Business Partner of the Year



Business Partner of the Year Award

Joe Van Deuren, Owner of Balanced Life Skills, was recently selected as Business Partner of the Year to Anne Arundel County Public Schools by the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce. The award was made at a special dinner held at the BWI Marriott Hotel. Joe was nominated by Linda Lamon, Signature Program Facilitator of South River High School where he serves on the business advisory board. She says, “Mr. Joe is a part of our school and our lives. His goal is to make life better through his years of business and life skills by giving to others and he has developed many programs to help educators as a way to celebrate their commitment to education and appreciate their work. We were proud to nominate him for this award.” Joe Van Deuren is also working with Rob Levit at Eastport Elementary School to create an organic garden for students. He has instituted a “Placemats for You” program where his elementary students create colorful placemats that are given to local nursing homes to brighten up the lives of seniors; and a “Help a Teacher” website at where local business and community members can fill the needs of local teachers. He started the “Where Does the Rain Go?” rain barrel project with local high, middle and elementary school students designing and painting storm barrels. These are auctioned off at Arlington Echo to raise funds for Arlington Echo and the participating schools. His business, Balanced Life Skills, is a martial arts studio that aims to teach students all aspects of a disciplined life in order for them to become better adults. His focus is on improving the physical, mental, and collaborative health of his students. His respect for teachers has led to his work in county schools, to an annual Teacher Appreciation Week in his studio, and to his founding a Grants 4 Teachers fund with the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County. Joe says, “Education is one of the highest forms of self defense and teachers are one of our most valuable resources. We must support them as much as possible. I believe, as the African proverb says, that it takes a village to raise a child and I see myself as part of that village.”


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