Congratulations to Southwestern alumnus and Southwestern Consulting Co-Founder Rory Vaden on the success of his new book! The New York Times Best Seller list recently announced that Take the Stairs – 7 Steps to Achieving True Success will appear at #2 on their upcoming Feburary 26th list.
Penguin publishing released Rory’s latest book last week and it quickly earned positions on several best sellers lists including #1 on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and the USA Today
Money best seller list. Rory’s insights have been shared on Oprah radio, in Business Week
As a two time world champion of public speaking finalist for Toastmasters International, Rory has shared his compelling “Take the Stairs” message on the same stage as John Maxwell, David Allen, Bill Clinton, Keith Ferrazzi and he’s done special programs for both Zig Ziglar, and for Dave Ramsey’s companies.
His latest book focuses on a princple that all Southwestern alumni are familiar with – sacrificing what you want at the moment for what you want most.
Rory has literally spent the last two years taking the stairs everywhere from the Empire State Building to the Canton Tower in China. In a interview with Jennifer Johnson at Nashville Channel 4 news, Rory states that “Taking the stairs is a mindset. It’s a simple metaphor that represents choosing the hard right over the easy wrong.”
Dave Ramsey, Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, Darren Hardy, Mark Sanborn and many others have already endorsed the book. New York Times Bestselling author Andy Andrews calls the book a “challenging and compelling call for all of us to accomplish greatness”. If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, Southwestern Consulting is giving away $80 in fee bonuses if you buy the book now at http://www.buytakethestairs.com/.
Rory ran a business for five summers with Southwestern while a student at the University of Denver where he received degrees in Business Management, Leadership as well as an MBA. Among his many accomplishments at Southwestern, he is a two-time member of the prestigious Wall of Greats for building a team of 20 or more in a particular year and a past Student Excellence award winner.
As part of the release, Rory will be on a “Take the Stairs Tour” riding in a tour bus to 20 states in 30 days between February 20 and March 20, 2012. The Take the Stairs team is partnering with local schools to host FREE live evening events where members of the community, from local businesses to teenagers and their parents can learn and explore the 7 Strategies of Improving Self-Discipline that are presented in the book.
A suggested donation of $10 will be collected at the door with 100% of the money at each event going back to that local school district foundation or a youth character non-profit.
Please help us to spread the word by sharing this 1-time special free event with anyone who you think might benefit from the Southwestern Advantage principles and a night of getting refocused on achieving his or her goals in life! Register for the Free events in your area at http://www.takethestairstour.com/.
| Do you want to live a more balanced lifestyle?
Have more free time?
Improve your health?
Accomplish your wildest dreams?
|Will you Take the Stairs?
|• Monday, February 20 - Nashville, TN
• Tuesday, February 21 - Jerseyville, IL
• Wednesday, February 22 - St. Louis, MO
• Thursday, February 23 - Toledo, OH
• Monday, February 27 - Atlanta, GA
• Tuesday, February 28 - Birmingham, AL
• Wednesday, February 29 - Austin, TX
• Thursday, March 1 – Dallas, TX
• Friday, March 2 - Wichita, KS
||• Saturday, March 3 - Salina, KS
• Sunday, March 4 - Littleton, CO
• Monday, March 5 - Longmont, CO
• Tuesday, March 6 - Denver, CO
• Friday, March 9 - Ogden, UT
• Monday, March 12 - Phoenix, AZ
• Wednesday, March 14 - Vista, CA
• Thursday, March 15 - San Diego, CA
Members of our Southwestern family Patrick and Julie (Cate) Kelly need our prayers this Christmas. Patrick & Julie both sold with the Winning Tradition organization. Patrick sold in 1998 & 2000 with James Madison University and Julie sold in with the Wheaton College group in 1998-1999. Patrick and Julie were married in 2007 and have an adorable 2 year old daughter, Cecilia.
