Two speaking engagements

Over the last few days, I had two opportunities to speak to different groups of Georgetown students and had fun doing both. On November 2, I spoke on a panel of five alumni, to students with disabilities about the transition into the working world, advice on how to discover career opportunities and the importance of being a strong advocate for the reasonable accommodations that they require to maximize their success. The event was organized by the Georgetown Academic Resource Center and was hosted in the Healey Family Student Center.

Earlier today, I joined Professor Joan Riley's Health Promotion and Disease Prevention class within Georgetown's School of Nursing and Health Studies for a conversation with students. For over an hour, I shared my story with approximately 60 students and engaged in very interactive dialogue that I hope was both informative and inspiring. While we tried to focus on health promotion, there was no topic that was off-limits and I can honestly say that I was asked questions I had never been asked before. I had so much fun doing this and appreciated the students' interest, respect and maturity. 

Once again, I loved the opportunity to engage with and help Georgetown students.

Delbarton 10 Year Reunion and Hall of Honor Induction

It was a blast celebrating my 10 year reunion from Delbarton with almost 40 of my classmates. I loved seeing so many guys (brothers) back for this occasion and having the chance to catch up with everyone. The Homecoming festivities included the alumni soccer game, the varsity football game vs. Randolph that we won, food, cocktails and opportunity to see former teachers and coaches. Our class had a bit of a heavy heart on this day as one of our classmates unexpectedly passed away August and we started our day holding a remembrance ceremony in his memory. A few classmates, the school's Headmaster and previous Abbot of the Monastery all provided beautiful remarks and shared funny stories about Paul. Since our freshman year, our class has been through a lot of adversity and so I was not surprised in the least that we all rallied together this weekend to remember one of our own. In fact, it just made me so proud and further realize how special Delbarton is.

Immediately after Homecoming, I found myself very reflective about the significance of that day, my classmates and how much Delbarton means to me. It was so great to be back on campus, a place that I truly loved to be at, especially on Delbarton's 75th anniversary. For a class that had only 100 graduates, we are a very accomplished group and there was obvious growth and maturity since graduation. On this day, I saw our class was made up of doctors, Wall Street bankers, teachers and coaches at Delbarton, entrepreneurs, Navy SEALs, members of the Marine Corps, Federal government employees, NCAA athletic coaches, philanthropists, authors and most importantly, husbands and fathers. While each of us is our own individual piece of this class, collectively we are special. Every one of us is busy in our own lives and probably only see a handful of our classmates on a regular basis, it didn't feel weird or uncomfortable to see someone that you haven't seen for a number of years and give them a big hug.

The highlight of the weekend was undoubtedly my induction into the Delbarton Alumni Hall of Honor on Friday night. This honor is bestowed upon alumni who have distinguished themselves through service to the school or who have brought credit to Delbarton through distinguished achievements in their respective fields. To say that I was extremely honored, excited and emotional about my induction into the Hall would be a huge understatement. For someone who loves Delbarton as much as I do, it is impossible for me to truly characterize all of my feelings that night. I am so appreciative to the Alumni Association for making me the youngest person inducted into the Hall and for my classmates that attended induction ceremony that night to support me. In my acceptance speech, I focused on how much my classmates and I loved Delbarton and said, "if my life had its own Hall of Fame that Delbarton would be in it."

GO GREEN WAVE!!

Healey Family Student Center Dedication

Last night, I had the honor and privilege of attending the Blessing Ceremony and Dedication Dinner for the Georgetown University Healey Family Student Center (HFSC), the 44,000 square-foot student center that opened in September. For almost 5 years, including my time as a student and young alumnus, I have been involved in the conceptual, design and fundraising phases of this project and attending last night's festivities made me so proud and was truly a surreal feeling. I remember the first conversations I ever had about this building with administrators and other student leaders and it was great to be with many of those individuals, as well as Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia and members of the University's Board of Directors. In 2010, I spearheaded the effort in front of the Student Activities Fee Endowment Commission to have over $2.1 million of student money to be the first gift towards this building and this commitment from the students was then leveraged by the University to fundraise over $20 million.

