Rocket IT Business Podcast | Kelly Brewer | The Importance of Implementing Core Values | Ep 1
Does your organization have clearly defined core values? Are they something that you attempt to live and breathe every day? Do these values positively impact the lives of your team and the community you service? In this episode of the Rocket IT Podcast, we interview a guest from a special non-profit that truly takes their core values to heart.
Nested in the community of Flowery Branch, Eagle Ranch provides local children and their families with the resources needed to recover from crisis situations. Throughout their sprawling campus, an accredited school, recreational facilities and community homes afford the residing boys and girls an opportunity to work through their struggles in a supportive environment. Helping to guide those efforts is none other than Kelly Brewer, Eagle Ranch’s Director of Development. Over the course of her five year tenure, not only has Kelly assisted in the rehabilitation of locally families, she’s done so in a way that helps them thrive for years to come. In her leadership position, Kelly continuously reflects on the seven core values of Eagle Ranch, using each as a backboard to guide her team’s decision making process.
To raise both awareness and funds for the organization’s mission, Kelly assists the Eagle Ranch team in hosting an annual 5k and fun run event each summer. From competitive racing to leisurely strolls across Eagle Ranch’s 315-acre property, this event has something for everyone. If you, or someone you know, is interested in attending this year’s event on June 1, 2019, we encourage you to click here.
In This Episode, You’ll Hear More About…
- A brief history of Eagle Ranch and its mission
- The importance of establishing human connections
- The trust that can be built via passionate stewardship
- How the proper use of innovation can help you find a better way
- Why it is crucial to maintain a fun and passionate work environment
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For More Information
Eagle Ranch – firstname.lastname@example.org
Rocket IT – email@example.com
Guest: Kelly Brewer
Host: Matt Hyatt
Matt Hyatt (00:00):
Does your organization have clearly defined core values? Are your values part of your team’s daily routine? How do these values impact the lives of the people in your organization and the community you serve? Hello and welcome to a Rocket IT podcast on the importance of promoting core values that support your organization’s mission and purpose. I’m your host Matt Hyatt and today we’ll be interviewing a guest from a special nonprofit organization that truly takes core values to heart
Intro Music (00:43):
Matt Hyatt (00:45):
Nestled in the community of Flowery Branch. Eagle Ranch provides local children and their families with the resources needed to recover from crisis situations. Like Rocket IT, their core values are based on a deep desire to help people thrive. Because of the similarity, The Rocket IT team has naturally found itself working alongside Eagle Ranch over previous years and that partnership continues in 2019. To raise both awareness and funds for the organization’s mission, Rocket IT has partnered with Eagle Ranch to present a 5k and fun run event on June 1st from competitive racing to leisurely strolls across Eagle Ranch’s, 315 acre property. This event offers attendees a great opportunity to compete, relax, and benefit an amazing cause. If you or someone you know is interested in attending this year’s event, we encourage you to either visit the get involved section of Eagle Ranch’s website, or click the link in this episode’s description for more details.
Matt Hyatt (01:46):
Additionally, if you should have any other questions, please feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org without further ado, I’d like to introduce one of the driving forces behind Eagle Ranch’s success, Director of Development, Kelly Brewer. Having been part of the Eagle Ranch team for more than five years, not only has Kelly assisted in the rehabilitation of local families, she’s done so in a way that helps them thrive for years to come. From her passionate efforts, Kelly has aggregated funding to assist the campus’ accredited school, recreational facilities and community homes for residing boys and girls. In her leadership position, Kelly continuously reflects on these seven core values of Eagle Ranch using each as a background to guide her team’s decision making processes. While every organization’s mission is unique, today’s segment will hopefully provide you with some food for thought when reflecting on how you can better serve your clients, consumers, or community. Kelly, welcome and hello from myself and listeners alike. We’re extremely excited to have you with us today.
Kelly Brewer (02:51):
I’m so glad to be here. Thank you for inviting me and thank you for having a conversation about core values and they can mean.
Matt Hyatt (02:59):
Absolutely. So I’d love to kind of just kick things off with a reflection on some of our values and maybe we can use that as a way to explore a little bit about Eagle Ranch and learn a little bit more about what drives your decisions there. But you know, even before we do that, just tell us a little bit about the ranch. How did we get started?
Kelly Brewer (03:20):
Oh gosh. So Eagle Ranch next year is going to be our 35th year of serving boys and girls in crisis. We’re located just down the road right by Chateau Elan. You know where that is and we serve boys and girls throughout Metro Atlanta and North Georgia. So that’s kind of our, our local market area. So, yeah, so the, the ranch was founded, just our, our founder who is still very active in the Ranch today just really had a burden for hurting children. He grew up in a very idealist middle class family and he just thought everyone grew up that way. And when he came to learn that that was not the case and really he was probably more the exception, not the norm. It’s just kinda like God planted something really deep in him to want to help others. So that’s kind of how we got started.
