Love INC's McGowan finds fulfillment helping others

Sunday, May 13, 2012
John McGowan is CEO for Love INC of Southeast Missouri.
FRED LYNCH
flynch@semissourian.com

John Drake McGowan has worked in for-profit organizations as well as not-for-profits. He said it was a motor vehicle accident that changed his life. McGowan, the CEO of Love In the Name of Christ of Southeast Missouri, talks about his path to the organization and helping others.

Q: Many folks know you from your involvement with the United Way, but for those who do not, tell us about yourself.

A: Born and raised in Wisconsin, I am the youngest of three children. My mother is a retired schoolteacher and my late father was an Episcopal priest. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I moved to Sydney, Australia and lived in Denver and Tucson before settling in Cape Girardeau. I came to visit my brother, Hugh, and his family and they introduced me to my wonderful wife Kelley at La Croix United Methodist Church on the second night I was here. I am a fanatic and proud part-owner of the greatest not for profit organization, the Green Bay Packers! Kelley and I reside in Cape with our two dogs, Reggie and Hutson.

Q: How long have you been a member of your faith?

A: With that whole "father was a Father" thing, from birth.

Q: You've spent a good portion of your career working for not-for-profit organizations, most recently with the United Way of Southeast Missouri. What attracted you to this career path?

A: Two hints from God. The first came while working for Intuit. I made great money but hated going to work. I felt completely unfulfilled but had really cool stuff. Since that wasn't a clear enough sign for me, while attending law school in Denver, I was hit by a truck that ran a red light. I went from "you are lucky to be alive" to "it is a miracle you are walking." After a four-year recovery, I enrolled in the master's of nonprofit management program at Regis University and have been blessed to work for some great organizations that measure success by the lives they impact instead of the bottom line.

Q: As chief executive officer for Love In the Name of Christ of Southeast Missouri, what do you enjoy most about your job?

A: 1 Peter 4:10 says, "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." As the CEO it has been amazing to give people the opportunity to live that edict in a simple yet meaningful way. It has been eye opening to experience how God transforms the lives of both the volunteer and the recipient of help when it is provided in Christ's love. What makes Love INC different isn't what we do for people; it is in how we address them holistically instead of meeting the immediate need.

Q: Does your organization have any upcoming events?

A: We offer volunteer orientation sessions on an ongoing bases throughout the month. By rotating the day of the week and the time of the day we're able to accommodate people's busy schedules. The list of upcoming sessions can be found on our website, www.LoveINCsemo.org.

Q: What's your favorite Bible verse?

A: "He has told you, O man, what is good, and what the Lord really wants from you: He wants you to promote justice, to be faithful, and to live obediently before your God." (Micah 6:8)

Q: What results have you seen from this organization, either since you've been on board or before?

A: Our local affiliate hired our first part-time employee in July 2007 with client services beginning in January 2008. We have grown exponentially each year in the numbers served. In 2011, we had 1,566 calls resulting in more than $185,000 of goods and services provided to those demonstrating a legitimate need. Amazingly, for each dollar donated to Love INC, $3.68 of client assistance is provided. Our organization continues to grow as we attempt to match those in need to Christians who can help.

Q: How can people help the organization succeed?

A: There are many ways people can help Love INC truly live out our mission to transform lives and our community. The first is to simply "like" us on Facebook. That way they can get regular information about services we're providing and specific ways they can get involved. We also ask people to prayerfully consider using the skills and abilities they already have within our ministry, either by providing services directly to clients or by working in our office. Another way people can help is by sharing our ministry goals with their churches and employers. This would help us to increase the resources we have available for the people we serve. Finally, we are a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit ministry funded primarily through gifts from individuals and churches. All donations of time, products or finances are tax-deductible.

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