C3 Member Highlight – Daryl Miller

Jun 20, 2017


In: C3 Member Highlight

A well-known saying offers that “Necessity is the mother of invention.” If it is, then I offer this twist: “Crisis is the father of attention.” And what gets your attention, gets you.

This characterizes a part of the journey of Daryl Miller, a generous sponsor of our C3 Annual Golf Tournament & Dinner Auction. Daryl accepted Jesus as his savior at 12 at a church camp in his home state of Kansas. But, the pursuit of his education, building a family, and a time-intensive career completely absorbed his attention and he was living more for Daryl than for anything else. Then, at the age of 57, his health took a deep dive and the Holy Spirit said to him, “You’re not in Kansas anymore, Daryl.”

A four-way bypass followed by a sudden and pernicious bout with an aggressive cancer stood Daryl up and got his attention in a harsh way. When his doctor told him in 2011, “You’ve got a month to live,” Daryl quickly summarized his life and figured it was time to make some changes. At age 57, Daryl shifted his focus from “things below to things above,” and it was clear that Jesus got his attention. After just a few minutes with Daryl, anyone could see that his whole outlook is about receiving the love of Christ and shedding it abroad to each and every person he encounters. He rounded the bend.

Married to Elsie for 42 years, and blessed with two amazing sons, Brent and David, Daryl acquired Fischer Plumbing in 1997 and grew it to a thriving family of companies with four separate entities under one corporate umbrella. He spends his time mentoring and guiding the great folks he has working for him and serving on six boards, traveling and golfing, and spreading the love of Jesus. And – he is 5 years cancer free! When asked what one key thing is that he endeavors to achieve in all his dealings with people, Daryl suggests, “Be vulnerable. Be honest. Get their trust.”

To learn more about Daryl and his flagship company, Fischer Plumbing, click here.

Forum Chair Highlight – Steve Gandara

May 31, 2017


In: Forum Chair Highlight

“The apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree,” is certainly true in the life of our most recent Forum Chair feature, Steve Gandara. Raised in Texas and Oklahoma by a dad who was both a Lombardi-era high school football coach and auto dealership owner, Steve was primed from an early age to grasp the fundamentals of high-performing leaders, shakers and movers. And entrepreneurship was in his DNA.  An intense focus on goal achievement identified a crisis in his spiritual life in his late twenties which led to a powerful encounter between Jesus and Steve in an office over his garage in Oklahoma. He gave his life to Christ that day, and Steve was forever changed.

Married to Denise for 45 years, Steve’s calling into the world of corporate transformation which began in 1977 carried them to Seattle in 1984. Since then, he has spent the last several decades looking corporate leaders in the eyes and developing instruments and processes that catalyze impactful organizational cultures and profound ROI. His company, Excellent Cultures, was born out of his admitted spiritual calling as a Holy Spirit sent “ambassador of unity.” Steve acknowledges that the only reason for his vast success over the years is his obedience to his calling and a deep love for his clients born of the Lord – in short, the favor of God preceding and following him.

When he’s not busy shedding God’s love abroad in the corporate sphere, Steve and Denise spend time with their 11 children – 2 biological and 9 adopted – another calling that clearly required both the will of God and His accompanying grace. Steve also enjoys watching sports and an occasional round of golf here and there when he can squeeze it in.

Steve resonates deeply with C3 Leaders because “C3 to me is a ministry that promotes unity. We are an organization of brothers and sisters – business believers – who are unified around, as Paul says, ‘Jesus Christ and Him crucified,’ and that’s all that really matters.”

Excellent Cultures is a generous supporter of our Just Business Roundtables and Tournament Sponsor for our Annual Golf Tournament and Dinner Auction. To learn more about Excellent Cultures or to reach Steve, visit his website.

Forum Chair Highlight – Bob Lonac

Mar 31, 2017


In: Forum Chair Highlight

Bob Lonac is a C3 member with extensive experience in leading organizations that pursue the aroma of Christ. As the CEO & President of the multi-faceted CRISTA Ministries, Bob guides the organization’s seven unique ministries toward the mission of “loving God by serving people.”

Washington-born and California raised, Bob gave his life to Christ as a high school student thanks to the influence of YoungLife. After studying Psychology at Westmont College and continuing onto Fuller Theological Seminary, Bob joined the staff at YoungLife. He continued with the youth-centered Christian organization for 33 years, ending his tenure supervising missions in the United States, Asia, and the former Soviet Union. Bob then helped found the International Justice Mission and led for five and a half years as the organization’s first Chief Operating Officer. In 2007, Bob moved to CRISTA Ministries in Seattle, Washington, where he spurs his employees and beneficiaries to pursue Christ in every facet of life.

