Monday, December 23, 2013

Please Don't Remove Christ from Christmas

As we approach Christmas 2013, I can’t help but be concerned about a trend I see unfolding right before my eyes. There seems to be a war on Christianity including an attempt to remove Christ from Christmas. I’m not certain when it started, but it sure seems to be escalating of late.
Last week I received an email solicitation which, quite frankly, bothered me but also helps to illustrate my point.


The email (pictured above) came from Chet Holmes who attempted to sell me his consulting and training services. Instead, he upset me because his promotional material invited me to take advantage of a special offer as he wished me a “Merry Chetmas”.
I thought you might be interested in seeing my response to Chet.
Dear Chet,
Please remove me from your mailing list.
I would never consider purchasing anything from someone so arrogant and self-absorbed to remove Christ from the word Christmas in their promotional material and replace it with their own name.
I pray that this message reaches you and more importantly that the true meaning of Christmas would reach your heart one day and that as a result, you would experience a special and joyous holiday season.
Please join me in the fight to keep Christ in Christmas. I hope you and yours experience a joy filled holiday season.
Merry Christmas!
Fred Cerrone

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Effective Leaders Think on their Feet

An important element of leadership is learning to “think on your feet“.  Let me share a football analogy.  As we enter into the Bowl season of college football and continue with a full schedule of pro games, each game takes on added importance.  How does a winning team’s quarterback meet the challenge?
He needs to be able to read the defense of the opposing team and change the play at the line of scrimmage within a few short seconds.  No matter how good the coach’s strategy and game plan, or how well the team executed the plays in practice, on the field and in the heat of the battle it’s a totally different ball game.
The same applies to leaders at every level of an organization.  We need to read the needs of our team before we can lead effectively.  Just as a quarterback has to throw the ball away on occasion in order to keep from being “sacked”, we, as leaders, must realize that we don’t need to have all the answers.  We, too, can “throw the ball away” by responding honestly to an associate and saying, “That’s a really good question.  I don’t know the answer, but I’ll check and get back to you.”  
Of course, the key here is making certain that we do, in fact, get back to that person lest we lose credibility. 
The bottom line is this: as leaders we don’t need to have all the answers, but we always do need to take time to listen to our associates, care about them and think on our feet.

Fred Cerrone

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Inspect What You Expect

Recently, a Boeing 747 landed at the wrong airport by mistake. A massive plane flown by two pilots communicated successfully with air traffic controllers, was cleared for landing at the correct airport, and landed at the wrong airport - 8 miles away from the correct airport!

The plane landed on a runway less than half the length of what’s usually required for a plane of this size, and had zero communication with the airport they landed at. Thankfully, nobody was hurt.
I’m actually surprised this doesn’t happen more. I’m not an aerodynamics expert, but I have flown over 2 million miles on Delta!  I bet that given the speed of a 747 and the distances traveled by modern aircraft, that going eight miles off course is likely a very tiny mistake. I’d be willing to guess it’s less than a 1% deviation.

The lesson here is we always need to keep our eyes on the small stuff, because before you know it you might find yourself off course and miles away from where you were planning on going. As leaders we must inspect what we expect.

As a CEO, business owner, or executive, you know the importance of setting up systems and processes to ensure that your staff is doing things the right way - all the time. Something as simple as a checklist can make a huge difference! But as all business owners also know, it's not enough to tell your people what you want them to do - you need to make sure they're doing it consistently. Otherwise, you may end up landing off course.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Big Papi for President

As a Boston native and huge baseball fan, I am a life-long Red Sox fan.  What a thrill to see my favorite team win the World Series at home in Fenway Park for the first time since 1918, or 95 years ago.  Of course they also won in 2004 and 2007, but played their last game while on the road.
What made the historic event even more exciting was the fact that the Sox went from worst to first.  Last place in 2012 to first in 2013.
Last year, they won only 69 games.  This year they won 97 games and had the best record of the regular season in baseball.
The first 5 World Series games were hard-fought, exciting contests with plenty of quirks, surprises and controversial calls.  Game 6 had its moments.  Jacoby Ellsbury was caught off base but then  outsmarted the defense to get back on base safely.  It was great fun to watch as a Red Sox fan.
David Ortiz (Big Papi) was once again “Mr. Clutch” for the Sox and was voted MVP of the World Series. Just like Big Papi was recognized for his superior performance, we need to be mindful as leaders to take time to recognize the “super stars” in our midst.
I can’t wait for next year and am hopeful for a repeat. 
Fred Cerrone

Monday, October 21, 2013

Dance in the Rain!