We ask for your prayers as Patrick is battling his 2nd brain tumor in the past 7 years. After 3 rounds of chemo his tumor seemed to be gone, but Patrick’s neurological health has been declining very quickly for unknown reasons. He was put into a coma 2 weeks ago as he was having seizures. He was taken out of the coma and seemed to be making progress, only to start declining again. After yesterday’s test results they believe his lymphoma is spreading throughout his brain. They are also still trying to determine the source of his neurological decline. While the cause is unknown, they believe it is most likely not reversible.
Julie has been writing a blog to keep everyone up to date on Patrick at http://getwellpk.blogspot.com/. You can also sign up for the virtual prayer vigil for their family on the blog. Julie, Patrick, and the rest of the Kelly family are so grateful for your prayers.
The week Governor Rick Perry announced his presidential candidacy the Southwestern alumni phone line was buzzing with activity. Many were calling to verify if he sold with Southwestern, how he did as a bookman, or to make sure I was aware that he sold. Gov. Perry did indeed sell books with Southwestern during the summer of 1969. I am sure it will not surprise you that he did quite well as a bookman. If we convert the amount of wholesale merchandise he sold into today’s units, Gov. Perry sold over 2800 units which would have put him in the Top 25 First Year Dealers in 2011.
Last week a group of SW student managers were attending a Leadership Retreat in Des Moines, IA. Lee McCroskey was helping run the retreat and as they wrapped up lunch and were heading into the conference room, one of the managers remarked, “Rick Perry is in the restaurant.” Lee was busy getting the projector ready, messing with the PowerPoint and then he got a text: “Rick Perry in restaurant.” Lee said, “It dawned on me that this was no joke, since there was a debate that night in town! We suspended the meeting and I headed over to meet one of our alums, now Republican presidential candidate.” He talked about their time with Gov. Perry in his blog.
A cluster of student managers encircled Gov. Perry. It was a nice encounter–the restaurant had emptied–and there were a couple bodyguards on the periphery. Perry seemed interested in the Southwestern students, and his body language gave no indication he was in a hurry to exit. We chatted about Southwestern, who we knew, and asked him about that night’s debate. His “Gold Seal Gold” election schedule sounded daunting, and we were glad to be able to spend a few minutes with him.
Overall, Perry made a good impression (would you expect any less?). He was warm, friendly, interested in us and what we were doing. Obviously, photos were in order so we fell in and took a few shots. As we broke up, we asked him if he would mind saying a few words about his Southwestern experience on video. Perry told us that he could not endorse a product or company, but he did say we could quote him: “Southwestern’s the best thing I ever did.”
Gov. Perry’s roommate from the bookfield, Judge John Brieden, recalled their Southwestern summer in an article on mysanantonio.com. They sold with Al Godwin’s Texas A&M group in Festus, MO in Southwestern’s library division.
The book set included a biblical encyclopedia, commentary and two others lost to Brieden’s memory. What he remembers are the qualities that later served Perry well in his state campaigns and will come into play if he leaps into the presidential race: a sharp focus both on the job before him and on his overarching goals.
A bookman running for President? Most of us that have carried a SW samplecase would tell you it was inevitable. Many of the skills gained from the bookfield are a great base for a Presidential candidate. No matter what occupation we pursue, selling books with Southwestern is an experience I would not trade for anything. A sentiment Gov. Perry echoed in a Nashville Post article written after the passing of Southwestern’s former president, Dortch Oldham.
“I count my time working for Dortch Oldham as one of the most important formative experiences of my life,” commented Texas Governor Rick Perry… ”There is nothing that tests your commitment to a goal like getting a few doors closed in your face” Perry said. “Mr. Oldham taught legions of young people to communicate quickly, clearly and with passion, a lesson that has served me well in my life since then. Mr. Oldham will be missed.”
It is with great sadness that we share with the Southwestern alumni family the passing away of John Liederbach on September 27.
John was from Rockville, Maryland, but was a West Virginia Mountaineer through and through. Countless WVU students stayed and played over the years in his house off campus, the “Red Relaxer,” including many who became legendary in Southwestern as well. John sold books 7 summers, breaking numerous company sales records in the process. He was proud of making President’s Club in a single day with a then-record 504 units.
