Throughout your life you meet millions and millions of people.  Many of those people will become friends, some coworkers, some family, and some will just pass by with you never knowing who they really are.  Of all of these people there are always a few that stand out that often don’t even realize why.  These are the people that have the most influence over who we are both personally and professionally.  It may be a high school coach or the boss from your first job or maybe a college professor.  For me, my first mentor was my third and fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Martha Staub.  I found out this weekend that Mrs. Staub has passed away after a long battle with cancer and this had led me to this post.  I did not know at such an early age that a single person could have such impact outside of your Mom and Dad, but she taught many of us growing up how to live and love.  Looking back I am amazed at the things I have carried on to this day.  If we did not have our binders organized she would open them up to see what fell out (I know try that in todays schools).  It sure taught me that I needed to be organized all the time and I know it has kept me in line throughout my professional career.  Mrs. Staub had some health issues one year and her husband, Paul came in to help out for most of a year.  They worked tireless hours with young kids and as I grew I got to see how much they each meant to one another.  It might seem weird that an elementary school teach meant so much but she came to my High School Graduation, I visited her during a trip to Florida in college, her and Paul even came to my wedding.  As I grew up I had other great mentors that never knew how much they meant either, a former Olympic sprinter to push our high school track team, collegiate all-americans in college, a CIO at a former job that made me step outside of my comfort zone and take a more active leadership role, the business owner that reminded me that the best solution may not be perfect but it is the one a company can afford.

I truly believe that every day we may meet someone who can influence our lives and make us a better person.  I only hope that I can have that same influence over someone else to help them grow.  I know Mrs Staub had that kind of influence on me and still does and she will be missed.