The storms of life have a way of wearing us down unless we are able to place them in perspective and look at a bigger picture.  Someone once said, “It’s not how many times we fall that matters, it’s how many times we get up.”  I hope you will weather the storms of life well and get up each time you fall.  Please enjoy this short story about a young tree.

The tree faced many storms through its young life.  The powerful winds, torrential rains, ice and snow would lie across its branches.

At times the young tree questioned its Maker asking, “Why have you let so many storms come into my life?”
The Maker whispered, “You will understand one day.  Stand firm; you will make it through the storms of life.  The challenges will pass, keep this in mind.”
But the tree questioned, “If I go through one more winter, the snow will surely break my branches.  If I face any more powerful winds, I will surely be uprooted and moved away.”
The Maker whispered, “Stand strong, dig your roots deep into the soil, you will understand someday.”
Somehow the young tree kept the positive thoughts in his mind and managed to survive and make it through even the toughest of storms.  Somehow, when the winds and hurricanes should have broken it, the tree found a way to stand firm.
As the young tree grew and matured, it realized that the storms of life had made it stronger.
Life isn’t about waiting for the storms to pass… it’s about learning to dance in the rain.

Fred Cerrone

Monday, September 30, 2013

You Never Know the Impact of your Actions

I want to share one of my favorite stories.

“One day, I saw Kyle, a freshman in my class, walking home from school, carrying all of his books.  I thought, 'He must really be a nerd.'

Then, I saw a bunch of kids knock all his books out of his arms and trip him so he landed in the dirt.  His glasses went flying.  My heart went out to him. I jogged over and I handed him his glasses.  I said, 'Those guys are jerks.'  He looked at me with a big smile and said, 'Hey thanks!'   It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.

I helped him pick up his books. As it turned out, he lived near me.  We talked all the way home, and he turned out to be a pretty cool kid.  We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and so did my friends.

Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends.  He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school.  He filled out and actually looked good in glasses.  He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him. 

On graduation day, Kyle gave a speech as valedictorian of our class:
'Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach...but mostly your friends....  I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them.  I am going to tell you a story.'

I looked at my friend with disbelief as he told about the first day we met.  He had planned to kill himself over the weekend.  He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home.  He looked hard at me and gave me a smile.

'Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable.'

I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment.  I saw his Mom and Dad smiling at me with that same grateful smile.

Never underestimate the power of your actions.  With one small gesture you can change a person's life, for better or for worse. God puts us all in each other’s lives to impact one another in some way.

'Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.' 

Fred Cerrone

Monday, September 16, 2013

What Success Looks Like


Earlier this month, Hotel Equities announced a joint venture agreement had been signed with Alliance Hospitality, a well-respected and highly successful lodging company based in Raleigh, NC. As the Head Coach of the newly expanded Hotel Equities organization, I welcome the opportunity for growth as leaders from both firms come together as one to create a powerful hotel industry platform and a dynamic hospitality leadership team.
I am reminded of a quote by NBA coach Phil Jackson, who won 11 NBA titles while coaching the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers.  “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”
As we grow our organization and expand our platform, it is vitally important that we get this right … that we come to recognize that we need each other in order to reach our full potential. We each have gifts and talents that can be complimentary of one another. We should not feel threatened by the strengths of others, but should instead encourage, embrace and support them. We must trust each other to do the right thing, to look out after each other and to have each other’s back, for the sake of the team. 
As with most accomplishments of any significance, winning does not come easy. However, when great talents come together with a true desire and focus to accomplish extraordinary things, momentum and excitement occur and everyone wins in a huge way.
Our future success, in a sense, is our Championship, our Super Bowl or our World Series victory.
Lou Holtz, one of the most successful coaches in college football history once was asked  by a sports reporter if he considered his team lucky, since they had just completed a lengthy winning streak. His response was, in my opinion, profound. He said, “Sure I’ll agree that we have been lucky so long as you define luck as when preparedness meets opportunity”.
We have gathered the talent. We have a tremendous opportunity before us. Now, let’s make certain we are “lucky” enough to win.

Fred Cerrone

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Take this job and love it!

