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Your Success Newsletter - March - April, 2009 - Published Bi-Monthly

"Where there is no vision, the people perish" - Proverbs 29:18

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Thank You Mr. President

Beyond The Call

Vision and Determination

View of The World

See It, Believe It, Make It Happen

Journey South Africa

Derek Austin

Meet Anthony President

Top of Page

 

    January 29, 2009

    The President of the United States of America
    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
    Washington DC, 20500

    Thank You Mr. President,

    Thank you for standing against reasonable, sane, and prudent men and women, against the
    wisdom of the polls, against the reality of history, against the loud and persistent and
    numerous chorus of “No you can’t,” against almost all but the greatest of expectations, and
    believing that you could one day become the President of The United States of America.

    Thank you for staying the course in a calm and determined manner during a long and
    challenging campaign.  Your thoughtful and timely actions helped shatter many of the
    stereotypes that have helped to imprison the spirit of so many.

    Thank you for in the words of M. Scott Peck, taking The Road Less Traveled.  Any
    reasonable individual, upon considering your background, talents and abilities, understands
    that you did not have to take upon the monumental challenges you have accepted.  There
    certainly are easier and more profitable routes to fame, fortune and success than that of the
    Presidency; routes without so numerous a variety of real challenges and potential pitfalls for
    failure.  Your successful run for the Presidency is just as significant a win for others as it is a
    win for you.

    Thank you for demonstrating the importance of using technology as you established, built
    and maintained a virtual worldwide network of support utilizing the World Wide Web.  The
    importance and correctness of your decisions are reflected in the acceptance of your actions
    by the famous and the infamous.  Two newsworthy examples include Pope Benedict
    establishing his own U-Tube Channel, and Alaska’s Department of Travel & Tourism
    soliciting me by e-mail, and not so surprisingly including a photo of Alaska Governor Sarah
    Palin.  Your actions have established a path for the future.  Prayerfully a generation of people
    seeking hope will be able to understand, appreciate and apply some of the ideas and
    methods you have employed.

    Thank you for urging us to declare war upon the mediocrity that keeps so many mentally
    imprisoned, by continuing to speak to the fact that it is we, and not you that hold the ultimate
    key to our successful future.  Thank you for reminding us that we can expect a bountiful
    harvest, only if we prepare and plant and nurture as though our actions determine the
    outcome, while we pray and hope as though God’s Grace determines the outcome, for I
    believe both to be true.
         
    Thank you for reminding us that we are not counted out because we get knocked down, only
    if we choose not to get up.

    Thank you for all that you have done to position yourself to be all that you have become.  
    Wise men and women understand that the foundation you built made possible all we have
    come to know and expect.  The process of reaping and sowing is as old as the Scriptures
    and hopefully now as clear as crystal.  The many that you have helped thus far during your
    long journey of service was a prerequisite for the many more the world expects you to help.  It
    is comforting to know that unlike so many others who must prove what they have promised;
    you have simply promised what you have already proven.

    Lastly, thank you for reminding us not to condemn.  As the son of an interracial couple, you
    have captured the minds and hearts of millions who would have been critical of your origins.  
    Hopefully those who would criticize the decisions of your parents, and have yet come to
    respect, love and adore you, will understand the reason and accept the reality that the only
    judgment that counts is the judgment of God, whose wisdom transcends our understanding.

    You are under great and often unrealistic expectations to repair the economy, to settle
    disputes in the Middle East, to end hunger in Africa, to stroke egos in South America, to cool
    tempers in Asia, to reverse Global Warming, to fix all that man has broken during a long
    period of greed, ignorance and neglect.  The reality is that if you can by example continue to
    lead us to repair the minds and hearts of men and women, you will have accomplished goals
    long-denied, achieved greatness long-eluded, and ultimately contributed much more than the
    solution to a multitude of single problems.

    THANK YOU, Mr. President!


    Very truly yours,


    Henry Ford
 
 
 
    Beyond The Call?  No, Not At All:   Supporting Our Students

    Article by Henry Ford - Friday, December 19th was a particularly messy weather day in Cleveland,
    accompanied by driving conditions that beckoned one to stay at home unless they found a very good
    reason to do otherwise.  To prove that watching television can be hazardous to any plans of relaxation,
    I became aware that some Cleveland area students had an opportunity to attend the Inauguration of
    then President-Elect Barack Obama.  So you might be wondering how that involved me.  Well, one of
    the issues facing the students was how to obtain the funds to make the trip.  That still may not have
    involved me except that the school in question was Empire Computech, formerly Empire Junior High,
    and my former Junior High School.

