Where to start… Oh. I resigned. I started the company that evolved into White Knight in 1988. I led that company every minute up until a week ago.
I remember in the beginning, struggling financially, and my father telling me that I needed to get my little machine shop up to the point where it was billing for at least $100.00 per day. He told me if I could do that, I’d make it. If I couldn’t, I wouldn’t. I laugh, because now that doesn’t come close to paying White Knight’s power bill.
White Knight will be fine. For the past two years, my brothers and I have worked with a consultant who has driven the advancement of our company. Steve Smith, I believe, is far more capable of leading White Knight than I am. I will continue to serve as the president of the board for White Knight.
It wasn’t that I didn’t like the people I worked with or that I wanted to retire early and waste the rest of my life. I resigned as White Knight’s president and CEO because I had something more important to do.
Short of my own family members, I love orphans, most. Truthfully, I worry about my friends who don’t have parents more than I do my own children. I’ll never forget their faces, their voices, their hugs, their smiles, and kisses on the cheek. I remember Maksím and Dasha, Jenya and Ksenya, André and Maria. I still see those children often, in my dreams. Lately, I have been working 60-70 hours per week between my responsibilities at White Knight, with my writing, and with trying to start a charity to aid children who are aging out of orphanages. I don’t want to cut back on my hours. But even where I was at, it wasn’t enough. I decided that I wanted to spend that much time working for orphans (and that will include my writing).
A year ago, my family and I started foundation called Ele Lembra. It means, “He Remembers,” in Portuguese. Sorry, but you’ll need to read To Sing Frogs for that to make sense. Ele Lembra was started with grand dreams of far reaching involvement to help orphans around the world, and particularly as they age out of orphanages to attempt a successful life in the real world. Currently, Ele Lembra’s involvement is meager, with only one program working with a few children in the Republic of Georgia. My desire is to turn Ele Lembra into a massive, world-wide charity. I need your help.
Ele Lembra is not an organization where my friends or I pull a chunk off the top and then send scraps to orphans. I own more than a dozen patents and still own a third of the company that I just resigned from. That is where I will continue to get my income. Ele Lembra is a place where I will spend my money, not where I will take money away.
Last summer, my brother and I sold our Corvettes to give Ele Lembra the shot it needed to get moving. That attitude of giving rather than taking away will continue to be the Simmons family mantra for Ele Lembra. In fact, all proceeds from the sale of my new book, To Sing Frogs, will go to benefit Ele Lembra and its programs.
Please help me to help my friends. Take a minute to visit EleLembra.com http://elelembra.com/ and get to know this true charity. Please give generously. I promise to continue to give ‘till it hurts. I will never forget the friends I made in orphanages. I need you to remember them too.