Monday, March 20, 2017
Peter Davis, President of the UT College of Business and Innovation Alumni Affiliate, is a remarkably busy man. When he is not raising money for scholarships for COBI students, or successfully operating his business, the Dundee Manufacturing Company, he devotes his time and energy to direct another organization, Hope2Water. He started Hope2Water to save lives by delivering safe and healthy drinking water to children, families, and communities through philanthropy, advocacy, outreach, and custom water solutions to the people in Haiti.
In January of this year, his organization achieved the milestone of drilling their first two water wells in Dessalines, Haiti.
“Dr. Clint Longenecker planted the seed about this project when I was working on my Executive MBA in COBI, and it resonated with me,” Davis said. “I was given the opportunity to go to Dessalines, Haiti, on my first mission there to help at an eyecare clinic. It was shortly after the earthquake and when we arrived for our mission there were a million people living in tents right near the airport. Most of the nine million people in Haiti don’t have opportunity, and there are no jobs”.
“On the three-hour bus ride to the clinic, we were going over a bridge and I saw people pulling pails of water from the creek, the same creek in which other people were washing their clothes. I saw the pollution, and learned there are an enormous amount of deaths due to water-borne disease. I became friends with the chaplin at the hospital in Dessalines and asked him about the water conditions, and he said that five to ten people die each year in his village alone due to the bad water. These were not only people in his village but also his family members”.
“That touched me.”
Davis said his next step was to set up a non-profit organization to be able to raise money to carry out his vision of getting safe and clean drinking water to the people of Haiti. He contacted an organization that was already familiar with drilling wells in Haiti and flew to Texas to meet with Healing Hands International to drill the wells needed in Dessalines.
“They told me it cost $6,000 to drill a well. I didn’t know if I could raise that much money, but I did know that I had to drill two wells in Dessalines, community wells for everyone to get water,” he recalled. “So I said, let’s move forward and do it. I planned to pay for it myself if I could not raise the money, but in six weeks we pulled together a golf outing in Michigan which raised $12,000.”
This past January Davis returned to Haiti to again help at the eyecare clinic. “While we were there we drilled our first well; we hit water at 45 feet down, and it produced 35 gallons of water a minute. We then drilled the second well, hitting water at 90 feet. We capped them, poured the foundation and installed the pumps. We were now able to give water via a hand pump to 1,500 to 2,000 people a day per well!”
With this achievement in place, Davis considered expanding his well-drilling venture in Haiti, but he discovered that many existing wells that still have water are not functional because the pumps have broken. However, the repairs to the pump can often be made for less than $100.
“So now Hope2Water is focused on raising money to repair wells and troubleshoot and upgrade the pumps to make them last longer,” Davis explained. “Our goal is to raise $150,000, through donations, events and fundraising, to repair 1,500 identified non-working wells. The need is now, and I see us accomplishing our goal over a two-to-three year period.”
"I also hope to hire a custodian to take care of each well, and also raise money to drill new wells.”
“We have purpose and leadership…I can almost feel it happening,” Davis said. “That’s why I fly to Texas and meet with people there, that’s why I go to Haiti and see people standing in anticipation to use a pump and drink clean water. It’s just such a basic need, a common thread for everyone on this planet.”
“In the United States we have a tendency to get inpatient, that things don’t happen when they should,” Davis reflected. “But I kept giving it to God knowing he would make it happen; it does test your belief system.”
“I’m good with goals. I want to be able to look someone in the eye and know I did it for them.”
There will be a fundraising golf outing on June 23rd to support this cause. To register for the event, or to learn more about this important clean water project, go to www.Hope2Water.org.
Professional sales students from 30 universities across the United States came to the University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation on February 24 & 25 to compete in the second annual University of Toledo Invitational Sales Competition (UTISC).
When the competition was over and all scoring sheets tallied, the team from the COBI Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales (ESSPS) - - which presented the event - - won the competition!
“Last year at the UTISC, our University of Toledo team did really great job; we were in the top ten, both of our students made it to the semifinals, and that was really exciting,” explained Deirdre Jones, ESSPS Director. “Our team this year did a great job helping each other to prepare. It was truly a team-based effort. We had great faculty coaches, and this year we won! It was fantastic, a great moment. The results between first, second and third we all very tight, but not only did our team of Taylor Busse and Jovan Sanson win, but Busse took first place in tjunior division, and Sanson finished 4th in the sophomore/freshman division. Really proud of their efforts and how they represented the University of Toledo.”
“It’s really rewarding to win the UTISC,” said team coach Dr. Ellen Pullins, Schmidt Research Professor of Sales & Sales Management and COBI Professor of Marketing. “We’ve got a long history of wins and top 10 finishes at other national competitions over a decade, so we really wanted to bring everything we have to our own venue, and we did! It is even more exciting to win when the team is surrounded by colleagues and friends! I really think they were the 12th man.”
“We started preparing for the competition about a month ahead of time. We’ve seen in our success at other competitions that the real key is to coach students in an adaptive sales process that will work regardless of what situations they encounter. This is really the heart of the ESSPS curriculum that makes us so successful with recruiters as well as at a variety of different national competitions,” Pullins added.
Jones explained that ““We are the nation’s first and only national sales competition to focus exclusively on the non-senior. All of our competitors are freshmen, sophomores and juniors.”
“I kept getting phone calls from organizations asking me about who our top seniors were and if they could talk to them, and I had to keep telling them that they were already placed. I want to make sure that we can continue to be in a position to help the business community and also help universities across the country grow sales program enrollments, because we all need to grow to keep up with corporate demand.”
Jones added, “These younger students go back and have a year or more before graduation, they tell their peers about how much fun it was, what they learned and the great companies they met. It’s great for the companies because one hundred percent of all the students they meet at the national sales competition are hirable. If they are spending their time, talent and treasure to come out, we want to make sure they get a return on that.”
Sponsors included 3M, Owens Corning, Quicken Loans, Schindler Elevator Corporation, Goodyear Tire and Rubber, Hilti and Proctor and Gamble.
Jones said, “The best part of the UTISCF for universities is just knowing how absolutely bright the future is for sales talent. It’s really rewarding to see the students perform well. I and my colleagues love what we do, we’re really passionate about it, knowing that we are impacting things now and decades from now, because these are the sales professionals of the future. Our vision is developing the world’s future sales leaders, one student at a time, and I can’t think of a better way that we can accomplish this than with the UTISC.”
Participating universities included Baylor, Florida State University, Ball State, Oregon State, Temple and Indiana.
“I think what encourages the undergraduate sales students is that they are finally getting a taste of the real world,” Jones said. “For them to see buyers who are real world professionals to come in and role play with the students. They are able to build competence and confidence in what they are doing, and I think that is very addicting and reassuring for a lot of them that this is something that they enjoy doing and something they are going to be good at doing.”
Growth is on the horizon for this invitational event. “We’ve had a wait list every single year we have done the competition, and next year we are going to expand to 36 universities,” Jones said.