My Story

Motivated by Grace

Mine is a love story. I love life! In the simplest of terms, that is my philosophy. And I love the people in my life. I am blessed. I am a man of deep faith and guiding principles.

We all have a story.

My own story grew out of a foster home in Solon, Ohio. Since those early childhood days, life has taught me well, personally and vocationally. Life introduced me to good people, but not without hardship. There were bad people and difficult times too.  Nonetheless, life has been instructive, enlightening and enriching.

I can tell you this: Good prevailed over evil. I survived more than once. I am a victor, not a victim.

I’m fond of saying God prepared me well for my respective roles. As childhood gave way to adulthood, those roles ranged from being a banker by trade, public servant by necessity and entrepreneur by desire. Little did I know it would eventually lead me to life and career coaching and authorship of two books with divergent perspectives on the world of work. My journey has included several highlights, such as serving my community as a banker and member of Noon Day Optimist International (where I cherish an award for Optimist of the Year), Johnny Appleseed Little League Coach, Lay Speaker/Ministry with two mainstream church denominations, Public Relations Chairman/Volunteer for Madison Public Schools and founding two small career development businesses (The J. J. Klein Company and Kleinmark, llc.). Frankly, I’m not one to crave a litany of “how great thou art” plaques for my ego wall. I believe whatever role we find ourselves, touching another life is both purposeful and a privilege. When asked how good I was as a father, manager, lay speaker or coach, I say, “Ask my family, clients, parishioners and neighbors.”  

Now retired and a widower, the titles that take prominence are still husband (my wife remains in my heart), father and father-figure to many – a sacred honor. I am fiercely loyal to friendship, believing as Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “To have a friend is to be a friend.” As a result, my personal ministry of helping others help themselves continues through my books, daily living and speaking engagements. Others – some quite notable, but I’d rather not drop names – have described me as THE ENCOURAGER. I’ll take it. For that will be my legacy.