Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

2010 Memory Walk is only days away!

On October 2nd, 2010, my family and I will be walking in the 2010 Memory Walk to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Association in honor of my Nana, Gloria Knapp. Nana was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s quite a few years ago and as a result our family has a heartbreaking example of  the devastating impact of this disease.

Alzheimer’s disease currently affects more that 5 million Americans and 78 million baby boomers are at risk – unless we find a way to change the course of this disease.

I want to do my part to fight Alzheimer’s, but I need your support! Please make a donation to help the Alzheimer’s Association advance research into prevention, treatments and a cure for Alzheimer’s. For the millions already affected by the disease, the Association offers care, education, support and resources in communities nationwide.

Thank you for supporting my efforts. We’re on the MOVE to end Alzheimer’s!

To visit my personal fundraising page, CLICK HERE!

Also, we are happy to accept any new teammates and believe firmly in the strength of numbers. Our team has set a fundraising goal of $2,000.00 and we appreciate any and all general team donations as well.

Visit to donate to my fundraising effort and visit to make a general donation to our team!


US Standing Among World Community

I recently read and analyzed a report by the American Political Science Association entitled, U.S. Standing in the World: Causes, Consequences, and the Future which I suggest everyone read, but I want to point out that tend to agree with the “Dissenting Views” Appended to the end of the report for the simple reason that on page 5 of the report, a graph of “U.S. Favorability rating” shows that among all other countries polled, the US’s lowest ever favorability rating in 2007 is higher than all but 3 of the other country’s highest recorded favorability rating. The most recent rating recorded for the US was the 2009 rating of 88% favorability which is second highest in the world behind Kenya’s 90%.

While there is a great amount of interesting material in the 44-page report, what I found most interesting was the material regarding the affect that partisanship had on an individual’s impression of the US’s standing in the world. The report suggests that when Democrats are in power Republicans will tend to rate US Standing lower and vice-versa, and I can see how this statistic would be generated, but I am not sure I fit into this category. In fact, I tend to believe that regardless of Congressional or Presidential control the standing of the US in the world would be most positively impacted immediately after elections and most negatively impacted at the end of any President’s term. In my experience, the impact that the “voice of the people” can have during elections proves the superiority of our Representative Democracy and restores American’s faith in our system and the world’s faith in American’s judgement. The messages that electoral results can send are immensely powerful.

What impact do you believe the “voice of the people” can have on the favorability of our beautiful country among the world community?

Why runners usually make great employees

VIA: The BrandBuilder Blog – Below is a blog post that I believe to be extraordinarily powerful and very interesting. In my experience, while it is certainly biased, I have found the below information to be inexplicably true! Anima Sana in Anime Corpore Sana – Sound Mind in a Sound Body!

Why runners usually make great employees.

February 21, 2009 by Olivier Blanchard

My good friend and super personal trainer Holly DiGiovine sent out an email over the weekend that struck a chord with me. Here’s some of what she had to share:

When you have a goal that is as huge as the marathon-it will “keep you honest.” It’s not like a smaller goal that you can announce and then put off or fake your way through. Once you sign up, commit months to training, and take your first step on race day-you better have done your homework.

The beauty of this is that it goes against 99% of the natural tendencies of our culture that favors gratification without effort or devotion. But is that kind of achievement ever as satisfying? Linda Hill once told me she loved the quote, “There is no glory in training, but there is no glory without training.” In no way is this more true than in running.

And business.

One thing I’ve found over the years is that many of the folks I train with (and race against) are for the most part as devoted to their jobs (if not more) as they are to running or cycling or triathlon.

Unlike participation in say, golf or softball or basketball – no offense to club/league sports – the type of determination, discipline and emotional focus that comes with training day in, day out for extremely challenging endurance events (often by yourself) tends to bleed over into people’s 9-5′s.

Whether you’re training for a marathon, a century or the Ironman triathlon, one thing you quickly find out is that there’s no room for bullshit out there on the pavement. You either do the work or you’re screwed. Politics won’t get you to the finish line. It doesn’t matter who you know or how well you can work the system. When you’re out there, every weakness bubbles up to the surface and stares you in the eye. Lack of preparation, lack of motivation, lack of dedication will all come back to bite you in the ass. there’s nowhere to hide. They will all find you and jump up on your back to stop you dead in your tracks. The choice becomes this: Do you let them stop you, or do you accept them and keep going?

You learn a lot about yourself, training for that type of event.

You learn a lot about how to break thresholds and get past your own little ego, training for events like these. When you’re tired and sore and hungry but you still have four miles to go, guess what? You still have four miles to go. How you get through these last four miles is entirely up to you. Nobody cares whether you walk those last four miles or run, or hail a cab. Nobody made you set 26.2 miles as a goal. Or 100 miles. Or 144+.