Matt Hyatt (04:12):
Oh my goodness. So I’ve been to Eagle Ranch a number of times and it’s a beautiful campus. It’s pretty big. And the sort of setup like a neighborhood. Can you tell us about how it’s designed and what the, what the idea is there?
Kelly Brewer (04:24):
Yeah, so we have 10 homes. We have six boys homes four girls homes. And that’s exactly right. It’s supposed to feel like a neighborhood and children come to the Ranch. We really try to position it as your second home so you’re not being penalized. You’re not being sent to an institution. You know, this is your second home. So it definitely has a, a home type vibe. And actually as we talk about core values, one of our core values is that we create a peaceful, stable environment for the kids that live with us because a lot of them are coming from chaotic situations. So that peaceful environment, that beauty it really is a part of that healing process.
Matt Hyatt (05:07):
So can you tell us a little bit about the situations that cause folks to connect with Eagle Ranch and how your mission plays out?
Kelly Brewer (05:15):
Yeah, yeah. I’d like to tell people when they say what kind of child comes to Eagle ranch, it’s a child that you know. You know? It really, I mean, I think we all can think of,ufamilies that have struggled or maybe we struggled. I think we all struggle from time to time, but uyeah. So we help boys and girls where kind of living at home, kind of isn’t an option anymore. So usually Eagle Ranch’s a couple rungs down the down the ladder in terms of, you know, maybe you’ve tried counseling with your child or uyou’ve tried some different things and it’s just not getting you the traction that you need. So maybe the child is defiant, maybe they’re depressed, maybe they have anxiety, maybe they’re angry. A lot of our kids come from, maybe a parent has died or their parents have been divorced or a parent is addicted and maybe they’re being raised by grandma.
Kelly Brewer (06:11):
So you know, our job is to partner with whoever’s in that parental role and come alongside them and just help them work through, you know, whatever the challenges are. And usually, you know, what we, what we all know is it’s usually not just the child. It usually there’s something going on with the whole family dynamic. So we want to not only try to help the child, but we really want to try to help the whole family get healthier.
Matt Hyatt (06:37):
So this will result in the child actually moving to the Ranch. Correct. And how long do they stay?
Kelly Brewer (06:44):
The average length of stay for a child at Eagle Ranch is about two years. Yeah. So it’s, and when they come in, I mean it’s all based on goals. So we’re setting goals with that child and that child’s family. And from day one our goal is, you know, we’re going to do the hard work so you can go home. This is the idea, but it’s a two year program. The kids do go home every other weekend and they go home on holidays. And the reason we do that is they are learning new ways to communicate, new ways to cope. Their families are learning new ways to communicate, new ways to hope. So we do want them going home from time to time and kind of practicing what they’re learning. And then coming back and talking about, well, what went well and what didn’t. So it’s kind of a really unique model.
Matt Hyatt (07:31):
And is there an age range of the kids that come to the Ranch?
Kelly Brewer (07:34):
Yeah. So right now, I think we just brought in a little girl last week who’s eight. I know. Eight and then up to about 17. Average age of a child at Eagle Ranch is about 12 and a half. And we do have on the the intake process coming into the program, the child can’t be older than ninth grade, so that’s kind of our cutoff. They may live there beyond ninth grade, but in terms of coming in, we’ve just found that we have more success if we can catch that child. So that’s about 15 is sort of the cutoff for coming in.
Matt Hyatt (08:09):
So they come to the ranch and they stay there there for a period of time, sometimes up to two years or so. Then they go back home.
Kelly Brewer (08:17):
Right. Wow. Right. That’s the goal. That’s the goal. And that’s the thing with, with children’s programs and, and the reason we feel so strongly about engaging the families and really being about family restoration is with with children’s homes. In 90% of those kids when they leave, they got to go somewhere and 90% of them go home, whatever home is, grandma, aunt, uncle, intact family. So having the families involved throughout the entire process, they actually come to the Ranch twice a month and get counseling as well, the families. So we’re really working on the whole equation.
Matt Hyatt (08:55):
Wow. And so you mentioned boys homes and girls homes. Surely there are other people there with them.
Kelly Brewer (09:06):
They’re running loose. Yes. That sounds like more chaos. It really does. That’s not what chaos is not one of our core values.
Matt Hyatt (09:16):
How does that work?
Kelly Brewer (09:16):
Yeah, so we have every home has a house parent couple that that’s their full time job. So they live in the home, they’re modeling a healthy family life. A lot of our house parents actually have kids of their own, so they’re actually doing life as a family. They just happen to have 7 teenage boys living with them, which, Oh my goodness. Anyways so we have a house parent couple also, every home has what is called a program assistant. And these are young men and women who have just graduated from college kind of act like the big brother, big sister in the house. Does that make sense? A little more peer to peer. And it’s, that’s a residency program where they actually live on campus for two years and it’s a great way for these young men and women to figure out is this a field I really want to be in?
