Trying to describe the EFFORT Companies is no simple task. Imagine a wheel with different spokes coming out of the center of it. That is probably the best way to understand how everything ties together. At the center of the wheel is the hub and without that center, the spokes would not have a connection or a foundation. At the other end of the spokes is the wheel and even though each spoke is separate they hold the wheel firmly together which allows it to roll along smoothly on one track. Emile “Chuck” Toups is the hub. Chuck is a brilliant, altruistic individual who is always looking for ways to make the world a better place through efficiency and innovation. In his desire to help others, Chuck has developed different companies that provide different services that can also create wealth to be shared with communities around the globe. These companies are the spokes in the wheel and even if Chuck creates more companies, and no doubt he will, they will fit in fine; the wheel will just grow bigger. EFFORT as a whole is the outer wheel. Everything inside it is evenly connected and supportive of EFFORT. It can roll slowly or it can roll fast but it always stays on the right track. Is this an easy task? Absolutely not! Everyone knows that anything worthwhile requires great EFFORT!!!
Emile Charles Toups aka “Chuck” grew up in Lafayette, Louisiana in a great big house with his mom, dad, and six sisters (four older and two younger). Having a very high IQ, his mind was always racing faster than his mouth could talk. Even though he was enrolled in gifted and talented programs, he learned so quickly that the classes never kept him challenged. Needless to say, he was always bored in school. Chuck loved sports and was swimming and playing baseball, basketball, and football from the time he was four years old. A self-imposed perfectionist, whatever sport he did, he did well because he liked to win. With sports, he could stay challenged because he could use his ability to predict his opponents’ moves and thereby adjust before they could. Perhaps it was because he grew up with so many sisters that he was so competitive but he learned at an early age that practice makes perfect and to do something well requires EFFORT!
Chuck’s father, Emile, Sr., had gone to seminary and planned to be a priest but his path led him in a different direction where he eventually became an attorney. Chuck’s dad was a patient man which gave a balance to Chuck’s mom who was a fiery, red-head from Ireland. Chuck’s mother, Mary, had come by way of Ellis Island to the U.S. as an orphan. Her adoptive father had been in the military and later became involved in various things including medical research. He was involved in the invention of the ultrasound machine. Mary was an entrepreneur and also did medical tech work at hospitals. Always open and compassionate, she practiced the adage “the more, the merrier” and often took in someone in need of a place to stay.
Chuck recalls many foreign exchange students coming and going in his home. “I grew up with a lot of different cultures coming around. It was always an adventure when I got home,” laughed Chuck. Chuck’s mother may have been one of the most influential people in his life. Her entrepreneurial spirit and caring, giving nature became instilled within Chuck’s soul and everything he does today is a reflection of that.
In his teen years, Chuck got involved with motorcycles and his participation in sports faded away. He starting going through a rebellious phase which made it more and more difficult for his parents to control him. During this time, Chuck’s mother took him to a little, country church between Opelousas and Sunset, Louisiana. Sitting in the back of the room, Chuck listened intently to the sermon being given by Pastor Benny Repond. “I felt like someone had been reading my mail. It was amazing. It was like he was talking about me and I felt like I had been anointed!” It was a life-changing experience for Chuck.
This new journey of hard work, dedication, and a desire to be a better man continued as Chuck took formal classes in electronics where he got an Associate’s Degree.
Drilling for oil was a booming business and it was at the cusp of the digital age. Many of the skills Chuck learned enabled him to transition into working in the oil industry. With directional and horizontal drilling on the horizon, Chuck worked on building the sensors and tools to do that. One of these was called “measurement while drilling” and Chuck was quite successful in the design of this new technology plus many others.
Many of Chuck’s coworkers were much older than he was and he learned that leadership skills would be imperative to gain respect and he had to exhibit leadership with people from different countries who spoke different languages as well. This began a career built on learning various kinds of skills, working with a diverse group of people, and then expanding businesses throughout the country and the world.
While working in a senior management role dealing with the global supply chain, Chuck had built up a strong expertise in maintenance management in the oil industry. He had always been a perfectionist in everything he had done and expected the same regarding the efficiency in the areas he dealt with. He saw how things were not running efficiently and consistently but his ideas to improve things were received with deaf ears. It was at this point that he realized he had hit a glass ceiling and decided to leave the company.
