DERRICK Interview with Silicon Valley Technology Transfer Director Donna Maurillo

March 28, 2013

DonnaMaurilloEncouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.

Today’s DERRICK Interview is with Donna Maurillo who is director of technology transfer for the Mineta Transportation Institute in San Jose, Calif. For 20 years, she had a PR agency before being lured into Silicon Valley’s technology industry. She earned her Master of Science degree just a month before qualifying for full Social Security. She has two children, three grandchildren, and no plans to retire.

D is for Dream. What is your Dream?

I don’t really have dreams. I have a few long-term goals, such as saving for my retirement or traveling to Italy again. But when it comes to dreams, I find that if I slow down enough, some really good things catch up with me. Too often, people run after what they think will be good for them, and they don’t pay attention to what is already being sent their way.

E is for Encourage. What encourages you?

It doesn’t take much! I’m one of these people who can run all day on a few kind words. But when I fail at something, or when something bad happens, I allow myself time to feel sorry for myself, to feel that it isn’t fair, or even to get angry. I’ve known people who believe that those so-called negative emotions are bad for you. No, they’re not! Your emotions are simply your unedited reactions to events. If we deny them, they come back as obstacles — or ulcers. So I guess another source of encouragement for me is to allow myself to wallow for a bit. Once I can acknowledge those very real emotions, I can set them aside and get back to work.

R is for Resource. What resources do you bring to the table that makes you unique or stand out?

My friends would say it’s my ability to find humor in almost any situation. Sometimes it’s gallows humor, but that also has its place. Laughter releases some good chemicals into your brain, it reduces tension, it can make adversaries lower their defenses, and it can help a group feel some kinship. Just the simple act of smiling — lifting those muscles at the corners of your mouth — can release “happy” endorphins. Isn’t that amazing?? Even a forced smile can make you feel better.

R is for Ready. When did you realize you were ready for what you are doing now?

Ready? I don’t think I’ve ever been ready. Often, I’m one of those “ready, fire, aim” kinds of people. You can over-think some situations, and then you never feel ready enough. Most times, all you really need are some quick strategies, some reassurance that you’re reasonably prepared, and a willingness to charge into it. I used to have a sign in my office that said, “Leap off the cliff. Grow wings on the way down.” It reminded me that when we’re pushed, we can come up with some great solutions. I also had a boss who liked to say, “Never leap a chasm in two steps.” In other words, if you’re going to do it, then give it all you’ve got.

I is for Individual. Name at least one person that you know that you feel others should learn about and why?

The first person who pops to mind is my mother. She had some tough times raising eight kids, and she has every right to be beaten down. But she is one of the happiest and most positive people I know. Once I asked her how she ever stood up to the challenges, especially when we were teenagers. She said, “I remember only the good stuff.” My Mom’s parents are also memorable. They gave up everything they had in Italy to come to an unknown country and make a new start. Imagine leaving behind all your friends, many of your relatives, and all that was familiar to you — and never going back. I’m so grateful that they took that leap of faith because it gave the next generations so many opportunities that we would not have had otherwise.

C is for Continue. When you fail, things look bleak or are not optimistic, what makes you want to continue?

Age is a great thing because the older you become, the more perspective you gain. At least, that’s how it should be. But for too many of us, perspective is a gift we never unwrap. I try to keep in mind that the things I worry about today will likely be forgotten next month. And when you realize how big the universe is, and how long it’s been around, our problems are simply dust motes. A good dose of dark chocolate also lifts my mood.

K is for Key. What keys to success can you leave for upcoming entrepreneurs and leaders?

Be true to who you are. As Thomas Jefferson said, you have to keep your roots planted in your principles, but when it comes to issues of fashion, then flow with the tide. Flexibility is important, but not at the cost of what you believe to be right and true. Or as my mother always says, “Keep an open mind, but don’t let your brains fall out.”

Visit Donna Maurillo for more information


DERRICK Interview with Starter who handles Marketing for Emmanuel and Phillip Hudson

December 19, 2012

HudsonBrothersEncouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.

Today’s DERRICK Interview is with Starter who handles PR & Marketing for Emmanuel and Phillip Hudson. Emmanuel and Phillip Hudson were born in Mississippi in 1990 and 1992 the youngest of 8 boys to an awesome pair of God fearing parents, Roger and Brenda Hudson.  The family moved to Jonesboro, Ga in 1998 where the brothers quickly made a name for themselves as the funniest guys in their schools, dancing, joking, and rapping to bring each of their classrooms to uncontrollable amounts of laughter every day.  What they didn’t know was that during these years God was carefully helping them sharpen their skills as talented entertainers for something greater.

When they decided to make a video called ‘Rachet Girl Anthem’ on January 16th of 2012 they were unprepared for how much God was about to bless them when the video went viral from a few thousand views to more than 20 million views overnight.  Today Emmanuel and Phillip Hudson are touring internationally where their insatiable drive for making others laugh combined with their unique passion for their fans has made them a worldwide hip hop phenomenon.

D is for Dream. What is your dream?

My dream is to take over the entertainment industry through honest and positive avenues.

E is for Encouragement. What encourages you?

My family encourages me to go hard, and make sure I do what I need to do to change the world.

R is for Resource. What resource do you bring to the table that makes you stand out or unique?

Our resource is clean comedy that can be viewed and accepted by all age groups and types of people. What we do many can relate, but we do it positively.

R is for Ready. When did you know you were ready for what you are doing now?

