SUNSHINE REPORT

11/1/18

Reaching out with another weekly dose of American Sunshine. Especially important right now to be focusing the optimism and ‘can do’ spirit – as we run down the final stretch going into the midterm elections. So much bitterness and divisiveness in the political system, we need to concentrate on the bright spots. And the good news …. I found a few!

 

On Saturday, I decided to hold a reception as a way of saying ‘thank you’ to campaign volunteers – those hard-working souls who go out and do the ‘foot soldier duty,’ knocking on doors and talking to voters. What a terrific event – at the end of a cold (very cold) snowy, sleeting Saturday of campaigning in the neighborhoods of New Hampshire – a fun gathering at Murphy’s Tap Room in Manchester to share stories and good cheer – no matter your particular campaign or candidate. Just positive sunshine on a gray and stormy day!

And, then the Newport Sunshine Initiative – rolling forward. Beginning to revitalize the economy and transform the future of the wonderful small town where I grew up. Big news… Announcing the formal kickoff of our Digital Training Program – known as R.I.S.E. Starting next week – with the help of three digital entrepreneurial firms in New York City, we will be kicking off a twelve week training program for students in Newport – teaching web design, Java, coding, programming, etc. – all delivered remotely. And, when the course is completed these students will be eligible to start performing digital work for some of these same firms – while staying and living right in Newport. 

 

This will be a real game-changer for the region. We are starting with these fifteen students – and will continue to roll forward with additional courses every twelve weeks where we will be training fifteen to twenty additional students. And, by the way, the students range in age from teenagers to folks in their mid-sixties. This program will be providing wonderful opportunities and actually changing lives!

And to add to the fun – for Red Sox fans – what a week. Another World Series. I can honestly say after an eighty-six-year drought, even with winning a fourth World Series title, it’s still not getting old. How 'bout those Red Sox.

 

Ending on one more positive note. My son Gates and his campaign to be elected State Rep from Sunapee, Croydon. Win or lose, it has been wonderful watching him jump into the arena – and do such a great job! Plus knocking on so many doors together has been an experience I will always cherish

10/19/18

Wow! What a week! 

 

Hope springs eternal as our beloved Red Sox head off for a great World Series match up! 

I’m sure much of New Hampshire is somewhat sleep deprived after the games, but the smile on the faces of New Englanders everywhere makes it well worth it. This week also marked our Second Annual Children of Fallen Patriots Fall Reception in New Hampshire. 

What a remarkable night! Tremendous energy and amazing people gathered at the LaBelle winery in Amherst on Wednesday evening. 

From Medal of Honor recipient Ryan Pitts to the Adjutant General of the New Hampshire National Guard those in attendance heard from true heroes and public servants. 

Most important, we were inspired by the deep appreciation shared by two recipient families of the program. Jo-hanna Walker, an amazing student at Tufts University who lost her father in active service, and Natalie Healy, whose son Dan was killed in combat and whose four children have now been helped. By paying for the education of these and other children whose parents have been lost in the military, Children of Fallen Patriots is truly changing lives. 

It was also an honor to present the first Annual Ambassador Joseph and Augusta Petrone Award. 

Augusta herself joined me on stage to recognize to those who exhibit tireless support and energy on behalf of our veterans and their families – displaying the true positive and patriotic spirit of Joe and Augusta. 

This year the honor went to Mr. Jorg and Madeline Dreusicke. 

Jorg is a veteran and a longtime active leader in the NH VFW serving as Chairman on ending veterans’ homelessness. His wife Maudeline is a very active volunteer and member of the NH VFW Auxiliary. Both Jorg and Madeline spend tireless volunteer hours supporting our state's veterans and military service members including serving as: Pease Greeters welcoming home our troops, volunteering at the V.A. greeting veterans at the hospital, assisting with bingo, gathering and handing out fresh fruits and vegetables for veterans and gathering furniture and food for homeless veterans under the VASH program. 

They represent the best of New Hampshire, and what makes our state so special. 

It was a fabulous night, and I’m proud to know so many outstanding people!

9/26/18

Just a quick message to keep you up to date about an amazing week of activity and progress! 

By now you are aware of the incredible things that are taking place in my home town of Newport, and Monday was an especially important day. But don’t just take my word for it. In case you missed it, here’s what New Hampshire’s largest newspaper had to say about it ahead of the packed meeting.

The Roundtable meeting included business leaders, local citizens, and representatives of state and federal agencies and the message was clear: Newport is being revitalized and can serve as a model for other communities around the state and across the country. 

We now have so many great examples of people rising to the occasion and making a difference. In addition to our progress in Newport, I’m looking forward to our 2nd Annual Children of the Fallen Patriots Fundraiser taking place at the Labelle Winery on Wednesday October 17th in Amherst, N.H. U.S. Marine (and former WMUR anchor) Josh McElveen is the Master of Ceremonies, and we have a terrific presentation being planned. Proceeds will go directly to support the education of the children of our fallen heroes who lost their lives to protect our freedoms and preserve the wonderful life we all enjoy here in the greatest nation on earth. Click here for information on tickets (is there a link for this?) 

