In October 2013, I published a blog about my second year college basketball coach, a coach who ultimately served as the impetus for my leaving Wabash College. Prior to being hired as head basketball coach, he was a janitor at a college in Pennsylvania, as confirmed in the following article Twilight on the Wabash. Such an ironic title, as Snowy’s hiring turned out to be my twilight on the Wabash!
Recently, I had the pleasure of re-uniting with Rusty Nichols, the coach that initially recruited me to Wabash, and whose departure was ultimately the catalyst for Snowy being hired. Rusty visited and toured our facilities, followed by lunch, during which time I related how his departure from coaching after my first year at Wabash triggered a series of events that changed my life and career path as described in the The Destiny of The Devil at Our Doorstep. Rusty was incredulous by what had transpired, but was complimentary of the path taken and the accomplishments achieved. He agreed it is a story that America needs to know and that The Devil at Our Doorstep: The Movie would be appropriate. Now, as the story goes…
As a pragmatic businessman I have never believed in coincidences. As a religious person who believes in God I have always believed each of us are placed on this earth for a purpose. An event occurred this past week that solidified my belief in both.
At the engagement party of a friend’s daughter, I happened to meet a former local sports writer for the Indianapolis Star newspaper. As we were conversing, I mentioned to him that I played basketball in high school and went to Wabash College on a basketball/academic scholarship and transferred after my second year. The coach who recruited me left after the first year and I was dissatisfied with his replacement after playing for him for one year. Consequently, I went back to the school that was my second choice and ask them if they would still honor the scholarship they had initially offered. The school, Tri-State University, agreed.
Unfortunately, due to the transfer, I had to change my major to pre-med as Tri-State did not offer degrees in education. In essence, I went from preparing to be a teacher and a coach — my life’s dream — to preparing for life as a doctor at the advice of my counselor. I received a B.S in Biology and went to Ball State University where I received a Masters Degree in Micro Biology. I applied for Indiana Medical School and was place third on the waiting list due to the fact my grades at Wabash my first semester were just average. I subsequently went to work for Central Soya Company headquartered in my home town of Ft. Wayne, Indiana. I started in its experimental feed mill and eventually became a plant turn around specialist. I was able to accomplish this through creating a team atmosphere and treating employees fairly. Interestingly enough they were all union facilities! I held this position for about eight years, and the position required several transfers around the country. When I ended up back in Indianapolis, Indiana, I decided to reject the next request to move yet again, and to leave the company. I eventually become the Indiana General Manager for a regional janitorial company, a position I held for three and a half years before I left to start my own company.
Upon relaying my story to the writer, he mentioned that he knew the coach Wabash had hired, and understood why I decided to leave. He then mentioned that this coach’s background was kind of unclear. Being the inquisitive person I am, the next day I did a search for this coach on the internet to learn more about his background. To my surprise when I found his information I learned more about my destiny than I did his. Prior to being hired as the varsity basketball coach at Wabash he was a janitor for a college in Pennsylvania!
How ironic is it that a man who became my coach and influenced my decision to transfer from one college to another, and in the process forced a change of my major from being a teacher to a doctor, was a janitor! A profession I migrated to as General Manager for a regional janitorial company and a position I would assume myself when I left and started EMS in 1989 where my first account was my insurance agents 5,000 square foot office, which I cleaned myself! EMS grew from that small account to a national company that today provides services in 36 states. We have constantly strived to stand as company that does the right things for it employees and its customers.
Ultimately, due to our growth, we attracted the attention of the SEIU who attempted to force unionize EMS employees as well as other employees of janitorial companies throughout the Midwest with its patented Death by a Thousand Cuts and Corporate Campaign tactics. Tactics designed to force me to sign a Neutrality Agreement, which would have eliminated my employees rights through a secret ballot election to determine if they wanted to be represented by the SEIU, and instead allow the SEIU to use the intimidation tactics of Card Check to force unionize them.
As a religious man and a firm believer in American freedoms I could not morally give up my employees’ rights and allow this to happen. My company and I fought a 4-year war with the SEIU to preserve our employees rights and defeated them! Subsequently I wrote the two books, The Devil at My Doorstep and The Devil at Our Doorstep, which have been instrumental in the passage of “right to work” laws in Indiana and Michigan, and have provided hope and support for employees across the country in extricating themselves from big labor abuse. In fact, my first book “The Devil at My Doorstep” Was Recently Introduced to the Supreme Court in defense of an employee who was subjected to the awful intimidation tactics of a Corporate Campaign.
I sincerely believe all of us are placed on earth by our creator for a purpose. Some destinies are more subtle than others, however it appears mine through divine intervention, was to expose the atrocities of big labor’s Gasping Dinosaurs and help preserve American freedoms! Ironically this was preordained years ago through my Lord and Savior’s message delivered through a coach, I mean a janitor! The lord in his infinite wisdom recognized years ago the course of history would have to be changed, and The Devil at Our Doorstep revealed. Simply put, without a new coach (janitor), there would have been no college change or career change, and in turn, no EMS janitorial company, no SEIU attack, and most importantly, no win for employee rights! Ironically he used a janitor to begin the chain of events to allow me the opportunity to expose big labor’s agenda and start a movement to protect employee rights!