Business, balance and joy
By Glenn Triezenberg, Director of Career Development

More than 300 people packed the Prince Conference Center's Great Hall on a fine late-October evening for my office's annual Business Careers Dinner. The room bustled with the sounds of students and business professionals networking over a delicious dinner, with barely a seat to spare.

The audience was comprised of business internship employers, members of the young business alumni group called MBA@Calvin, friends of Calvin from the business community, faculty, staff and nearly 130 business students.

David Dorner

David Dorner is the first recipient of the MBA@Calvin Horizon Award.

MBA@Calvin co-chair Pam Haralakova started the evening with devotions and an explanation of this vibrant young alumni group. The group presented its first Horizon Award for early excellence in business to Calvin alumnus David Dorner. Dorner, a 1993 engineering grad, employs numerous Calvin alumni and interns through his embedded systems engineering company, DornerWorks. His entrepreneurial ventures and strong Christian faith have garnered the respect and admiration of his former professors, colleagues and fellow young alumni.

Next, Milt Kuyers, who served on Calvin's board of trustees for nine years, six of them as chair, and is Chairman and CEO of GMK Companies in Wisconsin, shared his career story and insights about what it means to be a steward of God's resources. Kuyers began with a disclaimer: “Speaking about my career poses challenges for me since my parents raised me never to talk about my successes, and since as a business person, I prefer not to talk about my failures.” Thankfully, Kuyers overcame his reticence and indulged the audience with meaningful insights into his story and philosophy.

Kuyers explained that through the wide variety of positions he has held and businesses he has owned his title has always been the same: steward. Kuyers is convinced that God has charged him with managing and expanding resources in order to provide sustainable jobs and build the kingdom through investing in for-profit and non-profit organizations that help improve communities in the United States and internationally.

Milt Kuyers

Milt Kuyers

Raised in Jenison, Mich., the son of a factory worker with an eighth-grade education, Kuyers attended Calvin and the University of Michigan, from which he received an MBA with a focus on accounting. He started his career as an accountant with Deloitte and Touche, where he drove himself to work long hours. Finally, he examined his work-life balance and realized the work side of the scale far outweighed the life side. It was time to invest energy in family and in God in equal parts to vocation.

He took a 40 percent pay cut to join a family-owned business, launching his new career in helping distressed companies turn around. Since then he has invested in improving numerous companies, using his listening skills to tap into ideas of employees, who often know exactly what needs to be done to correct a company's challenges. He always looks out for the best interest of the companies he acquires, especially the employees.

Through all of Kuyers' ventures, he has focused on what he dubs “heart entrepreneurship.” He leads with his heart, developing businesses in places that sorely need good jobs. He has created jobs around the world, given generously to worldwide nonprofit organizations, and provided a Christian role model for young people to follow.

He concluded by offering the following advice for the Calvin students in attendance: Strike a balance between your family, vocation and God. Find the joy that comes with balancing these important areas of life. Find joy in the vocation of business.