Thanks for taking this moment to share the excitement. The momentum is gaining strength and so much of it is due to so many of you! Thanks again for checking in and be sure to look in on us next week!

10/1/18

In this edition of the Sunshine Report, I’d like to discuss something that I believe is critically important to the foundation of this country – and importantly, also vital to our future. After a volatile week of national debate and choosing sides, I want to focus on patriotism. I’m not talking about the Boston Tea Party or Valley Forge, but rather ‘modern patriotism.’ In many ways, it’s a simpler version. I believe modern patriotism boils down three unifying principles that can unite us together – all as Americans. 

Believing 

A fundamental belief in our freedoms and the values we possess as a nation. 

Achieving 

It’s an understanding that while we might not all start from the same place, America provides individuals with an unparalleled opportunity to achieve. Nothing is given, but we all have the chance to unlock our own full potential. And, in so doing, we get to experience one of life’s greatest feelings of happiness – what I refer to as ‘Earned Success.’ 

Sharing 

It can mean many things. Certainly, we want to share material help with those truly in need – especially share with those unable to help themselves. But, even more – it also means sharing an optimistic view – and giving others the opportunity to strive, work hard, achieve and experience their own wonderful feeling of ‘earned success.’ It builds confidence, self-worth, and a sense of true independence. In fact, our greatest strength as a nation can only be built on increasingly becoming a nation of hard-working individuals who are believing and achieving – and then sharing with others this great opportunity to succeed.

 

This, I believe, is Modern Patriotism. I talk about it often in my book American Sunshine, but this weekend I witnessed it while out on the campaign trail with my son Gates. In his own effort to serve a greater good, Gates is running to represent Sunapee in the New Hampshire House. As we went door to door to talk to folks about his vision, I saw something amazing. Sure, we had to navigate a few dogs and skeptical homeowners. But when Gates engaged them with his energy, I saw people embrace what modern patriotism is all about. Consistently, the conversation turned toward ‘what is right about our country; how we are all in this together; and how we all need to believe, achieve and share. Going door to door with a young, inspired candidate and having scores of positive conversations was truly exciting. There is an infectious optimism in our country. Everyday Americans know that we have a bright and exciting future. 

So, in reflecting on a wonderful weekend of ‘father and son’ door knocking, I had two major takeaways. Grassroots politics is alive and well in New Hampshire, and despite what you see on the news every night, modern patriotism is too.

Every Monday or Tuesday I spend some quiet time reviewing the week past, the week ahead, and potential topics to discuss in The Sunshine Report. Here’s the thing. From Children of Fallen Patriots to The Newport Sunshine Initiative, we have so many awesome and exciting things going on it’s hard to avoid “waxing poetic” about the power of collective inspiration and human potential. Admittedly, it’s a great problem to have. But this week I’m going to break narrative and discuss an issue you probably wouldn’t expect. Back pain. Uggh….. But in a positive way. In ‘American Sunshine: Rays of Hope and Opportunity,’ I devote a chapter to back pain and its ability to diminish the basic quality of life. As a determined runner, I started to develop back pain several years ago. I was too stubborn to take a break, and as you might imagine, the pain worsened. After a lengthy and fruitless search for relief, I finally stumbled upon salvation. Laughter, the mind and Dr. John Sarno. 

Did you know that studies reveal that 75 percent of back pain cases are not related to a physical cause? The mind-body connection is real. Stress impacts blood flow, thus causing constriction and ultimately pain. For me, this revelation was the gateway to curing my back pain. Before you dismiss this as another “mind over matter” exercise, I highly recommend that you watch this YouTube video in which ABC’s 20/20 does a profile of Dr. John Sarno and some of his patients. The result of his treatment has effectively cured three quarters of his patients of back pain. If you have suffered from chronic pain, trust me, it’s worth watching. 

On other fronts, there is a lot going on! In my hometown of Newport, the Sunshine Initiative continues to reveal a brighter future for the town and its residents. In fact, keep your eye on the news next week, as we have a number of visitors who are keenly interested in what we’re doing! As always, thanks for checking in with us and stay tuned!

9/21/18

9/14/18

Well, you know fall is fast approaching in New Hampshire by the colorful array alongside our roads. No, I’m not talking about the foliage (just yet), but rather all those campaign signs that adorn our landscape ahead of every election. Some people view those signs as visual noise. I see those signs as a wonderful part of our democratic process, and I hold great respect and admiration for those who are willing to endure New Hampshire’s unofficial state sport of politics in an effort to serve. It is, after all, a contact sport. 

Of course, campaigns came to a disappointing end for many candidates this week. But those people also came away with something the victors don’t have. A second chance. Another chance. 

 

In American Sunshine, we discuss second chances and the value that lies in defeats (or should I say temporary defeats?) For instance, have a look at this dismal political record put forth by a 19th century American from Illinois:

 

 1832 - Ran for State Legislature and lost.

 1843 - Ran for Congress but lost in the primary election.

 1858- Ran for US Senate. Result? Lost again.