Kelly Brewer (10:06):
So usually most of them have their degree in either, you know, counseling or social work or ministry and they’re really getting a hands on opportunity to say this is what I want to do. Yeah, it’s really a neat model. And then we have five master level licensed counselors, which oversee the homes, one counselor for every two homes and they’re responsible for the care of the children in those two homes and also the children’s families.
Matt Hyatt (10:36):
So that’s another connection point there is between the child and the family.
Kelly Brewer (10:40):
That’s right. So the counselor is sort of the linchpin to all the home life things. And then we have a SACS accredited school. So when the kids are at Eagle Ranch, they do go to school on campus because statistics show at risk kids are usually two to three years behind. Really hard for the public school system.
Matt Hyatt (10:58):
Right there on the Ranch. Fantastic. Now, like I said, I’ve been to the Ranch at a sorta looks like camp and others, there’s a Lake with canoes, there’s horses and a barn. There’s a really beautiful property. Can you tell us a little bit more about the amenities? Why, why all that fun stuff?
Kelly Brewer (11:17):
So it’s interesting. A lot of times people come out to the Ranch and it’s so beautiful. It’s just, it, it’s that core value, that peaceful, stable environment. But underneath that beauty, there’s so much pain and it’s almost like it acts as a counterbalance to the pain of these kids and families and what they’re going through. So we we recently had a, a lady who was a PTSD expert and she came out to the Ranch. She wanted to learn about our program. And not that we do a whole lot with PTSD, other, some of our kids have that. But she made the comment that the two biggest factors in healing for people with PTSD is beauty and security. Oh, interesting. I thought that was really interesting. So we’re big on, we want the kids outdoors. We want them playing. We take away their cell phones when they come. Yeah. So they hate our guts.
Matt Hyatt (12:13):
Wait a second. So there are teenagers that come to the Ranch and they have to part with their cellphone.
Kelly Brewer (12:16):
Matt Hyatt (12:16):
Do they run away?
Kelly Brewer (12:18):
Oh my gosh. You would just think we cut off their right arm. But, but part of the Ranch and the reason that we have, you know, we have a pool, we have tennis, we have a gym, we have a lake. We have kayak, canoeing, fishing, equine is in a lot of cases, we’re trying to give these kids a childhood back. I remember one time one of the kids told Mr. Eddie, he said
Matt Hyatt (12:40):
He’s the founder?
Kelly Brewer (12:40):
Yes. He said somehow I feel younger here, which I thought was about the sweetest thing you could say. So yeah. Yeah. It’s a really cool place to be. It is. The kids might not say that initially, but they come to love it. Yeah. Yeah.
Matt Hyatt (12:58):
Well tell us a little bit about you. How did you get involved in the Ranch?
Kelly Brewer (13:01):
Yeah, so it was a, certainly a windy road with with that I before I’ve been at the Ranch five years, but before coming to the Ranch, I was part owner in a community magazine and a advertising agency and the ranch was actually a client of mine. And so I’d started working with them and finally went out to tour and visit. And I mean, my mouth just dropped open. I was like, what in the world is going on out here? I mean, it was just, first of all, when they said they had 300 acres, I thought, well, here’s your 300 acres near Chateau Elon? You know, like where is that? And it’s tucked away back there, but just what they were doing and the passion for what they were doing and the impact they were making. I mean, I just fell in love with the program. Shortly thereafter I got invited to join their board at the first board meeting. They started talking about this development and outreach position. And my heart, my heart was pounding in my chest because I don’t know if you know this, Matt, but print publishing is not the business to go into. It was, it was, yeah, it was 15 years ago. But I mean, I’d sorta known that there was a day of reckoning coming. And I also just really felt like God was, he was leading me towards something else, but I had no idea what it was.
Kelly Brewer (14:22):
So, I mean, it’s just really sweet how he just kinda made a way to, to be at Eagle Ranch. And it’s been the biggest blessing in my life. I mean, that’s the funny thing, and I don’t know if you feel this way, but like, do you ever go into a situation and you’re like, you know, I’m just gonna bless this place. They’re gonna be so blessed by me and my gifts. I’m going to teach them all these great things and show them all these. And I mean, I went in there one week and I’m like, this is such a blessing to be here. You know, it’s blessed me way beyond. Yeah. Yeah. Very humbling. Very humbling. Yeah, that’s great. It’s pretty cool.
Matt Hyatt (14:56):
So tell us a little bit about what you do there. What’s, what’s your role?
