Luminaries in the Dark


Labor of Love

Ep. 14

“COVID-19 gave me the opportunity to live out my beliefs. What a blessing it is to get a call from a hospital that says, ‘Our nurses and our doctors, they're taking risks that are just not okay’. Could a man ever have a better blessing in life than to know that he got to live out his belief, which is, ‘Hey, we're going to try to love our neighbors?’“ – Jeff Kaas

It is not too often that we hear of a for-profit business putting their employee growth and community contribution as their mission statement. Luckily, not only do these companies exist, but they are shining a light towards a pathway for hope and healing amidst a pandemic.

In this week’s episode of Luminaries in the Dark, host Bruce Bracken is joined by Jeff Kaas, owner and consultant for Kaas Tailored, a furniture manufacturer and consulting group in Mukilteo, Washington. With a strong set of beliefs centered around loving his neighbors, Jeff tells us how he made the temporary switch from furniture manufacturing and consulting, to using his factory to produce PPEs to meet the 100 Million Mask Challenge. By putting his business aside, Jeff collaborated with his partners and competitors to create an international response to fighting coronavirus.

Listen in and be comforted to know that putting people first can reap amazing results.


Jeff Kaas - LinkedIn

Kaas Tailored

100 Million Mask Challenge - Website

Seattle Times - Article

Bruce Bracken - LinkedIn

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Your Mountain Is Waiting

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“I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.” – Henry David ThoreauFor some, thinking of summer conjures up youthful memories of hiking with friends, canoeing down a river, fishing from a lakeshore, or late-night campfire stories. But this year, with travel and group gatherings curtailed, many of us face the challenge of finding ways to continue those summertime outdoor adventures.Luckily, this hasn’t stopped organizations from inventing unique ways for people to enjoy the season’s beautiful weather. Avid4 Adventure is one such organization that has pivoted its programs to accommodate safety and social distancing concerns while providing summer fun. With its mission to empower kids of all ages and skill levels and encourage them to choose active, outdoor lifestyles, Avid4 Adventure offers safe summer activities through their Camp at Home and Small Group Adventures programs.Paul Dreyer, CEO (Chief Empowerment Officer) of Avid4 Adventure, joins host Bruce Bracken for this week’s episode and discusses the importance of providing an outlet for children to improve their concepts of self-development and teach the importance of community through an evolution of summer camp and activities.Listen in and be inspired to rethink your summer adventure plans!Resources Paul Dreyer - LinkedInAvid4 Adventure: Adventure - Camp At Home: Adventure - Small Group Adventures: Bracken - LinkedInDiscover and follow other Microsoft podcasts at

Message in a Bottle

Ep. 11
"I can't imagine being more fortunate than to have a business that blends passion for a product with giving back and with helping others." -Teresa Spellman GambleMany businesses are struggling to stay financially afloat while successfully serving their customers amidst social distancing rules. But for other businesses the question they are struggling with is – what else more can we do to help our community?Tinte Cellars is one of those very special businesses, founded on a philanthropic model that seeks to support the community. Host Bruce Bracken talks with co-owner Teresa Spellman Gamble, who started a campaign aimed at brightening the day of so many elderly people who are affected by COVID-19.Drawing from her unique upbringing and her devotion to her community, Teresa encouraged those around her to create thoughtful handwritten letters or cards, that would then be distributed by Northshore Senior Center, the second largest senior center in the United States. In a short time, Teresa’s Love Letters to the Elderly campaign quickly grew in popularity in Washington State, inspiring others everywhere to do the same.It’s heartening to realize the power that a few meaningful words on paper can have to brighten and bring hope to someone’s day.Resources:Teresa Spellman-Gamble – LinkedIn  Tinte Cellars – Love Letters to the ElderlyNorthshore Senior Center – WebsiteSeattle Times - ArticleWoodinville Weekly - ArticleSeattle PI - ArticleTinte Cellars Website: www.tintecellars.comReservations: info@tintecellars.comBruce Bracken - LinkedInDiscover and follow other Microsoft podcasts at