Dr. David S. Bright, a Katy Orthodontist, will soon be establishing a Houston, Texas area chapter of Smiles For A Lifetime. This foundation is dedicated to providing beautiful, healthy smiles to low-income children who may not be able to otherwise afford the orthodontic care they need. Dr. Bright has been practicing in Katy for many years, and is well-known for his philanthropic endeavors. He provides a competitive college scholarship for former patients, routinely sponsors youth and teen sports programs, and is especially active in 4H.
BJ Johnson has been involved with Porsche for practically his entire life. His company specializes in the restoration of classic Porsche automobiles, and has dozens of Porsche 911 for sale and Porsche 911RS for sale.
BJ served his country in the US Army during the Vietnam war, where he served three tours and saw combat on numerous occasions. After Vietnam, BJ was stationed in Germany, where he was introduced to (and fell in love with) Porsche.
When his enlistment in the Army was completed, instead of returning to the US, BJ decided to remain in Germany and spent 3 years working for Porsche at its factory in Stuttgart. Here BJ learned not only the Porsche engine and suspension systems, but also bodywork and other mechanics. In a short time, BJ had become one of the most knowledgeable mechanics on the line.
BJ returned to the United States shortly thereafter and became a regional representative for Porsche – his territory included the American Southwest and California. He spent the next thirty years promoting the Porsche brand across his territory, and eventually opened a Porsche dealership in Los Angeles.
While the new Porsche models of the 1990s and 2000s were wonderful in their own way, BJ never lost his passionate love for the Porsche of the 1960s and 1970s. He eventually sold off his dealership and opened a new facility in rural California, which would deal exclusively in the restoration to factory specifications of old, classic Porsche 911s and 356s.
The new business took off, and now BJ’s small business has become one of the most trusted companies for classic Porsche collectors and enthusiasts all across the world.
In spite of his hectic schedule and advancing years, BJ focuses his effort on veteran outreach. "As a war veteran myself, I know how difficult it can be to make the transition from military life to civilian life. I want to do what I can to help ease that transition for our men and women coming home from overseas." BJ makes a point to hire veterans for his business. "I know that a veteran understands simple things like getting to work on time, putting in a full day’s work, and taking pride in your work. I don’t care if you don’t know the first thing about cars – I can teach you how to fix a car… what I can’t teach is work ethic, and veterans have that in spades."
In addition to actively recruiting newly separated veterans, BJ offers business startup advice and mentoring to those veterans who are thinking of starting a business. "Starting a business, especially in this economy, is a dangerous prospect. One misstep can put you back years, or bankrupt you. I’ve been running businesses for over thirty years – I’ve made every mistake you can imagine. If I can help one fellow veteran avoid the mistakes I’ve made, well that makes me a happy man."
Asked when he plans to retire, BJ confides, "I don’t think I’ll ever retire. As long as there are cars to fix and vets to mentor, I don’t see myself ever slowing down."
Faces of Strength is a website dedicated to honoring those individuals who make a difference in our communities and for our country. We work to seek out and identify those who put forth that something extra in an attempt to improve not just our world, but the lives of those around them. Typically, these kinds of people don’t advertise themselves, so we need your help to find them.
If you know of someone who deserves recognition for going the extra mile in his or her community, we want to know! Is there a teacher in your community who always stays after school to tutor her kids who are falling behind? Is there a teen who spends her free time advocating for the homeless? Does your community have a leader who volunteers his time? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let us know who you think goes the extra mile.