While it's no small accomplishment to dedicate a couple of decades to grow a company to $2 million in revenue a year, Joel Bomgaars has done exactly that... but in just two years. Joel is the Founder and CEO of NetworkStreaming, a company that he began to develop during his senior year at the Christian college he attended. NetworkStreaming's products allow their customers "to remotely connect with any computer, anywhere in the world, in less than 10 seconds" - a rather impressive concept for a senior in college to begin to develop.
A 2003 Christian college graduate in business administration, Joel has already guided NetworkStreaming to 33 employees and a customer base of over 1,300 in 50 states and 32 countries around the globe. NetworkStreaming's customer list includes such names as AIG, Nissan, UBS and Farm Bureau Insurance to name a few.
So what impact did attending a Christian college have on Joel Bomgaars, and what led to his tremendous success? NetworkStreaming states: "Our vision is to provide technical solutions while honoring God and developing our people." This one sentence provides great insight into the priorities of Joel and his company.
A CEO's perspective on hiring Christian college graduates
While it's significant to talk about how greatly Joel values his Christian college education, it's a different matter to see it demonstrated in a tangible way. Perhaps the most compelling example of Joel's high regard for his education is revealed by considering those he has employed. Currently, over half of NetworkStreaming's employees are individuals, who at one time or another, attended that same Christian college he attended. From the perspective of a CEO, Joel believes that recruiting Christian college grads is simply a wise business decision, as they often bring a solid work ethic, integrity, strong interpersonal skills and a well balanced view of life to the workplace. These characteristics can provide the building blocks for a strong foundation leading to success in their profession. Joel believes that Christian colleges provide a great starting point in business for these reasons.
Why did someone like Joel Bomgaars attend a Christian college?
Joel knew early in the process of choosing a college that a small Christian college was the right choice for him. His decision took him only a short drive of 10 or 15 minutes from his home. This arrangement allowed him to have a job near his home while attending college. His motivation for attending a Christian college was rooted in his desire to be in an environment that would encourage "wisdom and values" in addition to knowledge. Joel felt those values would not be promoted at a secular school, and it was important to him that his education come from a "Christian world and life view". Joel believes the nature of a Christian college leads to academic strength because of the importance the Christian faith places on striving for excellence in all areas of life.
The professors Joel encountered had an approach to teaching that was based in Christian service. This service-oriented outlook translated to relationships that extended beyond classroom walls. Joel noticed professors who were actively engaged in the lives of their students.
How the Christian college experience impacts Joel's decisions today
Joel believes one of the reasons for his success is the high value that Christian colleges place on relationships. This emphasis impacts his daily decisions at NetworkStreaming as he recognizes the importance of each person as an individual who has been created in the image of God. Even when Joel encounters a difficult employee situation, respect for the individual is essential. This perspective appears to contradict today's business culture where decisions often seem to be based exclusively on financial considerations. The success of NetworkStreaming suggests that Joel's approach has served him well.
One of the threads that is woven throughout my discussion with Joel is the importance that he places on people. Joel makes it clear that his staff are one of the most vital components to his success. And as important as it is to have good people around him, Joel's quick to say that "blessings from God" are probably the primary reason for his achievements. On the wall inside Joel's office you would see, "the horses prepare for the day of the battle but victory rests with the Lord." In talking with Joel, there is a genuine humility that causes him to realize that while a company can have a great product or staff, ultimately "success" is a gift from God.
Getting real...and a little advice
When asked about how his college experience influences his personal life, Joel speaks of such concepts as balance and a Christian worldview. His Christian college background helps Joel harmonize his family, friends and work. Joel would "highly recommend attending a Christian college" because of the significant impact it can have on one's personal and professional life. When asked if he had to do it over again, would he attend a Christian college, Joel responds, "absolutely". Joel believes that his education was "worth every penny." For Joel Bomgaars, attending a Christian college was a key step on the road to his success.
Article Written by Thom Seagren - The Christian Connector, Inc.