Thanks to Jim and Virgil


I had been doing consulting projects with students long before 2007 when I became director of CFL and long before I joined Hope College in 2004.  But I floundered.

Virgil G. Gulker

That changed in 2009 when I met Virgil Gulker whose opening line was: “I think we think alike.”

It turns out that although we share the same passion for developing young leaders, we don’t think alike.  Virgil is much more creative.  And asks great questions.

In 2010 Tony Muiderman encouraged Jim Cnossen, whom he met through the Economic and Business Department’s Baker Scholars Program, to contact me.  Is there anyone with more credibility than Tony?  Jim also shares great passion for developing young leaders and asks great questions, but from an process orientation.

Both Jim and Virgil sharpen me.

Because of Jim and Virgil, CFL Consulting started to grow.

As he has done all his life, Virgil attacked societal issues by serving non-profit organizations.  He did this a unique way: by leading through students.

In parallel, Jim attacked problems for for-profit organizations — again by leading through students.

Jim and Virgil complement each other and together enhance our students’ leadership gifts and help our students prepare for work by helping them discern, develop, and deploy their gifts and calling.

And their significant investments in time paid dividends because we keep attracting clients and students and project leaders and subject matter experts.

How can we afford such talent?  As Jim says, “It’s a labor of love.”

God has blessed us through the pioneering work and commitment of Jim and Virgil.

To learn more about CFL Consulting, click here.

Some of Our Early Projects and Teams
  • Allegan County Community Foundation. Student Consultant: Jake Rollenhagen; Project Leader: Virgil Gulker.

ACCF Brochure

  • Community Action House. Student Consultants: Matt Rutter, Kat Carlton; Project Leader: Virgil Gulker.

CMH Brochure

  • K&R Trucks.  Student Consultants: Katie Carlson, Zach Wormmeester; Project Leader: Jim Cnossen

K&R Brochure

  • Herman Miller. Student Consultants: John Balich, Amie Napier, Taylor Trapani, MacKenzie Wyant; Project Leader: Jim Cnossen.

Herman Miller Brochure

  • Presbyterian Homes and Services.  Student Consultants: Stephanie Emanuele, Chelsea Barfield, Lindsey Bieri, Emanuele, Emily Forster, Rachel Hatfield, Joshua Jackson, Chelsea Jennings, Alex Newman, Maeve O’Toole, Colleen Quick, Travis Rooke, Stephanie Skaff, Holly Thompson, Taylor Trapani; Project Leader: Virgil Gulker; Subject Matter Expert: Kathy Stanek.

PCHAS Brochure

Because Jim and Virgil we have grown and touched many lives.  In 2015-2016 we employed almost 50 students part-time in our consulting and incubator programs and had clients across the non-profit and for-profit spectrum.  We couldn’t have gotten here with Jim, Virgil, and Sarah as well.  Thank you!

To learn more about CFL Consulting, click here.

To learn more about CFL, click here.

11 thoughts on “Thanks to Jim and Virgil”

  1. Both of these individuals are true gentlemen and I am privileged to call them friends. Thank you, Jim and Virgil, for sharing your many gifts with our students. They are richer for knowing you.

  2. I am so proud to be associated with both Jim and Virgil and the entire CFL program. Steve, you made a couple of GREAT CHOICES with the direction of our GREAT GOD who comes through in such awesome ways! I really enjoy the fellowship of the Hope students for whom I have come to have to have great respect!! God is good and very present in our work together. Kon

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Kon. Only I didn’t choose Jim and Virgil in the traditional HR sense — by myself I am not capable of finding or hiring the kind of people on our CFL team!

  3. What a blessing both Virgil and Jim are. It is a privilege for me to work with Virgil and Hope College students on projects that are significant in our world. Bless you all at CFL for your passion and dedication to student learning.

  4. Steve,

    This has been good idea in adding Jim to the formula. It has been a pleasure working with everybody. Nice work!!


  5. While I’m in my “third chapter” of life, if there are two guys that I want to grow up and be like, it’s Virg and Jim. They are two peas in a pod when exemplifying a servant heart, a can-do attitude, humor (they keep things in perspective), a concern for justice, and a faith the centers them.

    I consider myself “blessed” because I know these two gentlemen.

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