    Like many Americans, my economic status does not qualify me to be “Mr. Bailout” but in this situation,
    there were many other issues involved.  There were issues of student need, student opportunity, and
    the potential positive impact that a trip to the Inauguration might offer them.  It occurred to me that
    Empire Jr. High was the only primary education school I attended where I had any African American
    teachers.  It also occurred to me that those teachers, Mrs. Ramey, Mr. Barclay, and Mr. Mills had an
    overwhelming impact on my education, and their wisdom, concern and images were life-enhancing.

    In addition, as a long-time member of BDPA Cleveland/Northeast Ohio, my mission is clear.  Like the
    organization I owe much of my success to, I am committed to do what I can to help close the technology
    gap, often referred to as the Digital Divide.  What would be more fitting with those “circumstances” in
    place, than for me to answer the call?  My hastily devised plan was to commit myself and my resources,
    and then call upon other BDPA members to step up to the plate.  I was confident that given the
    circumstances, BDPA members would certainly come to the aid of the students.  After all, how could
    they say “NO” to a school with “Computech” in the name?

    My decision was clear and time was not available for consultation and reflection.  I telephoned the
    school office, but either because of weather or an overwhelming community response to the needs of
    the trip (I prayed), I could only get a recorded message.  Uncertain of whether the school was even
    open, I nevertheless prepared a letter offering a cash donation, a donation of books which I thought
    the students might be able to sell as a fund raiser, and the offer to share student experiences in
    VISIONS Newsletter upon their return home.  Considering what could have been a time-critical nature of
    trip planning, I decided that it was necessary to make the sixty-two mile round trip from our home in
    Twinsburg to Empire and hand-deliver my offer.  I do believe December 19th was the last day before
    Christmas and New Year’s break!

    Ironically, the community or someone responded so quickly and completely that my offer turned out to
    be unneeded.  The bad news is that I can’t bring you those student stories I had hoped for.  In the fast-
    paced world of education with its endless challenges, the staff and teachers at Empire are now
    occupied in something beyond the Inauguration.  The good news is that there apparently was
    overwhelming support for the students.  That support confirms that as a community, we do recognize,
    appreciate and respond to the needs of others.

    I pray that this recognition, appreciation and positive response becomes widely publicized so that it
    inspires others to go that extra mile in behalf of our youth and our entire community.

    Below is one of the responses for my efforts . . .

    Mr. Ford:

    Thank you for caring enough about our students to help.  It is important that successful alumni like
    yourself look for ways to give back to the next generation trying to move ahead.  I am copying our
    external affairs department to let them know of your efforts.

    There are many ways to help, and if you are interested in leading an effort of the BDPA to partner with
    us, please let me know.

    Once again, thanks for caring enough to help our kids.

    Leo Serrano
    Executive Director
    Office of Institutional Advancement
    Cleveland Metropolitan School District

    Below - A few thoughts . . .

    "On life's report card, attitude counts, enthusiasm counts, a commitment to lifelong learning counts,
    hard work counts, and helping others counts. If you go all-out, you will feel the difference in the quality
    of your life, and that is what success is all about."

    Steve Lodle Educator

    --

    "Parents who are afraid to put their foot down usually have children who step on their toes."

    Asian proverb
 
 
 
    I came across a Chinese proverb that eloquently stated:  “When
    your cart reaches the foot of the mountain, a path will appear.”  In
    the same way, your path will appear when you create the will and
    muster the courage to move forward to accomplish the
    outcomes you want in life.  Vision and determination are the
    essence of a person’s will.  People may have a clear vision, but
    if they don’t have the determination to pursue it through thick and
    thin, they’ll quit when they encounter obstacles, which are
    constants in every person’s life.  (Are you still acting on your
    2009 New Year’s resolutions?)