As the holiday weekend approached this past week, I looked forward to a brief but much needed getaway. Labor Day has come to be celebrated by most of us as the symbolic end of the summer and the beginning of the college football season.  We certainly need time away from our busy schedules, but in doing so our work deserves occasional thought and reflection.

Like most of us in this great business I found my calling in hospitality quite by accident. I took a job at the Sheraton Boston Hotel as I waited to ship out to Viet Nam while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. I found the work both challenging and fulfilling in ways that allowed me to interact with and serve others. I was fortunate to have a series of mentors who served as good examples and taught me the business. After 46 years I am happy to report that I am still passionate about the hotel business and continue to love my job.

One of my favorite things to do now is to share some of my real life work experiences as well as teach others about the history of the hotel business. I find great joy in teaching the “Foundations” class which is offered to new associates of Hotel Equities several times a year. I like to remind class participants that life is too short to be doing something that they don’t enjoy and even encourage them to leave if they can’t be passionate about their work.

In my opinion the true meaning of success is to find something that you enjoy doing and then find someone willing to pay you for doing it. 

Fred Cerrone



Thursday, August 15, 2013

Football, Change and BHAGs

School started this week in Atlanta which means football season is here.  Changes abound this time of year.  Never mind the August heat and humidity; it’s time for a fresh new start for millions of kids, their families and their teachers.  It’s time to set new goals and rearrange priorities. 

I have often thought that one of the most dangerous places to be is between goals.  I compare it to the summer slump – school’s out, I did well and I deserve a break.  It can happen in business - I make the sale, I earned a promotion and now I can coast for a while. What’s the danger?

Without a long-term goal or vision, anyone can quickly lose focus.  As one project reaches completion, look ahead, cast a vision, and set a new goal.  Fortunately, I have had good mentors in my career and I benefited personally from their examples.  
In business, it is critical to have vision, mission and value statements. The old adage, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything”, applies here. Well-thought-out goals and objectives serve as curbs to lead us in the right direction lest we get “off track”.   At Hotel Equities, we ask all team members to carry our vision, mission and value statements, which are included on a tri-folded, pocket-sized, laminated Commitment Card, with them at all times while they are at work.  We then ask our General Managers to review them during their daily team huddle time.

Here’s my advice for the fall.  Take an occasional breather, keep dreaming, and take time to review your future focus and plan your next BHAG [Big Hairy Audacious Goal].

Fred Cerrone

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Make Things Happen

Every Wednesday, we host a Career Networking Group in our Learning Center (located at Hotel Equities’ corporate headquarters) for those currently unemployed and actively seeking employment.  This networking opportunity is offered in conjunction with our Life Lessons Over Lunch program, an inspirational hour-long video series created by Andy Stanley.  We provide a light lunch for attendees, the meeting space, and a welcome from various members of our Coaching Team.  For our part, this is a small ministry contribution that has had a huge impact on the lives of many involved.  A slice of pizza may not seem like a “big deal”, but to someone who’s been unable to find a job for over two years, it might be one of the best meals they have all week.
I received an email today from Kathy, one of the group’s members, expressing her thanks to the entire HE team.  She ended her message saying, “You feed our body, soul and mind and that is something we can’t live without.” When we began this ministry in 2007, I had no idea of the large impact we would have on so many. We merely saw a need and found a way to meet it.  Since we began keeping track in 2010, more than 200 members have reported they’ve found employment. 
You won’t need to search far before finding many other examples of the good here, not because it’s listed in any associate’s job description, but because it’s part of the culture upon which we are founded. Zig Ziglar said, “There are three types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened”.
I hope each of you experience a “make things happen” kind of day.
Fred Cerrone

Friday, July 12, 2013

My Friend Johnny

I have a good friend by the name of John "Johnny" McNeeley who is a real life hero to me. Johnny suffers from ALS, commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease because the famous baseball hall-of-famer contracted the muscular disorder that shortened his career and claimed his life.

As much as I love baseball, I hate ALS and what it has done to my friend.  With a contagious laugh and a ready, engaging smile, Johnny never met a stranger.  Today he speaks by means of an iPad that he carries wherever he goes so that he can type out words to communicate.  He doesn't go far or fast anymore since he is confined to a walker. He still has his sharpness of mind, but he has little control over most all the muscles of his body.

