Southwest Region – Jorge Rosado
Comfortable in his Own Skin, Rosado Remarries the Woman who Divorced Him
The success story from the Southwest Region is Jorge Rosado.
On the outside this man really seemed to have life all figured out, but he was scared. His wife divorced him, a people pleaser, and he had no clue on which direction to take next. After being on a team and really doing the work – I mean, really doing the work – this man is now confident to make decisions, remarried the woman who divorced him, walks comfortable in his own skin, and has a compass and a team of men that help him charter through life.
New England Region – Michael Wasser
The Great Comeback of a Grateful Father
I have three kids Alex (32), Monica (23) and Emily (14), each with a different mother, from two failed marriages and one short-term uncommitted relationship, with each living in different parts of the country. Pretty fucked up I know.
What’s really fucked up is that through most of this, I had nowhere to unload my anger. No men, no men’s team, just me. So anger got piled on top of anger. It seeped into everything in my life. It ruled me. My anger caused untold damage to my relationships and in the case of my middle daughter, Monica, from the short-term relationship, my anger caused me to walk away. Sure, I paid the child support, sent her birthday cards and Christmas presents, pretending that I was in her life, but we had no relationship. I let my anger towards the situation, towards her mother and towards myself get in the way of really being a father to her. My anger took a toll on me physically and mentally. Depression, overeating, stress and ultimately my heart stopping at age 55. This was followed by the second failed marriage and loss of my business. What the fuck!
So I dodged a bullet. Now what? What am I going to do with this second chance? I realized that I could have died, and my kids wouldn’t know each other. I wouldn’t know my daughter Monica. I told myself that if nothing else comes out of this, I was going to bring my kids together. I was going to create a new family with the four of us.
I wanted to know that when my time comes, my kids will have each other. I wanted to sit down to dinner with all of us together. So, I set out to make it happen. And it’s happening.
Gradually over the past six years, I have gotten to know my daughter Monica. I am regaining her trust. All of my kids know each other, and there have been a couple of times when all of us have been together. During a recent Skype call, my son Alex said “Let’s all meet in Boston for Thanksgiving.” Everyone agreed. And so for the first time ever, I will be with all of my kids together at Thanksgiving dinner. We’re all camping out in my 2-bedroom apartment …hanging together, creating new memories as a family.
Sitting here writing this, the tears are welling up at the thought that it’s happening. I’m getting my family that has been so elusive over all of these years.
Mid-Atlantic – Pete Turok
MDI Man Watches Another Man Die – Takes A Stand for All Men
By Pete Turok, Mid-Atlantic Region
“No pulse, no breath.”
Those were the words from the police officer at the scene at Home Depot where I watched a man dying. The rest of the day I felt sick to my stomach, having been unprepared to help save that man’s life. Although I called 911, it simply wasn’t enough.
In order to lessen the queasy feeling from having not been prepared earlier that day, I wanted to create some positive action for myself. I was also clear that I would never want another man to experience that lousy feeling that comes from being unprepared to help someone in need.
Later that same day at our weekly team meeting, I invited my men to join me in getting trained in CPR, AED operation and First Aid response. The entire team was immediately on board.
It was this experience on October 19, 2105 that would inspire me to help make a difference in the lives and health of MDI men … and men everywhere. Within days I was in conversations with men all around our region, inspiring them to join us in getting trained as soon as possible. It was on one of those calls days later with Howard Spierer that I learned that one of our own men, Dave Woititz, 53, dropped dead of a heart attack the night before on October 23 while hiking with his men on a team off-site. I’m not implying CPR training would have saved this man’s life, but it was still a wakeup call for all of us, and a reminder that it can never hurt to be prepared if ever needed.”
CPR/First Aid is a great set of skills that can be gained in a 4-hour training session. In the Mid-Atlantic Region, we have a trainer that will come to us on any evening / any location for 20 or more men. This is right in the strike-zone for MDI’s core values, mission and purpose. For me CPR / First Aid preparedness is simply the anti up to meet a couple of our core tenets: “Be Prepared” and “Defend Humanity.” No doubt, inside of our circles and out, being prepared will save lives in our families and communities.
But inside our circles, I believe that perhaps the real stakes are in being supportable to make the health changes in our lives that can avoid needing CPR all together. What I really care about is helping men to gain the sort of health so they never would need CPR in the first place. That may look different for each of us.
