Local Army Veteran recognized as 2017 Presidential Leadership Scholar

The Presidential Leadership Scholars Program recently recognized local business leader and Army veteran, Brad Israel, as one of its distinguished graduates. The Program is a unique leadership development initiative that draws upon the resources of the presidential centers of George W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon B. Johnson. Israel was selected after a rigorous application process and became one of 60 Scholars chosen for the program’s third annual class. Scholars were selected based on their leadership growth potential and the strength of their personal leadership projects aimed at improving the civic or social good by addressing a problem or need in a community, profession, or organization.

Israel serves as Chief Operating and Leadership officer for the Alabama-based development company 68 Ventures and its subsidiaries, Bellator Real Estate & Development and Truland Homes. He is committed to the study and application of leadership in all forms, a desire that stems from his 12 years of military service reaching the rank of Major in the U.S. Army Infantry and Special Operations Community. After the terrorist attack on 9/11/01, he committed to protect his country. Israel  has since deployed all over the world as a Green Beret, spending over two years in combat in support of Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan.

In his local community of Mobile, Alabama, Israel is working with Alabama’s first tuition-free public charter school, ACCEL Day & Evening Academy, to establish a leadership curriculum for the at-risk, disengaged youth so that they can better understand leadership attributes, actualize their potential, and become force multipliers in their communities.

Israel said, “After getting to know and form friendships with so many in my class, I have absolute confidence these are the individuals that are going to continue to challenge the status quo. They will advance their spheres of influence from the good to great because they are determined to never settle, never stop, and never quit because they have confidence and faith in their abilities and a resounding peace of mind knowing they have a unique unit of peers that will support them, pick them back up, while at the same time, hold them accountable. Graduating from this program is not for the photo with President Bush & President Clinton, graduating was your admittance in to a distinguished team of achievers that share a lifetime commitment to positively impact lives, communities, and beyond.”

Your 68 makes you tick.

Your 68 drives you to do the things you do.

In short, your 68 makes you strive to be better.

Your 68 is derived from the jersey number worn by hockey legend Jaromir Jagr during his illustrious career.

Jagr’s grandfather was killed in 1968 during the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia, so he wore the number 68 to honor his grandfather and his entire country every time he took the ice. Jagr was great because he didn’t play for money or medals – he played for his family and his country.

We take great pride in challenging not only one another, but also everyone we work with to seek out, identify and pursue their own 68.