On January 1, 1984 almost everyone said developing a business model of corporate chaplains caring for workers, as well as their families in the work place was impossible. There was no way that goal could be achieved in America or anywhere else.
However, Gil Stricklin and Ann, his co–founding partner, who have been married since 1958, knew God was impressing upon their hearts to take the front-line care Gil had witnessed and provided to thousands of brave, young soldiers over the years, to the employees in corporate America. His first visits to close friends who were business leaders were met with the dialogue: “So Gil, who else are you doing this for?” To which he replied, “well, no one yet, I want you to be the first!” to which came the infamous “no, not me, you get someone else to try it first”.
Thankfully, Ed Bonneau, owner of the Bonneau Companies with 150 employees, saw the value and recognized the fact that his team of executive leaders needed to run the company, that most employees wouldn’t talk to them about personal issues, or if they did, it was either a crisis event or a situation they were not properly trained to handle.
Today, the Stricklins and the Marketplace Team have watched God bless this unique Employee Care Service to become the largest, most experienced and oldest corporate chaplain service in the world today, with the exception of the military chaplains’ corps.
For Gil and Ann’s bios, see the Executive Leadership page.