Mentors are a wonderful gift! Next to our parents and our immediate family members, mentors help make you the person you are and they can open doors for you that you could have never dreamed possible.
In my life I have had many wonderful mentors:
Tom Butterfield, who gave me my first job, and because of his passion and love for children who had no hope, caused me to devote much of my adult life to learning how we need to be advocates for troubled children.
Tom Eagleton, Bob Kingsland and Ed Filippine, took a chance on this inexperienced young kid and gave me the opportunity to work as an aid in the United States Senate. Senator Eagleton and his excellent staff taught all of us that humility and hard work were important ingredients to success.
George Lehr, allowed me the opportunity develop a brief career in banking. Because of this experience, it is my belief that the for-profit world and the not-for-profit world have more things in common than most will admit.
Mike Russell and Doc Worley, who gave me the opportunity to learn about publishing a newspaper and to learn the true importance of small businesses to their communities, provided me with an opportunity to learn how entrepreneurs operate and prosper, while holding true to their values.
Mr. Kauffman, Bob Rodgers, Jim McGraw, Lou Smith and others at the Kauffman Foundation all displayed the personal value that made Mr. K one of the most beloved and respected individuals I have ever known. “Treat others the way you would like to be treated,” all of these gentlemen lived their life according to this high standard set by Mr. K.
Gov. Bob Holden showed me that a really nice guy with a big heart can accomplish much and that determination and kindness many times can be a powerful way to reach success and happiness.
Dr. Harry Jonas, Gurnie Gunter, Mary Lou Jaramillo, Larry Blankinship, Norm Siegel and Karen Cox all have taught me the importance of ethics, transparency and fairness in all we do. In good times and bad, these board leaders of the Health Care Foundation have stayed true to their values.
As the years go by, a person may not remember what another person accomplished, but we will always remember how someone made us feel. Mentors bring back many happy memories. Thank you!!