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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Life and Business Discoveries from the Top…of the Mountain!   May 14th, 2016

According to Helen Keller, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

Inspiration comes from different sources, experiences, people and places. Some people share stories about their passion for art, gardening, books, service for others or music; while some love the thrill of outdoor athletic adventures and seek to challenge the limits of their body. I love skiing because it constantly pushes my abilities. I’m terrified of heights, particularly ledges, but I love the challenge and exhilaration of skiing. I’ve discovered that by challenging oneself, especially while doing something you love; can lead to happiness and beautiful self-discoveries.

Some of us have a special place we turn for refuge – a church, beach or the quiet comforts of a home. Seeking refuge in Big Sky, Montana, I find that the mountains are powerfully therapeutic and spiritual. As soon as you step out of the airport in Bozeman, one can’t help but to feel the magnificence of God’s unparalleled creation displayed before their eyes as they look at the surrounding mountain range. The best thing about time in the mountains is the unplanned and unscripted ways to further mend a heart under the big blue sky, always feeling a renewed sense of purpose and hope.

Time on top of the mountain helps to clear the mind, as well as appreciate the extraordinary skills of talented alpine skiers, like my good friend and trusted ski instructor, John. He was a former competitive college skier who is now a realtor and lives in Big Sky. On the chair lift, we enjoy conversations about our faith, family life, and some heated discussions over politics. John has taught me that skiing is a sport that requires a strong foundation, athleticism, skill, and a strong mindset. After years of ski lessons and conversations with John, it crossed my mind that his ski tips are actually wonderful parallels to life and business.

Here are some of the special teachings from the top:

Attitude creates altitude.


Good friends & good times!

Attitude is power on the mountain. As I snap into my skis, and I’m starting to sweat from all the layers of clothing, I begin to easily get annoyed. I work hard to try to stay positive and create a happy intention for the day of skiing. If my mind is somewhere else, perhaps on my to-do list, phone calls, family or work; these distractions can impact my ability to enjoy the fun of riding the mountain. Furthermore, if my attitude is negative, pessimistic, filled with fear and self-doubt, then my judgment is impaired and makes skiing more dangerous. As John says, “resisting, fighting or falling back from what you fear has a 100% failure rate.  That failure also reinforces and makes a habit of doing the wrong thing, verses practicing something with a positive result.” Only when I begin the day with a positive attitude, thinking positive thoughts, can I truly have a great ski experience regardless of the conditions.

In all we do, whether your goals are in conquering the mountain or in the boardroom, remember to focus on the positive. Visualize it!

Have a plan before you drop-in.

Before you drop-in to the mountain, and onto steeply pitched and daunting double diamonds, focus on the turn in front of you. You’ve got to have a bailout plan if everything goes bad, so the bailout doesn’t do too much damage. Consider how many turns it might take to get to the next narrow area and pick out places to stop and evaluate. John say’s, “when dropping into something scary just make the first turn a good one and the rest will follow. Along with that, try to keep just one thought in your head, you can’t execute more than that.” For a moment, I take pause, trust in my capabilities and consider my plan. Before I drop-in, I remember to just breathe!

Just like work or business, have a plan. Do your homework; design a plan, set dates and measure your performance.


Top of the Tram! Offering some of the most difficult in-bounds chutes in North America, and possibly the world.

Keep your focus down the mountain.

At 11,166 feet, the summit of Lone Peak on Big Sky Resort Mountain offers the most incredible views of Montana. Often riding the scenic Lone Peak Tram to the top, I am in awe of the “Big Couloir”. On a clear, “blue bird” day, one can see unbeatable views of two national parks – the Tetons and Yellowstone, three states and many incredible mountain ranges. You can literally see for MILES! The view from the top is so breathtaking that one is drawn to ski down it just to go back up again to see the views all over again. While the views are surreal, skiing down them can be a little daunting. Before you let fear take it’s hold, John reminds me, “keep your eyes focused down the fall line and not in the direction of your skis!” This simple ski tip helps me stay focused, especially so I don’t let the steep incline below me overwhelm me with fear. Out of this place of fear, I find myself skiing too far across the mountain ridge before dropping my ski tips, until I hear John yelling again, “drop the tips and focus on the fall line!” I then repeat my mantra, begin to relax and focus on what matters most – getting down the mountain safely.

