Newport – The Little Engine That Could!


Small Town Achieves ‘Excellence!’

‘Karen and Jay share thoughts on a very special moment for Newport and the Sunshine Initiative.’

The Sunshine Town is on the move, and we couldn’t be more excited! This past week, Newport, made headlines as the Sunshine Initiative and the efforts of Newporter’s achieved statewide recognition with Newport winning the first ever Sylvio Dupuis Award. The prestigious award is given out on the basis of ‘Community Excellence.’ The Sunshine Initiative – which was only a dream as recently as three years ago – has now achieved a major milestone. Newport is back!

And, the story of Newport’s success is like that of so many other successes. The Sunshine Initiative started with a simple idea – a dream, to revitalize this wonderful town. And, not unlike the story of the ‘Little Engine That Could,’ the success of this initiative has been based on persistent faith and unwavering belief – coupled with positive and continuous effort.

A few years back, Navy Admiral William McRaven gave a commencement speech at the University of Texas that ended up going viral. Perhaps you’ve seen the video. In the speech Admiral McRaven, himself a highly decorated Navy SEAL, gave that year’s graduates what seemed like very simple, yet incredibly powerful advice. “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” He went on to discuss the challenges he faced during SEAL training and how he celebrated the fact that no matter how hard his day was, one of the small wins was coming back to a made bed. Making the bed every morning was, as he described, a way to start the day with an accomplishment. It also reinforces how doing the little things right can be the catalyst to doing the big things and achieving what we aspire to. Each day that he’d come back from training, Admiral McRaven was one day closer to making it as a SEAL, and each day started by making his bed.

Much of what we do and achieve in life is directly related to the belief we have in ourselves. If we believe we can achieve something, we’re often likely to do it, no matter the obstacles. If we make the bed every morning, imagine what else we can achieve throughout the day. It’s likened to something called the progress loop, a principle that posits that by making small incremental progress on a given task or goal and being able to celebrate that progress, we actually positively compound our ability to continue achieving whatever it is we set out to achieve. Not only that, but in doing so, it gives us the confidence to take risks we may not have taken before on bigger and better ideas or goals. Similar to one of my favorite stories, The Little Engine That Could, believing you can achieve something and then taking the first step toward that goal is a simple, yet powerful action. So, whether it’s a professional aspiration, a personal goal or trying to revitalize a community that you love, I encourage you to take the leap, and when you do, remind yourself that in itself is an achievement.


Don’t Miss the Excitement – Come Enjoy ‘Swim with a Mission!’

When it comes to community involvement, there is no better place to be than New Hampshire. This is especially true with regard to our veterans. As you may know, Karen and I are deeply involved in support of our veterans, especially with Children of Fallen Patriots, and through these and other efforts, we have gotten to know first-hand the enormity of what Phil and Julie Taub and their organization, ‘Swim With Mission,’ have been able to achieve. Their hard work and the work of their all-volunteer committee have brought over $6 million to veterans causes, including $50,000 to Children of Fallen Patriots. Organizations such as Liberty House, Harbor Homes, Veterans Count and many others have also been beneficiaries.

Now, let's talk about the exciting things just around the corner that Swim with a Mission has coming up next month and especially the July 10th event that you definitely don't want to miss.

Starting on Thursday, July 8th, the multi-day program of packed events includes paintball and team building, a ‘Tough Mudder’ training course and the annual swim event. And, all of these events include participation by the Navy SEAL’s! On July 10th, the big one, the Veterans Fest! Taking place at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester, this action-packed day will include military exercise demonstrations, interactive experiences and a special opportunity to meet real Navy SEAL’s. Nowhere else can you experience this much excitement and family fun while also having the opportunity to support our great veterans.

So, mark your calendars, get your tickets today, and join fellow Granite Stater’s at this spectacular event. To purchase your tickets, please visit www.swimwithadmission.org .Hope to see you there!

Hannah Duston – Harrowing Story from ‘New Hampshire’ of Long Ago


The story of Hannah Duston is not well known today. It’s one of those stories that lurks in the annals of Granite State history. In fact, the story of Hannah Duston was not even widely told until 100 years after her death in 1737. It starts with a capture. Duston was taken prisoner by the Abenaki Indian tribe in 1697 as part of the ongoing King William’s War, which is more commonly known as the Second Indian War. Duston was captured in Haverhill, Massachusetts and taken north to what is now Boscawen, New Hampshire.


During her captivity Duston organized a revolt to steal tomahawks, and along with other prisoners, led a plot to attempt to kill her captors. Under Duston’s leadership, the group then stole the tomahawks and when all was said and done, they had killed 10 Indians and proceeded to scalp them and escape. Since this technically happened in Massachusetts, prior to New Hampshire actually becoming a state, she took the scalps down to Boston to collect the bounty.


While this was barely noted at the time, her story achieved national prominence nearly 100 years later, and her experience was widely cited as an excuse for adopting harsh policies with regard to Native Americans.


It’s another one of those ‘not so well-known,’ but fascinating stories from our New Hampshire of long ago. Interestingly, to this day, there is a statue on the island in the Merrimack River where the ‘massacre’ took place. It was erected in 1784. Definitely worth taking a visit.


Positive Profile of the Week: Dick Ober

Dick Ober - He’s what New Hampshire is all about.

This week we are delighted to profile a real leader in the Granite State, Dick Ober, President and CEO of the NH Charitable Foundation.

As we have been working on the Sunshine Initiative and making progress, we have had the pleasure of getting to know Dick and the wonderful efforts of the Foundation. I’m impressed by how amazingly successful the Charitable Foundation continues to be year in and year out. Not surprisingly, this is due in large part to Dick’s character and his desire to see New Hampshire thrive.

Dick has led the Charitable Foundation since 2010 and has over 30 years of non-profit leadership. The Charitable Foundation is one of the largest non-profit organizations in New England, awarding more than $50 million dollars in grants and scholarships each year and overseeing more than $700 million. It takes a certain individual to do what Dick has done with the NH Charitable Foundation, and I believe it comes from his love for our great state combined with a track record of experience.

Prior to joining the Charitable Foundation, Dick served in senior roles for the NH Society of Forests and has been a leading advocate for our forests. As you know, NH is rich in natural beauty, but what you might not know is that NH is the second most forested state in the country with over 4.8 million acres of forested land. The protection of our outdoors and nature is one of the core values of all Granite Stater’s, and Dick Ober has led the charge in that fight throughout his career.

Not surprisingly, Dick and the Foundation have risen to the occasion even during the pandemic. Just last month, they announced a scholarship program to benefit every graduating high school senior in our state by awarding them the opportunity to enroll for a course of their choosing at one of our seven NH Community Colleges, totally free of charge. This million-dollar program is such a great example of the how Dick and the Foundation find creative ways to enrich the lives of people throughout New Hampshire.

Dick Ober is recognized and respected by so many across our state, and we are indeed blessed to have his leadership and passion.


Positive Quotes of the Week: Belief in Yourself

To be a champ you have to believe in yourself when no one else will.” Sugar Ray Robinson


“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” Norman Vincent Peale


“Always believe in yourself and keep going. You don't have to have the most talent in the world. You don't have to be the smartest person in the world. If you persist and you persist and you persist, you will be successful.” Dean Cain

“You have to believe in yourself before anybody else believes in you.” Ray LaMontagne

“I believe that God has put gifts and talents and ability on the inside of every one of us. When you develop that and you believe in yourself and you believe that you're a person of influence and a person of purpose, I believe you can rise up out of any situation.” Joel Osteen