Charles Betterton, MSCED
Much of the rich content Leslie and Charles co-create is inspired by “spirit” within meditation.
Both Charles and Leslie are committed to walking a spiritual path. Much if not all of the content they joyfully co-create comes from this divine flow and spiritual intention and connection. Leslie and Charles are honored they were chosen to co-create these beautiful inspiring resources together.
Like the Yin and the Yang, Leslie and Charles are often at opposite ends of the spectrum, playfully arguing their points. Charles likes to THINK BIG, and Leslie prefers a simpler path, often striving to narrow the scope down. This creative complexity only serves to make the products, programs, and services even richer!
Leslie and Charles are committed to Universal StewardHeirShip (Spirit * Service * Stewardship * Sustainability) and continuing to bring the creative vision forth and there are always new products in development.
Charles Betterton has been helping individuals, organizations and communities “Bless the Mess" for over 50 years in several innovative ways. For example, he received an unsolicited grant at the age of 21 from the American Friends Service Committee to support desegregation of the public schools in the Mississippi Delta. Through the grant Charles created a partnership of over 40 community leaders who helped build public support for a Community Development Center where children of all ages and races were welcomed and encouraged to develop their talents.
That "Bless the Mess" experience led to Charles volunteering to serve as a disaster relief worker when 16 Mississippi Counties were struck by tornadoes in 1971. Instead he was hired as a temporary employee and began a career with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). He served with HUD for 12 years as a "Bless the Mess" disaster recovery expert, a turn-around-management "trouble-shooter" and community development specialist. While serving in the Detroit HUD Area Office he received the highest cash award ever paid a HUD employee for a modification he made to a property management information that saved an estimated 300 million dollars. THAT was a powerful example of "Blessing the Mess!"
In addition to serving with local and national government, Charles has decades of experience in leadership positions with nonprofit organizations. For example, he founded and served as Executive Director of the Kankakee County Community Development Corporation. He played a major role in transforming a vacant National Guard Armory building that was going to be torn down for parking into an award-winning "Bless the Mess" Community Resource Center that generated over two million dollars of financial support and served tens of thousands of residents.
Charles has a master's degree from Southern New Hampshire University in Community Economic Development which encompasses Self-help, Empowerment, and Capacity-building. He designed and facilitates co-creative visioning and strategic planning for companies, non-profit organizations, chambers of commerce, and communities, especially those in need of help addressing social, cultural, and economic challenges.
He created and produced Community Unity Celebrations and CAN DO! personal and community development training programs featuring world-class authors and trainers such as Norman Vincent Peale, Les Brown, Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn, and Mark Victor Hansen for up to 1,800 participants (in a county of only 100,000 that suffered from decades of racial, geographic, political divisiveness).
Charles is dedicated to Expanding the Circle of Success to provide greater access to development training programs not readily available to youth and other underserved populations. His ultimate vision is helping establish a University for Successful Living (USL) with a network of locally initiated Empowerment Resource Centers that will deliver training on successful life, work and entrepreneurship skills. He and Leslie and their collaborators have already developed many of the 101 resources the USL will provide for Solving Life's Ultimate Success Puzzles.