Are you looking down at the details or focused on the horizon?

Speed is your friend!

John will yell, “Come on, go faster, you’re making it harder on yourself!” As John shares with me, his college downhill coach always told him, “If I have to repeat something more than three times; stop and rephrase.” John says, the real goal is to just go with the mountain, let it ride and don’t fight the mountain. The mountain will always win. Just let the ski ride! With experience, I’ve learned it takes less effort to just point the skis vertically, tuck-in and let it rip.

To achieve your goals, embrace speed!

To reach higher peaks, take lessons from the experts.

I always ski with an experienced skier, like my talented friend Meg, as well as with John. Many friends can claim they know how to ski steeps, yet aren’t trained and certified instructors. You can get yourself into some big trouble, if not prepared. It’s a recipe for disaster if you’ve not had proper training or lessons. Spend the money and get a ski lesson.

In business, too many leaders and consultants have never proven they can lead. Be sure you take advice from coaches, instructors and those with credentials to give you advice. Seek mentorship and professional help. It’s worth the investment.

Lessons pay off!


Headwaters off Moonlight Basin – Hike up & Extreme Ski!

Clear your mind.

Our focus can drift on the ski lift. We worry about checking our phones. The best solution is if there is no cell coverage. While skiing, I try to keep things simple in my head and clear of the “what if’s”. Such as “what if I fall off this chair lift?” “Or what if I slide off that cliff?” It’s a horrible feeling. I force my mind to not even enter those thoughts. As soon as I get off the ski lift and begin to make my way to down the mountain, the “blender in my mind” begins to clear and I begin to enjoy the ride.

Create clarity by focusing on one thing at a time, what matters most, and doing it with passion.

See the forest through the trees.

Every year I challenge myself to go ski something out of my comfort zone. I sometimes get down on myself for not taking on more challenging peaks, and begin to shame myself into thinking I’m not tough enough. By reflecting my past year’s experience and applying what I’ve learned, I’ve been able to ski new and more challenging areas of the mountain.

I find in life that we can be either too detailed or too broad when looking at a situation. I sometimes get coaching tips on the mountain or in other business situations that feels like sweeping pronouncements without considering the various details. When you can’t see the forest through the trees (the bigger vision), advice or coaching can feel overwhelming. It’s important to process the tips, appreciate the guidance, and realize; without the trees, there would be no forest.

In business, those who manage can sometimes “not see the forest through the trees”, especially when not understanding the complexities of a certain project. A business coach or outside advice can help one gain perspective and approach a problem from a new angle. May you find that special place in your life, where your heart is behind it, and you see the forest through the trees. 

If you wipeout, get right back up.

Several years ago my good friend took a bad fall skiing and injured her knee. It was the last run of the day and we were making our way down the mountain to base camp. We had skied tough terrain all day, but the light was soft and dull, so the sightline ahead was challenging. My friend mistakenly hit a ridge, twisting her leg and knee up into the air and backwards on the slope of the hill. Her damaged knee sadly ended the ski trip. With determination, she remarkably got right back up again.

It’s not a matter of if, but when, you will wipeout. In life and business, look at every problem as an opportunity. If you fall down or make a mistake, be sure to pick yourself up, dust off your pride and keep on trying!

And most importantly, enjoy the JOY in the ride!


Tram Dawgs!

My time on the mountain is always enjoyable and unforgettable. John challenges me to continually “dive into my fears”.  He say’s, “The pit in your stomach will never go away.  Just do it and you will learn to accept that pit in your stomach.” Each year, I accept his challenge, climb a new mountain and feel a huge sense of accomplishment for what I am becoming in the process. The last run of each season, I snap a few extra photos to savor the memory on the mountain, and then, tuck in and let the winter wind hit my goggles as I smile with joy down to base camp.

