Christian CEO Group Expands in Portland, OR

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The C12 Group, America's leading Christian CEO and business owner roundtable, is launching a new group in Portland, OR. The group will be led by Mike Burkesmith.

“Christian CEOs and Business Owners in Portland-Vancouver can look forward to joining others who have been looking for an objective peer advisory board coupled with executive development through one-on-one advice and counsel,” Burkesmith said.

C12 Group Area Chair Mike Burkesmith announces an expansion of the C12 Group, North America’s leading Christian CEO roundtable forum, into Portland-Vancouver beginning in April 2011.

“We are excited to bring C12 to the growing Portland metro area,” said Don Barefoot, President & CEO of The C12 Group. “I believe that many Christian chief executives in the Pacific northwest are looking for this type of objective peer advisory board, lifelong learning, and personal development as servant leaders. This Portland-Vancouver expansion continues to build C12’s long-term presence in southern Oregon and reflects a continued strengthening of C12’s network in the western U.S. Mike Burkesmith is a great asset to the C12 Group and to the many Portland and Vancouver area Christian CEOs and business owners who are ready to build great companies for a greater purpose.”

         “Christian CEOs and Business Owners in Portland-Vancouver can look forward to joining others who have been looking for an objective peer advisory board coupled with executive development through one-on-one advice and counsel,” Burkesmith said. “I believe the relevance of C12’s materials, interaction with other like-minded business leaders and focused discussion of best-practice concepts will have a tremendous impact on the Portland-Vancouver marketplace. I look forward to leading C12 Groups in Portland-Vancouver, with groups launching this spring.”

After 30 years of varied business and ministry experience, Mike joined C12 Group as Area Chair for Portland-Vancouver.  His experience includes:
10 years in corporate management and marketing roles, including Business Unit Manager for TransTechnology Corp. and President of a direct marketing company
10 years in government and ministry in roles such as CIO and Development Director with organizations such as Greater Portland PRC, Luis Palau Association, and the largest ESD in Oregon
10 years consulting and helping business owners build their companies using best practice methods such as E-Myth Mastery and Full Spectrum Business Development 

At a time when so much of the news about corporate America is negative, C12 members stand out as light in the darkness. Together, they are encouraged and equipped to demonstrate integrity, excellent performance, character, and life balance, while improving both their business and ministry efforts. They do this through a proven “iron-sharpening-iron” process that leverages the experience of like-minded peers and highly effective business and ministry written materials, incorporating Biblical principles, as they make daily decisions in serving customers, stewarding resources, building up employees and collaborating with suppliers.

Named for the model Jesus Christ set in Scripture (purposeful interaction among a group of 12 disciples), the C12 Group provides a special monthly ‘sabbatical day’ in business to enable the disciplined planning, learning, accountability and personal refreshment that contributes to the program’s intensity and proven success (see ‘The C12 Difference’ on

Facilitated by their local C12 Area Chair, C12 Group members (generally CEOs and Owners of companies ranging from $1 million to $1 billion annually) reserve one day each month to meet together in small peer advisory boards across the U.S. to intentionally work to enhance their business, life and ministry. They open with prayer, have a devotional time and work through pre-planned segments dealing with improving business results and ministering to those the business touches while keeping the eternal perspective, Biblical principles and life integration firmly in view. There is a “To-Do List” time in which each member commits to accomplishing certain objectives prior to next month’s meeting. Finally, each meeting includes an in-depth look at one of the member businesses and ends with an “Open Table” opportunity for members to put issues on the table for consideration and input for their “Board of Advisors.”

In addition, each C12 member meets monthly for a 60-90 minute one-on-one consultation with their local C12 Area Chair. These high-impact sessions are designed to help maximize the C12 experience by motivating and holding accountable Christian business leaders through focused interaction with a seasoned business leader and confidante.

C12 also offers programs for “Key Players” in these Christian-led businesses to help personnel in key leadership roles understand how to better support the company mission. These focused half-day sessions sharpen business skills and encourage ministry involvement.

With nearly 900 member companies, C12 represents a vast array of businesses across America— construction companies, distributors, financial services groups, printers, technology firms, law firms, manufacturers, retailers, substantial start-ups, and more. Members range from family-owned small businesses to publicly-traded firms with thousands of employees. Each group is comprised of non-competing peers. C12 is not a traditional networking group, which focuses predominantly on supplying leads for other members, but rather engages its members in a rigorous and challenging framework that helps them work “on” their business—not just “in” it.

“There is no substitute for this kind of high-touch interaction among like-minded business peers,” Barefoot said. “We focus on performance—both personally and professionally. Is this guy dropping the ball at home because he’s working too hard or with the wrong priorities? We deal with that. Is this lady having trouble with planning, execution or team alignment? We’ll put it on the table. Wherever a Christian business owner is, that’s where we begin, but that’s not where we leave them.”

Founded in 1992 by Buck Jacobs, a dedicated Christian CEO and author, the C12 group currently serves 60+ metro markets across the U.S. and has plans to ramp up new groups in several other major North American markets as it pursues its mission: To change the world by bringing forth the Kingdom of God in the marketplace through the companies and lives of those He calls to run businesses for Him. In doing so, C12 serves as a resource for education, encouragement, challenge, inspiration, and accountability. Learn more about C12 online at

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