Nourishing Wisdom…from Jen Randall

Jen Color
Jen Randall, CIS Board Member and President of Maestro

We recently met up with Jen Randall at Maestro, where she is President of this software development company that builds tools for some of the most advanced companies in the world.Maestro believes that we all deserve a chance at success. For her company, nothing is more elemental than this:  Allow everyone freedom and space to succeed by doing what they do best. She also puts this belief into action to benefit Kalamazoo Public Schools students through her service as a Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo board member. We feature this conversation in our latest newsletter which has a theme of “nourish.” Here is just a taste of the conversation we had with her, including a few bites we didn’t include in the newsletter due to space constraints.

What feeds success?

Success feeds success. If we are talking about a child, you can’t just give a child success. They need to discover it, feel and find it for themselves. Once children have a taste of success—they can crave that for themselves. This is where CIS and everyone else in the community comes into play. We can be that spark that fuels that hunger for hope, helps kids experience success so they can move forward in life, with a healthy appetite for success, along with the skills and tools they need to feed themselves.

What do you think are some of the fables we feed our kids?

Judgement. We’re pretty quick to judge each other, and judge critically. Judgement isn’t necessarily a fable, but our children can’t grow when they’re served a steady diet of judgement. Whether we’re talking about an individual or a community, it is not our place to judge. We are taught to love and serve others. I believe that it is through the pure love of Christ and service we have the opportunity to change lives.

Speaking of love, you have also been busy feeding this community through [Rob Gardner’s oratorio] Lamb of God. I attended this year and it was an incredibly moving experience. Thank you for bringing this to Kalamazoo.

We had 200 local people on stage from 50 churches in the community. Our performance dates are already set for next year—March 11 and 12. Like anything else, it will take the community coming along, supporting Lamb of God and spreading the message of love and hope.

Any final thoughts?

Nourish makes me think of this book I have—about Mother Teresa. She was serving all the time, and yet she also nourished herself. She took the time to feed her spirit so she could continue to feed and nourish others. If we take the time to nourish ourselves, then we are in a good place, and have even more to give. If we don’t take that time to nourish ourselves, we have less to give. Nourish. It’s a really amazing word to contemplate.

To find out what feeds and nourishes Jen, some ways she believes the community can nourish our children, and more, read the rest of the conversation in the latest issue of CIS Connections.