Hey all,

We started EnglishForward back in 2002, over 16 years ago, as an EFL community. In 2002 there was no Facebook, Google was still a 'startup' and there were only a handful of projects in the space.

Fast forward 16 years and we're a vibrant community with over 1.5 million posts and a legion of regular users and visitors. The world around it has changed, and we've survived every single challenge that presented itself. This is as a result of a community that persisted relentlessly in its mission, and of 100,000s of hours of volunteer work by many of you. Without that we'd have gone the way of so many others around us.

As most of you know we've never worked this as a business, and while that was probably the correct move in the early days it's lately become somewhat of a hindrance to growth. Without budgets for marketing, for curators or for any development plans things can stagnate. When EnglishForward started there were a handful of competitors, now there's a sea of them. It's time to do things differently.

We decided to look outside of our comfort zone for an investor and business development partner to help champion the next decade of growth for us. I am very pleased to announce we've found such a person!

Mitch is an entrepreneur and business owner, but most importantly he's absolutely and completely excited to become part of the EnglishForward family. His work abroad has been met with success, and now he's looking to channel his experience towards helping turn this into one of the world's most unique and creative places to learn English.

He is a most genuine soul, we have met and talked extensively, I'm convinced that he is not just a 'money man' but a human being who wants to do remarkable things for the people around him. It may seem naive to worry about a person's character in today's world, but we built EnglishForward around these principles, they served us well and we must continue to honor them. Mitch is that guy.

Mitch is coming on board as an investor and partner, and we're looking into the possibility of him taking full ownership at some point (we're still exploring this). There are no 'quick buck' schemes in play here, however we're now ready to mature EnglishForward into a modern, flexible and respected company.

He'll bring the business development side of things where we brought the technical and our fantastic admins and moderators managed the community. His first point of action will be to increase the visitors and reward participation (something we feel is long overdue).

I'll let him continue, but to finish I'd like to say I couldn't be more pleased to have met Mitch and to hear that he was willing to jump on-board. Interesting, and super exciting times ahead!

Thank you Frank for the wonderful introduction

I have to echo some of these sentiments.

I have been in business for over 30 years, and done business on mulitple continents, meeting all manner of people, and I must say Frank is a very rare individual. To have someone invest their heart, time and energy into a project for 16 years for the "good of the project and the value to the global community" versus just pursuing riches, which someone at his skill level certainly could do- that is a rare type of person.

I made the comment to a friend when I first looked at English Forums, that “ its not often you come across a business that has a heart, and that can impact millions of people in a positive way.”

I was so intrigued with Frank that I made a trip from South Africa, where we live, to Malta in February to meet him, and Frank... it has been such a pleasure meeting you and your beautiful family.

I have to say EnglishForward.com is one of my favorite sites and favorite projects. When you find people that selflessly give to others like the founders and moderators have, helping many people improve their lives over an extended period of time, you cannot help but appreciate there is something special going on.

One of the pillars of my belief system is that it all starts with communication. Being open and honest with each other allows us to really communicate, build community and collaborate on a project that really can help change our world for the better.

I would like to express some of my goals coming into this project.

I certainly am keen to bring in some of my experience in building the right team and also invest a bit of capital to further grow English Forums as a company, and I want to really explore ways to better reward the help and support and genuine hearted expertise that's already in this wonderful community

But my personal mission extends to wanting to make an impact in the global education space, and creating an environment that fosters confidence, encouragement and progress for anyone wanting to grow in the English language.

I have my own visions and dreams of English Forums being an important enough platform to merit TED talks that are based on achievements that are worth modeling by others.

I believe our education system, certainly in South Africa and in many other countries of the "western world" I've explored is lacking and although we may be educating their minds, is sadly weak in setting up our children for being better humans. I don't want to say "for success" as that's often seen as monetary success. I mean as actual contributors and valuable, caring members of our global family.

We have many goals and visions to achieve, which I would love to share with you at a later stage.

For now, my focus will be on first managing any "leaks" that English Forums may have, so that we start on the best footing possible.

I'm putting together a fine group of talented people to support with the community building and related marketing and growth pursuits

Some of the things we’ll look to introduce in the near future are

- geo-specific language based welcome messages, menus and later site translations in key languages

- setup a newsletter for company communications every 2 weeks to all registered users

- pursue valuable partnerships with ethical and authority companies in the "learn language" space

- work towards a revised code/platform and build a marketplace to allow for monetatry transactions between teachers, tutors, professors, and similar and students

- add in various English language proficiency tests and games

but all these take proper planning and are currently in the ideas phase.

The most important thing that matters is that the core of English Forums will remain untouched: the internet's #1 portal for learning/improving your English. Together we will build this into the most valuable English tool, resource and utility for the global landscape.

There are many other ideas, ideas that I would like to explore once we have started creating some momentum. Here are a few

- tutors, professors interacting with the ability to receive recognition or even financial rewards

- recruiting new teachers, professors, tutors

- a new brand, design and user experience

- recruiting marketing/advertising, promotions team so we can be more visible online

- tutorials and relevant content for fostering fast tracked learning

- a visible social media presence

- improved profile pages and community tools for better engagement

- an English Forums app

- better recognition, rewards and even career and freelancer opportunities for those interested in using the platform to further their own careers

My wife Sue and I live in an house overlooking the ocean with our children Jess and Jake, four dogs, 13 chickens, 3 Indian ringnecks and a budgie. We love the ocean and the energy it has, and feel truly blessed to live where we do.

We love to get up early in the morning and head out kite surfing, surfing or spearfishing, and spend most of our free time in the water or on the beach.

I'm working with Sue to raise our kids the best way a parent can do, by being involved in their lives and being a good example to them. We aspire for them to be great contributors in society and will be eager to see if later in life, they can be involved with English Forums or what English Forums grows into.

As Seneca wrote “It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested.”

I look forward to working with you - together we can do some great for humanity.

Sincerely Mitch

What a great project, a business friend sent me here, and I had no idea the length of time, and passion involved. I created an educational community in 1995 that is thriving still on stories shared by the audience, much like this site, without capital. Deep respect for what you've all done here, it's from the heart!

Love the direction you're going in, so many ways to connect with more people. Look forward to seeing where you take this next.

Declan Dunn

Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.

Thanks for the encouragement Declan!

Great work, guys. I found this website on Google today. I want to improve my English skills by joining a community.