Once you’ve broken past your lack of will and learned to keep going, you are transformed. A similar thing happens to Marines during training. At some point, who you used to be before you went beyond what you thought your limitations were, before you kissed excuses goodbye, before you left all of the bullshit that stood in your mind’s way ceases to exist. You become someone else.

That someone else, the marathoner, the long distance cyclist, the triathlete, the Ironman, he or she walks into your place of work with you every morning.

We all work with two types of people: Partisans of the least amount of effort, and dedicated professionals.

The latter aren’t all marathoners or triathletes, but I have yet to meet an Ironman or marathoner who didn’t take his or her intensity and dedication to their job.

Not that there’s anything wrong with drinking a case of beer and watching sports on TV all weekend, but who you are outside of your work does have parallels with who you are when you are at work.

Something to think about.

Update: Wow. You guys have turned this post into The BrandBuilder blog’s most popular post ever. Over 2,000 views in less than 24 hours already. Thank you all: Fellow runners, cyclists, swimmers, triathletes… It’s amazing to have so many of you respond to this post with so much enthusiasm. You’ve really made my day. Next time you’re in the Greenville, SC be sure to look me up. Lots of great running, cycling and racing out here.

Train hard!

Leadership skills required in new economy

The continued evolution of the global economy and workplaces requires that leaders in today’s businesses need to have certain skills and management styles. Flexibility in the face of looming changes in health care law, financial reform and continued technological advancements in all sectors seems to stand out as vital, but Alan Murray suggests in the Wall Street Journal that there are twelve key skills that will undoubtedly serve managers and aspiring leaders well.

    • Stay flexible.
    • Devour data.
    • Be (somewhat) humble.
    • Communicate.
    • Plan for contingencies.
    • Be proactive.
    • Insist on candor.
    • Stay involved.
    • Keep your organization flat.
    • Cross-train your talent.
    • Assess your team.
    • Use your judgment.

Full Story>>>

Cost of Obesity

Aside from the fact that folks who are obese become that way because of a habit of over-consumption, according to a recent study out of George Washington University, folks who are obese face significant costs not faced by individuals who are healthy.
In fact, women who are obese spend, on average $4,879 more per year and men  dole out $2,646 more annually.


This evening, as a part of my Ethics in Business course that I’m taking en route to an MBA at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. John Eckberg a former business reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer and author of  “The Success Effect” spoke to our class about the various interviews he’s conducted throughout his years as a reporter. The myriad relationships he’s built over the years have given him an interesting perspective about leadership and the qualities that leaders in business must have to become successful.

Below is an acronym that he developed to highlight the characteristics he found to be essentials for leaders:

  • G – grit
  • O – observant

  • F – fun
  • I – intuitive
  • G – gracious
  • U – unsatisfied
  • R – resolve
  • E – envisioning

What qualities do you think leaders must display?


Papa (aka Oscar Smith) is a truly divine individual who has had a tremendous impact on the lives of so many people and in that vein I’ve created a blog called PapaWatch that will serve to honor that impact and the many blessings that have come from the love he has always shown to those around him.

If you have a personal story involving Papa, or would like to contribute to this account, please contact me at so I can make sure it gets included.

To read more, visit the PapaWatch Blog!

9/11 Tribute from Budweiser

While it is a few days late,  I just found this video and I felt compelled to post. I can surely say that this commercial from Budweiser is one of the most heartfelt and sincere I’ve seen in my lifetime.

Back to Football Friday by NFL Play 60 and United Way

Tomorrow, Friday, September 10th, you can join fans and activists across the country by wearing your favorite NFL team’s jersey or colors.

When you do this, you’ll be sending a message to America that you support the NFL and United Way’s efforts to end childhood obesity. To make an even bigger impact, team up with your friends and coworkers and plan an event at your home, office or school. Click here to see how kids and schools can get involved.

As a bonus, when you sign up to participate or organize an event with your friends and coworkers, you’ll be eligible to win a free trip to the Super Bowl!

“O Father” an Indian’s prayer by Dr. Thomas Whitecloud II

O Father

Whose voice I hear in the winds and
Whose breath gives life to the world,
Hear me.

I am a man before you, one of your many children.
I am small and weak.
I need your strength and wisdom.

Let me walk in beauty and
Make my eyes behold the red and purple sunsets.
Make my hands respect the things you have made,
My ears sharp to hear your voice.

Make me wise so that I may know the things
You have taught my people –
The lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock.

I seek strength, Father,
Not to be superior to my brothers,
But to be able to fight my worst enemy, myself.

Make me ever ready to come to you
with clear hands and straight eye, so that
When life fades as the fading sunset
My spirit may come to you without shame.

I want to thank Eric G. Haverkamp from a LinkedIn Group, Quotivate, for passing this along to all of the group members. As a Quotivate member I have been continually inspired by the extraordinary power of just a few words.