July 3, 2018
In 2008, Elias Rodriguez, Owner of LOUi Consulting, attended a GSA Schedule Proposal Preparation workshop in Las Vegas, NV and there were approximately 20 companies in attendance. It was at that Las Vegas three-day workshop, Elias met “a Hawaiian” by the name of A. Roy Koenig. Roy was a retired Army nurse and a recognized expert and witness in workman’s compensation fraud cases. Roy was at the conference marketing his patented “ClaimCheck” software which objectively helps attorneys and jurors make decisions about fraud involving soft tissue injury cases.
During the next three days, the relationship development and Roy and Elias discussed the ins and outs of Government contracting and the many challenges each had faced along the way.
Roy shared with Eli his vision for “ClaimCheck” and his desire to build a Health Clinic in Hawaii for the under privileged and his “Pono” Card system. Elias was very intrigued.
Accountability and Responsibility– The Beginning Components of Our MIJO Philosophy
A philosophy in the making, the “Pono* Card System” is simple. When engaging in business, three “Pono” Cards are issued by Roy.
If one does something to hurt the other organization, a card is forfeited. The relationship is maintained as long as the cards remain. Should all three cards be confiscated, then the business relationship is terminated. Pono cards exchange is not meant to be punitive in nature, but create a sense of mutual accountability and responsibility for each other.
The “Pono Card System” or “PCS” requires the receiving Party to either adopt the PCS or implement their own system.
The last day of the seminar, Elias & Roy celebrated at the Fremont Street outdoor mall and Roy offered for Elias to crash at this friend’s condominium nearby.
The next morning, Elias was up at 5am to catch his 8:00 a.m. flight out of Las Vegas.
Upon his return to Georgia, Elias received a surprising email from Roy that read:
Dear Elias, it was great meeting you in Vegas and I look forward to working with you, unfortunately, I must request your first Pono Card because you failed to make the bed in my friend’s flat before leaving from Vegas!
Now, That’s Accountability.
Four years later – another terrific leader at LOUi – Introduced Us to the Concept of “Mijo”
The LOUi board was looking for new leadership and decided to bring on a gentleman by the name of PJ Vasquez as Director of DoD Programs. Ret Col Vasquez was street smart and a Survivor of the 9/11 Pentagon attacks. PJ worked with Donald Rumsfeld at that time. Also, during the early 2000’s Mr. Vasquez served as C-130 Programmed Depot Maintenance Officer at Robins AFB from X to Y. During his 38 year career in the Air Force and time working with Special Operations Forces, Mr. Vasquez had developed a reputation of no-nonsense supply chain management and logistics.
Mr. Vasquez’s street savvy leadership allowed him the respect of many of his subordinates which he called “MIJOS.” MIJO quickly became a “standard” and a status often sought after by the workers indicating a job well done and favor with the boss. One time even a general asked PJ why he wasn’t calling him MIJO to which PJ replied, “Because, I haven’t accepted you yet!” Later, however, PJ had time to get to know the General and finally conceded by addressing the General as “MIJO, General Sir!”
During the first month of working with LOUi, Elias asked PJ how we could embed MIJO into the company culture. It was soon after this that the MIJO Coin was born!
Elias then pondered on the PONO Card System and it was decided LOUI’s take on it would be MIJO.
Once the system was developed, Elias decided to share the plan with the one person who inspired its creation, Mr. A. Roy Koenig.
Upon receiving the news, Roy was very excited to receive his set of MIJO Coins, however, he also noted that “it was about time you completed it” and that he was “about to take your (Elias’s) second Pono Card for not developing the system sooner!”
In today’s highly competitive environment, most people understand written NDA’s and Teaming Agreement contracts. However, these instruments do not speak to ethics.
Honesty, trust and good faith are all attributes to MIJOs as defined by the LOUi MIJO Quality Management System (QMS) and MIJO Culture.
Here are some, but not all of MIJO attributes:
- Mutual Accountability
- Mutual Responsibility
- High Performance
*(Pono (pronounced ˈ”pono”) is a Hawaiian word commonly rendered as "righteousness". For instance, the Hawaii state motto: Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i kaPono or "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness". Pono is a notably polysemous term.)
** Mi'ijo is a contraction of Mi hijo--"my son"—used similar to "sonny" used in addressing younger adolescence. In Latin culture, affectionate use of MIJO between friends and peers is common. MIJA (MEE hah) is used to address women, the same as MIJO with males.