Pursuing your passions

Archive for the ‘Pursuing a Calling’ Category

Who is the Drives Doctor?

If you do not work in manufacturing, you may not know what a drive control system is, but Lyle Eveleigh knows. He is what is known in the field as a trouble shooter. Some even call him the “Drives Doctor,” because of his remarkable ability to solve the most intractable of problems in their drive control systems.

Pipe Laying Barge in the South China Sea

He got his foundation in the field beginning with his 8.5 years of service in the United States Army. He held various roles working with electronics, including training other servicemen, before he returned to civilian in 1967. Then he went to work for WER Industrial Corporation. He worked for them on and off during which time they were bought out by Emerson Electric Corporation. He left in 1980 to work for Crown Zellerbach as they were setting up a new plant and he settled in Orange, Texas.

He formed MNE Enterprises after his father passed away in 1984. The initials MNE stand for his father’s name, Malcolm Nathaniel Eveleigh. He started out developing custom small business accounting programs using personal computers, just as they were becoming affordable. Eventually, Emerson would have their customers send their repair work to him, so he set up a small shop and had one guy working for him full-time.

His business developed into a computer store, then two computer stores and a motor shop. He had 13 employees at one point in time. But he was spreading himself too thin, he still worked full-time for Crown Zellerbach, in addition to this burgeoning business.

Then prices for computers really began to drop, and large stores were able to get their computers on consignment and have them replaced by the manufacturer when newer models came out. It was a real challenge to keep pace with the changing market. He had to keep buying all the latest models to have on display, and then when the newer, better, cheaper models came out, it was impossible to get rid of the older models.

Around this time pre-packaged software programs started began to appear, so this ate into that part of his business, since his custom work was more costly than customers were willing to pay. On top of all that, the motor shop he had bought included several employees who needed supervision that he was unable to provide, along with all the other elements of his business that needed to be addressed.

He had to scale back, so he focused on what he knew best, the drives business. He still kept a few employees, for a while.

Extrusion Thermoforming Line

“The biggest problem is that it is a highly technical business. If you have contracts with the drives systems companies, they hire you because they know you, and they know your work,” Lyle says. “If the company begins to rely on your employees, they can easily go off on their own, once you have trained them.”

Because of the costs of training employees, and the time and energy involved, along with the risk of losing them after all that, he has scaled back to a one man operation.

“You have to be flexible and nimble,” he says, “and you can’t be dumb, dumb can lead to disaster.”

Lyle F Eveleigh on LinkedIn

He is a one man operation, but he is training a protege. My son, Xenos Montalalou is apprenticing with him. The Drives Doctor is my Dad.

It Really Is About the Journey

Stephen Nawotniak set out in May of 2000 to prove that Millenials were not all apathetic and lazy. He had planned a twenty-seven month non-motorized trek around the United States, doing community service along the way. He called this Generation TreX and even designed a Master’s Degree program around it through Buffalo State College. He obtained partial funding through Americorps.


The canoe and the sloop

The canoe and the sloop




He canoed from Buffalo, NY to Albany, NY, then sailed down the Hudson River in a sloop to New York City. From there, he backpacked to Roanoke, VA and then bicycled to Key West, FL. At that point he learned his grandmother had passed away and he had to return home. That was in January of 2001. This forced him to revise his plans for the trip. He needed to raise additional money so he focused on updating his website, securing speaking engagements, and began developing a nonprofit agency.


hiking and biking

hiking and biking

Just when he was preparing to start on the next leg of his trek, September 11, 2001 struck. Stephen shifted his focus to addressing the wound this left by creating a violence prevention program through his nonprofit. It was called ACT on Violence Prevention and it focused on self-defense programs. He partnered with Americorps VISTA and the program was well received in Buffalo, NY communities.


Then in August of 2002 Stephen was hospitalized for acute depression and was given a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. This caused him to go through an incredible period of adjustment. It took years for him to come to terms with, understand and accept that this condition was a part of his reality that he must face every day.


He became trained and certified as an Occupational Therapist. Through his work as an Occupational Therapist he developed skills and techniques that he wanted to share with others facing a similar condition so he wrote and self-published a book called Handbook for Healthy Living with a Mood Disorder.


I met Stephen in my Clarence Toastmasters Club and when he gave a speech on his experience it blew me away. He is a natural storyteller and an excellent speaker. You can read his blog Sharing the Journey to learn more and keep tabs on his inspiring story.

If you can make it to one of his events and hear him speak, live, you will find his warmth, sincerity and gift for storytelling to be refreshing and uplifting. Here is a link to his upcoming events. Whether or not you or anyone you know struggles with mental health issues, you cannot help but be inspired by Stephen’s story.


Please repost this article and spread the word about this inspiring story!

Making Buffalo’s Waterfront More Accessible

I am sitting in the fog and rain of a Buffalo spring at the Outer Harbor on Lake Erie waiting for Pierre Wallinder to arrive for our meeting. I am thinking of how little I have really enjoyed the waterfront in all my years living in Buffalo. Coming here from Sweden, Pierre has a passion for our natural resources that I think many of us have taken for granted. He started Sail Buffalo, and has joined forces with the Cazenovia Community Resource Center and Buffalo will soon be much the better for their efforts.