    The simple act of focusing on our desired outcomes for our lives,
    with openness and optimism is like a magnet for good things to
    come our way.  Therefore, as you look to the future, continue to
    PRESS FORWARD - through continual learning, growth, and the
    development of fresh insights and skills.  If we have tunnel vision,
    we will insist on things in our life going exactly a certain way, to
    accomplish exactly the outcomes we have envisioned.  It is that
    type of narrow focus that severely limits our ability to grasp and
    take advantage of fresh, new, and exciting possibilities.  Always
    remember, if we step back however, and open our hearts and
    minds, we’ll see all kinds of options.  

    Embrace this tiny nugget of wisdom and amazing things can
    happen, as we take giant strides toward creating the “inner will”
    that lead to the fulfillment of our vision.

    Willie Johnson is a Performance Improvement and Training
    Consultant with J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc.  He can be
    reached at 479-659-6017 or via Email at: willie_johnson@jbhunt.
    com  or willie@williespeaks.com.
 
 
 
    The window through which we look

    A young couple moves into a new neighborhood.
    The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging
    the wash outside.

    'That laundry is not very clean', she said.
    'She doesn't know how to wash correctly.

    Perhaps she needs better laundry soap'
    her husband looked on, but remained silent.

    Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same
    comments.

    About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said
    to her husband:

    'Look, she has learned how to wash correctly.  
    I wonder who taught her this.

    The husband said, 'I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.'

    And so it is with life. What we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window
    through which we look.

    --

    Harvey Alston C.E.O. Best, Inc.
    www.harveyalston.com
 
 
 
    See It, Believe It, Make It Happen

    Every time a think I have “seen it all” I am blessed to meet someone who demonstrates new
    and higher standards of excellence.  Such is the example of Shirley Williams, a young lady who
    soars as high as an Eagle, but reaches far, wide and low to help others in their search for
    fulfillment.  A resident of Toronto,  Canada, Shirley wears many hats, and it seems that they all
    fit.

    With a motto of “See It~Believe It~Make It Happen,” it might not be difficult to believe that
    Shirley’s titles include Director, Program Management Office at Plexxus; Principal at William
    Pearl & Associates; Vice-Chair, Vice-Chair, Toronto at BioPharmaPM; and Professional
    Mentor at The Mentoring Partnership Program for Professional Immigrants.  If you find yourself
    amazed from considering how she does all that, consider that your amazement has just
    begun.  With a bio that looks like a Who’s Who created from the cross between Superwoman
    and the Energizer Bunny, Shirley just keeps going, and going, and going.

    Shirley’s formal education includes degrees and training at a variety of institutions including
    The University of Toronto, Queen Elizabeth College at London University, The Change
    Management Learning Center and the Project Management Institute.  

    Some of Shirley specialty areas are Strategic Planning, Product Development,
    Project/Portfolio Management, Supply Chain, Organization Development, Information
    Services, Sales & Marketing, Business Development, Organization Strategy & Design,
    Organization Change Management, Team Development (Deployment & Performance),
    Facilitation, and Process Improvement.

    Now comes the hard part!  Shirley is the founder and facilitator of Professionals Winning
    Across Borders (PWAB).  She has the unbelievable challenge of growing, inspiring,
    coordinating and maintaining the effectiveness of this 1,300+ member Global organization that
    represents 146 countries.  Despite all of this, on several occasions recently I had questions or
    comments directed to PWAB.  Remarkably, each time I received a quick, courteous and
    helpful reply.  I really believe the lady must be twins or triplets.

    We are certain that VISIONS readers will be inspired by Shirley’s story.  We congratulate
    Shirley Williams on her significant accomplishments, and her unbelievable efforts to help
    others achieve their goals.  We are certain that VISIONS readers will be inspired by her
    story.      

    PWAB is a Global Network of Professionals who are driven to win across borders. Our
    professionals are dedicated to networking, sharing best practices, tips, techniques, pitfalls,
    business etiquette when negotiating overseas, mobilizing their diverse organizations to win or
    building a new career/ business in a new country. We are also dedicated to learning and
    making contacts about international business opportunities. This is a one-stop shopping
    “Global Community of Practice” for leaders working outside their home turf. Countries (146)
    currently represented.  In the words of J.J., this lady is "DY-NO-MITE"

Visit Shirley  at www.pwabnetwork.ning.com

You may contact Shirley at shirley@pwabs.com
 
 
 