He believed greatly in the potential of young people, and became an outstanding District Sales Manager. His organization was called The Slight Edge, because he knew that if young people could gain the Southwestern advantage while college students, its impact would continue to grow over the course of their lives and they would become world-changers. He was right; the Slight Edgers who were blessed to work with John are now in every field under the sun, making a positive difference in our world as they grow through life.
The many colleagues and dealers who spent time with John knew him always to be unselfish and generous, with a great sense of humor, an inexhaustible collection of stories and jokes, and a constant conveyer of his belief in people and in what they can achieve with their lives. Which of us didn’t stand a little taller when he would clap us on the back, and say, “Hey, brother!” or “Hey, sister!”? His natural competitiveness showed in sales and on the basketball court, and his long history of coaching youth sports helped put many kids on a great path of fitness and sportsmanship. His intensive work with Christian ministry – particularly in developing men of faith – had an eternal impact on many. One of you said today what so many of us feel: “I know I would be a different person if it were not for him.”
John loved his family massively. His wife, Nan (who as Nan Tschudi, was a great bookgirl as well from Angelo State University, and an amazing wife and mother), along with their beautiful children Maddie, John-Paul, Brendan, and Bridgette as well as John’s mother and six siblings are grateful for your expressions of support — and your prayers — during this incredibly difficult time. Maddie wrote today, “He was a great man who impacted so many, and loved the Lord with all of his heart. He is having a great time dancing and singing in heaven.”
Visitation is Friday, September 30 at Holy Family Catholic Church, 9100 Crockett Road, Brentwood, Tennessee, at 4pm. The funeral mass will be said Saturday, October 1, at 1:00pm with a reception to follow.
Many of you have asked about donations for family support. They may be made to the John Liederbach Memorial Fund at Regions Bank, Attn. Angie Johnson, 1729 Mallory Lane, Brentwood TN 37027.
We also invite you to share your stories, memories, and thoughts of John to be included in a scrapbook for the Liederbach family by leaving a comment below or by sending them to Deb McCroskey, 1501 Pear Tree Circle, Brentwood TN 37027-7379.
We have lost — and we mourn — a dear friend.
Cards can be sent to the Liederbach Family at 9010 Split Log Road, Brentwood TN 37027.
Southwestern Company’s own Kate Walker Raidt was interviewed for the September 2011 Parents magazine issue. Kate and her husband Daniel were interviewed about their relationship and the lessons learned through knowing each others “love languages.”
Kate is the author and inspiration behind the SWparents site on Southwestern Advantage Online. Kate sold with Southwestern for 10 summers. She’s just a regular Renaissance woman – having had a successful singing career, own’s one of the world’s largest online book stores (www.fatnoggin.com), and is a published author: The Million Dollar Parent: How to Have a Successful Career While Keeping Your Family a Top Priority.
“Parenting is the most important job on Earth with the least amount of professional training. I was inspired to build a community where parents could seek professional advice and support, and where we could recognize parents who are doing a great job – because I know how difficult it is. ”
Kate and her husband Daniel live in Austin, Texas with their two young children where you will catch them either singing karaoke, solving a puzzle, kicking a soccer ball or feeding the homeless on any given night of the week!
After much thoughtful dialogue throughout this year, Joni Bicknese is hanging up the career counseling shoes she has worn for 13 years to carry her unique abilities to another opportunity, as yet unnamed. It’s a bittersweet time as we experience a combination of uncomfortable, yet exciting renaissance for Joni and Southwestern Career Services
Joni has accepted an independent contractor role that will last through the fall and she will continue to maintain her office her in Landers Plaza. During this transition, you will be served well since Shayne Merrick has been appointed as Manager of Career Services. Shayne’s award winning five years as Career Counselor, on top of an exemplary book selling career, has prepared him well for this post.