As we say goodbye to winter and look ahead to what’s blooming this spring, a special time of renewal and transformation, be grateful for what you are becoming rather than what you’re achieving.

Is your identity in your cause, company, image, or to prove your self worth?


Whether or not you love the challenge of skiing, the goal of sharing my teachings from the mountain is to encourage everyone to go make life an adventure in who and what you are becoming, enjoy the JOY in the journey, and be sure to do it passionately with gratitude!

Until next ski season, keep Big Sky Dreaming!



On behalf of the “Discover U: Live Inspired!” blog

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A football and hockey mom’s life lessons from…the “give and go” pass.   January 20th, 2016

As a sports mom, nothing is more thrilling than the excitement of sitting in the stands watching that one serendipitous play when athletes make the “Give-and-Go” pass combination to beat the defenders and set up a sweet goal or a big Touchdown. This past year, I learned that life is a lot like that “give and go” pass. There is a saying, “the value of a life is always measured by how much of it was given away.” When we invest in others, we pass on our love and leadership. When we give to others, we teach people to see beyond our own world and our own self. And no different than giving or serving others, when a player is unselfish, giving a pass at the right moment to his teammate, one can hope that it usually ends up with a positive outcome.


Give-and-go celebration!

For the past nineteen years, my husband and I have had the tremendous honor and joy of raising two sons and giving to them unconditional love, as well as to the best of our ability the necessary tools to be independent and successful in life. As most parents might feel dropping off their son or daughter at college, when we dropped our son off at Yale this past June for the start of his football conditioning on the Yale football team, we were filled with nervousness, excitement, a mourning of his childhood, and prayers that we equipped him for life successfully on his own. It was truly a special moment with our son. It was our moment as his trusted teammate, to apply the “give and go” technique, and trust that when we let him go, he will soar high. (Sadly, my “give and go” pass required a Kleenex, not a hockey puck or football.)

After tearfully kissing our son on the doorsteps of his beautiful residence hall as we said our farewells, I’ve had several opportunities since then to reflect on how I might practice the “give and go” move in other areas of my life and professional endeavors. Giving and letting go is not an easy thing to do. I’ve recently experienced the heartbreaking loss of a dear friend to cancer and have learned that life doesn’t give us what we prefer. She was a fellow hockey mom, and she knew the joys of the “give and go” pass. Laurie’s life wasn’t special because of the things she accumulated or by what she accomplished, but how much she loved, gave and empowered her children and friends, and invested in other peoples life. The Bible says, “They share freely and give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. They will have influence and honor” (Psalm 112:9 NLT, second edition). 

Eight years ago I founded Live Safe. Why? I wanted a personal way to give back, to serve, and to love others. I wasn’t doing this for the sake of accomplishment. In fact, many of my own friends don’t know much about Live Safe. I’ve done it quietly in hopes of influencing, advocating and caring for the community. Sadly, people don’t realize the true magnitude of fires and perceive fire safety as a non-emergency. Accidental fires have left numerous families bereft and heartbroken.  And the sad truth is that many of these tragedies could have been prevented.

Since 2008, Live Safe, Inc., dba The Live Safe Foundation, an Ohio 501(c)3 non-profit organization, has been devoted to making fire safety education, awareness initiatives and life saving tools available on a broad basis to communities and campuses. The vision was to develop a volunteer organization dedicated to getting out the message of the need to prevent fires and loss of life and providing the tools for people to do this. I thought, if one person listens and takes the advice to heart, and into action, we’ve added value to their life and made a difference.

