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Have You Met?

Sit down and visit with Justin Anthony, CEO of GoodSpark, and be prepared to have your mind blown away with inspiration and ideas for your favorite non-profit. 

GoodSpark is “a Denver-based nonprofit that exists to engage and empower the next generation of philanthropists. While raising awareness about important issues and causes is central to our mission, our ultimate goal is to inspire action.” The organization works to connect young professionals together, educate them about philanthropies and causes, mobilize those same people into action, and if you know Justin, of course have time to celebrate successes. 

Justin was raised by parents that taught him “don’t judge others; be color-blind.” They also taught their son to give back and gave him the skills to learn how to work hard. “When I was fourteen or fifteen my parents gift to me was a lawnmower. My dad had lined up customers up and down the street, and he told me that after I earned money and paid him back for the lawnmower, anything I earned after that was mine to keep.” Something similar occurred with a snow blower, he said with a smile. “I had a really good upbringing and watched my parents volunteer.”   

Justin started out in the world by working in Chicago for C.H. Robinson, a logistics firm that understands the meaning of ‘dynamic.’ The company saw Justin’s potential and month after month, year after year, he found himself climbing the ladder of success. “There was a strong expectation to succeed.”

After more promotions, Justin found himself living in Europe, as a Managing Director of Operations. He lived in France and Belgium and met his wife, Vicky Delvaux who currently works at the Denver Center for Performing Arts in her native country of  Belgium.

In 2006, still firmly on the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, Justin had a change of heart. “I decided I wanted to find a non-profit to support. His first taste was through a Belgium organization that helps mothers living below the poverty line. “I went to the organization and asked for a Christmas wish list. They wanted powdered milk, diapers and baby food. I wanted to get them the supplies but I also wanted people to really understand how their money helped these women. I had people deliver their donations in person so that they could see the impact of their efforts first-hand and look into the faces of those women and see how much they appreciated and needed the support.” That is now one of the cornerstones of GoodSpark, creating action for non-profits and connecting people to the cause.  

At the end of 2007 Justin turned to his wife and told her that he wanted to return to the United States and begin GoodSpark.

The whole drive is to find ways to get people in the game, to energize and empower people.  Philanthropy feels good.” Justin hit the main point square on: “I belive that your heart should lead you to the cause and your mind should choose the organiation.  Justin also feels very strongly about collaboration and is always looking for ways to leverage relationships for the greater good. Our Social Remix is fun way to connect with others. It’s socializing with substance, bringing socially conscious individuals, non-profits, businesses and government together.”

Justin’s incredible success in the business world is the base for his work in the non-profit world. “When I support a non-profit I want to know that they’ll be there in the future. Passion and ehthusiam is great, but you have to measurable results and a sustainable model." 

Justin pointed out that right now, Colorado residents are not motivated to give.  Even thought Colorado has more nonprofits per capita than any other state we rank among the top in average adjusted gross income, but we also rank 38th in charitable giving, and local philanthropy continues to decline. He (and GoodSpark) believ that Colorado can do better, that our community deserves better, and that engagin young professional will be a key factor in sparking change.

To become involved or to get that extra spark for your non-profit, look to www.goodspark.org. They’re young, dynamic and determined to better our world through philanthropy.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Taking time out to appreciate all that I have and all the wonderful people in my life.

What is your greatest fear?

That I’ll fail to make a positive difference.

What is the trait you most admire in others?
Modesty

Which living person do you most admire?

My father.  Honest, genuine, and never has a bad word to say about another.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Bringing the down payment on my first house with me on my first trip to Vegas

What is your greatest trait? 

Accountability
What is the quality you most like in a person?
Being genuine

When and where were you happiest?

Here and now without a doubt
Who are your real-life heroes?
People that help those that can’t help themselves

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Talking my wife into marrying me (credit also due to a number of bottles of wine)
If not in Colorado, where would you like to live?
Back in the Haute-Savoie for a bit

What is your most treasured possession?

My dogs (although it’s debatable who owns who)

What do you most value in your friends?

Understanding

What is it that you most dislike?

Hate
What is your greatest regret?
That I waited so long to do what I’m doing now.

What is your motto?

 "Do what you can where you are with what you have."
~ Theodore Roosevelt