Kelly Brewer (15:02):
Okay, so my role is more external. So I do get to work some with the kids, but I have to be really intentional about spending time with the kids or I could go a week without seeing them. So, so my role is really more on the outreach side. So I’m working with potential donors, I’m working with groups that have expressed an interest about coming and doing a tour. I work with people who, you know, they maybe had a rough upbringing and they really have a heart for this ministry and they’re trying to figure out how do I plug in, where do I fit? That’s kind of,
Matt Hyatt (15:34):
So you’re a connector to the community? Yeah. I bet you’re good at that.
Kelly Brewer (15:38):
I love it. Thank you. But I do, I like it to go talk to rotary groups and churches and just anybody that wants to learn more about the Ranch. And, and then more importantly, if they have a heart for what we do, just figuring out a way to really make it a good thing for everybody.
Matt Hyatt (15:54):
So we know that the Ranch has sort of tucked away and in Flower Branch, which is probably about 45 minutes, maybe 30 minutes sort of North and East of Rocket IT probably about an hour given on the time of day from, from Atlanta. So is where are you doing your outreach? I do use spend time in Gwinnett? Is it Atlanta? Is it further away?
Kelly Brewer (16:17):
Yeah. So it’s all of the above, which is a little overwhelming sometimes. So we sort of.
Matt Hyatt (16:25):
Focus your attention. I will do all of it!
Kelly Brewer (16:26):
The answer is yes, which is a really bad business answer. What is it? When you try to do everything you do nothing kind of thing. But and that’s interesting because one of the things about me coming to Eagle Ranch is we had a pretty strong base of supporters in Gainesville and Atlanta, but just sort of jumped over Gwinnett and it’s a million people. Right? Right. So, so I know our founder, Eddie Staub, you know, he always says, you know, I just feel so bad. I haven’t, you know, I haven’t been able really to develop Gwinnett. And I look around the Ranch, everything you see is paid for. And I’m thinking, Eddie, you spent the time exactly where you were supposed to spend the time.
Kelly Brewer (17:06):
But it is really cool because of my long history in Gwinnett to be able, you know, one of the things when I left my old job was what I thought I would miss the most was just all the relationships, right? And then you have all these friends and clients and people that you’re used to seeing and I bet you 40%, 50% of them now are involved in some shape or form with Eagle Ranch. So it’s wonderful that I still get to have those connections and we do some stuff in Athens and I think we have donors all over the country. And I think maybe that’s because, you know, people move and you know, it’s just interesting to see the different ways people get connected.
Matt Hyatt (17:47):
I love it. Yeah. So let’s talk about values a little bit. Uh and I know at Rocket IT, one of our values is to connect with people. We see that obviously as an opportunity at every turn when we’re serving folks and they’re having some sort of technology issue and they need help we train our team members to focus on the human rather than the computer. You know, a lot of us technologists we’re sort of drawn towards the bright screen stopping a little bit and say, Hey, wait a second, there’s a human here that I’m trying to support and help. And so making that human connection is really important to us.
Kelly Brewer (18:22):
I think that really differentiates you guys.
Matt Hyatt (18:25):
Well, thank you.
Kelly Brewer (18:25):
I really do. It’s like I’ve heard some of your clients say, you know, they’re so fun to work with and I’m like IT and fun usually don’t get it together. So that to me is a huge different differentation. Yeah.
Matt Hyatt (18:38):
Well we hire really silly people, so like silly smart people. So that helps. But I love to hear how how your values sort of come to life at Eagle Ranch. Can you tell us about some of them?
Kelly Brewer (18:50):
Yeah, some of our company values or, or ministry values. Yeah. So this is kind of interesting being that I used to have a marketing business. I mean I’ve spent sort of my career helping companies craft mission statements and value statements and develop strategies, but I have never worked with an organization that we actually like refer to them all the time as opposed to let’s come up with this and then we put it in a drawer and you don’t do anything with it. Yeah. So I was, I was laughing when we were discussing this earlier about our core values. Our annual report just came out and we actually have our core values on the back of our annual report. So one of the things that’s been a challenge is we do have seven core values, which any marketing expert would tell you not to have that many, but I guess they, I guess Eddie was having a hard time narrowing it down.
Kelly Brewer (19:43):
But we talk about all of these, but I’ll just talk about a couple of them if that’s okay. So and I love this. This first one, we consider the care of children a sacred trust. So it’s beyond, you know, this is a good thing to do or it’s the right thing to do it as a sacred trust. And, and he reminds us of that all the time. That, you know, if you look at the span of someone’s life, you know, we have them for this very short time and we can choose to just babysit them or we can pour everything we’ve got and to having this child make a turn. So that to me, just even the words sacred trust, I mean it just gets your attention. Like we’re not messing around here. Right. So and that ties into our why. You know, we have a big conversation. We’re always being reminded about our why, which is awesome. We have two why’s. I know he’s an overachiever. It’s a miracle. I can remember this because you can attest that I’m not reading our why’s but our why’s. Yeah, that’s okay.
