Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Blame it on Bergen LEADS: Bergen LEADer Opens Culinary Enterprise - worldFlats

Nvair Beylerian, resident of Upper Saddle River, attributes her new culinary enterprise, worldFlats, to leadership skills gained while participating in the Bergen LEADS Program. 

(left to right) Debbie Emery, Bergen Volunteers and Nvair Beylerian, worldFlats

Bergen LEADS is a 10-month community leadership program delivered by Bergen Volunteers for adults living or working in Bergen County. The program teaches participants about Bergen County each session, covering law and public safety, healthcare, education, the environment, and the economy. The sessions include discussions with community leaders, site visits, leadership training, and small group interaction. Currently in its 15th year, Bergen LEADS has a robust network of 400+ alumni equipped with the skills to pursue their next adventure.

“Bergen LEADS is such an incredible opportunity for people in the beginning or middle of their career to gain a different perspective and insight,” shared Beylerian, recent graduate of Bergen LEADS. “I was at a turning point in my career. I was either going to transition to working in the nonprofit sector to make a positive impact on the community or I was going to open up my own business to make a positive impact by offering clean, healthy fast food while becoming a local job creator.”

As a job creator, Beylerian focuses on creating a working environment that is conducive to teamwork and collaboration. Similarly to Bergen LEADS, worldFlats believes in a culture of cross-collaboration to magnify individual strengths. 

“Bergen LEADS offers an interactive curriculum that helps individuals find their passions while working together with their classmates” noted Debbie Emery, Manager of Community and Civic Engagement. “We offer individuals the resources they need to pursue their dreams and engage with their communities”

The newly launched vegetarian fast-food restaurant, worldFlats, offers a supportive environment for staff at all levels. Employees are encouraged to build on their individual strengths towards creating an overall successful and positive team environment. The culture at worldFlats sets inclusion at its core to create healthy internationally-inspired flavors resulting in an excellent product. With thin flatbreads inspired by places like Greece, China, and Mexico, worldFlats is focused on taking the roots of traditional recipes and combining them with a fresh culinary spin. 

“It was during my Bergen LEADS days where I realized I wanted to take the plunge,” said Beylerian. “I wanted to make my work more meaningful and Bergen LEADS gave me the tools to understand my passions, interests, and leadership style. I was able to look at the bigger picture while connecting with individuals and discussing ideas in a safe and constructive way.”

Bergen LEADS provides the opportunity for networking across sectors. Each class is comprised of individuals from the non-profit, public, and private sectors. Beylerian is using these connections to launch a, “Give Back” program where 20% of sales are donated to a nonprofit of choice - several which she formed connections with during Bergen LEADS. worldFlats is distinctively unique in that the restaurant is not focused on being simply a business. Nvair has a passion to do more in the community by offering patrons a healthy, delicious and sustainable meal, providing employees with a meaningful experience at work, and offering the community a place where their patronage gives to those in need.

“Bergen LEADS helped me realize that corporate social responsibility can be done even with smaller enterprises where business owners can support their employees on many levels, pay fair wages, be environmentally friendly and all while turning out a great product customers will return to enjoy.” 

Nvair and her husband, Zareh, plan to eventually expand their enterprise to more locations and offer healthcare and education courses to the worldFlats family of employees. “I feel privileged to be a part of Bergen LEADS. Our Class of 2020 instructors, guest lecturers, and classmates helped create the environment for me to self-assess, shift gears and focus on launching this new business,” concluded Beylerian.

The Bergen LEADS program is currently enrolling for the 2022 year. Join Bergen County’s premier leadership program and gain the skills to start your next adventure. To apply, visit www.bergenvolunteers.org/civic-leadership or contact Debbie Emery at demery@bergenvolunteers.org.

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