As the head of drilling systems was driving him home, the gentleman kindly told Chuck that he thought differently than others and handed him a book about mavericks. Even though Chuck had considered him an adversary, he was kind of flattered. He had never thought of himself as a maverick but all the while home he kept thinking, “Maybe I do think differently!”
After quitting his job, Chuck jumped into the field of IT which was new in the 1990s. He took on the role of the IT director with a software company doing trading desk software. On the horizon was the deregulation of the power industry. This company had already developed the software that dealt with tracking gas and oil so converting that to the power industry was not a huge jump. This positioned the company into a very good space. Unfortunately, it came to a point that there was a meltdown in the senior levels and Chuck was one of those who got the axe.
After getting a taste of the IT arena, lots of ideas kept bubbling out of Chuck’s mind. Meanwhile, he realized that he needed to go out and do some other work so he responded to a request for some help with an asset sale. He had never thought that he had much experience in that area but then realized that he had been partly involved with 16 acquisitions. He was asked to be the support on the technology side of a refinery sale. He jumped into that and did so well that other people were saying that they had never seen it done like that. Capitalizing on his inventiveness, Chuck started writing all of the materials on how to do them and how to do all the due diligence and other pertinent details. At that point, Chuck made the life changing decision to permanently leave corporate America and enter the world of entrepreneurship. So with a partner, Chuck started the company Merger Tree. He came up with the idea to put together a plan for a whole merger and acquisition suite and then turn them into a variety of software products. Things went very well for the first year and then the dot-com industry went bust. After retooling things a little bit, they began offering IT services to small companies and high wealth families.
The company continued to be successful and grew even more. As companies grow, roles and responsibilities can change as well. New players became involved with the company and each of them did things differently. Frustrated with the situation, Chuck chose to leave the company.
So, in March of 2005, Chuck opened up his own consulting company and named it WorldPMO to deliver project and program management services. PMO stands for Project Management Organization and the company’s tagline is Program Management Services. All of that training Chuck had gotten over the previous 20 years in engineering design and delivery, dealing with the global supply chain, and traveling around the world empowered Chuck in creating a company capable of helping a lot of people. After all, people need to know how to deliver things. People do projects every day, whether it’s on an individual level or a corporate level. They have to be able to do that effectively and efficiently and Chuck knows how.
Once Chuck started WorldPMO in 2005, it grew on its own. He hadn’t really put together any kind of marketing strategy. “That really wasn’t the point. The point was that I’m a designer and engineer by heart and all I wanted to do was look at a better way to deliver projects on time, on budget, and ultimately with the outcome that somebody wanted,” expressed Chuck. Down the road in 2007, Chuck had an epiphany. There was a much better way to help his customers effectively deliver EFFORT.
Chuck elaborated, “I would always pray for wisdom and it kind of just flashed and I saw the whole thing. That is where the vision of EFFORT was born. It’s not about rushing out to create revenue; it’s about doing the pattern that was sent from above. It didn’t matter if I had to bootstrap it along the way because this is the enjoyable part; the journey. I am so grateful to Him to be given the opportunity to meet wonderful people and along the way we are going to help them, too, whether it’s dealing with someone who needs help with coordination or communication, or maybe it’s a corporation that is going through change and needs additional support.”
“It’s the people that are the core and the heart and the soul of the company. It’s the people that matter,” continued Chuck, “Companies need to be pointing their employees toward innovation and excellence and not towards cost-cutting. Companies are going to save money by doing things more efficiently or by changing the patterns of things done in the past by making better products and providing better services for their customers. It was at this point with EFFORT that I had to decide what we were going to do. What was EFFORT going to sell? What is our message? How are we going to take the patterns of excellence and then transition those into a series of process outsource services related to the delivery of EFFORT?
We love projects. This is what we do. This is what we are going to grow our legacy on by helping people to deliver EFFORT. When you have such a strong global brand that you can develop, you can go after all kinds of things and make money. It’s been a time of understanding and then trying to transition through that. Plant the right seeds. This is a people-based business. It’s built on relationships and the development of that. We have all kinds of activities we are moving forward on such as products but they are really all internal things to help EFFORT deliver for their customers.”