Matt Hyatt (20:51):
I put you on the spot here.
Kelly Brewer (20:51):
I had my coffee this morning, so if you make up a new one, we’ll just say that was our why. So the first why is we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus to a hurting world. Wow. So, yeah, if I don’t feel like coming in and it’s like, well, I gotta be the hands and feet so I better get up and get moving.
Matt Hyatt (21:09):
It’s a Pretty tall order.
Kelly Brewer (21:11):
It’s a very tall order, so that’s one of our why’s. And then the other why and it kind of it’s, it alludes to what you said earlier is we want Eagle ranch when people come to the ranch that there’s just no mistake that God is still alive and well on planet earth. That, that, I mean, if you know the story of the ranch, it’s just miracle after miracle after miracle. We don’t, we don’t get any state or government money. It’s all privately funded and just that, you know, God is alive and well on planet earth by the presence of this place. So those are our why’s. So I digress. But, so a sacred trust I love this. The other one we are a community that serves communities.
Matt Hyatt (21:54):
Hmm. What do you mean by that?
Kelly Brewer (21:56):
So it, it just makes what we do a lot bigger than put your head down and serve kids, although put your head down. But it’s just this idea of, you know, here we’ve been doing this 35 years, we’ve done a lot of things right. We’ve done a lot of things wrong. And to be able to transplant that knowledge and help other, so like our founder, he spends about 30% of his time these days helping others who want to start children’s homes. Oh wow. And we actually have them come to the ranch. They stay there free of charge. We teach them everything about the program, about fundraising, about having a board, all of that at no charge. So it’s just, and it’s even expanded beyond that where he’s helping other nonprofit leaders that aren’t even in the childcare field. But just that idea of we want to work community that serves communities. We, we put on CTU events for counselors, we work with school guidance counselors, we encourage them. So we’re just always looking for ways to reach out and it may never come back to benefit us directly. Sure. But that’s totally okay.
Matt Hyatt (23:04):
Well you’re paying it forward in a big way that’s almost certain to deliver a dividend.
Kelly Brewer (23:09):
And I feel like you guys do that when I look at the things that you’re involved in, even your involvement at Eagle Ranch, like yeah.
Matt Hyatt (23:15):
Thank you. It’s intentional. I want to go back to something you’ve sort of touched on a few times. This idea of trust, and that resonates with me. Another of our core values is to be passionate stewards. And that’s very much a trust thing, right? And in our industry that’s important. If you’ve got a computer as an example, that computers probably got financial information, it’s probably got emails, both business and personal. It’s a big trust thing to allow us to help manage that computer or that network. And so it’s really important to us that we are good stewards of that trust that’s been given to us. But wow, Eagle Ranch has taken that to a whole other level. You’re entrusted with the lives of an actual human being for a time. Not just a short time, not a weekend, but maybe a couple of years. Tell us about that. Has that, I mean I’m sure that’s on your mind all the time.
Kelly Brewer (24:13):
Gosh, I know one thing our founder talks about a lot is, you know, he said we’ve had times in our history where we might have to shut down a home for a period of time cause we have a house parent opening and I mean we might go through 100 house parent applications and Eddie’s comment are always, if I wouldn’t put my own child in that home we’ll shut down the home before we have the wrong fit. So that, that sort of sacred trust. But it’s funny. Another one of our core values is we are careful stewards, stewards of the children, but also as it relates certainly the nonprofits and business in general, we want to be excellent stewards of the resources that are given to us. You know, the idea that people, there’s so many places you can invest your money and so we want to be known as careful wise stewards. And I think if you come to Eagle Ranch and you see that everything’s paid for and you see how things are done, get cared for, that’s a huge issue for us.
Matt Hyatt (25:17):
So I want to make sure our listeners heard what you just said. You’ve mentioned it a couple of times, 300 and something acre. Beautiful piece of land developed with paved streets and actual homes. A school, there’s a chapel there. The barn, I mean there’s a lot there. You’re saying it’s paid for. It is, is no debt. That’s an incredible accomplishment.
