are also changed. Forever."

Red Dot President Ted Bush said the 100X program has fostered a company-wide motivation to succeed. "We celebrate our successes in a much more complete way because of it," he said. "It's created a family atmosphere within Red Dot and a sense of urgency that we have to be successful because hurting and disadvantaged people in this world - individuals who don't even know who we are - are going to be helped as a result."

In addition to out-of-country travel opportunities, many Red Dot employees volunteer to take part in a "Transform Saturday" volunteer work day every year to help area families in need with projects such as installing a fire escape at a women's shelter, painting homes of the elderly, installing a wheelchair ramp for a disable homeowner, and improving drainage and repairing a retaining wall for a terminally ill man.

Tod Bush said there are three ways in which Red Dot uses its financial success. "We certainly believe it's important to prosper our employees. We want to prosper them not only financially, but also in parenting, in their marriages, and in their spiritual lives," he said. "We also will reinvest our profits in order to grow our company. Lastly, we invest funds back into the 100X program and look for opportunities to change lives."

Ted Bush succinctly adds: "As Red Dot prospers, so do our employees, so do our neighbors, so do others around the world. We really do consider it a privilege to be able to multiply what we're given - and then give it back."

"Other seed fell on good soil. It came up and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a 100X." Mark 4:8

To read more about Red Dot, visit their website http://www.reddot100x.com/.

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posted by Justin Forman | 9.22.2009 - 7:53 AM

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