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The following are things written or spoken about my experiences or interests. Click on the button to read more.

Embracing Our Differences & the CoronavirusApril 2020

Gallup StrengthFindersNovember 2019

  • Gallup Research Resulted in the Identification of 34 Innate Talent Themes
  • How to Find Out Your Own Top Five and Implications
  • The Best Performing Organizations Encourage/Allow Employees to apply Their Natural Strengths
  • The Most Successful Youth Mentoring Program in the Country with 10,000 Mentors and Mentees, TEAMMATES, Incorporates Gallup’s StrengthsFinders In Its Programs

Stock picking projects with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota, Fl. & Anne Arundel County, Md.May 2019

  • What Stocks Did the Teen Teams Pick
  • School Subjects They Liked & Disliked the Most
  • What They Saw Themselves Doing at 30
  • Why the Annapolis Program Was a Big Improvement

PHOTOS: Roy McBean Boys & Girls Club Staff & Short Video Club Members Made; Annapolis Boys & Girls Club participants visiting Under Armour Headquarters

Which Way for the Soul of America?November 2018

In Troubled Times Getting Beyond the core of the periphery and Finding Perspective, Comfort, & Hope By Connecting Three Disparate Books:

  • The Soul of America, The Battle For Our Better Angels, John Meacham
  • The Nordic Theory of Everything, Anu Partanen
  • Astroball, The New Way To Win It All, Ben Reiter

Badges for Baseball, SarasotaFebruary 2016

  • Description of a Core Program of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation With Law Enforcement Officers in 20 States
  • Officer Eric Bolden Gets Our Kids Interested in Bocci Ball
  • What Officers and Teens Learned from Badges For Baseball in Sarasota

PHOTOS: Nate Brown, Roy McBean Boys & Girls Club Unit Director and Police Department Badges for Baseball Volunteers, Sgt Eric Bolden & Officer Dominic Harris

Rachel’s ChallengeDecember 2014

  • Rachel Scott, age 13, Was the First Person of the thirteen killed in the 1999 Columbine High School Shooting Tragedy
  • Rachel’s Five Challenges Have Led To Thousands of Acts of Kindness In Schools Across the Country
  • Witnessing 1100 Booker High School teenagers – a third black, a third white, a third Hispanic sit still for sixty minutes in total silence absorbing the Rachel’s Challenge Presentation

PHOTOS: Dr. Rachel Shelly, Principal Booker High School, Sarasota, Fl.; Cody Hodges, Rachel Scott Foundation presenter extraordinaire; Student and Teacher audience; The last entry Rachel made in her diary 20 minutes before she was murdered by a fellow student: A drawing of 13 tears flowing from Rachel’s eyes watering a flower in bloom.

A Trip to Cooperstown with Cal Ripken, Jr.July 2014

  • Cal Ripken had to carry my luggage, Why?
  • Dinner conversation with Howard Schultz, Jordan Schultz, and Cal Ripken, Jr. on the porch of the Otesaga Hotel HOF weekend July 2014
  • The most emotional speech of the weekend was from Frank “the Big Hurt” Thomas looking at his mother in the audience
  • Revisiting Cal Ripken’s 2007 Hall of Fame Induction speech: hopefully when retiring “we can reflect on how fortunate we are and can see our lives as new beginnings that allow us to leave the world a bit better than when we came into it.”

PHOTOS: Brooks Robison & Willie Mays; Cal with Nolan Ryan, Reggie Jackson and Johnny Bench; me with Ernie Banks; w Jordan Schultz, Howard Schultz & Cal in front of the Hall of Fame; and the last photo, Elaine & me with Cal circa 1981

Books Recommended by Health Club Industry Leaders and WhyMarch 2013

  • 14 experienced successful industry leaders respond to this question: “What book was most important to you in how you wanted to run your business or unit and WHY?”
  • Seventeen Books Recommended Which I placed in Four Categories: (1) Execution; (2) Leadership & Management; (3) Customer Service; (4) Business Culture
  • “We had our top 100 people read the book, “Tell to Win” by Peter Guber, and then based our last two annual retreats off the concept of learning how to tell the story.” Matthew Stevens, CE0, Western Athletic Clubs
  • “Enlightened Leadership” by Ed Oakley & Doug Krug “taught me how to ask effective questions to enhance performance and were to spend most of my time as a leader,” Allison Flately, COO, L&T Health and Fitness

