Normal bios are written in third person, even though the first person usually writes them. Since I’m writing this bio, I’ll skip the normal routine and just use my own words.
I have delivered over 1,000 presentations to students, CTSO advisors, and educators. Every youth speaker says he or she is inspiring, engaging, funny, blah, blah, blah…so I won’t bore you with that routine. I’ll simply say on a scale of 1 to 10, I’m a 25 when it comes to passion about my topic! I don’t see myself as just a motivational youth speaker. I’m on a mission to empower students and advisors to SHOW UP AND SHINE in their lives and leadership. By the way, audiences agree I deliver on my mission.
I’m an entrepreneur
I’m founder and president of Live It Forward LLC, a personal and professional development company devoted to equipping people to SHOW UP AND SHINE in their life and career. The Live It Forward website is the hub for the SHOW UP AND SHINE Movement.
I’ve authored and co-authored 7 books
My most recent book for teenagers is entitled Who Wants To Be NORMAL, Anyway?!
I’m a family man…BIG TIME
Although I love speaking, I love my family more!
I’m crazy-in-love with my beautiful wife Kathy and still can’t believe she said “yes” when I asked her to marry me. My relationship with her inspires me to SHOW UP AND SHINE in who I am and what I do!
Kathy and I have three incredible children. Chris is our oldest. He loves swimming, drama, history, and politics. He’s great at analysis and plans to pursue a career along these lines. McKenzie and Kelsey are twins. McKenzie is into soccer, reading, and hanging out with friends. Kelsey enjoys soccer, piano, violin, reading, and hanging out with friends. Both are HUGE Atlanta Braves fans. Kelsey also has Juvenile Diabetes (Type 1 Diabetes) and has faced this challenge with incredible courage and optimism.
I’m a Swim Coach
I coach the Stingrays, a 180-member swim team that competes in one of the largest leagues in the country (approximately 45 teams and over 6,500 swimmers). I’ve coached for 13 seasons and my teams have won divisional championships as well as the Margaret Gilbert Sportsmanship Award .
To me, coaching swimming is about much more than winning championships and teaching proper stroke techniques. It’s about full engagement. It’s about empowering swimmers to SHOW UP AND SHINE in every area of life and leadership. I love what John Maxwell said about legendary basketball coach John Wooden: “Coach Wooden was bigger on the inside than the outside, and he was a better person than a basketball coach.” This is exactly what I hope my swimmers say about me!
Some important history
Wonder why I am so committed to empowering teens to SHOW UP AND SHINE?
I faced considerable challenges growing up. For instance, I had a significant speech impediment as a child and could not pronounce the sounds associated with the letters “f, g, j, k, l, r, s, v, z, ch, sh, th, and related consonant blends.” Additionally, by the time I reached third grade, my teacher called my parents in for a private conference to asked them how I passed the previous grades without being able to read. These academic struggles continued to follow me throughout school, so much so that when I graduated high school my SAT scores were so low I had to take Developmental Studies before being accepted into college on probation.
But academics where not the only challenges I faced. When I entered middle school, I was an “at-risk” teen with zero self-confidence. I was making poor friendship choices and even poorer life choices. One bad step led to another and another and another until finally I experienced an event that changed the course of my life. It wasn’t a positive experience. It was a colossal mistake. The details aren’t necessary, just know it was MAJOR! But my positive response to this event, which I learned from an exceptional educator and advisor, change the course of my life and caused me to become fully engaged in taking 100 percent responsibility for my life.
Today, I’m proud to say that in spite of my academic challenges, I graduated with honors in both my undergraduate and graduate studies. I have gone on to SHOW UP AND SHINE in my roles as a husband, dad, leader, and entrepreneur. It’s easy to see why I’m so passionate about empowering people to SHOW UP AND SHINE. A trusted advisor helped me dramatically change the direction of my life and now my mission is to pay it forward to as many people as possible!
Here’s some random stuff about me you might find interesting.
I’m an avid exerciser who runs, swims, and does strength training, so you’ll regularly find me enjoying a good workout. I absolutely love living in the Atlanta-area—it’s home. Some of my favorite pastimes besides dating my wife and hanging out with my family include eating sushi, reading, following Georgia Tech sports, and sipping almost any kind of dark roasted coffee. And in case you want to treat me to dessert, my favorite ice cream is, and always will be, coffee ice cream!
One last thing…I’m very comfortable with my bald head because as I like to say, “Only that which is perfect gets uncovered.”