Matt Faircloth of the Mid-Atlantic region is the proud papa with the birth of his son. Zachary Douglas Faircloth was welcomed by the world on November 21, 2013 weighing in at 7lbs, 14oz.
By being around other successful men in MDI, Guy Prandstatter of Delaware Crossing Titans has learned how to achieve a balanced success in his life. MDI has given him opportunities that can’t be found elsewhere, he received mentors and models on how to be a great father, business owner and leader. Prandstatter’s biggest win is bringing his community work with Youth Consultation Service (YCS) to the men of his region. YCS works with at-risk and special needs children to build happier, healthier, more hopeful lives within families and communities. His work with YCS is now much bigger than himself. Men have regularly organized walking to support YCS and throw parties for the children. His ongoing goal is to create a camp that YCS can use year-round for the children. Because of all the support Pradstatter has received, completing this camp will be a great accomplishment for the entire organization as a whole.
Before doing the Men’s Wweekend ten years ago, David Rudbarg of Humongous didn’t realize that something was missing; he thought women wanted emotional men. Doing the point program confronted him and started the process of cutting through the bullshit faster and getting to the truth quickly. Now, he no longer needs to apologize for being a man in all areas of his life. Rudbarg is a vocalist. He put out his first album in 2010 and is now finishing up pre-production for his second album to be released in 2014. Rudbarg’s greatest success to date is losing just under 70 pounds in the last six months. This would not have been possible without the support of his men’s team and a willingness to be coachable.
Abnaki, a Toronto-area chapter of MDI, took it upon themselves to help cook for homeless shelter. After passing a hat at a tribal meeting and fundraising on Facebook, plenty of donations came in so that “Boxer’s Out of the Cold” meal was a real success. All the leaders were unanimous in feeling incredibly supported by the circle of men in supporting the community.
Focusing on the team level and not the individual level, there is a team in the Southeast Region – Breaking Bad – that is living its purpose and successfully making an impact in the community as well as being leaders in our division. This is about a team fulfilling its and our purpose of positively impacting our communities. This is how the men of the Southeast / DogSoldiers are interested in showing up.
The Western Region has had the honor of watching a man on his journey over the last three years since he first came in as a guest. Bill P took on being Team Leader when he was still very fresh in the Division. He is an honest, diligent and caring man. This has shown up in his deepened relationship and leadership of his family, his further financial success in his work as well as grabbing his balls and taking his hobby of winemaking, for which he has won numerous awards, to the next level by beginning the process of making wine professionally. He is a shining example of a man who has taken what MDI has to offer and applying it to all aspects of his life.
RC of Western Canada Region Jeff Lawrence had the opportunity to bring MDI to the masses, as he was part of a 30-minute talk show on local radio, answering questions from a female interviewer. The banter was engaging… though Lawrence did well not to “engage.”
Congratulations to David Kristensen of Western Canada. Thanks to his experience with the Sterling Men’s Weekend, he was able to connect with his 80-year old widowed father, Ib, in a powerful way. He recently spent a week with him to help him sort out such necessities as finances, alternative housing, insurance and banking issues, funeral arrangements and home-care. He also had a frank conversation with his father about past unresolved grievances and about the legacy of his offspring who have achieved their own levels of success in their adult lives.
Dave Bergeron and Mitch Dryzmala
Congrats to Dave Bergeron and Mitch Dryzmala for selling their automotive fast lube business at a substantial profit. They partnered together to purchases and grow the business over the last five years. The initial effort was tremendous, working long hours and having little time for much else. In the last few years, the business grew its staff, which afforded them the opportunity to pursue other business endeavors. Both Mitch and Dave feel their involvement with MDI and leadership development around men’s teams helped them deal with the challenges that led to their success.
Mark Gofstein, Mountain Warriors
My father had just died and my mother was near the end of her life as well. They passed within 13 weeks of each other last year. Their house needed to be fixed up so it could be
sold. In a span of six weeks, each Division in the New England Region showed up to work on the house. One night my Division at the time, Jawbone, showed up with 33 men for three hours of work. The impact of showing up that night had my parents’ neighbors note that I must have some important connections in the community because I could have 30 people show up to work on the house mid-week from 7-10 pm. This was to get a house ready for sale that was not even mine!! I felt taken care of by my region. It is a
testament to men who want to make a difference when there is a real-life situation where an impact can be made. If I never had MDI in my life, there is a great chance that the
house, which was in good but not great shape, would not have sold so quick (two days) and that I would have had to be coping with my father’s affairs for a longer stretch, making things perhaps more stressful than I could imagine.
My son Conrad goes to a small private school where “everybody knows everybody,” where choices of who you’re hanging out with are limited. The parents and kids are all in relationship with each other on at least a modest level. We’re stuck with each other like family, at least until our kids graduate.
A couple years ago my 12-year-old son came home from school questioning what to do about a schoolmate he had a “very dynamic” relationship with. This particular boy can be a challenging obnoxious little ^$^#&%. (Wish I could say that my son never was.) I suggested my son “clear a list” with this kid, and I called the dad and explained the general premise. We took our sons and met in a local park, explained the purpose and premise of a list clearing. What happened next was one of the most amazing moments of my fatherhood.
These young boys squared off eye-to-eye (important to know that my son is a foot taller), hands on hearts, and then expressed to each other exactly what was going on in their relationship. The transparency and clarity was shocking from a couple 12-year-olds. They hugged, fist-bumped and were done. The other dad, an ex-Marine, took me aside afterwards and said, “That was a great piece of youth leadership, thank you. Where did you learn that?” I simply said, “The men I hang out with.” His response: “We got taught to just kill the enemy and beat the crap out of somebody we didn’t like.” On the way home, I asked my son about the experience and he said, “It was OK, I feel a little bit better … I would have rather just kicked the crap out of that kid, but I guess there’s no honor in fighting a smaller kid.”
I am a pretty good Dad, not a great one, but my children are watching as they always have. They observe and listen (better than most men I know) and will imitate us in a painfully accurate way. So will those people around us in our lives. We create our kingdoms by the way we act. The value of what we learn in our circles is valuable only when we apply it in our lives. There are far more opportunities than we know. But taking a little risk can pay off in huge ways. I am grateful to all those men who have taken a risk with me.