Since it’s inception, Live Safe has had the good fortune of volunteer assistance and some great partnerships. Without their support, we would be hard-pressed to have provided as much service, fundraising and programming that we feel our community deserves. We’ve applied for some tremendous FEMA grants and have had to suffer some tough rejections. Live Safe’s volunteers and its partner organizations have generously helped to advance the Live Safe mission. In support of varied fire-safety projects and other worthy charities, volunteers have donated thousands of hours of services to Live Safe and its partner organizations, such as, OSU’s Burn Center, Team Rise for the Phoenix Society, Christine Wilson Foundation, Christine’s Christmas, The Christine Wilson Burn Center at Children’s Hospital, Campus Partners, SFPE, CCFS, Columbus Fire Language Barrier Coalition, Leadership Dublin, and most recently to the Great Lakes Burn Camp.

Through the inspiration and leadership of our various volunteers, we have had multiple funding, special donors and programmatic partners (Live Safe with the ABCO Shatten Scholarship Fund). They either provided partial funding for programs (Partners in Prevention), or community services (Great Lakes Burn Camp, OSU Burn Center, Christine Wilson Burn Center, and other various community stakeholders). The diverse array of programs that Live Safe has supported has helped the people they serve, and through them, our community at large.

The past eight years have been busy and exciting in different ways. The Live Safe mission has continued to grow, bringing new and unique pilot programs, as well as a flagship fundraising partnership with ABCO Fire Protection. This past August 2015, Live Safe, successfully hosted its first golf outing, “The Stop, Drop and Roll the Ball Golf Outing benefiting Burn Camp”, raising over $20,000. Most likely each of us will remember the past year for different moments, personal growth, the successful golf outing, new relationships made, and those we passed up. For Live Safe, it was a remarkable year.

Live Safe’s “net” success is no different than that of a well executed “give and go” hockey play, it requires practice and dedicated teammates. Like sending off a child to college, saying goodbye to a dear friend too soon, or that player waiting for a pass or ball, sometimes it isn’t as easy as one can make it look, it’s really hard. Live Safe is a team blessed with great players (our volunteers) and has celebrated many wins and special plays (our programming), and like all teams, we have good and bad seasons.

So, as founder, pondering the future sustainability of Live Safe, the organization is approaching a critical time to make the “give and go” move. The Live Safe team is challenged for leadership, support, and the necessary momentum to maintain ongoing sustainability. Sustaining the non-profit requires ongoing dedicated volunteers, committed to advancing the mission – whether that be in helping to maintain the upkeep of our website, writing necessary blog articles, fundraising towards our scholarship fund or assisting with administrative support. Live Safe, it’s volunteers and supporters have given much over the years, and filling these responsibilities continues to be a challenge. While we are not closing the doors or going away, we are carefully evaluating the impact of letting go. As an organization, we’ve done our best to pass on our love and leadership. I trust that whatever that means for the future of Live Safe, it will hopefully leave behind a legacy of making a small difference.

In the meantime, I wish to thank all of our friends, Partners in Prevention and gracious donors for their support over the years. In life, we are always going to be tested and challenged, no matter the circumstances, and just like dropping off my son at college for the first time, we must practice the “give and go” technique and trust our investments and efforts will make a difference.

In this spirit of “Give and Go“, I sincerely say – “thank you” and wish you good health, happiness and prosperity in the New Year.

Get Safe. Stay Safe. Live Safe.


Jill Marcinick – Founder, President

Always, a fan! LET’S GO Yale Bulldogs & Ohio AAA Blue Jackets!

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Stop, Drop & Roll the Ball Golf Outing supporting Burn Camp!   May 8th, 2015

On behalf of The Live Safe Foundation and ABCO Fire, we are holding our first annual “Stop, Drop and Roll the Ball Golf Outing in Support of the Great Lakes Burn Camp” on August 22, 2015, at the historical Ridgewood Golf Course nestled in the heart of Parma, Ohio. We would love to see you there and have your company as a sponsor this year. This is our newest flagship fundraising event and all proceeds go directly towards our annual ABCO-Shatten Scholarship fund and “Adopt-A-Camper” Partnership Program with the Great Lakes Burn Camp in Kalamazoo, Michigan, providing scholarships for winter and summer burn survivor campers. We appreciate your support!

