Matt Lyons presents the award to Olaf Krop at Nov 14 regional meeting.
After 19 years giving his best within the MDI organization, holding many offices and leadership positions including Chairman of the Board, Olaf Krop of the Western Region received the Rick Russell Award, one of the most prestigious honors bestowed upon an MDI man. The award – given “in recognition and honor of commitment, relationship & years in service to thousands of families” – was presented by former president Stan Snow at the Board of Directors meeting in Los Angeles. Krop received a plaque in the Bay Area at a regional meeting on November 14. The MDI President picks the winner and runs the candidate by the past winners.
The Rick Russell Award is the highest award that MDI presents. It is given not just for long time service to MDI, but also for the heart it takes to be considered for this award. The names on the award are men who I have the utmost respect for. Receiving the Rick Russell award was one of the most humbling experiences of my life. Olaf Krop has demonstrated his commitment to MDI and his heart for many years and is an excellent selection.
Olaf Krop has served this organization at every level for many years. Some of those jobs were either jobs or during tough times. Each time Olaf Krop was up to the task. In the three years I served as President of MDI, Krop was the Chairman of the Board and we forged a very successful working partnership. He raised the professionalism of the Board, helped launch the Strategic Planning process, and led the work to create a new process to have a smoother transition each time we elect a new President. Our work together set a new standard for the relationship between Chairman and President. Krop’s thoroughness and process oriented thinking was the perfect antidote to my shoot-from-the -hip tendency to set myself on fire and take off running just to see who follows.
On a personal note, Krop was always a listening ear for whatever I may have been facing personally, professionally, or as President. He kept me grounded and was one of my men when I needed counsel. The life he has crafted, with his retirement home in Casper, California, is inspirational to me. It gave me hope and helped me believe in my own dreams again. He helped me see what’s possible and, as a result, my dreams are taking shape in ways I could only have imagined.
Olaf Krop has earned his place among the recipients of MDI’s highest honor. I am proud to have served with him and to call him my friend.
Outgoing MDI President
I’m honored and humbled.
When I see the names on the plaque, I realize that there are so many great men in MDI. I’m not sure I count myself among them, but I am proud to be part of a organization whose mission inspires so many men to lead powerful lives. I’ve devoted a lot of my time and resources to MDI, and I would do it again in a minute!
At my last regional meeting, I saw so many new members standing in the circle, and it reminded me of when I first joined so many years ago: I could not have imagined that one day I would be given the trust and the responsibility of being the Chairman of an international men’s organization. I was just here to figure out who I was and how I could become more successful. Now, many years later, I attribute much of that success to stepping up and saying ‘yes’ when asked to lead, and to trust the men in my circle.
This award represents more to me than just a plaque with some names on it. It represents the legacy of men who came before me, who cared enough about those following them to invest their own blood, sweat and tears to build an organization that men like you and I can benefit from. I will continue to contribute because I will always remember the gifts that were given to me by men like Scott Bye, Kurt Thorne, Joe Copp and others, who have made such a difference by giving a damn about their fellow men.