When we started we had no idea it would take off like this so I wouldn’t say we were ready, we just hopped in, and we’re growing and learning everyday, full of new possibilities.

I is for Individual. Can you name at least one individual that we should learn more about and why?

An individual we think people should learn about is Jesus. Through God all things are possible and he can teach you how to go get it in anyway you choose….well positive ones any way.

C is for Continue. What makes you want to continue when things look bleak or are not optimistic?

We continue to press for greatness, to leave our mark. How we changed the game, our way, the right way.

K is for Keys. What keys to success can you leave for other entrepreneurs and experts?

Keys to success is to be yourself, and remain original. And don’t let nobody tell you what you can’t do. Remain positive.

Visit Archive Entertainment for more information.


DERRICK Interview with Comedian Rodney Perry

October 12, 2012

The #1 Encouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.

Today’s DERRICK Interview is with Comedian Rodney Perry who was born in Chicago and raised in Monroe Louisiana. Rodney served his country for eight years as a member of the United States Navy. Serving two tours of duty took Rodney to New Orleans and to the Bay Area, which prepared him for the entertainment industry and for life. He would perform his duties as Yeoman Second Class by day and perform his sidesplitting comedy shows by night. Perry came to a crossroad in 1998, when he had to choose between continuing his Navy career or making Stand-Up Comedy a career. He chose the latter.

A few weeks ago I did a DERRICK Interview with Comedian Lav Luv and he mentioned that Rodney Perry was the person that others should learn more about. After Lav Luv gave me the opportunity I reached out to RP and now you are about to read my DERRICK Interview with Comedian Rodney Perry.

D is for Dream. What is your dream and what have you achieved?

My dream was and is to be one of the world’s best comedians.  My brand is building, I have a national audience and Rodney Perry time is close at hand.

E is for Encourage. What encourages you?

I am encouraged by my family.  They give me my drive.  They are my engine.  Without my family I am not sure if I would be as focused.

R is for Resource. What resources do you bring to the table that makes you unique or stand out?

The core of what I do is to make people laugh, but my greater purpose is to lighten the collective burden.  When someone goes to see me I want them to walk away with a sense of fulfillment.

R is for Ready. When did you realize you were ready for what you are doing now?

I had a teacher that would let me tell jokes at the end of class if I would shut up during the course of the day… That was in second grade.  I was born ready to do what I am doing now, and I just got ready to do what’s coming up next.  You must always prepare for your next big thing.

I is for Individual. Name at least one person that you know that you feel others should learn about and why?

Dr. Farrah Gray is the first person who comes to mind.  I often site him when talking to my children.  He made is first Million Dollars as a teen.  Shoot for the stars!!

C is for Continue. When you fail, things look bleak or are not optimistic what makes you want to continue?

Winners win even when they lose.  I live in a perpetual state of WIN, so even when things aren’t going in my favor I am learning about that situation and myself.

K is for Key. What keys to success can you leave for upcoming entrepreneurs and leaders?

Work Hard… There are no days off when you are the boss, Unless you say so.

Is there anything that we did not touch on that you would like to inspire others with? 

I will leave you all with this… Find something you Love and do it to the best of your ability.  You will be happy, you will make money, and you will never regret your decision.

Check out Rodney Perry’s new show “Off The Chain” premiering on Bounce TV October 22nd, 2012 at 9:oo PM EST.


Words Of Encouragement For Loss Through Laughter

March 22, 2012

by Allen Klein, MA, CSP

My daughter was ten-years-old when my wife died. The three years that we knew my wife had a terminal illness was a terrible strain on both of us. I realized after my wife’s death that my daughter and I needed a reprieve from what we had been through. We needed an adventure. So I booked a trip to Alaska on the Inside Passage ferry system. And what an adventure it was. We went whitewater rafting, took seaplane rides, and spent the night next to a calving glacier.

Taking the trip was an instinctual decision but, looking back, a very wise one. It not only helped take our minds off of our loss but it also helped us bond. That bonding allowed us to talk openly about Ellen’s death. It made it easier to not hide our feelings or avoid conversations about our loss. It also allowed us to both laugh and cry together.

We would often talk about missing Ellen. Frequently, when we didn’t quite know what to do in a situation, we would turn to each other and ask, “What would Mommy do?” And then do it her way. Often we discussed Ellen as if she were alive and still part of our life, which, on some level, she was. And we continued to have those conversations, although less so as time went on.

To keep your loved one alive, learn from the lessons they have left for you and you will be speaking of them often. And remember the funny times too.

One of those humorous times has become my signature story in my speeches. “My wife, Ellen, lay dying in the hospital, a copy of Playgirl by her side. Suddenly, she opened to the male nude centerfold and insisted it be put on the wall ‘I think it’s too risqué for the hospital, I said.

Nonsense, she replied. Just take a leaf from the plant and cover up the genitals.’

I did as she requested. This worked well for the first and second day. By the third day, however, the leaf started to shrivel and reveal more of what we were trying to conceal.

We laughed every time we looked at a plant or a dried-up leaf. It brought us closer together, revived us, and steered us through our sea of darkness. It is humor and laughter that can help us rise above our trials, tribulations, and losses, so that we don’t suffer.

*****
Allen Klein is an award-winning speaker and author 17 books including The Healing Power of Humor, The Courage to Laugh, Inspiration for a Lifetime, Change Your Life!: A Little Book of Big Ideas, Learning to Laugh When You Feel Like Crying, and the audiobook TeacherLaughs     www.allenklein.com  Contact: humor@allenklein.com