A fun-filled, farewell event will happen later this year to honor Joni when the consulting agreeement concludes. It will mean so much to hear well wishes from you at that time. In the meantime, you are welcome to reach out to Joni at her normal contact coordinates, or Shayne Merrick. You can learn more about Southwestern Career Services at http://www.southwesterncompanyalumni.com/Southwestern-Company-Career-Services.aspx
On behalf of a grateful Career Services division, thank you for staying in touch and for being an ambassador of Southwestern!
Southwestern Company alumni Peter & Whitney (Gilbert) Ferré have been named as honorees for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s 11th Annual Promise Gala to take place on Saturday, April 16, 2011.
The Ferré family has three generations of family members living with type 1 (or “juvenile”) diabetes, the most severe form of diabetes which is caused by an autoimmune attack of the pancreas. David Ferré was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 28 in 1963. At that time, the tools available to manage diabetes were extremely limited. David and Virginia Ferré had three boys that they raised in Summit, New Jersey, just outside New York City. In 1974, at age 13, the eldest brother, Paul Ferré, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, followed by Peter’s diagnosis just four years later at age 15. In 2000, Paul’s youngest daughter, Brittany, was also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age seven.
Peter worked with Southwestern for 12 summers. He was a District Sales Manager for 6 years and is responsible for going to Europe and developing our International Division. In 1987 Peter recruited a 47 person personal team from two continents that sold 49,000 units. Whitney sold books for four summers, recruiting two 20 person, Wall of Greats teams. You might say both Peter and Whitney were triple threats at Southwestern – top salesmen, top recruiters and top managers. Peter’s son, Dane, is carrying on the family legacy; he had a spectacular first summer in Southwestern’s summer program in 2010.
Whitney and Peter Ferré have lived in Nashville for over 16 years with their four children (Dane, Jordan, Riley & Mason). Peter is the President of Legacy Financial Services a division of Family Heritage – part of the Southwestern family of companies. Family Heritage is a national provider and expert in the field of supplemental health insurance. Whitney is the founder of Creativelyfit.com and author of “The Artist Within” and “33 Things to Know About Raising Creative Kids.” The Ferrés have been perennial supporters of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Middle Tennessee Chapter and its annual Promise Gala.
The Middle Tennessee Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is proud to be honoring the Ferré family at their 11th Annual JDRF Promise Gala. The black-tie event, being chaired by Judy & Stephen Price and Joanie & Karey Witty, will be held at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel on Saturday, April 16, 2011 and is expected to draw 500 guests. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which is leading the way in funding research to find a cure for type 1 diabetes.
You can make a donation to “Fund A Cure” in the Ferré’s name or purchase tickets online at www.jdrfpromisegala.org.
Southwestern Company Sam Kirk Pays
Sam Kirk’s 17 years with Southwestern Company taught him about business and the “real world.” He decided to apply that knowledge by educating teens about entrepreneurialism and helping them have the tools and knowledge it takes to not only run a business, but succeed.
Southwestern Company Alum
I have had the privilege of getting to know Sam, his wife Cynthia – and more recently, their oldest son Eugene who participated in the Southwestern Company summer program the past two summers. Having taken tours of the Youth About Business facilities and attending their awards banquets has opened my eyes to how much the Southwestern experience can be applied to help others. I know many of the people who carry the sample case are service-minded – but Sam and his family have taught thousands of young people how to be self-reliant and knowledgeable when it comes to business and life. Youth About Business has spread beyond the home base of Nashville to various sections of the country including the Northeast, Midwest and South.
An excerpt of Southwestern Company from the Nashville Parent article:
“Real-world experience has become the hallmark of the non-profit YAB, which was founded by Sam Kirk 13 years ago. “I think it’s important that we give students the opportunity to discover how America works,” says Kirk. “One of our themes is that we give students the skill-sets that will help them rise above their circumstances,” he adds. Kirk himself engaged in his first business experience at the age of 16 as a salesperson for the Southwestern Company, working with Southwestern for 17 years before leaving to start YAB with a simple mission in mind: providing young people from low-income and under served communities the opportunity to chart their own destinies and possibly own their own companies.”
