You may or may not know that we have a pretty high opinion of Ms. Dolly Parton around here. We’re equally inspired by her musical talents and business smarts. And, we’re always on the lookout for new insights and inspirations to make us better. So, we turned to you, our Core readers and asked:
Do you have a famous person that you look up to for their tenacity, their talents, their do-goodness or their smarts (or heck, even their chiseled abs and great hair)?
From fellow produce peeps and leaders in the food industry to musicians and sports heroes, here’s what you had to say!
That was easy – NEIL DIAMOND! All you had to hear was “Sweet Caroline” and you were hooked. Five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five years. . .no matter when he first produced and played any song. . .it is still fresh today. . .and for all age groups. To this day. . .when he comes to Los Angeles,. His concerts are sold out and the audience is across the board in age. . .and best of all, you never hear anything negative about him. I am a devoted NEIL DIAMOND FAN!
Frieda Rapoport Caplan
Frieda’s Inc., The Specialty Produce Company
This may sound cheesy . . but Tim Tebow. I have been following him since his freshman year at University of Florida (of course! An avid Gator fan, now an avid Denver Broncos fan!). Literally, his last game as a senior, I cried like a baby when it was over. I am his friend on Facebook and stalk his pictures ( I know, crazy). Even his dog, Bronco, a big yellow lab, is a cutie!
Have always admired his tenacity and hard work on and off the football field.
Tim’s favorite quote – “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” – -love it!!
Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Inc.
One of the people I respect most in the food business, and how widespread he was able to make him and his business in a time before, email, phones, airplanes, etc. was Sir Thomas Lipton. His biography “A Full Cup” is a good read and talks about someone who built the retail business as we know it today. His love for sailing helps too.
The other is Calvin Coolidge. I have this quote by him, which was one of the cornerstone quotes of my fraternity Phi Gamma Delta, on my wall at home and in my office and I whole-heartedly agree with it: “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
John J. Toner V
United Fresh Produce Association
At the risk of sounding like a cliché, my daily inspiration comes from…Oprah. Yes, I listen to a variety of “O” radio programming everyday on my commute to and from work. Almost every day I learn something new, gain a new perspective and most of the time have a-ha moments that give me the insight and courage to further shape my life and my relationships. I love it!
Thomas Jefferson inspires me with his curious ambition for agriculture. Besides building Monticello at age 26, writing the Declaration of Independence, and serving two terms as president during which he expanded the country with the Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark Expedition, Jefferson was a liberated, inventive agriculturalist introducing new plants to the US and improving farm machinery. Little known fact – Jefferson developed iron and mould board plows that helped prevent erosion and allowed for better cultivation than the standard wooden plow. Jefferson inspires me to feed my curiosities, practice independence, and to get my hands in the dirt and grow something.
As soon as I read this Tony Dungy came to mind. We all have a platform to do good and impact those around us. Tony uses his platform to help build people up. His books, Uncommon and Mentor Leader are must reads. His work in All Pro Dad is motivating. Everything I see, hear, or read from him inspires me to be a better man.
Wow this was a hard one since I don’t really follow any celebrity in any great detail, but upon thinking back to someone who was continually in the public’s eye and presented themselves in a manner worthy of our attention, I would have to say Jacqueline Kennedy. She won droves of admirers with honorable characteristics quite uncommon to the masses we generally choose to elevate above “regular” society. Intelligence, beauty and grace…I think that sums her up well.
I’m not really into celebrities. Almost exclusively, my “inspirations” are produce people. Although some of them may have great “abs” or hair, it’s their perseverance, ingenuity and ability to implement plans and programs in a tough environment that earns my respect.
John Vena, Inc.
Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market
I wish that I had someone really profound with some great wisdom……pure vanity is all that I have.
Big Boating Vacation in the BVI’s is 93 days away (who’s counting) and I am currently obsessed with/inspired by Carrie Underwood’s legs! I realize I may have a few years on her, but a girl can dream. Maybe a deep tan and rocking shoes will do the trick! Unfortunately, I think it is more squats at 5:30am….ugh! Damn her!!!
I am inspired daily by the lyrics of rappers like Jay-Z, Kanye West and Common. Seriously – their mastery of language blows my mind. They string together words in ways that I can only dream and I always aspire to reach the levels of cleverness, intensity and “punch” they achieve in their verses. Plus, I’m a sucker for alliteration and rhyme. So dorky, I know.
In 1972, Lanny Bassham cracked under pressure and received the Silver Medal during the rifle shooting competition at the Olympic Games. After a lifetime of preparation and being constantly told he “can’t” or “never will” he wasn’t about to let that failure bring him down. Instead he worked hard to turn his deficiencies into strengths and focus on defeating pressure. In just 6 years he won 22 world titles, set 4 world records and in 1976 became an Olympic Gold Medalist. He may not be a “celebrity,” but his story and his work now as one of the top Mental Coaches in the world truly inspires me.
Posted by: The DMA Solutions Team