PHOTOS: Rick Caro; Joe Cirulli; Art Curtis; Annbeth Eschbach; Allison Flately; Sandy Hoeffer; Larry Krieger; Pat Laus; Smalyr Millon; Carol Nalevanko; John Peoples; Roger Ralph; Matthew Stevens; Mitch Wald

Ten Critical Factors for Achieving Long Term Business SuccessNovember 2011

  • Seminar with University of Delaware Entrepreneurial Studies students
  • #10 – The Business Should Be Upstream
  • #5 – Antenna always out seeking to identify/adapt others’ best practices
  • #1 – As in life, success in business is all about relationships. Your success as a leader, manager, supervisor, or employee, is almost always about the quality of your relationships with others and the respect you’ve earned

A Local Journey – Baltimore, Washington, Hockessin – Perspectives on LeadershipMay 2010

  • Joint meeting of senior staff from the Maryland Athletic Club, Baltimore and Hockessin Athletic Club, Delaware
  • Themes and lessons learned from the 20, 30, 40, 50, and sixty something year olds in attendance
    • Provide clear expectation but encourage staff to figure out how to get there
    • Acquire Mentors
    • Be sure you know, in fact not simply assumed, the employee’s starting point
    • Make it Fun
  • Highlights and Comments from the 2010 National “Get Motivated Tour” with: Joe Gibbs; Michael Phelps; General Colin Powell; Rudy Giuliani
  • IHRSA’s 2010 Legislative Agenda, Workforce Health Improvement Act (WHIP) and The Personal Health Investment Today Act (PHIT) – S.913H.R. 2016 & H.R. 2105

PHOTOS: Maryland Athletic Club & Hockessin Athletic Club Senior Staff; Coach Joe Gibbs; General Colin Powell; Rudy Giuliani

The Butch Varno StimulusMarch 2009

  • Sports Illustrated writer Rick Reilly in his March 10, 2003 “Extra Credit” column wrote “The best college tradition is not dotting the i at Ohio State. It’s not stealing the goat from Navy or waving the wheat at Kansas. It’s Picking Up Butch at Middlebury (College) For 42 years Middlebury freshman athletes have been Picking Up Butch for football and basketball games…Nobody at Middlebury remembers quite how Picking Up Butch got started but Butch does….
  • “It was 1961. He was 13 and his grandmother, a housekeeper at the dorms, wheeled him to a football game. It started snowing halfway through and afterward she couldn’t push him all the way back home. A student named Roger Ralph asked them if they needed a ride. Ever since then Butch has been buried in the middle of Middlebury sports.”
  • Thanks to guardians former Middlebury Athletic Director, Russ Reilly, and Midd basketball coach Jeff Brown and student volunteers recruited by Tiffany Sargent, the college’s Director of the Center for Community Engagement that tradition continues to this day

PHOTOS: Lt. Ralph and Butch at a Dodgers/Phillies game Aug. 1964; Butch with Russ Reilly, Jeff Brown, and Roger 2013, Butch w his mother Helen Varno, 2010, Student volunteers Kirra Simonson & Theodora Yoch & Sara Smith; Butch at dinner with Russ and Jane Reilly, Rene & Jeff Brown, Elaine & Roger Ralph; Tiffany Sargent

Business Culture Presentation to the International Health and Racquet Sports Club Association InstituteAugust 2007

The Wisdom and Pragmatic Value to Team Building From Patrick Lencioni’s “The Five Dysfunctions Of A TeamMay 2007

“Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.” This is a direct excerpt from Lencioni’s insightful pragmatic book as is much of this read…

Harford Community College Commencement AddressMay 2005

  • If I Had A “Do Over” I’d shorten this speech by 95% and after congratulating the graduates tell them to take time to truly appreciate their accomplishment
  • The five percent remaining would be a focus on four career challenged
    • Risk Taking Prudent Risks
    • Learn what your natural talents are and obtain jobs where you can apply them fully
    • Learn how to increase your Emotional Intelligence
    • Become an aligned leader

Talk for the Harford County Leadership AcademyJune 2001


  • #3 – Leaders Are Fearless
  • #4 – No great leader would ask his or her followers to do something that he or she would not do


  • #1 – You understand how to change your particular unit of activity for the better
  • #5 – You must want to leave a legacy

Talk at the Bel Air High School Honor Society Induction CeremonyDecember 1996

At the time I gave this talk thousands of high school students across the country were wearing T shirts displaying the slogan NO FEAR. I spoke a bit about this saying: The 90’s message which some of you have on your T shirts or Hats- “NO FEAR” might be a hip fashion statement but it is a lousy false guideline for life…