Kelly Brewer (25:44):
It is an incredible accomplishment. Just the, the philosophy too, we’re not going to build anything until we raise all the money that’s been from day one. That’s always been that way from day one. And, and the idea around that was we didn’t want our supporters having to service debt. People don’t give to a nonprofit so we can pay debt service. They give to a nonprofit cause they want to help kids. So it allows us, I think it’s like 81 cents on every dollar goes directly to our kids in program. So we are for as beautiful as it is, we run lean and mean so that that money can go to the kids. And I’ll give you a perfect example. Our school our SACS accredited school took us five years to raise the money for that school. And so our kids were in trailers for five years to way raise the money. But I mean, he was just steadfast. Like, if God wants us to have this, he will bring the people. We would have liked him to brought them a little sooner. But I just love that, that conviction and that faith. Like if this is what we’re supposed to do, it’s going to happen. So
Matt Hyatt (26:55):
I love it. Yeah. So looking ahead and it’s kind of trying to pier out into the future. 35 years. This is a pretty good long time. Where are you headed? What role does innovation play and your vision for the future? Is it bigger? Is it more, is it another campus? What’s, what’s sort of on your mind? So looking forward,
Kelly Brewer (27:16):
That is a great question. That ties into our seventh core value of course. So one of our core values is we are committed to timeless innovation. And that is a really carefully crafted statement. And what I mean by that is timeless innovation is the key phrase there. Because you know, trends come and go, what’s the latest thing it comes and goes. And I know our founder is very big on first and foremost from a, from a money standpoint, we just don’t have a lot of margin to make a bunch of mistakes, right? So we’re not gonna run off and do something half cock cause we don’t, we don’t have the ability to, the finances to do that. So he’s very, very careful. So I think we are extremely innovative, but we do call ourselves incrementalist. So just like, yeah, just like the school. So the school came about because our kids were two and three years behind. Public school cannot not remediate them. And public schools are awesome in our area, but I mean that’s a tall order. So we started out by taking our four toughest kids and homeschooling them at Eagle Ranch. And what we found was we were able to catch them up two grades inside of like eight months.
Kelly Brewer (28:41):
So it was that, that the idea was born. Then we did the trailers and then so it just was this very, so everything we’ve done has been like that which so small steps, yes. Which drives me nuts by the way sometimes. So I get very annoyed. But now five years later I’ve come to really respect and appreciate the careful step. So to answer your question about innovation, so we’re always just trying to get better at what we do. Always going deeper with our program and I can give you tons of examples of that. But from a, from an innovative standpoint, this whole notion behind, we call it our wings initiative, which is where we’re going out and helping others start children’s homes, helping other start orphanages, helping others. So that’s sort of one of our ways of replicating. But then we’ve also purchased some land next door to us that we are still in the process of praying about.
Kelly Brewer (29:35):
So this is not a done deal, but just to give you an idea of a thought process, we’re talking about making it what we call our wings outreach center. Oh wow. And so the idea is we would have counseling for families maybe before they need Eagle Ranch, try to catch them before they need Eagle Ranch. We would be able to offer counseling for families that graduate from our program that they would have a place to go to continue their journey of healing and wellness. Talk about using it as a marriage retreat facility. All, all sorts of uses. But, but I think what’s always going to be core to us as we grow and innovate is just, we are all about family restoration. We’re about families. And when I say families, I don’t mean your traditional family per se, but just whatever that family looks like, if we can come alongside them, make them healthier, stronger, resilient, that’s a great thing. And that helps our community and ultimately the world. So that’s my soapbox.
Matt Hyatt (30:35):
So one thing that’s very apparent when you visit the ranch, it’s a pretty darn fun place to be.
Kelly Brewer (30:41):
I think so. The kids don’t think so.
Matt Hyatt (30:44):
I don’t know. Every time I drive through there, you know, see the ball fields and lot of times their kids out there playing and again the horses and the canoes and all that stuff. It just looks like a fun place to be. That’s a core value of ours by the way. Have a blast, at Rocket IT. We try and make everything as rocket-y as we can. So blast off.
Kelly Brewer (31:02):
How many core values do you have by the way?
Matt Hyatt (31:04):
Four. Four. Okay. Yeah, we’ll try and get four more so that we can win. We also agree probably a smaller number of core values easier. And we think of values by the way, as the, how do we behave, how do we make decisions? And you know, there were humans, at least I am with a short, you know, there’s, there’s an only space for a few little key ideas and more than three or four or five and probably just not going to remember them very well. It’s hard to live by a lot of core values, but it’s also tough to narrow them down to cause if you sit down and think about what’s important, well there are certainly a lot more than four or seven important things, important rules to live by. Right.
Kelly Brewer (31:51):
But I love that fun is what made the top list.
Matt Hyatt (31:53):
Well it is, it is one of the four, but it’s the last one. And the reason it’s the last one is because we know that it’s important for us to hit the other values first and get, get the work done to make them do the hard stuff. And that’s the license to have a good time. But if we’re not having fun, why are we here? You know, we should probably be spending our time some other way. How does Eagle Ranch do that? What do you, what do you do to get the kids engaged and the community engaged and how do you use fun as a part of the story there?
Kelly Brewer (32:26):
Okay. And before I answer that question, I just think what you hit on is, so, you know, it’s like if you’re not going to have fun, what’s the point? And then sometimes you know, some people can think that just sounds super shallow. I am not one of those people for, just in case you weren’t sure. But I’ll tell you one of the things, I’m coming from being a small business owner and then going over and making that crazy jump, you know, to the nonprofit sector. But especially any one in business or working, but it’s like, it is so easy to get burned out and drained and you almost even forget like, why did I even get in this field in the first place? I mean, I even feel that way about like the medical community sometimes, you know, these people who are doctors, they got in it because I love people and they want to help people.