For me, the most challenging part of being on a men’s team is allowing my men to support me, particularly in making meaningful changes in my life, with one of the most important aspects our own physical well-being.
I want to be around for as long as possible to, among other things, see my kids grow up and enjoy grandkids someday. I trust my men to support me by being brutally honest with me when they feel I’m not on my path, and I’m committed to mustering up the courage to be supportable and take action accordingly.
THE CALL From Pete Turok: Please be the leader within your own teams, divisions and regions to have your men “Be Prepared” by learning Basic CPR/AED/First Aid. With Mid-Atlantic Region’s independent, certified trainer who is a NYC Fire Department EMT, the training is only $25/man. It is a great 4-hour bonding opportunity, and can be held at the location and time of our choice. For whatever support you need, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tomlinson Comes Back From $300,000 in the Hole with Help From His Men
Eighteen months ago things were pretty bleak.
Just three years before that I was running my own successful marketing consultancy and bringing in over $100,000 a year net. I had no debt except a mortgage and a few hundred thousand in equity in my house. At the time my ex-wife was living with me in my basement as a tenant, which was good for my kids and my finances.
About four years ago one of my marketing clients asked me to become involved in the sales side of one of his inventions. The product looked amazing; it had a worldwide patent. I was brought into the business and given an equity position for my time. I set up a test with a major grocery retailer, and the product worked amazingly well. It looked like it would make me a multi-millionaire. I then set up bigger tests with major grocery retailers throughout North America (Safeway, Publix, Loblaws, etc.).
Then, the investors wouldn’t put in the money to make the product properly and the tests flopped. I had been living off of credit for two years and let my marketing business die off while I invested all my time into the grocery business. I had racked up $300,000 in debt, plus my mortgage. I was basically unemployed and without equity. I had risked everything and lost. I owned a Cadillac but I couldn’t afford to put gas in it.
I took on more debt so that my children wouldn’t be without the lifestyle they had been accustomed to. I was really living a lie.
I went out to interview for very senior marketing jobs. I actually would have just accepted a Director level position, but I would only get interviewed for SVP or VP roles. I could make it to the short list but never get hired. I wasn’t hirable, too senior for Director roles and too long out of the game for VP roles.
It was bleak.
Right after I didn’t get a SVP Marketing job at Bell Canada I received a phone call from a large Canadian company called Investors Group asking me if I would be interested in a career with them as a financial planner. I wasn’t interested at all but didn’t say no after the first call. I didn’t really understand the difference between financial planning and being an investment adviser. I was certain I didn’t want to be an investment adviser.
I brought it to my division meeting that night. I was in the circle expressing how I wasn’t really interested in selling investments. One of the men said to me “Well that’s great, what’s your plan B?” I didn’t have one so I went to meet with Investors Group.
During the meeting/interview all they really did was educate me about financial planning. They talked about forward-looking tax avoidance, estate planning, debt consolidation, risk management and cash flow management. They didn’t even mention investments. At that point I realized that I would be trained to do something that people needed but, like me, didn’t know existed. I accepted the role. During the first year I made low six figures and I loved every minute of my new career. I get to help people with an important part of their lives, something that has always drawn me to MDI and MDI leadership, except now I also get paid to help people.
I just purchased a 2013 Cadillac CTS. I live with my fiancé, not my ex wife, and I get excited every day to go to work and make a difference. My clients have told me that my passion and trustworthiness is obvious. Another financial planner has recently decided to join my business as an associate.
In retrospect I was lucky. I was never happy in marketing or merchandise sales. I am really lucky to have men around me who wouldn’t let me walk away from an opportunity because I was afraid of being uncomfortable.
And it changed my life.
Western Canada – Ray Lowry Project
MDI Men Bring the Best Halloween Party Ever for Fundraiser
For the “Ray Lowry Project” people raise money year round, so they can provide hampers of food and gifts for families who are struggling and could use some hope to get through the holiday season. That is what the Ray Lowry Project is all about … “Serving happiness and delivering hope through lessons of giving.”
This project is supported by our MDI men and their families. Their time and effort is the integral cog needed to reach the success this project enjoys.
