Oxford, Miss. — This week Ole Miss hosted a sharply dressed man who spent nearly a decade tackling a variety-pack of challenges which became opportunities in Sri Lanka. Using Prezi for a visual display of his life’s work thus far, Govinda Tidball spoke to an assortment of classes at The Meek School of Journalism and was well received.
How many people heading for a luxury vacation to Sri Lanka would willingly change gears in the face of tsunami? Most would be grumbling at the ticket counter, looking for an alternative destination. Granted, Tidball has family ties to Sri Lanka. Nevertheless, his assessment of the gap between readily available emergency management services and the needs of citizens propelled him into action instead of vacation. As founder of MedONE, he bridged the gap with lifesaving services like the Sri Lanka equivalent of 911 and motorcycles as first-responder vehicles to navigate congested roads. Falck, a prominent emergency management services company based in Denmark, took notice and subsequently purchased MedONE, networking it into an even more effective solution for the people of Sri Lanka.
Tidball has seen the advertising business from both sides – as a successful model for print advertisements as well as CEO of Spendor Media. His humanitarian efforts are significant, both through the quality ads produced to promote education and the economy of Sri Lanka as well as the many organizations he has served.
As a board member for Community Concern Society, Tidball supports the “child-centred Christian NGO (which) empowers disadvantaged children and adults to improve their lives through education, rehabilitation, vocational development, communication, intervention, mobilization and direct assistance for the most needy and destitute.” His international resource for seekers of truth is Faithmix, a multi-media website.
The take-away from Govinda Tidball:
- Everyone has problems – keep a solutions mindset.
- People always want to work with solution-oriented people.
- Bounce decisions off mentors.
- Be flexible. (He’s taken flexibility to a whole new level, having lived in a tent for 5 months post-tsunami!)
- Read, read, read. When you can’t, listen to audiobooks.
- “If you don’t like to read, you’re probably in the wrong profession,” he said to journalism students.
- Enjoy the journey.
WiseGeek.com writes, “In the actual Renaissance period, men who were educated aspired to become Renaissance men. They were expected to know several languages, understand philosophy and scientific teachings, appreciate literature and art, and further, to be deft sportsmen.” So let’s add to the list that Govinda Tidball is an athlete who competed in swimming at the University of Nebraska. Indeed, Ole Miss has been visited by a modern-day renaissance man.