Kelly Brewer (33:15):
But then a lot of doctors are just fried. I mean, I hate to say it that way, but they’re just, you know, they’re 10 years into it and you know, it really, it really is. And so I remember one of the things I was talking to Eddie about when I was interviewing was I wanted balance. I had to have balance and I was very interested like how many hours a week. And I know that sounds really small minded to be asking about how many hours a week. But you know, at the time my daughter was nine and you know, want to raise my daughter. I want to be healthy, I have friends, I have family. And I just made a decision aside from the Ranch’s core values, which happened to align beautifully. But, you know, it’s like I want to be in this for the long haul.
Kelly Brewer (34:01):
I want to wake up 10 years from now as excited about this job as I am today. But to do that as sometimes counter-intuitive, you know, cause it’s like, well there, I mean, I leave the Ranch every day. There’s always more I could do, you know, and especially if this is a little kids, come on, you can’t do more? You can’t work harder longer for kids? But you know, having fun, just enjoying every day is really important to me. And I, you know, I spent a season when I was a business owner where, you know, I’d have these long seasons of working really, really hard and then I would take like two weeks off. But the problem with that was it took me the first week of the two weeks just to be able to breathe again and think straight again. And, and for me, that’s not a way to live.
Kelly Brewer (34:45):
I want to enjoy every day and I want there to be hard working every day, but I want there to be joy in every day. And you know, the other thing I say is life is too short for bad clients and life is too short for bad debt. And we don’t have any, but it’s just like, I want to work with people that I enjoy working with and we’re on the same page and we’re rowing in the same direction and it makes it so fun. So.
Matt Hyatt (35:12):
I like the word joy as a proxy for the word fun. Yes. Yeah. But there’s also just a pride in what you do and joyful experience.
Kelly Brewer (35:27):
And I think maybe joyful is a little deeper because I think it does tie into purpose and you know, I want to love on people. At the end of the day I want to, I want to have impact. I want to enhance whoever I come into contact with. I want them to be a better cause I spent, you know, 10 minutes with Kelly Brewer or I don’t know. So, and so you see that with our program too. And with our children, a lot of these kids, you know, if you’re used to chaos, you just expect chaos, right. Just, you know, whether it’s peace or stability or we’re just going to go have fun. You know, it’s hard work to have fun if you don’t know how to have fun.
Matt Hyatt (36:09):
Especially, I’m sure there are rules of engagement and sort of structure. Yeah. That maybe not all of us are use to.
Kelly Brewer (36:15):
Yes. And, and, and you know, we’re, we did this it’s called choice consequence. That’s a choice consequence model. And so you got to make good choices and make good choices. Then the fun increases. If you make bad choices and you know, there, there are consequences for that. But it’s really, and I think sometimes fun and joy is counter-intuitive. And what I mean by that is one of the things we have our kids do every month is they go out in the community and serve, which is unusual. So like we’ll have one of the boys’ homes, they’ll go mow grass for shut-ins or they’ll work at the food food pantry. And, you know, initially they’ll be complaining about that and it’s like, you know, what’s the, what’s the verse? You know, he who refreshes others will be refreshed.
Matt Hyatt (37:08):
There is a huge energy that comes from serving others.
Kelly Brewer (37:12):
So, so it’s been neat because sometimes fun, it’s counterintuitive. It’s like, well, well, is this the single and be fun and you know, and then by the time we get done, we do it. We go out to Dairy Queen afterwards. I mean, that was the best day I had in a long time. You know, so, so, you know, fun is has a wide variety of meanings. So think anytime you can tie into purpose and do the right thing, that’s fun.
Matt Hyatt (37:37):
So speaking of fun, sort of challenge all wrapped up in one, tell us about this 5K.
Kelly Brewer (37:43):
Oh my gosh. Maybe you should tell us about the 5K cause you actually ran it, right? And you came back.
Matt Hyatt (37:50):
Eventually. It took a while. It was a hilly course.
Kelly Brewer (37:55):
Oh my gosh. I probably just shouldn’t even say this, but I’m just gonna say it. Cause it’s the truth. When I saw our course, because we have such a hilly campus, I literally thought they’re going to come one time and no one, we’re gonna come back because it’s brutal. But they keep coming back.
Matt Hyatt (38:10):
So I love, trying to remember, didn’t you on year two reverse the course? I don’t know If I changed the course?
Kelly Brewer (38:20):
Delusion that oh they changed the course. It’s still awful! The other thing that cracks me up is it’s a Peachtree. I’m not a runner as you can tell by how I talk about this. It’s a Peachtree qualifier, I guess it is, but I’m thinking no one’s to have their personal best time at Run the Ranch. You probably won’t qualify Peachtree come and run at Eagle Ranch.
