Personally and professionally, Lawrence Kasmen views himself as a risk-taker, a trait he ascribes to genetics and upbringing. "My father is the same way," he said.
Kasmen has ridden motorcycles and jumped out of planes. He roamed about the Middle East during politically tense times when tourism was discouraged.
A corporate and commercial real estate attorney, he fled the security of a large company to start his own law firm. On the side, he developed real estate and built homes. More recently, he created, with a partner, a mobile app for businesses.
But his latest passion is intended to reduce risk for others. For the past few years, Kasmen has instructed adults on how to prevent sexual abuse of children.
Soon after an entrepreneurial spirit led to the launch of Mobilezen, an app designed to promote business, Kasmen landed the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy as a client. Attending the 2009 Cheer for Children Ball, its annual black-tie fundraiser in November, he was inspired to undergo a three-hour training program with the Stewards of Children, a national awareness group.
He became a trainer, offering advice and guidance to other adults, and relishes his role in a ripple effect of the educational process. His lessons focus on how to recognize, address and report incidents of grown-ups' misconduct with kids.
"The theory is, children should not be their own keeper," said Kasmen, who provides some free services with the mobile app to the center. "It is incumbent on adults to protect children from sexual abuse."
Kasmen's devotion to the cause has landed him a seat on the board of directors for the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy beginning next year.
He recently spoke to the Daily Report about his commitment.
What spurred you to get involved?
I am a father of two boys, now 5 1/2 and 4. That is probably it.
When my wife and I went to the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy event, we were moved by the cause. No one was really asking for money. It was a charity that was asking for your time and commitment and effort.
As lawyers, we have a duty to leverage our status, our position. I thought the best way I could get involved is to go and do Stewards of Children training. I can expose people to the problem and hopefully incite them to act or go through the training themselves. I try to get organizations to train their leaders and employees.