An avid reader, fly fisherman, birdwatcher, and woodworker, Bob looks for the glory of God in both business and nature. Additionally, he finds it in the community he surrounds himself with, including other C3 members. “I really enjoy being together with all these believers who are serious about making a difference in the marketplace and in their families for Christ,” Bobshared. “Honest and heartfelt interactions and a lot of laughs make our group what it is.”


You can keep up with Bob’s life and interests at Bob Lonac Blog

Forum Chair Highlight – Candace Grisdale

Mar 31, 2017


In: Forum Chair Highlight

Candace Grisdale, Seattle native and long-time C3 Leaders Forum Chair, can’t be missed in a crowd.  She is an energetic, confident, charismatic and passionate leader, not only full of ideas but able to execute at a high level.  In addition to her involvement in C3 Leaders, she is a member of the Executive Network of Seattle and a leader/facilitator in the Washington Student Leadership Forum.

Candace has an interest in outdoor adventures, especially related to the water, but a conversation with her about mentoring youth quickly draws her real passion to the surface.  Her regular dinner meetings with aspiring Seattle-area leaders are legendary.

Concerning her experience in C3 Leaders, Candace says, “When I first learned of C3 and about the opportunity to chair the first women’s forum, I didn’t really understand the impact it would have.  I eagerly anticipated having other women to talk with about issues common in the workplace and to learn from their experiences.  Over the course of these nine years, what I got was a group of lifelong friends and sisters.”

Candace combines a successful 15-year sales and sales management career at Microsoft (including Senior Director of Worldwide Sales) with 4 years at Hewlett Packard, plus several years in technology in young or startup organizations.  She has brought this influence and those substantial skills to a significant amount of volunteer work (both in leadership and assisting roles) in Christian non-profits.  Recently, Candace served as President, Vice President and Board Member for Vision House, a $2.9M nonprofit agency serving homeless families.  Vision House has experienced substantial grown in donor revenue, increased its financial reserve, and completed an $8M transitional housing facility.  She also played a pivotal role in implementing and executing the organization’s succession plan.  She has a dynamic, high-energy personality, charisma and passion.

But all that previous success might be all in preparation for her latest endeavor:  She has been selected by Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission (SUGM) as Chief Development Officer.  Candace is thrilled with the new position because of the broad reach and deep impact SUGM enjoys.  “The Mission goes far beyond providing emergency care and long-term recovery services – it also providing numerous other services and has crafted synergistic relationships with other organizations in the Greater Seattle Area.  SUGM is dedicated to serving, rescuing and transforming those in greatest need through the grace of Jesus Christ through many different programs.”

We congratulate Candace on her service to her Forum, to young leaders and now to the Greater Seattle area through SUGM.  We would encourage support of both Candace and SUGM – feel free to donate or contact her for more information!

Atul Tandon appointed US CEO of Opportunity International

Jan 11, 2017


In: C3 Experts

Tandon will lead the organization’s efforts to engage American donors, funders, corporations and the public to directly impact the lives of women and children living in poverty, utilizing Opportunity’s innovative financial solutions, sustainable interventions and massive global reach.

Tandon is uniquely qualified to steward the organization’s efforts to scale its global impact to help clients create 20 million jobs by 2020. Tandon is an Indian American who was born and raised in India. His track record includes leadership roles with CitiBank’s global consumer banking arm, World Vision and United Way Worldwide. He played a key part in the founding of the One Campaign and is recognized as a change maker and business builder. His work has spanned several sectors, including consumer banking, e-commerce, consumer insights, and health and human services, among others.

Tandon is no stranger to microfinance, having launched Citibank’s consumer lending businesses in India and having served on the board of VisionFund International, a global microfinance network. Tandon’s appointment demonstrates Opportunity’s uncompromising commitment to bringing the best talent to its work of eradicating poverty and building vibrant communities in deeply challenging environments.

“We are excited Atul will be leading the U.S. team,” said Vicki Escarra, Global CEO of Opportunity International. “Atul is a man of strong conviction and a respected member of the microfinance and humanitarian development communities. He comes to Opportunity as a step of faith, believing the organization is the right place for him to continue his calling to serve the poor…”

Atul is following God’s calling in his life and never takes on a small assignment. Opportunity International has always been an innovative force for our world and a great partner for C3 Leaders.