More from the Nashville Parent article. Find more testimonials about Southwestern Company »
Southwestern Company Host Family
I always loved how my summers selling with Southwestern Company renewed my faith in the goodness of people. My summers are filled with stories of kind-hearted people that extended their generosity to a stranger. No one is a better example of this than a Southwestern host family. While there is a concentrated effort to have host families set up before students head to the bookfield, it still amazes me that you can meet a family in the morning and be moving into their spare room a few hours later.
For all of us who have traversed the bookfield, we know how wonderful it is to end each day returning to somewhere that feels like home. Last summer, over 900 families opened their hearts and homes by housing Southwestern students. While each of these families should be celebrated for their kindness, Southwestern Company students nominated the best of the best of the 2011 host families for the Host Family of the Year contest. We received eighty worthy nominations in the two categories of Alumni & Regular Host Family.
I guess I would expect the co-author of the bookman song to be a positive guy, but Barry Morris and his wife Gayle truly go above and beyond every summer helping Southwestern dealers. This year’s alumni winner, Barry & Gayle have housed many bookpeople over the years, and were nominated as the Alumni Host Family of the Year by Janar Saviir.
Southwestern Company Family Nationwide
Barry and Gayle live in San Antonio, TX where Barry has been a State Farm insurance agent since 1976. He sold books in 1966 & 1967 in the Bible division with Jim White & J.Fred Landers. They will celebrate their 40th Anniversary this year and both of their sons, David & Kyle, also sold books with Southwestern. Barry went beyond host family role and become a mentor for Janar’s whole organization.
Janar said “I’ve sold books for seven summers and he was the best I’ve met so far, by far.” Barry & Gayle not only agreed to host students, but sent letters to their contacts to help find additional HQ’s. Their efforts yielded 3 more really good host families. You can tell that Barry really believes in giving back. “In the summer he visited all the breakfast places, paid for the breakfast and motivated the first years and student managers to give their best that day.” Barry helped out with Sunday meetings and even helped them plan how to work the city as it was the Estonian group’s first time selling in the San Antonio area.
Janar credits Barry with “showing me how to really care about students who work with Southwestern. One small thing for him was a big thing to a First Year. He really motivated me to help other students to get their goals in life.”
As this year’s alumni winner, Barry and Gayle were treated to an all-expense paid weekend in Nashville and were Southwestern Company honored guests at the 2011 J. Fred Landers Awards Banquet.
Southwestern Company Great Recruiters Seminar
Southwestern Company‘s Great Recruiters Seminar 2011 was highlighted by several alumni guest appearances. Our new product Dream Team provided a lot of knowledge and excitement for the attendees. The new online product, named Southwestern Advantage, consists of several elements, each under the development of a separate expert.
Ethan Shen (4 summer bookperson), our Technology Consultant & Project Manager, promoted the new aspects and features of Advantage online. Its mission: 1) to help young people realize their academic and personal potential and 2) to help Southwestern Company managers double their profits.
David Kong (also a 4 summer bookperson), another of the product’s key developers, walked the students through an overview of how Advantage would integrate and enhance the books. David’s specialty is SEO and is the creator of both the Redline and FORCE websites.
Haley Price (3 summers) not only is developing a children’s site—complete with videos, blogs and articles to help young students get better at life—but she also delivered an energetic speech Thursday evening to all the attendees. Haley worked previously at Microsoft and we are excited to have her back at Southwestern Company.
Kate (Walker) Raidt (10 summer book veteran) went on to describe her vision of a parent component to the new online product, which would provide advice on a range of parenting topics. Her site would also feature a Mom of the Month—someone who is doing an outstanding job with her kids! Kate also authored the book, The Million Dollar Parent.
If there weren’t enough alumni energy already, GRS culminated with an inspirational talk by former head of the Elite Eagle organization, JT Olson. JT shared how his training and background helped him with his new project, the Both Hands Foundation. Both Hands is a non-profit ministry that serves widows in the community and helps raise funds for families who would like to adopt. JT stressed making a difference and how student managers could have an impact on someone else’s life through their involvement with Southwestern Company.