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Architect Behind the Steve Harvey Global Media Brand
Rushion McDonald considers himself “A very talented individual who exploits all of his talents that God has given him. … I don’t fear change. I welcome opportunity and when opportunity presents itself, I try to take advantage of that. … My philosophy is that every day that you wake-up … You need to prepare for that opportunity or that challenge that is presented to you and not be discouraged by it”.
McDonald is an entertainment powerhouse, a Hollywood writing veteran, a philanthropist, a man who clearly cares about others, and the architect behind the Steve Harvey global media brand. These descriptors are amazing, but his ability to drive this multi-million dollar empire, a brand that’s immediately recognizable, and also commit to giving-back to develop individuals and communities is an achievement that others should emulate.
Prior to working on television and movie productions, McDonald had a successful full-time career at IBM. However, he believed that a corporate job would limit his possibilities and control over his future. These beliefs consumed him as he worked part-time to refine his ability to make others laugh in comedy clubs. Then, after being named by Showtime as one of the fifty funniest people in America (Texas) for three consecutive years, this recognition strengthened his desires and emboldened his decision to leave IBM to pursue success in the entertainment industry.
In 1993, Harvey provided McDonald with his first writing break on the television series “Me and the Boys”, which began their 20+ year Hollywood working relationship. Then, in 2000, these men partnered to launch “The Steve Harvey Morning Show”, which is a radio program that started in the Los Angeles market. It would take this team approximately five years after Harvey’s radio show’s debut before it would become nationally syndicated in 2005.
Someone who is recognized for their comedic talent might be selfish about their craft and sometimes cocky about their ability. However, this wasn’t the case for McDonald —- who decided to forego his personal pursuits to focus on the development of the Steve Harvey brand. For him, this decision was easy because he understood Harvey’s connection to his work.
Best-selling author, Co-founder of GiANT Companies
Jeremie Kubicek is a Liberator. He spends his time fighting for the highest possible good of those he leads and trains leaders around the world to become more effective and productive while multiplying their best into their teams.
Jeremie’s first book, Making Your Leadership Come Alive, became a Wall Street Journal best seller. In 2015, he co-wrote the hit books, 5 Gears and the 5 Voices, which launched in the spring of 2016.
Jeremie is the former CEO over the brands, Leadercast, Catalyst and the John Maxwell training companies. He is also the co-founder of the GiANT companies. He speaks regularly in organizations of all sizes in the US and Europe.
He is currently CEO of GiANT Worldwide, with the mission to raise up liberating leaders who change their leadership cultures in every sector and city in the world.
He and his wife have three kids and have lived in Atlanta, London and Oklahoma City.
Founder and President, World Without Hate
Through his strong Islamic faith and upbringing, Rais has always given back and helped make a difference. When he moved to the United States, seeking additional higher education and the American dream, he never imagined that one day his life’s work would be as peace activist, human rights and social justice advocate and non-profit leader.
On September 21, 2001, ten days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a white supremacist calling himself “the Arab Slayer” walked into the store where Rais worked. Mark Stroman was on a shooting rampage. On that fateful day, Rais became one of his victims. From point blank range, Rais was shot in the right side of his face and head, and though he nearly lost his life, he was the sole survivor of Stroman’s hate. Not one of his three victims were from the Middle East.
Though it took years to physically, emotionally, psychologically and financially recover, Rais was adamant he never felt hatred toward his attacker. He forgave him and after returning from a religious pilgrimage, became a crusader for compassion, peace and forgiveness. In 2011, Rais led an international campaign, World Without Hate, working tirelessly to save his shooter from death row.
During his campaign, Rais traveled to the European and German parliaments and met with leaders from Lundbeck, the largest lethal injection manufacturer in the world, convincing them to write to the Governor of Texas, urging him not to use their product to kill his attacker. Rais also brought his case for clemency to the State, Federal and U.S. Supreme Courts, exhausting all possibilities until the very last moments of Stroman’s life. Before he was executed, however, Stroman came to know of Rais and what his victim was relentlessly trying to do for him. Not only did he experience his own transformation, he became outspoken about the need to combat hate and violence. During the last moments of his life, on the phone with Rais, he told him he loved him and called him “Brother.”
Though Rais was unsuccessful in saving Stroman’s life, he turned World Without Hate into a non-profit, hoping he could help future “Mark Stroman’s” from leading a life filled with ignorance, violence and hate. In addition to engaging, interactive programs, such as Empathy Ambassadors and Compassion in Action, Rais also speaks at schools, universities, non-profit, community, and religious organizations, as well as conferences and summits all over the world.
Rais’ efforts have been widely recognized, receiving the Excellence for Human Service Award, United for Change; Search for Common Ground Award, Search for Common Ground; 2011 American of the Year, Esquire Magazine; 2014 Human Relations Award, Muslim Public Affairs Council Foundation, 2014 American Heritage Award, American Immigration Council, among others.
Rais relentlessly works to end the cycle of hate and violence. He believes we are responsible for one another; we must learn to respect, understand and accept each other if we want to bring about the world we all deserve – a world without violence, a world without victims, a world without hate.