I always believed that this building would be a "game changer" for the student life experience at Georgetown and after seeing students utilize the building and feeling the energy, I know this is the case. The HFSC was described as the students' new "living room" and I'm so excited that this a reality for them to enjoy it. My involvement with the creation of the HFSC is one of my proudest accomplishments as a member of the Georgetown community!

2014 DC Women of Style Event

Britt McHenry

The 2014 DC Women of Style event at STK Restaurant hosted by DC Modern Luxury magazine was a chance to meet some new people and support the good work of others. Michael McCarthy and Peter Abrams continue to do excellent work at DC Modern Luxury magazine, Sanjay Dasani keeps growing The Tailored Man and Alison Beshai’s personal styling business becomes more successful with each passing day. Alison styled all of the women photographed for this DC Women of Style issue, which included ESPN reporter Britt McHenry, who was one of the nicest people to speak with (and very easy on the eyes :) )

Read DC Modern Luxury at www.modernluxury.com/dc

See the great work of The Tailored Man at www.tailoredman.com

Learn about Alison Beshai styling at www.alisonbeshai.com

Georgetown Women's Lacrosse Banquet

I had the privilege of attending the annual banquet for the Georgetown University women's lacrosse team to honor the most recent graduating class hosted at the Key Bridge Marriott Hotel. It was a night filled with laughter and tears as the current senior class roasted the most recent graduates with a poem they wrote, the recent graduates each delivering prepared remarks about their experiences at Georgetown, the coaches recounting the season and presenting team awards and the night being capped off with the season's highlight video. Congrats to Courtney, MJ, Meghan, Jody, Kelyn, Reilly, Barb, Hannah, and Maggie and it was a blast having you back in DC for the weekend!

When I started as a freshman at Georgetown, I never envisioned myself as someone who would become a big fan of the women's lacrosse program, but I am very happy to be one of the program's biggest supporters now. In 2010, some of my friends, who were the Captains of the team, asked me to share my story with the team and give a motivational talk in hopes of providing a much needed "spark" to turn around the season after starting 1-5. Since that day, I have continued to share my story and other thoughts with the team on a regular basis. Sometimes we all need a change in perspective and/or to hear a message delivered in a different way for it to be absorbed. I really enjoy my time supporting this team and the girls that are on it. I have learned that as good as they are players on the field, they are that much better people off it. It is amazing to think that some of my best friends have played for and are currently playing on the women's lacrosse team and if I was never asked to share my story in 2010, I may never had met any of these girls.

Prior to that evening's banquet, I participated in the Fall meeting of the Hoyas Unlimited Alumni Board of Directors on Georgetown University's campus. I am in the midst of my second year as an elected member of Hoyas Unlimited and enjoy the time I spend with other alumni to discuss the ways we can best support the Athletic Department, increase annual giving to Athletics and serve as ambassadors for all of Georgetown’s athletic teams.

NextStep Fitness DC

On September 18, I co-chaired and attended the 6th NextStep Help Make a Difference Benefit  to support fundraising efforts to open a NextStep facility in Washington, DC. As someone who could benefit from the opening of this facility, I was so appreciative and excited to see over 150 people at this event and make this the most successful DC Benefit- raising over $65,000.

NextStep Fitness, Inc. was founded by fellow Georgetown alumnus, Janne Kouri, and opened its first facility in Los Angeles in 2007 with the mission of providing "lifelong health and recovery for people living with paralysis and mobility impairments" through progressive, forward leaning equipment and therapies at a low cost to patients. I am lucky and proud to call Janne a good friend and clearly remember the day in 2006 when he was paralyzed during a diving accident almost identical to mine. I was called by two friends who didn’t know each other to tell me about their friend Janne’s accident and asked if there was anything I could do. I was immediately put in touch with Janne’s then girlfriend (now wife) to offer advice, insight and a positive voice. Once Janne was able to speak to me, we had our first conversation and have been good friends and champions ever since!

