Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sharing What You've Been Blessed With...

Good afternoon All,

I hope this note finds you doing well and that you and your families are off to a wonderful 2013!

I don't usually send out emails like this, but bare with me because I feel God has placed it in my heart to spread the word.  As you know, my dad and I spent time at Tumaini Children's Home in Kenya in December 2011 and 2012.  Our first trip would have not been made possible if it wasn't for an organization called Heart for Africa or donations from family and friends.  Thank you to those who sent gifts and monetary donations so we could take Christmas to the children in Kenya! 

While Heart for Africa is no longer supporting Tumaini, they have expanded their services of spreading God's word to the people of Swaziland.  Janine Maxwell, President of Heart for Africa, now lives in Swaziland with her family and they've built a home for babies called El Rio Baby Home.  El Rio means, "The God Who Sees."  The mission of this facility to rescue and raise the abandoned babies of Swaziland.  You can read more information about the home by copy and pasting this link in your browser:

I keep up with Janine's weekly blog since I cannot be in Africa as much as I'd like to be.  She writes about the everyday struggles of life in Africa, keeps us updated on the latest happenings in Swaziland, and writes about the stories of the babies they are rescuing.  As you might imagine, each baby has a different story, but they all are tragic and heartbreaking.  Her latest post sent me over the edge and that is why you're receiving this email.  If you feel up to it, you can read her latest post titled, "It's Tuesday night:  Newborn dumped, a baby dies and mother tries to commit suicide - midweek post," by copying and pasting the following link into your browser.  (I must warn you before you do it, that it is a VERY disturbing story)

I know many of you have asked when my next trip to Kenya will be and while I'm not sure when it will be, I'm asking that you donate something to the El Rio Baby Home.  There is no amount too small and they can even set you up on a monthly debit plan.  I cannot express to you how important this is to me and if you also feel it is important- please act! 

Thank you for taking the time to read my lengthy email.  It means the world to me!  I know we cannot save the world, but we can make a big difference in small amounts.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Night Not Soon Forgotten

In my near 7 year career at American Funds, tonight, Wednesday, January 9th, 2013 will go down as the most humbling, most inspiring, and most memorable night of my entire career.

Tonight, we traveled from the Beverly Hilton to the Beverly Hills Hotel by bus to celebrate and award those who were retiring or were being recognized by their contributions to our organization.

Jim Dunton was recognized for his 49 years and 11 months of service to our organization, but more importantly to the millions of shareholders that he's helped over his career by investing their dollars.  He is a humble, southern gentlemen who gives all of the glory of this firm to us, the salespeople, not him- who has outperformed the S&P 500 over his working career by 3%.  It is the first time since the E. Graham Holloway has been awarded to someone who is not a salesperson.

We recognized 2 very hardworking wholesalers in Burke Patterson and Heidi Horowitz for their contributions over 2012 to our organization.

We also celebrated the 30 year career of Steve Reitman.  He calls this job his ministry.  It's his ministry to help people make a better future for themselves through investing in our organization.  He's now moving onto the next phase of his life which will include working with The Folds of Honor organization, a non-profit, that helps injured soliders go to school or the children of fallen soliders obtain an education.

We heard the inspiring story from a solider by the name of Ed who was injured by an IED, lost his leg, had major injuries, and nearly lost his life.  He spoke of his passion to protect our country, to never leave his comrades behind, and to fight to live.  He talked about speaking with God that if he survived, that it would not be a wasted life, he would do everything in his life to pay it forward and help those who were less fortunate.  He now works for The Folds of Honor.  As tradition, the salesforce makes donations on behalf of a retiring wholesaler.  Folds of Honor will be receiving 100k in donations on behalf of Steve's retirement.

What a powerful night.  I am humbled to know that I work for a fantastic organization and with some of the best people that have ever walked the face of this earth.  I'm also inspired by people like Jim Dunton, Steve Reitman, Burke Patterson, and Heidi Horowitz who were recognized for thier contributions.  And I'm grounded by people like Ed who have truly walked through the valley and have come back to have a brighter view on life.

Tonight, will not soon be forgotten.



This week finds me in Beverly Hills, CA for our National Sales Meeting.  Tonight's dinner was at Spago, an upscale Wolfgang Puck restaurant.  While the food was awesome and the company was pleasant, meeting a real chef was simply awesome.  Wolfgang made his way to our table and shook each our hands and thanked us for dining at his restaurant.  No pictures were snapped because I'm a firm believer that these people are normal people too and want to be normal for just once.  But I did snap a picture of the restaurant so I don't forget the experience.