Although he once owned the famed McNeeley's restaurant and bar on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, he now refuses to go out to dinner since he is saddened by the stares and meanness of people who seem disgusted by the fact that he drools and has a hard time chewing his food. He keeps a handkerchief at his mouth to avoid saliva and food spillage.

A recent CNN story describes ALS this way, "It is like being duct taped to a chair with openings only for your eyes and mouth."  I hope you will take time to view the video of Steve Gleason, another ALS patient recently featured on ABC News.

ALS kills approximately 100,000 people per year. We need to expose this dreadful disease.

Please do what you can to share information in an attempt to get our government officials and others to release the experimental drugs that are greatly needed to help combat this tragic killer.

Please use the link below to watch the ABC News video to gain knowledge and then do what you can to spread the word to help rescue my friend Johnny from his duct tape prison.

An earlier photo of Johnny McNeeley with his wife and three daughters

Fred Cerrone

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

It Takes a Team!

In the middle of a busy summer, I look forward to taking a short break to spend time with family and celebrate our country's heritage and our personal freedoms.
Think about it. That was quite a team of leaders who came together as the Continental Congress. Don't let the grey hair and fancy shirts fool you.
Our founding fathers were a formidable group and each brought diverse talents and abilities to the table. Thomas Jefferson had intellect and writing skills; John Adams had the political savvy. The people revered George Washington for his leadership. James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton and John Day each brought something unique. And there were others. It took an amazing team to accomplish the formation of a new nation - beginning with the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
Abraham Lincoln quoted the document in his Gettysburg address, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
Today, we all benefit from the achievements of that early team. At our hotels, we work in teams to extend hands in welcome, deliver service and make a difference in the lives of our guests.
Fred Cerrone

Monday, June 17, 2013

Wherever You Are, Be There


My number two grandson, Eli White, recently became eligible for the Major League Baseball Draft. The Cincinnati Reds selected him in the 26th round as a shortstop.  Since he suffered a hernia about a month ago, we weren’t certain how the injury would impact his draft status. 

Although this placement is not where he was hoping to go in the draft, he now knows that he is on the radar screens of all major league teams.  Eli recently graduated from Wren High School in Easley, SC with honors and appears to be healing nicely following his surgery for the hernia.

In the meantime, it looks like he will be off to Clemson University in July, at which point he should be baseball-ready. It’s hard to be disappointed about receiving a Division I college baseball scholarship.

Growing up in Boston, my grandfather often told me “Wherever you are, be there!”  I’ve used this admonition as a guideline both in my personal life and in my business career.  And, I’ve shared it with Eli.  It seems most appropriate for him right now.

God has a plan for each of us and, like it or not, his timing is perfect. I’m sure that many other great opportunities await this future Clemson Tiger.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Making a Distinct Difference in People’s Lives

Hotel Equities’ Culture Statement appears on our company commitment card and reads as follows: “A legendary lodging company making a distinct difference in people’s lives.”  It provides both inspiration and direction to our associates as they go about their daily work. But, I’m happy to say, the spirit of the statement goes far beyond the walls of our hotels.

When the recent tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma flattening homes, wiping out businesses and changing many lives forever, our team of associates at the Comfort Inn in Martinsville, Virginia decided that they wanted to help.  Under the leadership of General Manager, Scott Wilson, the hotel connected with three local organizations, the American Red Cross, God’s Pit Crew and the Rotary club, to send needed supplies to the disaster survivors.  The hotel served as the single collection point.  Donations, including everything from bottled water to dog food, came from the community, the associates, and even hotel guests.
I’m proud of Scott and his team for seeing an opportunity and taking action to help people in need.  His team set an example by leading a community-wide effort to make a distinct difference.   
From food drives to clothing donations, each of our hotels finds unique ways to give back to their communities.  I’ll share more stories in future blogs, but I’d love to hear from you.  What are you doing to make a difference?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Learn to Delegate but Inspect What You Expect

As leaders, one of the most difficult things we must learn is the art of delegation. Leaders have a tendency to want to be in control. We think we know what has to be done and the best way to do it. But we must realize that we cannot do everything ourselves.

If we want to grow and excel, we have to delegate. We cannot advance our team to great heights unless we distribute some of our leadership authority and allow others to assist us with our goals and objectives.
Hotel Equities’ Value Statement #4 provides direction for delegation: Inspect what you expect.
In order to achieve success we must hire associates with a hospitable, positive attitude; provide them with proper tools and training, set clear expectations of the work to be done; inspect what we expect and encourage and reward excellent results.
Using this model, everyone wins -- our associates, our guests and our investors.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Number 42’s Message for Leaders

My wife, Christine, and I recently saw the movie “42”. It was great and I highly recommend it to all, even you non-baseball enthusiasts. As you may know, it’s the story of Jackie Robinson’s signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers to become the first African-American player to break the baseball color barrier.

