We help people
identify what needs to be different
understand fundamental variables to close gaps
prioritize actions steps
Who Are We?
Meet Our Board:
Inspired VDL loves people through action. My heart breaks when I see good people struggling, doing the best they can with what they have, but becoming discouraged by barriers that at times seem too big to overcome. I have always wondered why some people are born into lives filled with successful, supportive people, and others are born into situations which often appear more hopeless than not. I am bothered by living in a culture in which well-intentioned assistance often serves to trap people in their current hopelessness rather than helping them to help themselves.
During the last sixteen years of my teaching career, I taught at The Providence School, a public alternative school. Students came to TPS because they were being unsuccessful in their sending schools for a variety of reasons. I soon became aware of an alarming pattern. Although a high percentage of students experienced success during their time at TPS and graduated from our high school, a minority of those graduates were able to sustain success beyond our walls. I lost count of the number of graduates who said to me, “I don’t know what happened. It just hasn’t been the same since I left Providence.”
I became acutely aware that students were attributing their success to their teachers and their school environment, but not owning their own abilities and accomplishments. Their successes and more importantly, their healthy relationships with people whom they trusted, were contained within our walls. I knew we had to find a way to help kids transition from school to life.
I began discussing the issue with my friend Rick Loghry of Actions Speak, LLC, and with his coaching, I set up a project management system to implement sweeping changes in our approach to educating kids. With Rick's background guidance, I was able to navigate the existing bureaucracy structures to lead the teachers on my team in developing an approach called Vision Driven Learning (VDL). In this approach, students met weekly with a mentor to conceive a vision for the future consisting of three prongs: career, family, and purpose. Mentors coached students in setting long and short term goals in pursuit of their visions and holding themselves accountable by planning how to achieve those goals, measuring progress, adjusting plans based on status, overcoming barriers, defending approaches, and celebrating successes. Teachers became intentional about helping kids understand how content was relevant to their personal visions. We also began connecting kids with people in the community who could relate to their visions and offer support and advice moving forward.
As I worked to establish and sustain Vision Driving Learning, I realized that there were applications that extended far beyond at-risk kids. At some point, everyone hits a wall. There were retirees who felt they had lost their purpose, business owners who longed to expand, individuals with ideas for community improvements, people frustrated by religious questions, single parents struggling to make ends meet, and recent graduates with dreams they didn’t know how to put into action. My eyes were opened to people all around me, feeling “stuck.”
My own vision is to help people put their visions into action, and Inspired VDL, Inc. was born of that vision. I love helping people who want to find answers, put ideas into action, and extend a hand to help others.
Inspired VDL impacts lives. Helping build Inspired VDL energizes me. The Inspired VDL approach exemplifies my life’s journey. At a time when people get more publicity by pointing the finger and blaming others for everything, Inspired VDL offers anyone who has a personal vision an opportunity to take the initiative to be accountable for his or her future.
Just because people are dealt challenges in life, that doesn’t mean those challenges can’t be overcome. Inspired VDL helps people own their challenges and deal with them.
I worked summers in construction, security, production, and road repair to earn money for college and other expenses. My security and production jobs were midnight-to-eight o’clock shifts. The lessons learned about people and their values while working tough jobs at off-hours were invaluable. Character, respect, honesty, integrity, working hard, and following rules are all daily individual choices that can open or close the door on future opportunity.
In college I played NCAA competitive sports and graduated with a BS degree in Science. After turning down a teaching position, I was admitted to graduate school in the MBA program on the condition that I would concurrently learn the content of prerequisite business courses, of which I had taken none.
After getting my MBA, I took a risky job offer. I got many new assignments because leading change, my passion, was an opportunity-rich career path that took me from entry level industrial engineering tasks, to project manager, to division manager, to plant manager, to President/CEO of one of Forbes Top 500 privately-held companies.
I learned many people lessons working in and through organizations. Effectively working with people is a key to success. Opportunities were many. Following are some examples of the diversity of work that helped prepare me to help others:
Learning the Rope on Leading Individual Initiatives
Representative responsibilities included building probabilistic computer simulation models to determine people and equipment needed for new operations, establishing processes and procedures for a new matrix program management structure, implementing disciplined proposal and negotiation processes, modifying internal systems to address firm fixed price cost accounting needs, leading an industrial engineering consulting group, justifying all capital budget requests for a large industrial division, troubleshooting cost of operations output problems, and driving process continuous improvement projects throughout operations.
Applying Learning Opportunities at the Plant and Company Level
Plant management initiatives included implementing new aggressive quality initiatives, installing new integrated management information systems, partnering with the unions, partnering with customers, orchestrating two major reductions in force resulting in significantly reduced product costs, directing changes in leadership personnel and the organization structure, installing new employee-owned metrics as management tools, encouraging employees to lead by example, (how we do things around here), and tying employee accountability to customer commitments.
CEO Scope included leading continuous improvement and "we walk our talk" in an organization with 5,000 employees and subsidiary operations, setting the expectations and criteria for success organization wide, leading detailed operations reviews at each location, forming a new joint owned company with a Fortune 100 company to set a new benchmark for combining employees and approaches of competitive entities under one united management structure, nurturing several high-tech startup companies, implementing automatic feedback of key performance indications from each location, and breaking tradition by negotiating unique high risk, high reward contracts with the government.
Served on numerous boards of directors, as a volunteer President of a non-profit with statewide impact, and as an interim executive director of a public transit operation.
Helping Others Through Inspired VDL, Inc.
My greatest satisfaction was, and still is, seeing people grow in confidence and accomplish things that they didn't think were possible. Nothing is ever about "me;" everything is always about "we." Perspective and appreciation of a "we" approach grows with each increase in responsibility and accountability.
Ray Kroc said, "None of us is as good as all of us." I want Inspired VDL to help many people accomplish many things that they did not think were possible in their lives by incorporating "us" into their journeys forward.
As a financial advisor I help people plan and invest for the future. I believe that it is very important to invest in our community and the people around us as well. When we help others, it has a ripple effect. I believe that Inspired VDL, Inc. serves a much needed purpose in helping individuals develop themselves personally. We give people the tools necessary to step out of their comfort zones and accomplish their goals.
I have worked in financial services since 2004 and thoroughly enjoy what I do. I have a bachelor of science in business and economics and a master of business administration from the University of Kentucky.
I am very involved in the community and strive to have a positive impact here. I am a member of Bluegrass Runners and sit on the boards of Lexington Woman's Club and E7 Kids Cafe.