When 14-year-old Christian Mowser needed to raise enough money to take him to a world-renowned basketball camp in Germany, he learned a helping hand was closer than he thought.

Christian is the son of Matthew Mowser, Technical Account Executive at SysGen. Five years ago, Christian started playing basketball in New Zealand (where Matthew is originally from). That same year, Christian captained his school to the basketball regionals for the first time. Over the next two years, his team placed 5th and 6th at the AIMS Games, an elite sporting event in New Zealand for 11 to 13 year-olds.

Once the Mowsers had moved to Alberta, Christian enrolled in NBC camps in Olds, the world’s largest and most popular overnight basketball and volleyball program. He successfully trained in the 15 to 18-year-old division rather than sticking with his own 11 to 14-year-old age group. This year, NBC invited Christian to Germany to play on its tour team with its American squad for 14 to 18 year-olds.

Christian was thrilled when he found out but needed to collect the money to get there – with very little time to fundraise. Matthew suggested to Christian that he approach Lyle Richardet, SysGen’s President, and ask him for sponsorship. Fortunately for Christian, Lyle said yes, providing him with a substantial portion of the funds for his trip. In return, Christian agreed to volunteer on behalf of SysGen at the Mustard Seed, an Alberta not-for-profit that helps men and women living in poverty find shelter, food, and clothing.

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Helping Christian is just one way SysGen makes an ongoing effort to assist employees in achieving their personal goals. Stewart D. Friedman, Practice Professor of Management at the Wharton School and author of Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life, says a manager will get more value from an employee by accounting for their interests as a whole person, not just as a working person.

The first step to accomplishing that is by finding out what those goals are. The second is to figure out how these aspirations contribute to the team’s objectives. “It’s got to be a win-win for both,” says Friedman.

This was the kind of thinking that led Lyle to sponsor Christian. By supporting Matthew’s family’s goals, there was an opportunity for SysGen to further its involvement in Calgary’s community, a long-term SysGen objective.

Check out the letter SysGen received from Christian when he returned from his trip:

Dear SysGen Solutions Group,

Thank you so much for your sponsorship of my trip to Germany. I had an amazing time and made so many new friends and memories. We toured all over Germany, playing many different teams, most of them adult teams. I gained a lot of experience in basketball but also had fun sightseeing.

Some of the highlights of the sightseeing part of my trip were the Volkswagen museum and a bike tour in Berlin. At the Volkswagen museum, I got to see a lot of different cars, both old and new. Not just from Volkswagen, but from all of the branches of the Volkswagen family. I got to see a replica of the first car ever made, a Lamborghini Gallardo, and two Bugatti Veyrons! As well as cars, there were a lot of activities to do there, such as designing your own car, and there was a water and laser show in the evening as well. During the bike tour in Berlin, we got to see much of the history of Berlin. We biked past stretches of the Berlin Wall, and even got to look over on one part that had both of the walls intact, and see the dead man’s zone in the middle.

As for the basketball, the competition was great. Most of the time we played against German club teams, and most of them were aged 18-25. We played against one team that had an NBA prospect, and another team that the starting point guard for the German national/Olympic team played on. Playing against such stiff competition drove me to want to get better, and now I’m working harder than ever on my game.

Once again, I’d like to thank SysGen so much for the sponsorship they were able to give me. I know that without them, I would not have made it to Germany, and now thanks to them I have made memories and friendships that will last a lifetime, and I can say without a doubt that Germany was the most fun I have had in my entire life.

Thank you so much,

Christian Mowser