Matt Hyatt (38:47):
Nice way to go see the ranch though here. The chance to really appreciate how it’s developed and built out and you get to see a lot of the amenities. And of course there are a lot of fun people there. Well there are a lot of, some of them are dressed weird. Yeah, I remember I looked in the mirror that morning.
Kelly Brewer (39:05):
Uh what Matt is referring to was his entire team who were running showed up as nerds. And so they were running in plaid shorts and pocket protectors and taped glasses.
Matt Hyatt (39:18):
What was weird is I was the only one that didn’t have to dress up. I just wear my normal stuff and I fit right in.
Kelly Brewer (39:24):
He must be the leader. Fearless leaders. So yes. So Run the Ranch is coming up. It’s Saturday, June the first. You can go online to Eagle ranch.org and all the details are there. It is a fun, it is a fun day. We have a run, we have a fun run for the kids, which is like a little under a mile I think. And then we have a 1.5 mile a nature walk that is just gorgeous around the Lake and up in the woods. Lots of food, music, drinks. It’s a joyful, fun and joyful event for sure. And all the, all the proceeds go to the children and the program, I think last year we netted close to about $30,000, maybe a little bit more. Thank you. Rocket IT. They’re our presenting sponsor and it’s a lot of fun and it’s beautiful. Yeah.
Matt Hyatt (40:18):
So tell us a little bit about how folks can get involved. I know that if we want to run, we can come do that, we can bring in corporate team if we want, but there are also a sponsorship opportunities. Tell us a little bit about what those opportunities look like.
Kelly Brewer (40:32):
Yes. So we have several different sponsorship opportunities that include varying degrees of swag. It’s completely tax deductible. So,uagain, it’s a great benefit. Uwe have a lot of companies that sponsor the Ranch, sponsor the race, and then bring their employees to run and kind of make it like an employee day as that’s a great way to bond with your team and just have some fellowship with your team while doing a great thing for the Ranch. So all that’s on our website, there’s all kinds of levels. Uwe also need volunteers. That’s on our website also. I think last year it took about a hundred volunteers to pull that thing off. So if you want to volunteer you can do that. Yeah, just come and come and run.
Matt Hyatt (41:21):
So where can I go to find more information about the five K?
Kelly Brewer (41:25):
Okay. So you just want to go to Eagle ranch.org and then we have a, a pull down menu called get involved and it’ll in that get involved. So it’s very easy to find. I even think we have one of our ads on the homepage is dedicated to Run the Ranch, but you got to do so soon, especially if you want to sponsor. I think we’re trying to wrap up sponsors in the next week or so by like May 15th and only. And the only reason I’m wrapping up is if you want your name on the shirt, we would still love to have you to be a sponsor of the day of. You just don’t get your name on there. That’s right. That’s right. We’ll get out the Sharpie and add you to it. So
Matt Hyatt (42:03):
I love it. And when people want to learn more about Eagle Ranch in general should they reach out to you?
Kelly Brewer (42:09):
Absolutely. I’d be a great way to start. My email address is kBrewer@eagleranch.org and if it’s not me that you need to talk to, I will get you plugged in to who you need to talk to depending upon how you might want to serve or get involved. So I’d love to hear from you.
Matt Hyatt (42:26):
I love it. Well on that note, I think it’s time to wrap up the segment of the Rocket IT podcast. It went by quickly, didn’t it? While the value is discussed in this episode reflect the missions of Rocket IT and Eagle Ranch. It’s important for an organization’s leaders to take the time to carefully define the unique values that most effectively portray. Your organization’s purpose. Well Kelly, for myself and audiences near and far, we want to say thank you for the spending time with us today. Eagle ranches mission, the values that’s instills and reflect on an admirable and noble cause. Thank you.
Kelly Brewer (43:03):
Thank you so much Matt. It was a pleasure.
Matt Hyatt (43:06):
To everyone listening. Thank you for tuning in. We hope this segment has encouraged you to reflect deeply upon the values you hold most dear while also thinking of effective methods to apply them within your place of work.
Matt Hyatt (43:17):
Once again, if you should have any other questions pertaining to the information discussed in today’s episode, please feel free to send us an email at email@example.com. Additionally, if you or someone you know is interested in learning more about the impact Eagle Ranch has on the lives of local community members, we encourage you to attend this year’s Run the Ranch 5K and Fun Run on June 1st. Even if you don’t plan on running, this event provides an exclusive chance to explore Eagle Ranch’s expansive campus while also learning about potential involvement opportunities. For more details on how you can register to attend, either click the link in this episode’s description or check out the get involved section of Eagle Ranch’s website for myself and the other members of the Rocket IT team. We truly hope to see you there.