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For Brig and Fran, Legatus is an opportunity to 'really listen to God's voice'
Ever been invited somewhere and felt it was exactly what you were looking for? That happened to Brig Sorber, one of the founders of Two Men and a Truck, and his wife, Francine. Brig had been a member of the Young Presidents Organization, a group of young CEOs who gathered regularly in Detroit to exchange business ideas and learn from each other. At 49, he aged out and expressed to his wife, Fran, a desire for a similar experience, but one that was faith-based. Almost as if on cue, the couple was invited to attend the first Legatus meeting for Lansing-area Catholic business leaders and spouses. The Sorbers were hooked after their first encounter.
“Legatus’ mission statement is to bring more faith into our businesses and our communities. This organization brings that mix together,” says Brig. “As owners of large enterprises, our challenges are different. Our decisions can affect hundreds, so it’s important to have our Catholic faith behind them. Legatus helps show the differences between faith-based and dollar-based determinations, giving us strength to live our faith publicly.”
Tom Monaghan, the founder of Domino's Pizza, was inspired to found Legatus during a 1987 visit with Pope John Paul II. Monaghan, also a member of the secular YPO, recognized the need for a business group which incorporated the faith dimension into their practices. His goal was to create an association for Catholic business executives, and their spouses, which would provide both spiritual sustenance and business support.
Fran comments, “This organization is a nice way to share faith values. It was the answer we wanted to learn more about business, but also to share with other executives who care about their faith. And it’s not just about business. It points back to the importance of the family unit, giving us ideas of how we can strengthen our marriage and values. It encourages couples to do more together, and gives guidance on decision-making. It’s enriched our marriage in so many ways.”
Charter members of the Lansing Chapter since 2013, Brig and Fran enjoyed the organizational skills of Kelly Dean, owner of Dean Transportation, who pulled the initial group together under the request of Bishop Boyea. Currently president, Brig is responsible for planning the monthly venue and speaker. Venues, typically near a Catholic church, allow their chaplain, Monsignor Bernard Riley, to preside at Mass. Brig was motivated to add a reflective piece to the evening agenda, asking members to explore deeper spiritual questions with the group: “We had conversations that were outstanding, and couples asked for more of this. The evolution of the Lansing Chapter of Legatus is taking us to a deeper spiritual component.”
Within the business operations of Two Men and a Truck, the Sorbers make subtle faith opportunities available to their staff. Weekly Bible studies are ongoing, and prayer is part of every event. “I tell our employees,” says Brig, “‘Jesus walks these halls every day, and you’re enjoying the radiation of love he gives our office.’ We don’t beat them over the head with faith, but we open a door for Jesus to walk in.” Two of the many ways the company gives back to the community are through Movers for Moms (a program in which locations collect donations for women every spring and deliver them to local women’s and family shelters), and by donating 10 cents of every move to the American Cancer Society. Averaging three moves every minute, that quickly adds up.
Fran and Brig have been married 31 years and have three children, Alicia, Jake, and Brycen. They have been extraordinary ministers of holy Communion at St. Martha Parish in Okemos and the Dobie Road Care Facility for more than 12 years. Fran spends a couple hours each week at St. Vincent Catholic Charities (STVCC), helping bring faith to the STVCC kids. Brig gives personal faith testimony at prayer breakfasts around the country, and serves on the STVCC board. Other Legatus members serve on community boards such as STVCC, Volunteers of America and the Greater Lansing Food Bank. Fran states, “The bottom line is you want people to be able to come to Christ.” Legatus, simply put, is a faith-based support system for Catholic executives, allowing business leaders to address their specific employee/customer concerns in the light of Christ. Brig summarizes: “Legatus is the Catholic voice of business leadership. With all the negativity society dumps on us, it is like tuning into a different news source, based on our Catholic faith. Legatus is a rock you stand on for a few hours each month, let the world stop, and really listen to God’s voice.”
Tom Monaghan structured Legatus for a busy Catholic executive running a corporation employing a minimum of 40 employees or with a $1 million annual payroll. Monthly meetings begin with the rosary, Mass, and reconciliation. Members have time to socialize before the sit-down dinner. After dinner, a well-known speaker shares information designed to inspire both business and spiritual acumen. Topics range from business, to ethics, to family. Time is given for discussion. In addition, yearly retreats and pilgrimages are available to the membership of all 75 chapters.