   
    Friday, July 4, 2008 - Living South Africa

    So I have no pictures, boo! I somehow lost my charger and cannot upload or take photos. I'm
    hoping to change that, but in the meantime, no photo ops. However, I can say, politics is on the
    tips of the tongues of everyone I meet. It hangs in the silences between sentences, it is on the
    streets, in the water, in the mist that hangs over Table Mountain (which I climbed,3500 feet,
    thank you very much) it is South Africa. I see a population disillusioned. So much hope was
    stirred with the ending of Apartheid, Black hope. But as with all transitions, true change has to
    start on the street. People have to feel it at the deepest levels of their existence. That has yet to
    happen. Their has been idealogical change. South Africa is a Democracy. But it is also still a
    heavily racist and stratified society, bound by the history of apartheid. The change has yet to hit
    the everyman. We are awaiting the redistribution of wealth, the educational promises-, the
    paradise that was post Apartheid South Africa. South Africa is beautiful, colorful, full of
    diversity and promise, but is not paradise in the least. However the hope lies in the fact that
    they have opened their history (the Truth and Reconciliation Committee), admitted their
    wrongdoings and are moving towards a more just society. More than America can say. It is
    much like Israel Palestine, a people subjugated and oppressed in their own land. Change,
    however, takes time, takes sometimes more than the people can bear at the moment. In the
    last we have wrestled with the questions, what is truth, what is reconciliation, can they be
    obtained? All I know is that they have tried and so much is communicated in the tyring. I am
    Happy that South Africa has tried.

    Africa is EVERYTHING!

    -Rukiya


    Monday, July 21, 2008 - Living Within the Divide

    I have been given the gift of a glimpse of the South African reality. Of course I can only glean it
    to the degree that any of us can understand culture, complexity, nuances and foreign land. I am,
    however, not visiting, I am not watching some politicized, propagandized version of South
    Africa, I am here, living, learning, growing, listening to the voices of its children. I am sitting
    within narrative, listening, understanding what I can.

    I've just returned from two weeks of living in the Black Town Ship of Khayelitsha, in a small
    place called Harrare. When we would tell Cape Tonians, (mostly non-Black) that we were soon
    moving to live in Khayelitsha, their faces would fill with incredulous horror. The Black Town
    Ships are only a few miles outside of Cape Town but they are purposely eons away, the
    dividing line between included and excluded, have and have not, access and non, the savagery
    of poverty and deeply embedded racism. Coming over the N2 (the freeway) I felt sick to my
    stomach as we passed into sanitized and Europeanized Cape Town, I felt the tug of my family
    left behind.

    This morning I cried, I cried leaving my Khayelitsha family, who treated me exactly as their own
    daughter. My Khayelitsha family are all community activists and advocates and I was fortunate
    to work side by side with them, learning a bit about their community as I did. Even as I write
    these words are difficult to speak. I will not return the same person as I left, though I am still
    here and it is still unclear how I have changed.

    The Truth and Reconciliation Commissioners (YES, we attended at special two week session
    just for us at the University of Cape Town and THREE Truth and Reconciliation
    Commissioners graced us with their presence, knowledge and enlightenment) seemed to
    agree there is a large degree of importance on narrative. Individuals have their narrative,
    families have their narrative, communities have narratives and whole countries, have
    narratives, stories that are true, if not factually, then emotionally, or politically. How we tell these
    narratives, how we relate to these narratives, how we live these narratives says so much.

    South Africa has a narrative and by climbing her mountains, scrambling over the rocks of her
    shores, exploring her caves, engaging with her intellectuals, I'm coming to know her and she is
    strangely, intoxicatedly, profoundly beautiful and is ever changing.

    Scored some pics, let's just send a shout out to my SA sidekick and home girl CECILIA
    SAENZ for the photo love!!! Photos are of a little preview of all of my adventures here,
    searching for 3500 year old cave paintings of the Saans people ( I am in the cradle of
    civilization after all), some views of Cape Town, some pics from my Safari, the Language
    Monument and some other goodies. Hope you enjoy!


    Publisher’s Note:
    A BIG THANK YOU to Rukiya for sharing the experience of her African Journey with us.  We
    hope you have been informed and inspired.
   
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    This is one of those occasions when you just need a computer (or visit the library to use one).  I
    cannot adequately describe the talent of Derek Austin, and his humble description of himself
    does not convey his talent either.  If you have the need for any of the products or services listed
    below, check him out and you may well become a client.