In the movie, set during the 1946 and 1947 seasons, Robinson, number 42, focused on his strengths as a baseball player and not what his detractors were saying about him. In doing so, he won the hearts of many people and eventually his influence helped to break the race barrier for other players, too.

The irony here is that Robinson had a temper and was known to want to fight all who disagreed with his viewpoint. Thank goodness he allowed his baseball skills to do the “talking” and the rest is history.

Jackie Robinson’s story reminds us that, as leaders, we should focus the majority of our time developing our strengths. Tasks which accentuate our weakness can and should be delegated to team members who have the expertise to make all of us look good.

Batter up! 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

It Ain’t Over, Till It’s Over

From the cover of Sports Illustrated to the sports pages of newspapers, from radio and TV golf analysts to golf fans in office break rooms, the majority predicted Tiger Woods was back. He regained his No. 1 ranking and posted six wins in his last 20 events. He was on track to win his fifth green jacket at The Masters in Augusta. But on Sunday afternoon, April 14, it was not to be. Adam Scott became the first Australian winner of the tournament.
“It ain’t over till it’s over!” – to quote Yogi Berra, the former New York Yankees catcher who had a knack for stating the obvious in a way that made it memorable.
And so it is in the hotel business with Hotel Equities. We don’t assume success; we work to make it happen every day. We start by taking care of our associates, knowing that if we take care of them, they will take care of our guests and our investors will ultimately benefit. We set clear expectations, provide training, inspect what we expect, reward excellence and celebrate success. We keep at it every day in order to exceed the expectations of every guest but ultimately “it ain’t over” until they decide to return.

Monday, April 1, 2013

You Need Persistence to Win

March Madness has dominated the national consciousness of college basketball fans for the past few weeks. I marvel at the lessons one can draw from the games: Cinderella teams put forth extraordinary efforts and surprised us while some former champions disappointed. As a life-long sports fan, I enjoy using sports analogies to teach business principles.

Coming into the tournament, expectations run high. Compare that to the optimism one feels on the first day of a new job, at the start of a new contract, or the opening of a new hotel. In each instance, the team, or the company or the person sets a goal for success. How do they make the goal a reality?

It takes persistence to win the game and persistence to accomplish our goals in business. Just like a top basketball team, the company and its associates have talent, experience and good coaching. But it takes persistence to stick to the plan and reach the goal.

Winston Churchill once called persistence the most important leadership trait. In front of an audience of graduating college seniors, he delivered his commencement address in five words, “Never quit, never ever quit.” It is said that when he left the stage, one could have heard a pin drop. It’s a powerful message for all of us.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Are You Making a Difference?

College basketball’s annual March Madness started Sunday with the announcement of the brackets. As a sports fan, I enjoy speculating who will win each bracket. It occurs to me that often the coaches are the real difference-makers.

Personally, my sport was baseball and my little league coach influenced me greatly. First, he took the time to convince me that he cared about me and had my best interest in mind. He built ‘trust’ with me and nurtured me. I credit his words with teaching me the basic skills of the game and his encouragement with giving me the desire to go on to play two years of semi-professional baseball after high school. I realize that he helped me develop a positive attitude and the desire to be a winner.

You and I have that same ability to be a difference-maker in the lives of the people we lead. Our lives are often referred to as a ‘dash’ - the symbol used on our gravestone between the year of birth and the year of death - that will depict our life. Think of it as the time we are alive and able to be influencers. So, let me ask you – who are you influencing? Whose life are you impacting?

Are you making a difference?

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Courage to Lead

During the recent observance of President’s Day, I was reminded of the courage shown by both Lincoln and Washington, two of our country’s greatest leaders. Each of our first two presidents had to take a stand, face opposition and negotiate compromise in order to move the country forward. As leaders, we meet daily challenges and if we are completely honest, face fear.

What is courage?

Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is doing what you fear to do, in spite of the fear. If we are totally honest with each other, as leaders we often find ourselves making decisions that we think are right, but that we are not completely comfortable with. As leaders, we sometimes experience push-back, criticism, grumbling, and a less than favorable marketplace response to our decisions.