On October 2 and 3 the Ray Lowry Project volunteers, lead by Curtis Hilgartner and Rob Kettle put on a Silent Auction during the Rocky Mountain Smoke Out (Think Big Smoke Canada), which is a cigar event RC Jeff Lawrence co-produces annually with people attending from all over Canada and even the USA. Without the MDI volunteers, this event would be very difficult to produce. This year’s event had well over 300 people, raising over $5,000 for the project with all the money going towards the hampers this year.
On October 17, the Ray Lowery Project pulled off the best Halloween Party ever. This is the 19th annual Halloween party, and Hilgartner and Kettle pulled out all the stops for this one. At a true family event, over 185 people enjoyed a live band, a full meal with a carving station, zoomba dance lessons, a photo booth, hoopla hoop bubble show, a full service KIDS zone with entertainment all night, and the best Halloween costume party for all ages.
This event unified a community so that an incredible amount of fun could be matched with raising money for families. Says Lawrence, “I can safely say that all three goals where fully accomplished: this was the best Halloween Party I have personally ever been to, and the team raised over $8,000 more dollars for the Christmas families making it the most successful year of fundraising ever. It makes me very proud to belong to this organization.”
Western Region – Dennis Speer
Dennis Speer – Superman Stepping Up Like No Other
Dennis Speer is the co-owner of Ferguson Safety products, which was founded by he and his wife Lana to provide county and city jails with products to prevent inmates from hurting or killing themselves. It survived the recession and now is thriving once again looking at new ways to expand their product line to environmentally sound (green) products for private businesses and industry as well. Two of his top products are inventions of a fellow MDI man who was unable to market them for several years.
Dennis and his wife own a large house in Santa Cruz where they have bordered many people in need of housing. He currently rents rooms in his home for eight other people, including two MDI men on a permanent basis and two more on a temporary basis. When the temp residents are not there he offers housing to the Homeless Veterans support agency.
He provides meals for the Inter-Faith Homeless Services and supplies our local Soup Kitchen with food for 50 meals every other month.
Dennis is currently the team S1 for Team BAMF. He helps write and clear every meeting CPR and assists his team captain in making sure his team CPR is reviewed
He counsels new men and assists them in learning our technology to improve their lives.
Dennis has stepped up tirelessly to procure for team, division regional and community project. He currently is the food manager for every workday on the Bob Keller Memorial Amphitheater in Boulder Creek, making sure all the men are fed and watered. He stepped up to be a meal manager for the next MDI Board Meeting in Pacifica. He was a kitchen manager at the last Tribal Initiation in the Western Region. If there is a meal to serve or procure for, Dennis is there without any complaint. He served on several meals for the Young Men’s Ultimate Weekend. He makes sure to save all non-perishable, leftover food and materials from men’s events so we can cut the budget at the next one and put more money into community service.
No one steps up to serve the men of MDI and his community like Dennis Speer.
Southeast Region – Chris Welsh
Welsh Finds Power in the Power of the Relationships
Suffice it to say that when I was first invited to a men’s team meeting in the summer of 2007, things were not going well for me. I had gotten myself into a marriage that never should have taken place. I was in a bad business arrangement, and had lost touch with most of the things that had worked for me in my younger years. I had given away the power to control the direction of my life and was paying the price for it. The primary benefit I received from that first meeting and my subsequent membership in that team was that no one was shocked at the situation I had put myself in. They just listened to what I had to say and made me feel welcome. Many of them could relate to elements of my story which made me realize that nothing I was experiencing was new to men, and that, with a little support, I could fight my way out of the hole I was in, start over and live a more powerful life turning failures into successes.
Eight years, several training events, and about six teams later I am still connected to many of the men from that first team that helped me get back on my own two feet. I have since held several positions in the Atlanta Dog Soldiers of MDI, including team captain, and new member training manager. I am currently the Chief of Staff to the Division Coordinator. I have extricated myself from the bad marriage and recently married an amazing woman, and we are looking to build our dream home in the coming year. I have been successful in the home remodeling industry with my income growing over the last several years.
The real gift of what we do in MDI is found in the power of the relationships we build with other men, and knowing that there will always be someone there to have our back. I am constantly exposed to opportunities to learn from the experiences of the men, and also to mentor men from my own experience. It’s hard to decide which is more beneficial. I continue to attend the weekly gatherings of men for all the reasons I have mentioned and because we have a blast winning together.