I was enjoying a multi-hour “recovery ride” (typically something I do after a particularly long, hard, fast ride the day before) this morning during which I had ample time to contemplate various things other than my navel (which could have had catastrophic results). Growing Bolder Media came to mind as I realized how fortunate I am to have them as a part of my life – something that commenced some years ago when they contacted me regarding the possibility of being a guest on the Growing Bolder Radio Show. My appearance on that show was an absolute joy being interviewed by Marc Middleton, CEO & Founder of the company, and Bill Shafer, executive vice-president of the company and the world’s best story teller. It seemed that I was speaking with old friends in that I had seen them often throughout the years when they were anchors on the Orlando NBC affiliate, WESH, hence their voices (and faces) were totally familiar to me.
I was struck by the fact during the radio show that I was working with some incredibly credentialed, fascinating people. Marc, for example is a multi-Emmy Award winning journalist, writer, artist, world-class husband and father, but also a world class athlete having been an All-American while attending Florida State University. Now in his latter years, he is an accomplished swimming and track and field competitor who holds a current world swimming record and made the podium recently at the Masters Track & Field Indoor championships after being away from hurdling for a very long time. Marc is truly the Universal Man, and the type of man we hope our sons will be when they grow up.
Bill, another incredibly credentialed journalist and Emmy Award nominee is undoubtedly the world’s best storyteller. Just watch Bill in action on an episode of the Growing Bolder, nationally syndicated TV program. Bill is totally immersed and genuinely interested in the person behind each story, hence the story is told with “soul” – not just the reporting or telling of events. When you meet these guys, you get the feeling that they are old friends whom you have known for many years. As an aside, I was stumped by the meaning of the word “gregarious,” hence looked it up in the dictionary. I found a picture of Marc Middleton and Bill Shafer.
Subsequent to that radio interview I had the joy of not only another radio appearance with the dynamic duo, but was the subject of an incredibly well done video that has been shown numerous times in various markets throughout the country on the Growing Bolder TV Show, which as of this writing, has been viewed over 12,000 times on the Growing Bolder website. I cannot begin to tell you how much fun I have had, and the number of people who have contacted me as a result of that video.
Later, I was honored to receive the most fantastic recognition of all the awards I have won in my lifetime, I was selected as an inhabitant of the Growing Bolder Wall of Fame a poster sized picture of me hangs with a group of some truly amazing, exciting people in their corporate offices.
As an aside, a company is only as good as not only their leadership, but also the employees who achieve the mission of the company on a daily basis. During the aforementioned video shoot, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting an incredibly accomplished woman, Katy Widrick, executive producer at Growing Bolder. Katy makes it happen, and happen in the way it should. Perhaps I am prejudiced in favor of Katy in that she, as is my youngest son, is a graduate of Syracuse University.
Of course one can have the best plans being carried out by the best people in regards to a video shoot, but without an ace videographer/editor, it just ain’t going to happen! Enter Jason Morrow, the multi-Emmy Award winning man behind the camera and editing desk. Jason is a magician and the top of the food chain in the world of photojournalism.
I’ve also had the joy of working with Marc’s incredibly talented wife, Jill Middleton, an award-winning TV news special projects producer, and multiple Emmy Award nominee. I suspect that Jill is the reason that we can always find Marc smiling, as would any man lucky enough to be married to her!
I’ve also had the good fortune of crossing paths with Jackie Carlin, the talented director of on-line media for Growing Bolder and Pat Narisco who keeps everything together as their director of technology.
I think one of the key things necessary to lead a very happy life, is to be employed at a job that you absolutely love. I, for example, was a commercial airline pilot. I loved going to work, and even once talked the company into letting me give up a vacation so I could fly the airplane that I had just newly qualified on rather than take a vacation. The folks at Growing Bolder must love when the alarm clock sounds in the morning.
If I was part of a vote to determine the best company in the world that one had personal knowledge of, I would first of all be inclined to not include Growing Bolder Media in the competition. In that they would be the assumed and proper winner, that vote should be tasked with ferreting out the second best company! Marc Middleton had an incredible vision, found the best people on the planet to assist him in achieving said vision, and has been overwhelmingly successful in that mission.
It is my honor to be on the same planet with you folks!!