To learn more about NextStep Fitness, please visit www.nextstepfitness.org .

John R. Thompson Intercollegiate Athletics Center Groundbreaking

It was a monumental day for Georgetown Athletics as ground was broken on the new John R. Thompson Intercollegiate Athletics Center and I was so happy to be invited to join the festivities.  On a bright beautiful Friday morning on the Hilltop, more than 500 people - including former players such as Patrick Ewing, Dikembe Mutombo, Alonzo Mourning and Allen Iverson, Jeff Green, Roy Hibbert, Otto Porter Jr. and Henry Sims

When completed in August 2016, the $62 million, 144,000-square-foot project will be completely supported through philanthropy and includes practice courts, team meeting rooms, men's and women's basketball coaches' offices, and weight-training and sports medicine rooms for all varsity athletes. The Thompson Center will also establish a Student-Athlete Academic and Leadership Center, an auditorium, team meeting facilities for varsity programs and become the new home for the Georgetown Athletics Hall of Fame.

As a big supporter of Georgetown’s athletics and a member of the Hoyas Unlimited alumni athletic Board, I know how much this facility will be a “game-changer” for the success of our athletic programs and the happiness of our student-athletes. 

Taylor Price Spirit Award

Following the Junior Sports end of the summer Talent Show at the Westhampton Country Club in Westhampton Beach, NY, I presented the Taylor Price Spirit Award to Brendan Kenny. This award is one of three prominent awards given to campers every summer, but this particular award is "given out to the best camper, boy or girl, who embodies all the qualities we have all come to know and love Taylor for- enthusiasm, generosity of heart, kindness, compassion and of course, great spirit!"

I will never forget the day that I was told the Taylor Price Spirit Award was being created and have loved the opportunity to present the award in person for each of the last 10 years. I started as a camper at Junior Sports at age 4 and then became a counselor when I was 14, which means that I have been to 25 summers worth of Talent Shows and Field Days.

A Great Day at Yankee Stadium

Let’s Go Yankees! On August 19, my dad and I took our friends, Mike and Mikey D'Arcangelo, to Yankee Stadium for an amazing experience. After watching batting practice on the field, a trip to the Yankees’ dugout, and dinner in the Legends Club, we sat in the front row to watch the Yankees play the Houston Astros. It was an unforgettable experience to meet Derek Jeter during his final season as Yankees’ Captain and was a blast sitting next to Matt Kuchar of the PGA tour and former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. A HUGE thank you to my great friend, Mindy Levine, and the entire Yankees organization for making this possible!

Dinner with Davis Love III

I had a great evening catching up and enjoying some BBQ at Old Glory in Georgetown with PGA golfer and former Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III. As many know, Davis has become a great friend to me since my accident and has kept me connected to the game of golf, something I greatly miss playing. Davis and I had a blast recounting all of the great things that they have done together since first meeting in October 2004. Keep hitting them straight Davis!

#TP10Year: A Night of Celebration, Motivation And Friendship

Talk about an amazing night! Over 215 friends and family members helped me celebrate the upcoming 10 year anniversary of my diving accident at the Prince George's Ballroom in New York City. The room was filled with excitement, love, tears of joy, laughs and lots of dancing as guests enjoyed live music from one of New York's best cover bands, BoogaSugar, and cocktails donated by Stoli Vodka and Budweiser.

Thank you to everyone who traveled from across the country to participate in this very special evening and a special thank you to Peter Wilderotter, President and CEO of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, and my uncle, Sandy Goodman, who both provided remarks before my speech that night. This party was everything I hoped it would be and I am confident that everyone had as much fun as I did.

