Blog

Rise2Recovery Podcast Interview

I was recently the guest on the Rise2Recovery podcast, sharing my story of addiction recovery spanning the last three decades. To listen to the interview, please click here. During the interview, I referenced the article I wrote last year on Huffington post on how I learned leadership through my recovery from addiction. I’ve shared my story often to encourage others who have…

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Australia: Far Away So Close

It felt so normal, too normal. Twenty hours of flight time should produce some level of culture shock, but no shock. In fact, next to my host’s car in the airport parking lot was a “Milwaukee Tools” truck. Sydney, Australia is a thoroughly modern and cosmopolitan city, and its nonprofit sector fits that description as well. I traveled to Sydney…

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Cuba: Travel tips and reviews

This is a more detailed review of my trip than my Huffington Post essay of observations and reflections. Getting in/Visas. From what I have read, there will be many flights a week from the U.S. in just a few months. In addition, there may additional opening of travel restrictions. Americans are only allowed to travel under certain categories. For those without business,…

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Windsor Star: “It’s About Everyone Pulling in the Same Direction”

I recently visited Windsor, Ontario to meet with business and civic leaders about economic development and poverty reduction strategies there, and how to align them. It was interesting to explore these issues in a Canadian context. There was much familiar to U.S. communities, but distinctions in terms of how much nonprofits rely on government; how municipal, provincial, and federal agencies…

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Wilco vs. Super Bowl? No contest!

“We are all Jews at a Chinese restaurant on Christmas,” Jeff Tweedy announced to a cheering audience Sunday night during Wilco’s scorching show at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. On Super Bowl Sunday, it was wonderful to be with thousands of others celebrating our favorite band the way others celebrate a favorite team. The difference is that our…

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Bold Leaders Who Defy Millennial Stereotypes

The Chronicle of Philanthropy invited me to write an opinion piece for their issue recognizing 40 nonprofit leaders under 40 years old. I decided to use the platform to argue about how stereotypes about Millennials are often only about the most privileged Millennials, and to recognize that this list is better than that stereotype. Millennials. Nonprofits and philanthropies have been anxiously trying to…

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Peace, Conflict & Beauty: Reflections on Northern Ireland

“They still close the gates every night,” our guide explained as we drove by the 44 foot high wall that still divides the Catholic Falls Road district from the Protestant Shankhill district in Belfast. It was a stunning reminder that peace is not an event, but a process. I’ve visited Northern Ireland twice this year and experienced the hope of…

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Confederate Flag Museum Display

South Carolina is finally taking down its Confederate Flag, although I loved when the woman climbed the pole and took it down last week. They said it is going into a museum, so I wanted to offer my text for the display. Here is a symbol of treason, terrorism, white supremacy & oppression waved by people who hated the ideals…

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My Liverpool Pilgrimage

I’ve been a huge Beatles fan since I was at least five years old. My first records were The Beatles Second Album, Beatles IV, Rubber Soul, and Help. My first favorite songs were “Ticket to Ride” and “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away.” As I got to my tweens and teens, I was attracted more to the later years….

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Asset Based Community Development Global Festival

This past week I joined almost 200 community builders from 21 countries on 6 continents in Blackpool, England for a first-ever global gathering of practitioners of Asset-Based Community Development. It was great to be with John McKnight and Jody Kretzmann, the men who developed and have taught this approach to community building for the past few decades, and to see…

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Hire a Cab to See a Town

Often when I get to a city to speak, I’m taken to a hotel and shuttled to the venue if not in the hotel, and that is all I see. I don’t like driving, so I rarely rent a car. One thing I’ve learned to do, though, when I have a few hours, is hire a taxi and agree on…

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Storytelling and Public Speaking

Over the past three years, I have presented more than 150 speeches and workshops. My presentation content and style have evolved during that time gauging audience energy and response (including tweets) to hone key points, give stories more color, and create opportunities for meaningful interaction. I was recently asked to lead a workshop at The Opportunity Youth Investment Fund conference…

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