Come on out, play golf on a terrific course, enjoy some networking, and help support a great cause supporting burn campers and promoting education. We will have a fun awards dinner program following the day of golf.  Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 1.25.10 PM

We are excited to offer a unique opportunity to you and your organization to serve as a sponsor for the golf outing! The success of our fundraising event is largely due to the generosity of business and personal donations we receive from companies and people like you. We hope that you can sponsor this event or provide a donation that can be auctioned off at the dinner fundraising celebration.

Your generous donation to our program will help Live Safe continue its mission. Please accept our sincere appreciation for your participation, sponsorship and for your dedication to our shared mission of fire and life safety education.

This fantastic and fun outing is limited to 80 golfers only.


Saturday, August 22, 2015
Ridgewood Golf Course
6505 Ridge Road, Parma, Ohio 44129

Sign up your foursome today! Nestled in the heart of Parma, Ohio, don’t wait and miss out on a chance to play this 90-year old historical course that Walter Hagen-Arnold Palmer and Babe Zaharias played on years ago! Only a limited number of golfers can be scheduled for this amazing outing with all proceeds directly supporting the Great Lakes Burn Camp and ABCO-Shatten Memorial Educational Scholarship Fund. Sign up today…this event will fill up fast!

Register Online Here!


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Nationwide Children’s Hospital Smoke Alarm Study – Seeking Adults Ages 60-84   February 19th, 2015

Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Previous studies have shown that commonly-used home smoke alarms often fail to awaken children. We have developed a smoke alarm that is more effective in awakening children. In this study, we will test this alarm among older adults 60-84 years of age to find out if it is also effective in awakening older adults. We will also compare the effectiveness of this alarm with other types of smoke alarms.


This study will last for two separate nights (about 5 to 8 hours each night, depending on how quickly you fall asleep).  Each person in this study will experience four separate types of smoke alarms; two each evening. You will hear a low-frequency tone alarm, a conventional high-frequency tone alarm, a voice alarm, and a combination voice and low-frequency alarm.  We will compare the ability of each type of alarm to awaken you. We will also test your ability to do a pretend escape task after awakening from each type of alarm.

This study will be done in the comfortable private sleep rooms in the Sleep Research Center run by Nationwide Children’s Hospital located at 83 Outerbelt Street, across the street from the Hospital’s Close to Home East location on East Broad Street.


You will be compensated for your time and any inconvenience.


Participants must be 60-84 years of age and not taking medications on the day of the study that may affect their sleep or awakening patterns, such as medication for insomnia.


If you are interested in seeing if you are eligible to participate in this study, please contact Robyn Kunsman at (preferred) or by phone at 614-355-5871.

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Smokey is 70   August 19th, 2014

This month Smokey the bear of the US forestry service is celebrating his 70th birthday. Take a look at how his catch phrase has changed go take a look at the smokey the bear’s tumblr (yes he has a tumblr) link

The infographic at smokey’s tumblr also share some interesting stats about his work and influence, so go take a look.

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Summer Is Peak Season for House Fires   July 1st, 2014

ABC News Byron Pitts recently produced a segment about the rising risks of home fires during the summer heat. Some striking numbers are shared in the video, that over 5,000,000 homes do not have working fire alarms. Additionally when you don’t have working smoke detectors a fatal fire is significantly more likely to occur if a fire breaks out.

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Live Safe Foundation thanks the 2014 NFPA Expo Attendees   June 18th, 2014

The Live Safe Foundation was in Las Vegas last week at the NFPA show. The show featured a variety of booths and speakers that promoted fire safety. The show featured a variety of exhibitors, as well as opportunities to get fire safety questions answered, stay current with innovations, as well as a chance to talk with NFPA professionals at their booth. It is regarded as the most all-inclusive event of its kind for a variety of professionals including engineers, architects, and contractors.

