Honoring Howard Spierer

Upon the request for input for MDI Legacy Magazine’s 2018 “Man of the Year” the magazine received a number of nominations from the men throughout the organization. This included an unprecedented amount of nominations (58) for one man: Howard Spierer of the Mid-Atlantic Region.

As it was never intended as a popularity contest, the search focused on specific criteria for a man who “exemplified the spirit of MDI’s core values and principles, showing up as an example for successful families, careers, and communities, while helping put MDI on the map for its highest impact.”

Though the honors go to another man – Eric Mortimer found HERE – the amount of those honoring Spierer, for their own specific reasons, will not go unnoticed. An early pioneer of MDI, Spierer – having joined a men’s team in June 1994 – has served as Division Coordinator, Regional Coordinator, Point Man, MDI President, Board of Directors Member, Executive VP and Legacy Discovery Lead, among other jobs.

Spierer spoke of the support from the men in his region, which presently has been placed into a territory, a situation that has brought discord among many men in the Mid-Atlantic. Said Spierer, “It’s incredibly humbling. It’s been a really challenging and contentious year for me. It’s been emotional – my health hasn’t been that great. And the thing that really moved me is how men have been willing to rally behind me and, quite frankly, take over the fight for me. They upheld my vision and carried it forward, relieving me of the burden of taking a stand alone. What I think this (honor) comes from is my passion and willingness to keep men connected, not just in the Mid-Atlantic region, but throughout the organization … just to give men the opportunity to stay connected in the face of a firestorm and realize that if we have each other, quite frankly, that’s all we need.”

Below are some comments from just a few of his men.

“Howard has done it all. He has been involved in MDI in a wholehearted way for years. He has served at every level and has even circled back after he has finished a position and stepped up to another job. and he has done this while his physical health is getting weaker. he could step back and use that as an excuse, but he chooses to continue serving as best he can. Howard’s spirit and wisdom are exemplary and i am always lifted up when i come in contact with him.”

“His inspiring context on living a full, purposeful life, in face of being increasingly disabled by his Multiple Sclerosis.”

“His blanket of work in MDI and how he shows up as a Leader in this world”

“Howard Spierer has been instrumental in creating success in every Man’s life in the Mid-Atlantic Region and beyond, either directly or indirectly. He helped develop and lead numerous Legacy Discovery weekends. He helped found and lead MDI in its early years. This is a man who has not let Multiple Sclerosis stop him from doing anything. His descriptions of the Code of Honor are so poignant, they’re immortally a part of the website. To me, there is no one I associate more with a concept of “Mr MDI” than Howard.

“Howard continues to guide and lead the men of this region with mature masculinity and compassion.”

“His interpretive work on the 15 Tenets of the Code of Honor is enough in my book.”

“He has always been a staunch supporter of MDI and the Values that we stand for as an organization. His wisdom and insight have been an inspiration for myself and many of the men in MDI. His work within MDI in general and his contributions to the Legacy Discovery Event have been so very important to the work that we do on a daily basis.”

“His commitment to the creation, sustenance and long-term values of MDI despite turmoil his health and in his Region/Team.”

“He has helped me grow. He has helped MDI. He has helped so many men. He is an incredible leader and teammate. I admire him.”

“Howard’s health has deteriorated quite a bit, but he still travels, speaks and makes a profound influence on how other men (me) live my life. He has a successful family with an independent, powerful daughter, great nephew and many friends and followers in many communities. Just recently, he helped lead another successful LD for the Mid-Atlantic Region. He has done this all amidst turmoil between two spatting leaders on his own team!”

Spierer is committed to speaking truth to power. He did an excellent job leading the Legacy Discovery core team. He modeled the way as to how to leave a job powerful. He is committed to building bridges. He did all this while battling Multiple Sclerosis. Even as his body has broken down he remains a powerful leader and inspiration.”

“Spierer knows the values of MDI inside and out, and has dedicated to himself to the organization for years with passion. I had the pleasure of interacting with him as captain during my Point Program. I found him to be smart, savvy, tough but fair, and a great strategist.”

“Spierer is a leader, a co-founder of MDI, a strong and wise man. With that said, he is a representation of the old MDI leadership that is holding the Sterling Men Division energy that grew up to Be vulnerable.”

“He is a man who lives by his commitments. No sneaky shit with him. It is what it is and he is authentic. No ego. I trust him with my life.”

“1) Howard’s commitment to speaking his truth to power.
2) His work leading the LD core team
3) His modeling the way on how to exit powerfully from a job for political reasons
4) His commitment to building bridges”

“He is da man.”

9 thoughts on “Honoring Howard Spierer”

  1. So an “unprecedented amount of votes” and that resume and those comments didn’t get him man of the year? Another thing to make you go”hmmm”. Eric Mortimer must be quite a man. Congratulations Mortimer.

