The Backstory of Ann Marie Bland, Founder of Think Good LLC.
The book title pulled me in. “Always Looking UP!” I saw the picture of Michael J. Fox and knew he had been struggling with Parkinson’s. Such a positive message seemed like an oxymoron. I took it off the shelf and dumped it in the cart.
I was at a point of evaluating my career. Having worked in the technology industry for 20 years, I was looking for a challenge and was interested in finding a way to use my “gifts” towards something “good”. It was around this time that I began to work for a social impact company who taught computer skills to underserved markets (primarily seniors and people in poverty).
I had incredible experiences at Connected Living, but one in particular was an “a-ha” moment. In the evening, while at a senior assisted living center, our team secretly set up a video call (Skype) for one of the residents from the elderly home. The call was with his daughter and his 3 year old grandson who he had never met except through photos.
At the moment that grandfather looked at the computer screen and saw his daughter and grandson, it was magic. He had tears falling down and there wasn’t a dry eye in the packed room. The man’s life changed for the good in seconds. It was heartwarming to watch.
It got me thinking. It was an example where technology provided something so special and I thought, “there is a time and place where technology enables true magic or moments that touch the heart” or in other words, “technology with heart”. So I began to think of other examples where technology could be used in ways that significantly changed people’s lives in positive ways.
As I read Michael’s book, I was in awe by the amazing power of his positive, optimistic thinking. A $1Billion business (Happiness), it’s clear that people in the world were in search of something better, “in all the wrong places”. Money, big houses, extravagant lifestyles, on and on. Michael’s happiness was not coming from things, it was coming from within. It was his attitude. And he chose to be an optimist.
One of Michael’s mission trips went to the Himalayan country Bhutan. During his visit he felt serene and struggled less with his Parkinson symptoms. “It was a place not with less problems, in fact, the living is atrocious. But the people see things as good, and they are happy.” Their country is progressive in one way. They measure happiness in addition to GNP (Gross National Product). Maybe someday we will too.
All of this led me down the path of more reading and research. Michael stated in his book that he attributed his positive attitude and happiness to helping others. All the research supported it. One person helping another increases happiness for both parties. So off I headed to find service work for our family, something local that we could do on the weekend. We did several searches on the internet without finding much. In fact, we had a difficult time finding needs or volunteer opportunities in the area. It was more difficult than it should be…….
So Think Good was created with a mission to create “technology with heart” that makes the act of helping each other simplified, centralized and fun. By doing so, the ease of helping each other, spreading good, positive thoughts will ultimately make the world a little happier.
Think Good. Do Good. Feel Good.
Think Good is a company and a team of passionate individuals focused on a way of thinking which leads to good behavior, which leads to feeling good. We are in the development of “technology with heart” . Our technology encourages good behavior by providing help to those in need, and becoming an advocate of good.
Ann Marie Bland
The Backstory of Jeff Ernst, Adviser to Think Good LLC,
It was July 2012. My daughter Katie and I were returning from our annual mission trip to Mississippi. We had just spent the week, along with 100 kids from her high school, helping families on the Gulf Coast rebuild from the devastating damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. The gratitude these people felt was overwhelming. The feeling we had from helping them can only be described as euphoria.
Katie and I started talking about how we could make that magical feeling last throughout the year. How can we help people in our local community?
We realized that there’s no place to go to find opportunities to give back in our local community. So we pulled out some scrap paper and wrote up an idea for a website that could bring together people with a need, with those who want to help other people.
Ann-Marie had a similar goal of building a social enterprise. With ThinkGood, we are turning this into reality. My work on ThinkGood allows me to combine my passion for doing good with my love for creating technologies that disrupt existing business models and create new markets that was honed while working as a technology & marketing analyst at Forrester Research and in several software start-ups.
When not doing good for others, you’ll find me proving that you can never be too much of a fitness fanatic with my rituals of doing CrossFit, running, biking, and playing volleyball. My wife, Susan, and I are discovering what life is like as empty-nesters now that both our kids are in college.
Jeff Ernst, Adviser
The Backstory of Omar Khudari, Adviser to Think Good LLC,
Omar is a retired computer software entrepreneur. Since starting his first company in 1987 and selling it in 1995, Omar has helped start over 20 companies as an investor, board member, and adviser. In 2008, Omar’s interest in sustainable agriculture and a healthier alternative to feedlot beef led him to Steve Normanton—first as a customer and then as a business partner.
Omar Khudari, Adviser
Theresa Amos, Head of Community Good
Paula Kaplinski, Head of Happiness
Katrina Whitter, Head of Communications
Adam Levesque, Adviser
Andy Miller, Adviser
John Poulin, Adviser
Additional help: Morgan Palac, Steve Melzer, Kate Hilliker, Kim Cambell, Lori Cohen, Alo Mikurji, Andrew Lowenstein, Michelle Blizzard, Sona Holley, Aloshri Mukerji
Join us and THINK GOOD!