Last week a few of us from the agency had the enviable pleasure of having lunch with the Dalai Lama and 357 other people. For those who missed it — it was a remarkable event.
There were many familiar faces: Frank Giustra and John Volken, to name two. Both are gentlemen I have been fortunate to work with. More than twenty years ago Mr. Volken was a client in the throes of growing a gigantic furniture empire that expanded faster than we could buy and produce television advertising (–_- “UNITED BUY AND SELL FURNITURE WAREHOUSE–__ BOM BOM”.
Mr. Giustra accomplished much the same thing in about the same time frame but in the world of filmed entertainment. It was about the most fun someone could have launching Lions Gate into Hollywood and the capital markets.
But nothing was more astonishing than seeing both men on stage receiving an award from the Dalai Lama for their inspiring generosity and selflessness. John Volken gave away 99% of his massive fortune. Frank: 100 million! These men are true leaders.
Yesterday, Jon Elton and I visited Mr. Volken at his new academy, eponymously named. If you get a chance, google it. What an amazing vision he has: a furniture store in a grocery store attached to a campus with housing for education. An entire ecosystem designed to change lives.
Thanks to you all for shining so very bright.