How the Components of a Live, Love, Serve Philosophy Drive the CBI Culture

“We exist to love and serve,” read the words on the mural at the corner of Old Pineville and Yancey Roads in Charlotte, North Carolina. While this mural attracts the attention of those passing by on a daily basis, partners and clients that know CBI and the Associates who work there are familiar with the phrase on the building and the Live Love Serve Philosophy that drives CBI’s culture. 

The "Live Love Serve Philosophy" has been part of CBI's DNA from the beginning. It means we live life to the fullest by being in the moment and enjoying the journey. We love all those who come into our lives, for God has placed them there for a reason. We serve others with our unique talents, time and treasure, and we use them to make the world a better place. 

David Longo, Founder, Chairman and CEO of CBI and the Live Love Serve Foundation, built the business based not only on a passion for serving clients and leveraging the built environment, but also a passion and desire to give back and serve the communities in which CBI operates. 

David says, “I was taught from a young age to place service and faith at the center of my life, and this helped me to embrace the principle of servant leadership as a guide to my life journey. The Live Love Serve Philosophy is a huge part of the CBI Culture and is embraced by all of the Associates who join our company. As an organization, we believe we have a responsibility to love and serve others, which is what we strive to do at CBI and the Live Love Serve Foundation each and every day.”

We asked some CBI Associates what the Live Love Serve Philosophy means to them and how it defines CBI’s unique culture. See their answers below: 

"The Live Love Serve Philosophy means to ‘Live a God centered life focused on love, and to love all those who come into your life, for God has placed them there for a reason.’ This is so true to CBI, its brand and its internal culture. The Live Love Serve Foundation sets CBI apart from any other company because it provides a way for Associates to look out for peers and those struggling in our communities by providing support financially and emotionally when needed. Knowing that your employer has an established Foundation willing to help you out when you’re in a time of crisis is rare to come by, and I’m so thankful to be part of an organization willing to provide such service to others.” Jessica Peeler, CBI Greenville 

“The Live Love Serve philosophy impacts everyone at CBI. Within our own walls, we encourage other teammates to grow within their roles and strive to excel within the CBI family. Outside of the CBI walls, we serve our markets. We wholeheartedly give back to the communities we live in by volunteering at the local level, providing support for those who need it more than ourselves, and joining forces with our coalition partners to serve our communities. This not only makes us better stewards to our communities but grows them and ourselves as well.”Katherine Adcock, CBI Raleigh 

“I am happy to know that I work for an organization that not only supports such important causes throughout the markets we cover and beyond, but also supports its Associates who are experiencing tough times. This really hit home for me and helped me understand how greatly we can impact the lives of others and how important it is to embody the Live Love Serve spirit not only in our personal lives, but also our professional lives.”Lawson Still, CBI Charleston

“Most people have a keen desire to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and that is certainly true for me. One of my favorite things about CBI is that a fundamental part of our culture is the encouragement to use our time, talent, and treasure to positively impact our communities. I've never worked for an organization as focused on living out that philosophy as CBI is. CBI is generous to give individual team members the latitude, not only to get involved in their communities, but to invite their fellow teammates into supporting the causes they are passionate about. CBI doesn't just talk about something, CBI does something about it.  A non-profit needs a place to operate from; we find space for them on our campus. Our brave military families need financial support during deployment; we provide it.  A West Virginia veteran needs a home built; we send a team to West Virginia to do just that. The diversity of organizations and the depth of support to those organizations makes me proud to be a part of the CBI team. I feel inspired to continue to find ways that I and my team can make a difference in our community.”Jodi Beere, CBI Jacksonville

"The Live Love Serve philosophy flows through the veins of who we are at CBI. The integration of David Longo’s Live Love Serve mentality allows us to remember what being human is all about – to live life to the fullest, love those around us, and serve our communities, both on the front lines in service and the back lines in giving. I am personally very thankful to work for an organization whose leadership not only values this but provides us with the resources and time we need for us all to give back. It’s a constant reminder that life is worth living, and we can make it an even better place for others." Cassidy Barnett, CBI Knoxville
 
Our Live Love Serve Philosophy, continued success and David’s vision allowed us to create the Live Love Serve Foundation which is a is a faith centered foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit and extension of CBI Workplace Solutions that provides financial support, volunteerism, and advocacy for individuals, religious organizations and other charities primarily in local CBI markets. Learn more about the Live Love Serve Foundation here and the amazing work we continue to do in each of the CBI communities. 

