Success Stories – December 2013

Stories of success are everywhere you look … if you are looking.

MDI WIDE – Vancouver, BC

Brad Leslie 

Man with a Band and a Plan

An overnight success after 45 years, the men’s circle legend Mr. Brad Leslie of Vancouver is experiencing extreme success with his Re/Max Rockin’ All Stars, a 10-piece unit in which he plays keyboards and boogie piano. 

According to Leslie, who did his Sterling Weekend in 1988 and presently oversees the west coast’s Young Men’s Adventure Weekends, his band played a November gig to 250 clubbers dancing their brains out, as they raised $2,000 for children’s charity.

“I’ve loved music for 45 years,” Leslie said. “Playing with these guys, this is the most fun I’ve had in a long time.” 

The band is scheduled to play company conferences in the upcoming years, including a crowd of 10,000 at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. 

Rock on man!

Click here:!album/c61v


Marc Prestera

New Gig, New Wife, New Life

In the last 15 months Marc Prestera, DC of the San Diego Men’s Division, met and joined in marriage the love of his life, Wendy.  He blended the family with Einstein the cat and Jonah the wonder dog on September 15, 2013.

Prestera, an active real estate professional in San Diego for almost 30 years (March 16 is his anniversary), has always worked at large franchise brokerages. However, after being the Broker of Record for Keller Williams Realty in Del Mar (with more than 250 agents under license and responsibility) for the last four years, he decided it was time to fully maximize his skills, experience and knowledge. Prestera started his own brokerage, Prestera Real Estate Inc. 

He says, “For the first time in my professional life, I am truly working for myself. I am blessed in so many ways!”


No Success Reported


No Success Reported


Curtis Hilgartner

Going Over the Top in Impacting Community

Ever since Curtis Hilgartner joined the HSIT division in 2007, he has made a huge impact. Over the last two years however, he has really gone over the top. 

He started by setting up the Buffalo Society (BS CLUB), a social club where men have opportunities to bond with each other by bowling, paintball, poker and many other cool events. The BS Club has low cost events for all to enjoy as well as fundraising events to send new men to their initiation weekends.  

But Hilgartner did not stop there: he was the food lead for the 2013 MAN EVENT, the co-lead team “PIPELINE,” and the primary author developing an 18-part pipeline lesson curriculum to get new men from THE MAN EVENT to an initiation weekend, to point program, and on to our teams in the Western Canada Region. His largest achievement in 2013 was leading the Ray Lowery Memorial Halloween dance/ Christmas family’s project. This year’s Halloween dance fundraiser was a huge success, raising twice as much money as last year. This means they have double the amount of Christmas hampers (60) that will be distributed to needy families this year. Hilgartner has created huge value for his men and his community, and he continues to be one of HSIT’s most generous and beloved men. 


Steve Thomas

New Blood in the Region Sparks “Freakin’ Awesome” Changes


On September 9, I attended my second circle as a guest.  It was a division meeting.  Somehow, I ended up grabbing what was necessary, and started screaming obscenities!  The next thing I know… I was being signed up as a member, and registered for the Legacy Discovery event three weeks later. I had no money, a sick car, no immediate work lined up (a self-employed handyman/caretaker), and two months earlier had just moved out of my home of six years with my girlfriend, and I was about to move again in another month!

What came next, after my Legacy Discovery Weekend?  I moved the next day, car broke down the day after, and three days after the LD, I had to put my Golden Retriever to sleep due to cancer.  Work receded, more car trouble, I really need tires, and winter is setting in.  My landlord just put her house on the market, so… moving again soon?

So, what do I do?  I grab `em again, and scream more obscenities, as I drive a metal object into a hard surface!  I’m on my way to the Sterling Men’s Weekend!  Tomorrow as I write this, last week as you read it.

Since associating with MDI two months ago, I have had all my physical pain recede to a bare minimum. Though temporarily low on cash, my full reserve of all other riches has been tapped into. I am helping other men, and they are helping me to exercise my rights and responsibilities as a man… and I just can’t seem to wipe this smile off my face! 

Now, I can’t say much, here, about anything other than my own evolution, but as a closet pyromaniac from waaaay back, having bonfires at our meetings is freakin’ awesome.  

Metaphorically speaking, and it IS the Season of honoring our Creator, I feel so much the clay: in the heat of the Love that courses through my fellow men. Fired, am I, are we, as the kiln of our blended experiences strengthens us, and sets our fate as vessels in His service.  Love will not be denied.


(Kell Ramos – already posted)


Doug Ernst

One Man’s Testimonial: How MDI Changed my Life

I was at a crossroads when I met the man who introduced me to MDI. At age 56, I had just been laid off following a 33-year career as a newspaper executive. My 34-year marriage was also at a crossroads as one of our four daughters was preparing to stare down her rapist in court.

At my first Sequoia Division meeting in Kenwood CA, I realized there was men who could help me lead my family through our crisis and renew my professional career. But first I had to find my place among the men.

I’ve always lacked men in my life. Having no brothers and a father who died when I was 10; having no sons and only a handful of male friends, I quickly realized I could benefit from the company of men who knew how to lead and how to turn problems into challenges and wins. 

More than that, after attending my Sterling Men’s Weekend and Legacy Discovery weekend, I learned that as a longtime husband and father of four I could help other men through challenging times. I could improve myself as a family leader. I could find the strength to build a new business, and I could fulfill my purpose: to find new ways to help my community reduce violence. Mainly, I learned I could set an example for other men who might someday help change the world.

I found at my crossroads that MDI can offer a new path.

Doug Ernst

(SMW 11/12, LD 3/13)

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