CDRF Champions Committee Launches in Washington, DC

The Observatory at the Graham Hotel in Georgetown was filled with excitement, hope and positive energy as the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation (CDRF) officially launched its Washington, DC Champions Committee. I was thrilled to serve on the host committee and be one of the main organizers of the evening. Over 100 people attended the event and many expressed their desire to be a Champion of CDRF’s mission of finding a cure for spinal cord injury, while focusing on improving the quality of life for those living with paralysis today. For more information about the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, please visit www.christopherreeve.org 

DC Men of Style Event

I was honored to be invited to the 2014 DC Men of Style event at the Carnegie Library hosted by DC Modern Luxury magazine. It was a blast spending time with good friends Rob Barcellona and Erin Hickey and enjoying great food from Occasions Caterers, freshly shucked oysters and a Bourbon and Rye bar that The Tailored Man, one of DC's finest custom suit makers, sponsored. Congrats to good friend Sanjay Daswani of The Tailored Man for his continued success and growth.

An Evening with Team USA

I was lucky enough to attend the first An Evening with Team USA awards show honoring members of Team USA who participated in the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. A number of current and past Olympians and Paralympians were in attendance and awards presented included Best Female Athlete, Best Male Athlete, Best Team and Best Olympic Duo. The event was held at The Warner Building and was hosted by Willie Geist from NBC's The Today Show. As a huge sports fan and someone who loves competitions where athletes are representing their home countries, it was special event to be a part of! GO USA!!!!

Georgetown University Conference on Employment of People with Disabilities

Along with two other Georgetown alumni, friends and mentors, John D. Kemp (’71) and Mike Marshall (’95, ’05), I co-hosted the 3rd Georgetown University Conference on Employment of People with Disabilities on November 22 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC. This conference examined the challenges and opportunities in the area of employment of people with disabilities and allow Georgetown University the opportunity to recognize individuals who have contributed to greater freedom and independence for people with disabilities over the past two decades.

John, Mike and I were thrilled to present the Georgetown University Human Spirit Award to Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Randy Lewis, former Senior Vice President of Walgreens. The group was delighted to have Fox News Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry serve as the Master of Ceremonies and guide the conference along to the three expert panels that focused on Information and Communication Technology, Disability Employment Policy and Law and Wounded Warriors and Work.

Thank you to Georgetown University, our award recipients, sponsors, expert panelists and everyone that attended for making this conference as successful as it was! 

Fight Night DC 2013

Let's Get Ready to Rumble! On November 14, I joined friends Alan, Jason and Jarred Zuccari at Fight Night DC 2013, a prominent DC event that raised over $4 million to benefit Fight For Children, which provides education and healthcare services to children in need. The night featured live boxing matches and was filled with a John Legend performance, cigars and tuxedos! Those closest to me know that I always enjoy putting on my tux, but have that much more fun when it’s for a function with friends! 

Emily Bock runs NYC Marathon

Talk about an amazing friend! Almost two years ago, one of my best friends, Emily Bock, decided that she wanted to run in the NYC Marathon as a member of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation's (CDRF) Team Reeve in honor of me and to raise awareness for individuals trying to regain mobility. On November 3, Emily accomplished her goal! Even though the 2012 NYC marathon was canceled due to Hurricane Sandy, Emily decided that she wanted to continue training and fundraising for the 2013 Marathon. After being one of CDRF’s top fundraisers for the 2012 race, Emily raised over $4,000 prior to the 2013 race.

Thank you Emily for your friendship, dedication, inspiration, and fundraising efforts! I loved cheering Emily on, alongside friends and Emily's mom and sister, but there was not a more special moment that day than the first time I hugged Emily following her crossing the finish line! 

DC Modern Luxury Magazine’s The Power of Philanthropy

I was honored and humbled to be featured in DC Modern Luxury Magazine’s November issue in a piece entitled The Power of Philanthropy, a “spotlight on the next generation of philanthropists who are establishing themselves and their causes as remarkable examples of passion and persistence.” You can read the full write-up in the Press section of this site!