 

Now, I know many people might have called it quits following one of those defeats. Well, instead,

if he had quit, I can’t help but wonder what this country would look like today or who would grace

the five dollar bill. 

Abraham Lincoln personified perseverance, and you can find similar examples throughout the business world too. Would (most) of you be reading this on an iPad or iPhone if Steve Jobs didn’t return to Apple after being dumped by the company in the 80’s? 

 

America is the land of second chances. As long as you play by the rules, defeat is usually followed closely by opportunity. Sure, losing stinks. But remember, people love a comeback. It’s usually a better story.

 

Thanks for checking in on this week’s Sunshine Report – and thanks for the American Spirit that embraces second chances! 

8/22/18

Hello friends!

I hope you are enjoying what continues to be an amazing summer in New Hampshire!

You know, as you read this email on your PC/tablet/phone, I can’t help but think about how an entire generation of young adults have grown up in a world where 99% of the information or news they receive is delivered through a “smart” device. I also believe the generation we call “Millennials,” is getting a bit of a bad rap through no fault of their own. Millennials are often criticized as “too attached” to their smartphones and by extension, accused of being too self-absorbed. I’m aware every generation looks upon the next with a certain degree of doubt. Heck, baby boomers were often painted as hippie anarchists by their parents, while boomers frequently cast Generation X as a lazy lot that only cared about watching MTV. In American Sunshine: Rays of Hope and Opportunity, I discuss a much different forecast for millennials as I’m convinced this generation is poised to reinvent everything. The way we work. The way we play. Even the way we travel. In this video, I explain why Millennials just might go down as the most innovative generation in the history of our amazing country.

 

We see the power of youth every day. We see it in Newport as the Sunshine initiative continues to propel my hometown toward an exciting new future. We see it when NH Governor Chris Sununu (the youngest governor in the country) comes to Newport as he did last week to be a part of something that could easily expand to a state level initiative.

Sure, Governor Sununu might technically be a Gen X’er, but my point is that the energy of our collective youth is truly inspiring. There are so many reasons to be optimistic, and it’s hard to avoid getting excited.

At any rate, thanks for taking the time to check in on the latest edition of the Sunshine Report, and stay tuned! A lot is happening, and I’m thrilled to update you on our progress. For more information and to order American Sunshine: Rays of Hope and Opportunity, click here.

 

Hello friends!

I hope you are enjoying what continues to be an amazing summer in New Hampshire!

You know, as you read this email on your PC/tablet/phone, I can’t help but think about how an entire generation of young adults have grown up in a world where 99% of the information or news they receive is delivered through a “smart” device. I also believe the generation we call “Millennials,” is getting a bit of a bad rap through no fault of their own. Millennials are often criticized as “too attached” to their smartphones and by extension, accused of being too self-absorbed. I’m aware every generation looks upon the next with a certain degree of doubt. Heck, baby boomers were often painted as hippie anarchists by their parents, while boomers frequently cast Generation X as a lazy lot that only cared about watching MTV. In American Sunshine: Rays of Hope and Opportunity, I discuss a much different forecast for millennials as I’m convinced this generation is poised to reinvent everything. The way we work. The way we play. Even the way we travel. In this video, I explain why Millennials just might go down as the most innovative generation in the history of our amazing country.

 

We see the power of youth every day. We see it in Newport as the Sunshine initiative continues to propel my hometown toward an exciting new future. We see it when NH Governor Chris Sununu (the youngest governor in the country) comes to Newport as he did last week to be a part of something that could easily expand to a state level initiative.

Sure, Governor Sununu might technically be a Gen X’er, but my point is that the energy of our collective youth is truly inspiring. There are so many reasons to be optimistic, and it’s hard to avoid getting excited.

At any rate, thanks for taking the time to check in on the latest edition of the Sunshine Report, and stay tuned! A lot is happening, and I’m thrilled to update you on our progress. For more information and to order American Sunshine: Rays of Hope and Opportunity, click here.

 

8/15/18

Hello Friends,

Let me begin by saying thank you! I am so inspired by the support and the enthusiasm surrounding American Sunshine and the Newport Sunshine Initiative that I find myself with a constant smile. Have you ever noticed how a simple smile can change your mood, and as a result, your day for the better?

 

One of the things people tell me they love about American Sunshine is the illustrations, or cartoons, inside of it. The illustrations definitely liven up the book, but artist Sam Keiser also did a fantastic job of capturing the core message of each chapter, while injecting some subtle humor. Ever visualize the proverbial frog in the boiling water? Don’t worry, Sam didn’t use a live model (I hope).

 As I mentioned, I am thrilled by the momentum we are generating in Newport with the Sunshine Initiative. Governor Sununu stopped by on Tuesday to find out more about the buzz, and the media continues to show interest in telling our great story.  Click here to learn more.

ICYMI: I had a great discussion about community during my interview with Cail and Company on Monday.  Click here to hear it!

If you’re in New Hampshire you can catch the interview on the radio Sunday, 8/26:

98.1 WTSN 5:00 a.m.

99.1 NNH 6:00 a.m.

107.7 WTPL 6:30 a.m.