After receiving two undergraduate degrees from the University of South Florida (one in Psychology and one in Communication) I worked with at-risk kids then moved to New England to work as Counselor and Outward Bound Instructor.
(I had hiked the Appalachian Trail by myself a few years earlier so the opportunity to be in the wilderness and get paid was a dream-come-true).
Working with Outward Bound and other wilderness / adventure schools was great and it was here that I honed my abilities to help people tap into more then they thought they had. It was here that I really learned to coach.
After a few years of working wilderness courses from Florida-to-Oregon I entered graduate school where I earned a Master of Science degree in Business Management. Along the way I achieved certification and faculty status with the William Glasser Institute (Reality Therapy). Glasser's techniques grounded in Lead Management and Choice Theory help people identify what they really want and develop more effective ways to get it and is the primary model I use in coaching.
I returned to Outward Bound for a short time as the Assistant Program Director of an Urban Center in Boston with the focus of developing therapeutic health services. The pull of what had become my home was great however and I eventually returned to the country to work in Vermont.
I started working in a substance abuse treatment program through the Vermont Department of Corrections, called ISAP, and was eventually promoted to Program Director. While working in the ISAP Program, I was the architect of a consistent treatment design which I implemented statewide at nine sites.
Along the way I started 2 businesses: ClinicalSupervision.biz, LLC and Willoughby Forest, LLC.
Choosing to go it as a solo entrepreneur was the next logical step and work as a "life" coach / business coach has proven to be an impetus for ongoing professional and personal development.
I partnered with Inscape Publishing and pleased to offer their assessments to my clients.
Not long after launching my coaching practice, I realized that, although I had an advanced degree in speech communication, my public speaking skills were a bit "rusty" so I joined Toastmasters (I achieved my DTM in less than 3 years -- an accomplishment only 1 in 10,000 can claim and am now half-way through toward my second DTM.)
Responding to the needs of clients, I became certified by Intuit as a QuickBooks Pro Advisor. I also completed the requirements established by the National Federation of Professional Trainers to become certified as both a Personal Trainer and Sports Nutrition Specialist.
Continuing my work as a clinical supervisor (after all I have internationally-recognized credentials as a clinical supervisor and addictions counselor through the State of Vermont IC&RC), I successfully completed the rigorous process to become a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers and now offer both training and MITI coding for those interested in growing their skills in motivational interviewing. Finally, I am rostered by the State of Vermont as a psychotherapist.
Committed to common sense conservation (I am a former West Fairlee Conservation Commissioner). my partner and I steward 110 acres of Vermont forestland (Tree Farm #1464), developing agri-forest products like ginseng, in addition to timber. We are both Cooperators through Vermont Coverts.
Working as a solo entrepreneur opened the door for both personal development and community service. While continuing to work toward a regular daily meditation practice, the freedom of self employment has allowed me to sit two 10-day Vipassana courses each year.
Initially I served the town of West Fairlee as a Town Lister and Constable. Then I joined the the West Fairlee Fire Department -- a decision which brought a level of development I had never anticipated. You see, volunteer firefighter receive the same level of training as professional firefighters (I initially completed the requirements for Firefighter I, including HazMat Operations, and then went on to complete Firefighter II, including Flashover and Wildland Fire trainings).
In the midst of all of this - in 2010 -- in the middle of a recession, my spouse and I decided to open a restaurant in Concord, NH: Tandy's Top Shelf. Many people questioned the "wisdom" in doing this, citing the failure rate of restaurants. I countered that the reasons most restaurants fail is not because of something inherent in the restaurant industry but a reflection of the business skills of those who typically choose to open a restaurant business (someone says, "Gee you make good soup, you should open a restaurant and the next thing is a newspaper article about another restaurant opened by a person who needs-a-business-coach-but-doesn't-get-one that fails miserably). With my spouse's extensive experience with Applebee's (my spouse also has a business degree) and my business knowledge, how could we fail?
True-to-form (i.e., this coach practices what he preaches) the last 15 months have been filled by me stepping up to the plate again and again and again.
Leading the list is the Tough Mudder, a “hardcore 10 mile obstacle course designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie.”
One of the hardest things I have ever done.
In the midst of all of this I completed training as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), passed all the practicals and exam and then went on to become a Wilderness EMT.
In November 2012 I decided to get back into running and signed up for a half Marathon. I did it on January 12!
What’s next? Well, I had originally planned on doing another Tough Mudder, but now my focus is on running (committing to the race events had increased my overall commitment to exercise and fitness). I have registered for 2 more half Marathons, a 5K obstacle course and a 10K – with two more half Marathons and the seven mile run up the Mount Washington auto road on the table. This should set me up for doing a full Marathon in January 2014.
I know what you are thinking… but as Robert Browning wrote in Andrea del Sarto,
“a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?”
Oh, and did I mention I hate running and would much rather sit on my butt and drink chocolate malts all day long?
But, the key to a successful life is discipline. So I shall continue to run. Of course through out all of this running I will grow professional (the DOT's SAP Certification is on my radar), meditate, hike, vacation-like-there-is-no-tomorrow and have fun!