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Taking the Initiative – Inspiring, Creating and Achieving

Encouraging Young Leaders

I believe in the unlimited power of the human spirit. I also believe in the tremendous potential of the next generation to create and achieve great things. As such, it was a tremendous honor to be invited to share my thoughts with a group of young leaders this past week at Saint Anselm College. Attempting to inspire them. To let them know that they have what it takes to jump into the public arena, participate in our election process, run for office and make a positive difference. As I spoke to the group, I felt a positive energy emanating throughout the auditorium. Also, a knowledge and belief that I was looking out into the faces of our leaders of tomorrow. Energized and motivated to shape an exciting destiny.

Leading with the Arts and Music

Newport, New Hampshire is on the way to an exciting economic recovery. But, the revitalization of Newport and the surrounding communities is not just about economics. It is also about attaining a quality of life. And, this is where the Arts and Music come in to play.

This past week at our Newport Sunshine Initiative meeting, we began to develop a vision. Understanding the role of art and music in creating a positive vibe and excitement in our community. I think we were all hugely impressed by the amount of activity starting to develop. In particular, Shelly Hudson and Amplified Arts developing a three story building nearby in downtown Claremont to house a beehive of artistic activity – from studios, to the performing arts and more. And, hats off to two leaders in the larger regional community – two great friends of mine - County Commissioner George Hebert and noted musician Bill Wightman – who are leading an effort to put our area ‘on the map’ – as an exciting venue for artistic expression and creativity!

iPods for Veterans

Every once in a while you get blessed with an opportunity to do a good thing. This was recently the case with regard to an event that took place at the Sweeney American Legion Post in Manchester. Donating iPods and other related electronics to veterans.

Here’s how it happened. Several months ago, I received a call – totally out of the blue – from Paul Cardello of this great organization – iPods for Wounded Veterans Located in Wilmington, MA, but operating nationally – they wanted to do an event in NH to give away iPods and other devices to deserving veterans. But, surprisingly – almost shockingly – they were getting no positive response. Not even the VA was willing to host the event. Thankfully, however, I was able to connect them to the great team at Sweeney American Legion Post in Manchester – and this past Saturday – what an awesome event! More than 100+ veterans in attendance – and giving away thousands of dollars’ worth of electronics. Devices which will mean so very much to these deserving Americans. Every once in a while, these opportunities come along – where you can do something good – for so many. Always wonderful when it can work out so well.

Taking the Initiative to Plant Flowers – Sunflowers!

The Newport Sunflower Project is off to an amazing start! The Sunshine Initiative, partnering with the Newport Recreation Center, is aiming to get the community rallied together to set a world record. The goal: plant as many sunflowers possible and have Newport become the ‘Town with the Sunflowers!”.

Next week, residents will be receiving packets put together by the children of the Newport Rec Department. These packets will include sunflower seeds and an instruction packet. Everyone will be urged to get involved, track their status and their planting online as well as post pictures and progress on social media using the hashtag #NewportStrong. Residents are already getting excited, planting their own seeds and planning their yards to be ready for the project.

Community Involvement is alive and well in the Sunshine Town! So excited to see the final product. Stay tuned……

Taking the Initiative to Prevent Teen Suicide

As highlighted in the article above, House Bill 652 has just passed the NH House and is on the way to the State Senate. Sponsored by Gates Lucas, the bill is meant to provide educators with the training and knowledge to be able to spot the signs of potential teen suicide and help in the prevention. Statistics show that more teenagers and young adults die from suicide than cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, strokes, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease combined. Thanks to Gates and others for taking the initiative to make a positive difference on this critical issue.

Profile of the Week: Jacob Shairs

Jacob Shairs embodies what it means to work hard and earn your way – a grit and determination so much a part of the American spirit.

Jacob is a rising senior at Plymouth State University, where he studies Political Science and is also the Speaker of Student Government. This past Saturday, Jacob was elected as the State Chairman of the NH College Republicans, after serving one year as the Treasurer and this past year as the Executive Director. Throughout his three full years at Plymouth State, Jacob has worked tirelessly to set himself up for a successful future in politics and as acommunity leader.

As he began his collegiate career, Jacob knew he had to get involved and make a name for himself. Just a few short weeks into classes, he had taken over the College Republicans chapter at PSU and had landed a valuable internship in the office of then-Senator Kelly Ayotte. Quickly, with a charming demeanor and contagious work ethic, he inspired his peers and made the PSU College Republicans the largest chapter in NH!

From afar, Jacob had impressed Steve Negron, then-primary candidate for Congress this past election cycle. Steve gave Jacob the opportunity to shine on his campaign, and Jacob did not let him down! By the time the election was over, Jacob had canvassed more than 8,000 doors and spoken to more than 20,000 potential voters on the phone.

Regardless of ideology, I believe we can all agree that individuals like Jacob are what define true American grit and determination. His hard work and energy is something we can all admire. We are blessed to have Jacob and other leaders like Jacob to be contributing so meaningfully at even an early age.

Quotes of the week: Taking the Initiative

Tony Robbins

“Success comes from taking the initiative and following up... persisting... eloquently expressing the depth of your love. What simple action could you take today to produce a new momentum toward success in your life?” Tony Robbins

“The four cornerstones of character on which the structure of this nation was built are: Initiative, Imagination, Individuality and Independence.” Eddie Rickenbacker

“Never relinquish the initiative.” Charles de Gaulle


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