I created Guardian Spirit roughly two years before I completed the paperwork to turn my project into a full fledged nonprofit company. I decided to formalize my business because I believed it was the best way to help as many people as possible.
I brought together a board of directors that I believed could help me serve the community:
1.Steve Zabawa, a very well know businessman and at the time I believed to be a good friend as well.
2. Traci Sell, the owner of Pediatric Therepy Clinic which is a for profit company that was once the nonprofit Scottish Rights Clinic.
3.Lance Eck, a close personal friend of Traci Sell and a business student at College of Mary
4. Don Elingson, a psychology student at MSUB who already has his Masters degree and is working on his doctrate
5. Cherish Roberts, an LCT with her own private practice
6. Luis Perez, the owner of B.I.T.S and a long time friend
7. Rae Lynn Jordan, an amazing accountant from Galusha Higgins and Galusha, who is also the treasurer for the company I started
8. John Poer, A retired assistant director from California and one of my oldest friends.
This was the original board, and it was a pretty amazing team. My company did not start to have problems until we had a changeover in board personel. When I brought this group together, I believed their skills with real world business could fill in the gaps I knew that would slow me down on my quest to serve others.
Unfortunatly, due to circumstances in their lives I lost a few of my board members and had to replace them. The people that I replaced the amazing team that I had started with were not of the same caliber or moral fortitude of the members whose position they now filled.
Unfortunate that the main instigator of the disentragration of the nonprofit I started would come from the person who claimed to be a "nonprofit consultant". Due to a legal document served on me I can not give this persons name, or warn anyone to stay very far from them. They will go on to ruin other dreams I am sure.
Rae Lynn Jordan, had been the steadying influence on the more business minded members of the board. She and I were in complete agreement that 65% of all operating costs and expenses needed to be raised through fundraising and NOT put on the backs of the people that the company was created to help.
When the tax season hit, and we lost her wisdom on the board for a few months, a feeding frenzy took place for low hanging fruit as our "nonprofit consultant" called it. Not only were they pushing to change what I had created in order to conform to standards proven not to work in order to get access to money, they were also now completely willing to lay the cost of development squarely on the backs of those who I was trying to help. People that I knew could not afford the price.
In the words of members of the board, "If its important enough to them (the families of the people we were supposed to be helping) than they will sacrifice to get access. They will give up fun, cut back on groceries, and suffer in order to give their children a better life." I don't know about you, but that doesn't sit well with me. I created my work in order to change lives, so that everyone could have a better future; not just the people with enough money to afford help. That was the point of being a nonprofit company.
I could not stop them. I was outnumbered on the board that I created, in the company I created to serve the community. They saw dollar signs, and had no compunction with taking advantage of the need we all saw so clearly. The final straw, the moment I decided to resign was when they tried to lay claim to my intellectual property.
In the words of the President of the nonprofit, a man I once considered a dear friend, "Marcus understands now that its for his own good that we take his work from him."
I did not resign for creative differences. I did not resign because of personality conflicts. I resigned in an attempt to protect others.