Renewing Our Commitment to Vapor Ministries

CBI and the Live Love Serve Foundation have a long-standing relationship with Vapor Ministries, a non-profit organization committed to serving hundreds of thousands of people in extreme poverty around the world and spreading God’s word through fellowship and community. They do this by traveling to third-world environments and building Sustainable Centers that provide clean water, healthcare and educational opportunities for local residents.

Charlis Brock, Executive Vice President and Market Executive at CBI is on the Vapor Ministries Board of Directors.

“I’ve never experienced an organization quite like Vapor Ministries,” says Charlis. “This organization travels to the poorest communities in the world and provides for both the spiritual and physical needs of the people that live there. It’s truly amazing to see a Sustainable Center come to life and to see the teams at Vapor help create opportunities for local community members to provide for themselves and create a better future.”

 

Micah McElveen and his wife Audrey founded Vapor Ministries in 2005 after years of prayer, soul searching and personal introspection. Today, Vapor Ministries has brought essential resources and support to some of the poorest communities across the globe. 

A team from the Live Love Serve Foundation recently visited Vapor Ministries’ headquarters in Sylacauga, Alabama. While onsite, the team met with Micah, Audrey and leaders of each department in the organization. The goal of the trip was to learn more about future initiatives for Vapor Ministries and strategize ways CBI and the Live Love Serve Foundation could continue supporting their mission.

Colleen Longo, a member of the Live Love Serve Foundation Board of Directors was an attendee on the trip. 

“This trip let me experience firsthand the undeniable vision that Micah and Audrey have when it comes to helping those in extreme poverty,” says Colleen. “Hearing their story about how they spent the first year of their marriage living out of their car as they prayed about their purpose and worked to bring Vapor Ministries to life – it was inspiring. And touring the Vapor Ministries offices and seeing what Micah and Audrey have built in a short sixteen years is truly amazing and only emphasized our commitment to the organization.”

Over the past four years, CBI and the Live Love Serve Foundation provided Vapor Ministries with a grant of $50,000 a year totaling $200,000 to support their mission and vision and help fund much needed programs. In 2020, the two organizations provided an additional $150,000 which helped fund a new Thrift Store, operated by Vapor Ministries to offset additional operating expenses, and to help with COVID-19 relief. This past commitment from the CBI and the Live Love Serve Foundation totals $350,000.

CBI and the Live Love Serve Foundation are proud to renew their commitment to Vapor Ministries for the next five-years. The two organizations have agreed to provide combined $100,000 per year donation to Vapor Ministries through 2025 to help further their work and support their mission. With this commitment, CBI and the Live Love Serve Foundation will have provided $850,000 in support to Vapor Ministries by the end of 2025

David Longo, Founder, Chairman and CEO of CBI and the Live Love Serve Foundation says, “Vapor Ministries’ goal of bringing assistance and resources to communities in need while educating about the goodness of God directly aligns with the Live Love Serve Foundation’s mission of “living a GOD-centered life focused on love,” and we are pleased to continue supporting them however we can as they continue to do life-changing work in the communities that need it most.” 
 

CBI Charlotte Hosts Onsite Blood Drive to Support the American Red Cross

Last week, CBI Charlotte hosted a blood drive on its campus to support the American Red Cross. Abbey Kochert, a member of CBI’s Workplace Consulting team, planned the event and worked with the American Red Cross to set-up a temporary blood bank in CBI’s Learning Center where Associates could sign-up to give blood throughout the day. 

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The American Red Cross has seen a dramatic decline in the number of blood donations received over the last year,” says Abbey. “I thought hosting a blood drive would be a great way for CBI to give back to our local community and assist an organization that is truly responsible for saving lives.”

A single blood donation can save at least 3 lives and 18 CBI Associates participated in the onsite blood drive. This means within just a few hours, CBI Charlotte contributed to saving at least 54 lives via the American Red Cross. 

“We were so proud of the turnout from our CBI Charlotte office,” says Abbey. “On behalf of CBI, we wanted to express our sincerest gratitude to the entire American Red Cross Team for partnering with us. They were an absolute pleasure to work with from our initial conversation to the actual drive, and we can wait to participate in future opportunities with them.” 

Learn more about the American Red Cross and how to donate blood here