    Derek’s “self portrait” is as follows:

    I'm a freelance graphic designer specializing in creating distinctive and original brand
    identities to new and existing businesses and corporations.  I also design brochures,
    advertisements, annual reports and promotional materials. In addition to print design, I also
    produce   motion graphics for a variety of functions.  If you have any questions, want to view
    samples, or would like to hire a graphic designer for an upcoming project please call (919)
    961-0617 or send an email to derek@austindesignnetwork.com.

    Publisher’s note:  Before you call or e-mail Derek, check out www.austindesignnetwork.com.  
    After that, you probably won’t need an explanation of anything except the terms!
 
 
   
    What do you call going to a party and meeting a future client?  Some call it networking, while
    others call it circumstance.  In this case I call it a blessing.  Recently at a brunch I attended, I
    was asked to say a few words about President Barack Obama, and how we might participate
    in the vision, “Yes We Can.”  The next day I received an E-mail from Anthony President of
    Presidential Consultants.  That is too much “circumstance” to be circumstance.

    Anthony President is a Certified Trainer with the Institute for Human Services and a Staff
    Instructor at Lakeland Community College and ATS Institute of Technology.  With over twelve
    years training experience in both the public and private sector, imagine my surprise when
    Anthony stated that I had “impressed him.”  Talk about saving testimonials; that one will be
    framed.  After reading his extensive bio and reflecting a little, I realized that one of Anthony’s
    strengths was that he was always open and eager to learn.  It wasn’t necessarily that my words
    were so powerful (although I hope they were!), but Anthony looked for value and found it, where
    others might look for “no value” and therefore, find nothing.  Needless to say, Anthony and I will
    feed upon each other’s strengths, and that should be good news for both of us.

    Although Anthony’s Bio is too extensive to share in its entirety, we have listed his Summary of
    Qualifications to whet your appetite, should you be in the market for the services he provides.

    Anthony is a Seasoned Trainer with exceptional communication and workshop development
    skills.  Thorough knowledge of transforming Training Needs Assessments into value added
    seminars.  Keynote and Public Speaking experience.  Experience developing training
    manuals and policy guidelines.  Skilled in diplomacy and teambuilding.  Adept at managing
    multiple priorities and assignments.  Experienced negotiator with executives and decision
    makers.  Thrive in fast-paced, challenging environments.  Excel under pressure.  Outstanding
    leadership skills.  Diligent, articulate, and well organized.  Experience working with diverse
    market groups.  Proficient in Project Management, Root Cause Analysis and Problem
    Solving.  PC proficient in PowerPoint, Word and Excel.

    For additional information, phone 216-650-0966 or e-mail: presidentialconsultants@yahoo.
    com.
 

Thank You Mr. President

Beyond The Call

Vision and Determination

View of The World

See It, Believe It, Make It Happen

Journey South Africa

Derek Austin

Meet Anthony President

- QUICK LINKS -

Thank You Mr. President

Beyond The Call

Vision and Determination

View of The World

See It, Believe It, Make It Happen

Journey South Africa

Derek Austin

Meet Anthony President

Top of Page

- QUICK LINKS -

Thank You Mr. President

Beyond The Call

Vision and Determination

View of The World

See It, Believe It, Make It Happen

Journey South Africa

Derek Austin

Meet Anthony President

Top of Page

- QUICK LINKS -

Thank You Mr. President

Beyond The Call

Vision and Determination

View of The World

See It, Believe It, Make It Happen

Journey South Africa

Derek Austin

Meet Anthony President

Top of Page

- QUICK LINKS -

Thank You Mr. President

Beyond The Call

Vision and Determination

View of The World

See It, Believe It, Make It Happen

Journey South Africa

Derek Austin

Meet Anthony President

Top of Page

- QUICK LINKS -

Thank You Mr. President

Beyond The Call

Vision and Determination

View of The World

See It, Believe It, Make It Happen

Journey South Africa

Derek Austin

Meet Anthony President

Top of Page

- QUICK LINKS -

Thank You Mr. President

Beyond The Call

Vision and Determination

View of The World

See It, Believe It, Make It Happen

Journey South Africa

Derek Austin

Meet Anthony President

Top of Page

- QUICK LINKS -

Thank You Mr. President

Beyond The Call

Vision and Determination

View of The World

See It, Believe It, Make It Happen

Journey South Africa

Derek Austin

Meet Anthony President

Top of Page