Since that point, Chuck has continued on his journey to create a spiritual enterprise, all under the umbrella of the EFFORT Companies. Chuck has designed the different divisions of EFFORT to run much like that of a fine Swiss watch – ticking along efficiently, predictably, measurably, and reliably keeping perfect time with an intricate composite of finely tooled gears and springs that mesh smoothly and precisely together. Chuck Toups’ journey is about serving the Lord by serving people. As Chuck’s mind races faster than any race car in existence, he is always thinking about new and innovative ways to make the world a better place. The list of companies created by Chuck is long and undoubtedly there will be many more in the future. Through EFFORT, Chuck has created the perfect vehicle to drive his humanitarian EFFORTS of doing ministry through business.
Here is a brief synopsis of each of The EFFORT Companies:
WorldPMO is a project management solutions and services company that understands the power of a successfully executed project. Working closely with Fortune 100 companies, they provide EFFORT in support of programs and projects by effectively and efficiently delivering real, measurable results. WorldPMO has the capability to support projects anywhere in the world and has successfully executed and delivered projects in 49 countries. WorldPMO has the capability to handle project management services that encompass program management, financial management, portfolio management, compliance management, and procurement management. Other services offered include project assurance, project recovery, and resource assurance.
EFFORT Systems is all about the delivery of EFFORT. It deals with commerce related and project delivery consulting. They provide engineering and consultancy in supporting their customers in delivering products and services no matter what industry they are in. This includes project management support, establishing project management offices, communications support, change management, technical engineering, and process outsourcing. They provide answers to the “what ifs?”
Originally created for internal consumption, the goal of EFFORT Staffing is to go out and locate those top 2 per centers then properly utilize, orient, and put them into the field for their customers. From the beginning, their purpose was to attract the right people, properly assess staff, and then place them into the appropriate position. The key to their success is their competency assessment and skill certification practices. EFFORT Staffing specializes in finding competent workers in the retail industry; the medical industry; general industrial; technical engineering; and project management.
EFFORT Media was first created to be an in-house media division. Over the past three years, they have built up their video, audio, and sound equipment and also developed expertise in video productions, photography, and digital delivery solutions.
EFFORT Gear is a high-quality, fashion forward, performance brand that will appeal to a wide variety of consumers. The products will reflect the latest fashion trends in conjunction with cutting edge performance fabrics that will establish EFFORT Gear as an up and coming market leader. EFFORT Gear will be launching an original line of apparel and accessories in 2015.
EFFORT Racing, founded in 2012, was created as a way to put EFFORT in the limelight and in doing so fuel the branding of EFFORT and all it stands for – excellence, vision, faith, and integrity. They began with one simple goal – to be Champions, both on and off the racetrack and their slogan, “We Come to Win,” says it all! Unbelievably, they won the very first race they entered at Sebring Raceway in Sebring, Florida. By striving to infuse integrity and standards based on biblical principles into the passionate and exciting world of racing, they have quickly become known not only in the racing community but throughout the world! Chuck has quickly accomplished what most racing teams take years to do – they are consistently winning! Given that success, they aligned with Porsche Motorsports for the 2014 season in which they won one of the GTA class championships.
EFFORT believes in giving back to the community and created the concept, “Excellence for a Cause.” Chuck explained, “The goal is to use racing as a platform to support local charitable endeavors and to meet that, we established the Champions Race for Charity.” It is Chuck’s plan to hold select Champions Race for Charity events to help nonprofit groups in different communities. I am not doing this for money. Racing is just the backdrop for EFFORT to communicate the concept of excellence through performance.”
“We keep the team motivated by pointing them to the overall mission; it’s all about people,” concluded Chuck. “That’s really what it comes down to and there’s no end to that. The people that I surround myself with are who I call the Mighty Men. They include Gregory Grant who is the Vice President of EFFORT and head of Global Accounts, Ashley Olivier who is the President of EFFORT Staffing, Adrienne Rogers who is the head of EFFORT Gear, Erin Gahagan who is the Racing Team Manager, and Johnnie Scroggins who is the Director of Operations for EFFORT Media. The Mighty Men were the ones who supported David through his 20 years of exile and they all had mighty exploits on their own. My children are also big supporters and are connected to the values of EFFORT. I am so grateful.” The bottom line is that EFFORT is on the right track in helping make the world a better place.