It is the 4th of July. I am in my office preparing for two weeks of business travel as I have a number of executive coaching assignments I am working on and I have a couple of keynote speeches to deliver as well. My incredible wife of 34 years, Gayle, went off to work early this morning—she is a registered nurse. My oldest son, Jared 29, lives close to us so I think we will take-in the fireworks with him later. My second, son, Nick 27, lives in Memphis. My daughter, Kristina, 23, is finishing her education degree at Florida Atlantic University, and my youngest son, Matt, 19 is a sophomore baseball player at Palm Beach State College. My wife and I are blessed to have such incredible children. We are so proud of each and everyone one of them.
This is the day we celebrate our freedom and independence as a nation. We must never forget the people (our parents, grandparents, great grandparents, great great grandparents and on and on), whosacrificed for the freedom we enjoy today. We live in an age of truly abundant resources—education, technology, people, etc., that we too often take for granted.
My great grandfather, Carlo Mattone, and great grandmother Caterina Depirino Mattone left family and friends in Salerno, Italy in 1865 and arrived in New York City in 1866. They could not speak English. They didn’t know anyone. But, they had a dream to come to the land of opportunity and provide a better life for their children and themselves. They sacrificed. They unfortunately tragically died in the early 1900’s, but not before giving birth to my grandfather, Dominic Mattone. My grandfather was placed in an orphanage in Brooklyn at age 2 and lived there until he was 17 years old. My grandfather went to school and worked every day at the orphanage. He had no parents, but he went to school and worked. He later married my grandmother, Madeline Regine Mattone, and together they had five children. They sacrificed. My Father, Dominic F. Mattone, was the 3rd born. He was a great man and my Mother, Jane, was a great Mom. They sacrificed for me. I am the person I am today because of the incredible people who came before me. Their sacrifice, hard work, character, drive and vision are “alive” in me today. I know these were the gifts they left me. I honor and cherish these gifts every day.
I am honored and priveleged to enjoy the independence and freedom to do the work that I do and love. I am honored and priveleged to be surrounded by an incredible team of advisors and business partners whom I consider my “Board of Directors: Jan Jones, who manages my speaking business; Rob Nissen, who manages my publicity; Katrina McKay, who manages my social media strategy; and Tony Colao, who is my literary agent. On this day, the 4th of July, 2012, I want to thank my family, clients, executive MBA students at FAU, and my “Board of Directors”, for all the support and sacrifices you make to enrich my life and my business. I am the person and professional I am because of you. Happy 4th of July!