You may be thinking — why am I on this web site? What’s this guy trying to sell me? Where’s the hook?
There isn’t one. I’m not trying to sell anything. There is no hook.
This web site is designed to give you an opportunity to get to know me better. Where we go from there . . . well, that’s up to you.
Who am I?
It took me a long time to figure this out. The defining moment was in an interview with a senior executive some years ago. He asked me what I wanted to be remembered for. The question caught me off guard. After fumbling through answers I thought he would want to hear, the right answer for me exploded in my brain. It was a classic, cliché, Eureka moment.
I wanted to be the guy who “made a difference.” Whether it was through coaching, consulting, teaching, managing, developing talent, speaking, volunteering or parenting, I wanted to be the person who helped advance other people’s lives. And that’s what I’ve done. From the day of that interview, I’ve redirected all of my activities to support that one principle.
The day my life changed forever
On May 8, 2010, my third child – Luca – was born. This was the also the day my wife Heather received her Stage IIIc ovarian cancer diagnosis. Over the next 3 years as she bravely fought the disease, and for the one year immediately following her death on July 4th, 2013, my perspective changed completely. What had been a steady progression to the “make a difference” mantra became a full out assault. I decided to spend as much time as possible helping others. I gave up my Fortune 150 job and launched myself full-time into teaching (I’ve now been teaching at the McCombs School of Business of The University of Texas at Austin for 13 years). I ran after school and summer camps for elementary and middle school students to help them learn to become entrepreneurs. I spent more time working within the non-profit community. And I even designed a strategy game named Founder to help develop business management skills (yes, it’s also fun to play).
I also published a book. I wrote a lot in high school and college. But as is often the case, life got in the way of my ongoing pursuit of my passion to write. It took personal tragedy for me to rediscover writing. As it turns out, publishing The Journey (available on Amazon.com here) turned out to be the best therapy for me in the world. It allowed me to collect my thoughts, express my feelings, and start down the long road to returning to being a ‘whole’ person. As an added bonus, it ended up being a pretty good book, and I was able to help my favorite non-profit (Wonders & Worries) in the process as well.
More about me?
I pursue things that interest me. I look for experiences. I learn. This has led me down many paths over my 25-year career. I’ve experienced the excitement of planning, funding, and successfully launching five start-ups in the consulting, enterprise software, hardware and consumer product industries. I was thrilled to lead a highly successful sales organization within a Fortune 150 company while managing a major corporate transformation project. I’ve taught entrepreneurship, business operations, strategy, export management and marketing at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin for 13 years. I’ve worked in executive leadership and strategy with non-profits. And I’ve done public speaking on topics like business model transformation, leadership, and hereditary cancer screening.
My biggest love is travel, especially with my three children. I have a goal for each of my kids to have visited 40 countries and 40 states before they start college. We are progressing nicely toward this goal. We blog about our travel experiences every year. While this doesn’t always win me accolades from my kids, I’ve included some of my favorite entries on this web site. We also love documenting our travel with photos (my oldest son is the photo expert). Which leads me to…
What’s up with the photos?
After my wife passed away, I thought it was important for the kids to have old memories of their mom, but also have the opportunity to form new ones even though she was gone. So I came up with what my youngest son later called Little Mommies. They are small canisters of Heather’s ashes that we take with us on our travels. Every time we find a spot that we think Heather would like, we bury a Little Mommy canister. Then my oldest son takes a picture of the location. The pictures on the header and throughout the web site are some of my favorites that Nico has taken so far of her resting spots. We’re up to more than 75 all over the world.