We had the good fortune of connecting with Jacob Niemeier and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jacob, what do you attribute your success to?
This question for me and the organization, Vera Aqua Vera Vita, that I founded can be answered with two simple responses.
One, personally, the answer to this question is simply my x-factor which is my deep burning desire to see everyone thriving & living the life they were created to live. I desire to inspire others to pursue their passions & dreams by pursuing my own, allowing my life testimony to serve as a witness to others, & giving True Water True Life & thereby a chance to those that are hindered by their quality of life due to their lack of access to the basic rights to life! This is the primary reason behind my success which I give all credit to God for instilling in me this passion!
Second, as an organization, the answer to this question is that we are different in what matters. I had an entrepreneurship professor in college who would often repeat that if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you have to be different in what matters in your mission and at Vera Aqua Vera Vita we embody that whole-heartedly in two unique facets: 1.) we empower those we serve and 2.) we strive to serve the entire person (body & soul).
What should our readers know about your business?
Having founded Vera Aqua Vera Vita in June 2017 with a mission to “tap into the physical & spiritual nature of water to empower people & communities in developing countries to generate clean drinking water & sanitation solutions that bring True Water True Life,” we immediately began serving people in the Piura Region of Peru. In Aug. 2019, we commenced operations of a Water Treatment Facility in Monte Castillo providing access to clean water for 7,000+ people. In the two years since then, we provided emergency COVID-19 relief to 10,000+ people in the Region during the initial wave of the pandemic. In addition, we developed a sustainable sanitary sewer system master plan for the community of Monte Castillo; developed a prospecting scorecard tool to objectively evaluate & prioritize communities; developed a comprehensive WASH Education Workshop; & have now prioritized & begun serving 2 of 7 shortlisted communities lacking access to clean water that we will serve in the coming years.
It has certainly not been the easiest of journeys to get VAVV to the point we are at today, but I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that it has been a blessed journey in which I, our team, and those we serve have felt affirmed that what we are doing and what we are building here is worth it! We have faced challenges along the way, but by the grace of God and our own perseverance we have been able to overcome them. I and our team have learned along the way that if we are pursuing a mission that is truly worthwhile then the bumps and challenges along the way don’t seem so daunting. Personally, I often tell people, “Don’t be afraid to pursue dreams even though they are daunting because it is when we are pushed to our limits and stretched beyond what we thought possible that we discover what we are truly capable of, and this has been true both for me and VAVV as an organization!”
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am not native to Dallas or for that matter Texas, but I got here as fast as I could all the way from Indianapolis. However, since I have lived in Dallas for 8+ years now, I can proudly and confidently call it home. I am not so sure that a week-long trip would be enough to capture the essence of Dallas nor especially the greater DFW metro area. However, if I had to choose a 5-day, week-long, travel itinerary for a visiting friend which I have done multiple times, it would look something like the following especially if money wasn’t an issue. I would pick them up from DFW airport and immediately introduce them to Texas Barbeque at Hard Eight Barbeque in Coppell which in my humble opinion is the best barbeque in the metro area. Then, we would head on over to grab a brew at the Flying Saucer in Addison Coppell where they have over 100 different beers on tap and probably 300+ different bottled beers. After that we would hit up Cowboy’s Red River Country Dance Hall where we would dance the night away. The next day we would start our site-seeing adventures in Dallas by visiting the historic sixth floor museum downtown. After the sixth-floor museum we would head on over to Avila’s Mexican Restaurant near UT Southwestern where we would dine on my favorite Mexican/Tex-Mex food in all of Dallas. We would end our day hanging out and drinking some super strong brews at the ever-popular Peticolas Brewery and eating food truck food for dinner. The next day would consist of visits to the Dallas Aquarium, Clyde Warren Park for lunch at the Food Trucks, and the Perot Museum. We would end the night dining scrumptiously at The Rustic near uptown Dallas. After two days a row in the heart of the city we would take a breather and catch some fresh air by visiting the Dallas Arboretum and doing some fishing at White Rock Lake. The day after that we would brewery hop to as many breweries as we could across Dallas. For the final day of our 5-day tour of the DFW metro we head on over to the other side of the metro area and visit the laid-back cowboy feel of Fort Worth. On our way to Fort Worth we stop and do a tour of the Cowboy’s Stadium in Arlington because it is important to see that everything truly is bigger in Texas. Our time in Fort Worth proper would include visiting the Fort Worth Water Gardens, Sundance Plaza/Square, and having lunch at the original (first-ever) Flying saucer. Then we would spend our afternoon soaking up quintessential Texas at the Fort Worth Stockyards with dinner at the famous Joe T. Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant and catching a Texas Country concert at the famous Billy Bob’s Honky-Tonk where we would end our night dancing the night away! That is my DFW metro area highlight trip in 5-days!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate my Shoutout to my amazing wife who in recent years has become my biggest cheerleader and source of encouragement because of the many sacrifices she and our family have had to and continue to make in order for me to pursue this passion of mine to found, operate, and grow a nonprofit NGO which takes a lot of time and doesn’t pay enough for me to be able to support us and our kids alone without my wife having to work.