CEO Confidential

Marcus Lemonis, Host of CNBC’s The Profit, is Putting His Business Acumen Up For Auction to Benefit Chicago Nonprofit Supporting People with Developmental Disabilities

Business Turnaround King invites you to bid on A Day and a Dinner to support Esperanza Community Services

Marcus Lemonis is known as the business turnaround king. He is the host of CNBC’s prime time reality series The Profit, on which he invests his own money into businesses to turn them around, with one caveat – he is, as he says on the show, “100 percent in charge.”  Lemonis’ insights and savvy have helped businesses across the country go from struggling to thriving.

On The Profit, Lemonis applies his Three Ps (People, Process, and Product) to assist businesses from a variety of industries and help them succeed. Marcus Lemonis drives results through collaborations, partnerships and relationships. His advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is simple: stay focused, work hard, know your numbers, and be disciplined. And it works. And as a result, viewers tune into his show in huge numbers to watch the process, including P&L reviews, concise summaries of the barriers facing the business and what they need to do to turn it around, unfold. The show’s October 28th season premiere was the most-watched original series telecast in CNBC history.

And people’s desire to connect with and learn from Lemonis doesn’t end there. Business owners line up to seek his advice, and budding entrepreneurs follow his every move on social media.  Recently, Lemonis has begun live streaming from his Facebook page during episodes of The Profit to answer viewer questions about the current episode and listen to their feedback. The comments range from queries on how to strategically diversify inventory to book recommendations, as well as thousands of viewers stopping by to say hello.  However, even though Lemonis is the star of his own reality show, his fame is no Hollywood construction.

Lemonis’ notoriety has been established by his tenacity, shrewdness and determination. His biggest successes to date have come from leading his own businesses. He is the chairman and CEO of Camping World, the nation’s largest RV and outdoor retailer, as well as Good Sam, the world’s largest RV owner’s organization.  Lemonis has streamlined the RV industry, buying and developing more than 100 RV companies from dealerships across the country and turning them into Camping World RV SuperCenters.

After combining Camping World with Good Sam Enterprises in 2010, Lemonis now leads nearly 7,000 employees in over 100 U.S. cities, and recorded close to $3 billion in sales in 2014. He is also an award-winner. Lemonis was named RV Business Magazine’s “Newsmaker of the Year” in 2007 and landed in Crain’s Chicago Business “40 under 40” list in 2005. In 2008, Ernst and Young named Lemonis “Entrepreneur of the Year” and most recently he was recognized by Inc Magazine as one of the top “10 Most Admired CEOs in America” running the fastest growing private companies.  While some may rest on their laurels with such a résumé, Lemonis’ unique vision and large ambition keep him looking forward. Lemonis recently added real estate investment across the country and a variety of new product lines and services to his holding company Marcus Lemonis Enterprises LLC.

Now, Lemonis is giving business owners and CEOs a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Through a partnership with Charity Buzz, Lemonis is auctioning his time and business insights that will allow one winning business anywhere in the U.S. to spend a day with Lemonis. As on the CNBC series, the winning business will be visited by Lemonis at their location. During the day, the winner will be able to spend that time with Lemonis reviewing their business or marketing strategy, giving Lemonis a tour of their facility and connecting him with staff, and benefiting from Lemonis’ insight and feedback on what the business needs to do to prosper.  “Come prepared to utilize this day to its fullest,” reads the description of the experience on CharityBuzz.com, setting the expectation that this is much more than a celebrity meet-and-greet.  That evening, Lemonis will treat the winner and his or her management team to a dinner at the finest restaurant in town. The auction is hosted by Charity Buzz at CharityBuzz.com/MarcusLemonis and bidding is open through November 16 at 3PM EST.

“It is important to me to give back to the community, and in what better way can I assist than to support businesses while also benefiting a cause I believe in,” Lemonis said, referring to Esperanza Community Services, a Chicago-based nonprofit that helps people with developmental disabilities. “When I visited Esperanza, the team and the community left a lasting impact on me. They are doing great work for people with developmental disabilities who come from low-income families and need our support,” he said.

Lemonis visited Esperanza earlier in 2015, meeting the participants and artists in their adult training program. And earlier in the week, he took to social media to raise awareness about the auction, filming a video that has since received more than 32,000 views in which he referred to Esperanza as one of the greatest organizations he’s been to.

“We are so appreciative of this opportunity,” said Joy Decker, Esperanza’s executive director. “This will make a tremendous difference for the people we serve and their families.” Esperanza Community Services supports children and adults with developmental disabilities to grow academics and life skills while building friendships. Their programs include a therapeutic day school for students with autism and other diagnoses, a day training program that supports adults to hone daily living and community integration skills, an arts program, residential housing, and more. The agency, which has been serving predominantly low-income families during the 46 years it has been in operation, is an anchor for the people they serve. “For every participant we work with and help build skills, we are not only helping that individual, but also that person’s mother, father, or sister,” Decker said.  “The work we do has a transformative impact on the whole family. However, many of the families we serve face multiple barriers. So in addition to caring for a loved one who has a developmental disability, often there are other socioeconomic factors coming into play that make the work Esperanza does especially impactful. If we can provide a safe place where a loved one can go every day and spend their time building meaningful skills and social connections, that frees up a family member to be able to go back to work or school.” Decker adds, “For many, the services we provide are a lifeline.”

“Marcus is a star on Charitybuzz.com,” said Coppy Holtzman, CEO of Charitybuzz. “Our community loves him.  We are very excited to give everyone an opportunity to spend such quality time with him in order to raise money for Esperanza and the important work they are doing.”  Charitybuzz.com is the premier online charity auction platform, offering unique luxuries and extraordinary experiences with 80% of net revenue benefiting charitable organizations. The experiences auctioned are one of a kind, most often featuring adventures with some of the world’s most notable celebrities and influencers. The Charitybuzz bidding network is one of the largest, most affluent, philanthropic communities in the world having so far raised upwards of $150mm for global causes.

More information is at EsperanzaCommunity.org.

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Featured Columnists at the CEOWORLD Magazine is a team of experts led by Camilla O'Donnell, James Reed, Amarendra Bhushan, and Amanda Millar. The CEOWORLD Magazine is the worlds leading business and technology magazine for CEOs (chief executives) and top-level management professionals.
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