4. Sail Buffalo- A Community Boating Center PP Presentation-2013-2-12_43. Sail Buffalo- A Community Boating Center

Thanks to the Greenway Commission, more of us have a chance to fully enjoy the beauty of our waterways. Recent approval for grant funding will expand the Cazenovia Community Boating Center and Sailing School, allowing their Pavilion to be converted into a science lab, building of a greenhouse and an upgrade to the docking system to allow safe access for people with disabilities.


This is the second year the Cazenovia Community Boating Center will be operating out of the location they operate as licensees from the United States Coast Guard. It is the site where the lighthouse ship was docked over 100 years ago.


“My dream is everybody’s dream, to have a spot created for generations, that will provide community access under the safest possible conditions. The reality of Buffalo’s weather conditions cannot be underestimated, but with careful planning and the right team spirit, we wanted to show that it is possible,” Pierre said.

5. Sail Buffalo- A Community Boating Center PP Presentation-2013-2-12_5012013

The Cazenovia Community Boating Center (CCBC) offers a series of programs that combine to offer holistic wellness. Eventually, the components of the project will develop all the skills needed for a successful sea voyage. Nutrition is an important part of that equation, hence the greenhouse.


The project has brought together the efforts of a strong board and several community leaders to develop a shared vision of a brighter, more sustainable future for Buffalo’s Waterfront.

How Powerful is Your Voice?


Recently I discovered a poet through a random post on facebook. This blog is not about poetry, but it is about pursuing your passions. Well, I actually have a passion for poetry, hidden behind my passion for writing, and small business.

I have tried to make a living writing, so I have deferred my passion for the arts and poetry until “someday.” This poet, Wild Irish Poet, did the opposite. He pursued his passion for the arts with full force. He left his home in Ireland to come to New York City in 2001, just after September 11th tragedies. He worked his way to achieving an Emmy for his film “Home: The Movie.”

He returned to Ireland several years later and had another film in the works called, “The Spirit of Ireland — An Odyssey Home.”

There are several reasons I find Alan Cooke, aka Wild Irish Poet, so captivating. One is the romance of Ireland, which I claim some heritage from. Another is his courage to pursue his vision. His work, itself, however, is what I most admire.

Wild Irish Poet displays a highly developed poetic sensibility and his voice is professionally trained to produce a most melodious effect when listening to him narrate his work, or that of others.

Solstice Moon by Emmy Winning Writer Alan Cooke

As a poet, myself, who prefers to perform my poems, I recently started taking lessons from Alan Cooke, to improve my voice expression. He describes what he does as “Teaching Soul Voice.”

Wild Irish Poet

What if we were all speaking from the depths of our Soul, all day, every day? How would the world change?

If you would like to learn to develop your Soul Voice, you can contact him at alanmcooke@gmail.com


For me, someday, is now.


Veterinarian Starts Business to Help Support Pet Rescues

PR+DogsGlenn Buckley, DVM, and his brother Scott Buckley, with Glenn’s dogs.

What if spending money on your own pet allowed you to help support pet rescues in your community? What if you could do that without spending more money on your purchases? Welcome to Pet Rescue Rx, “A Pets Before Profits Pharmacy.”

Pet Rescue Rx is the brainchild of Glenn Buckley, DVM. He has volunteered in many pet rescues since becoming a Veterinarian in 1999. They all face the same problem: inadequate funding.

Glenn put together the idea for his company after considering the success of Newman’s Own Brand, which uses the model of selling products and donating the profits to charities. He thought, why not use this model to help fund pet rescues?

“Every year in the United States between 5 and 7 million pets are surrendered. Sixty to seventy percent of them will never be adopted into loving homes. Most shelters and rescues rely almost one hundred percent on donations. Our customers, when they make a purchase, choose which organization they would like funding to go to. If the organization is not listed, they can enter the information and we will contact them.”

Scott Buckley is the one who designed the web site. He owns an IT company in Akron, NY. They opened Pet Rescue Rx in June of 2013, after about a year of researching and developing the idea. Pricing is a key component of their business model.

“One of the big reasons pets are surrendered is the cost of caring for them. We price our products very reasonably to try to keep people from having to surrender their pets, as well as helping the pets that have been surrendered to shelters already.”

Glenn Buckley owns two Emergency Veterinary hospitals in Florida which contributed start up funding for this project. The brothers draw no income from the endeavor, it is a labor of love for them. The two dogs in the picture belonging to Glenn, Roz and Geri are rescue dogs.

Growing Strong

In order to sell prescription medications, licenses must be obtained in each state individually. Pet Rescue Rx is currently licensed in 23 states. It is a licensed New York state pharmacy based in Akron, NY. They will continue pursuing licensing in the remaining 27 states. Nonprescription products can be sold in any state.

“Every month we are getting more and more customers. The response has been absolutely wonderful, and through them, we are able to give back. We have already sent checks to those rescues and shelters who are registered and we are getting ready to send out a second round of checks.”

They anticipate being able to send checks out on a quarterly basis. There are currently over 200 shelters and rescues registered to receive donations. More sign on every day.

All of this growth has occurred based on word of mouth, and a couple of articles and blog pieces. You can do your part by visiting their site:

Pet Rescue Rx

liking them on facebook:

and buying products from their web site!

While you are at it, share this blog post with all your friends. Ask them to like and follow my blog, where they will find more stories about people who are inspired by their passions to create innovative approaches to the challenges in their lives. Stories about people who express freedom, power and joy by the way they live and work, every day.

Did you like this story? Please comment below! Do you know someone whose story should be featured in this blog? Post a comment and let me know!


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