  2. I’m confused. Howard received 58 votes from all over the coubtry while Eric, a good example, gets man of year?

  3. Thank you for your comment, pointing out the terminology that has now been changed. The term “votes” should actually have been “nominations.” As it says in the article, this was never was about a popularity contest. It wasn’t about a number of nominations, but about the criteria for the award, which Mortimer was far and above an amazing success. TV newscast, radio show, newspaper articles, placing MDI on the map for sure. With all the nominations from the Mid-Atlantic, it seemed only right to acknowledge Mr. Spierer, a man who is well-deserving of such honoring.

  4. for what it is worth I think Mortimer fully deserves the award. what he has done in breathing life into the Calgary community should serve as a blueprint to every leader. he inspires rather than demands; brings value by reaching outside our circle rather than thinking he has all the answers and he asks for and accepts help. whenever he’s ready to lead MDI, i’ll gladly be there to support him

  5. “Thank you for your comment, pointing out the terminology that has now been changed. The term “votes” should actually have been…”


    Indeed, a poignant mindset of timely relevance, the “terminology” changes from leadership down removing “votes” from the men on the ground is certainly the undercurrent beneath the swelling tides of support that earned Mr. Spierer those 58 nods of acknowledgement.

    (The stated clarifier of “all the nominations from the Mid-Atlantic” raises either count processing or probity questions, as that many were surely submitted transcontinentally by we men of the Western Region alone)

    I’ve not met either man, and really have no skin in this or any MOTY game outcome, but I am compelled to risk sullying the reverence here by the weighty lesson first imparted to me by Mentor Extraordinaire Tillman:

    “I will not dishonor you by not holding you accountable”

    Mr. Ellis, your sidenote clarification here provides clarity aplenty into the shadows of aristocracy we’re witnessing our leadership slink into. As you’ve surely expressed an air of aloof indifference in even responding here in this context, so too do you validate the expanding groundswell of mistrust and dissension among the very ranks you’ve been entrusted to lead. The exclusionary tactics of silencing our voices by stripping our elections unannounced with secret leadership insertion from on high, to more secret planning and implementation of a boondoggle social media marketing blitz funded by the surprise taxation of the men without due process or fiduciary transparency are only amplified by your input on this page.

    You, sir, shat steamingly on this cake here, not me. I’m just holding up that inconvenient mirror of exposure, and what it shows is you been BUMT.


    Congratulations Mr. Mortimer. The accolades alone merit the distinction you’ve received, and with that I expect one day to be moved by your input here as deeply as I’ve been by Mr. Spierer’s so many times.

    And to you Mr. Spierer, I thank you for the wisdom I’ve gleaned off your pen. It’s had an impact on the purpose-driven beacon that drew me to this place: becoming the man I want to be. Write on mister.

    Arnold, Stephen
    Legacy Division

    1. Today I discovered what was already known in my gut, and what was clear to anyone who looks at the numbers. Someone chose – out of what can only be an immature passive-aggressive move – to USE the Legacy Magazine Man of the Year to try and catch the MDI organization being dishonorable in order to prove some point. What a rotten way to treat an effort to bring honor to men. A typo was made using the incorrect term “votes” over “nominations.” No big crime. The real dishonor goes to those who used this simple award and who actually USED a great man like Spierer in the process.

      Nothing changes – Spierer is honored for all his incredible work over the years. Mortimer is awarded for his work in 2019. And whoever knowingly stuffed a voting box – which ironically wasn’t even a voting box – has the chance to look in their own mirror at their childish behavior.

  6. Arnold, as a point of clarification, the terms of selection for the MDI Man of Year is earned through merit – on actions and accomplishments as nominated by the men. Votes in this case are nominations, which become candidates to be juried.

    This process is intentional. We aren’t determining The Most Popular Man in MDI. We want men from any circle to receive the honor of being nominated by their peers.

    I have advice, which is my offer to you. “I will not dishonor you by not holding you accountable” – you have attached your own honor to holding another man accountable. Both you, as the accountability holder, and Ellis (being held accountable) could greatly benefit by your clarifying to what standard you are holding your man accountable.

    What is the standard for your accountability?

    For me it is lost in your bombast. To wit – there is no standard regarding ‘shadowy aristocracy,’ nor ‘aloof indifference.’ Is there a masculine precept or attribute which you stake your honor and hold for Ellis? Is your stand for accountability providing Ellis an opportunity for his own personal growth?

    The accountability for which I’ll hold for you is to be black and white.

    It is not the opinion you have (which I read as a vague complaint), but how you have expressed it that fails to both uphold Ellis nor the personal honor you have staked on his regard.

    With respect.

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