For daily courage, being well-read, having experience, being “prayed-up” and being on a team whose members are supportive of each other, helps our level of confidence.

One other thing that has helped me with my fears is reading a chapter from the book of Proverbs daily. Proverbs, which has 31 chapters, is known as the book of wisdom. I don’t think it is coincidental that the number of chapters matches the number of days in most months. The insights I gain give me food for thought and often the courage I need to lead.



Friday, February 15, 2013


Hotel Equities recently held a three-day Conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee attended by our Coaches, General Managers, and Directors of Sales. We sometimes question the validity of paying team members to travel off-site for meetings that might be conducted online or via telephone or video conference, but I believe that nothing can substitute for a face-to-face encounter.

Our leadership team and I wanted to bring together the Operations and Sales Teams in their entirety to celebrate our 2012 accomplishments, share best practices, cast a vision for a successful 2013, and perhaps most of all, experience some rare face time.

I am extremely proud of every member of the Hotel Equities’ team!

Participating in the presentation of awards for outstanding performance continues to be a highlight for me.  At the conference, we presented the 4th Quarter GM and Sales Awards, Sales Award of 2012, and 2012 General Manager of the Year.

I like to share the ‘State of the Company’ Report in person, not to take sole credit but to highlight what we as a team have accomplished. This year, we added several outstanding hotels to our portfolio including the Fairfield Inn & Suites Charleston, the first joint venture between Hotel Equities and Atlanta-based private equity firm IRE Capital as Hotel Development Partners (HDP).

Casting the vision for 2013 in front of that live audience of team members allowed me to share goals from my heart. The future looks bright for Hotel Equities. As the economy begins to improve, investors are becoming more willing to contribute to both new development and acquisitions. Our growth potential is exciting!

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I recently read a story by Jim Denison about Matthew who survived a car crash involving a drunk driver, but his girlfriend and friend were killed.  Friends created a Twitter hashtag, hoping to get the quarterback’s attention and their campaign worked.  Tim Tebow learned about Matthew’s tragedy and called him.  Tebow later said, “You think of what have I done to deserve an opportunity to encourage a kid like that.  It’s worth everything and it’s awesome.  It’s better than any touchdown I’ll ever score.”

People magazine has profiled “individuals whose extraordinary bravery and kindness stood out this year.”  They included Michael McDonnell and Dylan Smith who rescued six people during Superstorm Sandy; J.D. and James Bennett, who pulled two toddlers from a burning van in California; Madison Wallraf, who saved 22 horses in a burning barn; and NYPD Officer Larry DePrimo whose gift of shoes to a homeless man made international headlines.

This inspirational sports story also made the headlines.  Jared Stevens has cerebral palsy and is a member of the Sunset Middle School wrestling team in Nashville, TN.  He cheers for the team during practices and matches, but always wanted to wrestle.  When his school competed against Freedom Middle School recently, his coach asked the other school’s coach which wrestler on his team had the kindest heart.  He was introduced to seventh-grader Justin Kievit.

Jared’s coach placed him on the gym floor.  Justin shook his hand, lay down beside him, put Jared’s arm over his body, and was pinned, giving Jared the victory.  Good Morning America told their story and the video went viral.  Jared’s father said, “The two adjectives that come out of this whole episode are courage and character, on both of these guys’ parts.”  Justin said, “Sometimes winning isn’t the right thing, isn’t the most important thing.”  The news anchor who reported the story said, “It makes you feel better about the world.”

In a society worried about the economy, unrest around the globe, and climate changes, these examples prove that simple acts of compassion impact more people than we can imagine.  As HE’s theme verse indicates, it doesn’t take much salt or light to make a big difference (Matthew 5:13-16).

Your next act of kindness can change the world and our iCARE program is an opportunity for HE associates to share the light with those with whom they come in contact.  “To the world, you might be only one person but to one person, you might be the world.”  The darker the room, the brighter the candle.

Welcome to Fred Cerrone's Blog

Welcome to “Stuff Worth Sharing”! It is our hope that this blog will help you to know more about our Founder & Chairman, Fred Cerrone, as well as gain some insight into his vision and dreams for Hotel Equities. We welcome your feedback as well as any topics that you would like Fred to cover. Thanks for all you do to help make Hotel Equities a success!

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