Live Safe Foundation thanks the 2014 NFPA Expo Attendees:

The Live Safe Foundation’s booth featured information on upcoming projects and events, as well as highlighting some new, innovative fire prevention technologies from many of our partner organizations. Some of the information provided was regarding consulting, cooking fire prevention, education, market research, public education, research, and training. The expo was a great experience for the foundation to help promote our cause, and an opportunity to share the new fire prevention techniques, cause marketing programs and customized training that the foundation has developed.

Guest Contributor & Article Credits: Emily Barber (Live Safe Foundation, Student Intern/Wake Forest University)

Live Safe Foundation is an Ohio based non-profit organization (501c3), devoted to making and fire and life safety education, awareness initiatives and life saving tools available on a broad basis to communities, campuses, and institutions in an effort to reduce national fire fatalities and fire losses.

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Nest Consumer Safety Notice   April 4th, 2014

Nest has introduced new smoke and CO detectors. It has recently come out that some of the new features could inadvertently be turned off. If you have one of these products please take the time to read the following link and ensure that the device will properly activate.

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Fire Service Equipment on the Block   March 18th, 2014

The closest pieces of fire service equipment is not the fire station a few miles away but the fire hydrant that you find on your block. It is an essiential piece of equipment that a fire rescue personnel will use to fight a home fire.

Fire hydrants can be classified by the outlet types, and available flow. Each of these criteria are determined by the use area and public water supply.

So what should you know about fire hydrants?

If a fire hydrant is not working or not located near the fire scene the amount of equipment and personnel required significantly increases. Instead of using the hydrant and an engine to supply water fire ground operations would be required to use multiple engines, multiple tankers, and additional personnel.

Access is the most critical component that we can influence. The fire service must be able to find and access the hydrant with ease, so vehicles that are parked to close, leaves, snow, and decorative landscaping can all contribute. So think about next time you deside to work outside around the house take a moment to consider the fire hydrant just down the block. It could save your home or your neighbors.

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Plan Your Escape Now   February 18th, 2014

Will you ever have a fire in your home? We all hope not but, if you ever do, will you know what to do? Your life and the lives of your family members may depend on it.

Most people aren’t prepared for a fire. Maybe it’s because they think it will never happen to them or, if it does, they won’t have any trouble getting out safely. In most fires, you’ll have only three to four minutes to escape safely. This is not enough time to devise a plan and make sure everyone in your home knows what to do.

Devising an escape plan now and practicing it with your family can help insure that everyone will get out safely, should you ever have a fire. For most, fires are scary and unfamiliar. By practicing an escape plan, you could help your family react faster and make better choices for their safe escape, even though they may be panicked and frightened.

  • Plan two ways out of every room, and include the windows as an option.
  • Test the emergency exits, like the windows, to make sure you can open them and remove the screens and storm windows inside.
  • Test all smoke alarms monthly to ensure that they work. Replace batteries as needed.
  • Make sure everyone understands the escape plan and recognizes the sound of the smoke alarm. If children or others do not readily awaken to the sound of the smoke alarm, or if there are infants or other family members with mobility limitations, make sure that your plan identifies someone to assist them.
  • Teach your family to stay low and crawl below the smoke to avoid its poisonous gases. Crawling to the exits is vital as 80% of all fire deaths are caused by smoke inhalation.
  • Arrange for a meeting place outside the home. Make sure everyone knows to get out quickly, go to the meeting place, and not return for any reason, not even for pets or a favorite toy.
  • Call the fire department from a neighbor’s house or use a cellular phone. Do not stay in a burning building to use a phone.

Do you have a fire safety or EMS question? We welcome your inquiries at

Guest Contributor & Article Credits: Fire Marshal Alan Perkins, CFPS (Live Safe Foundation, Liaison to the Fire Department Community) – Alan’s career in the fire service spans more than 30 years. He is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist through the National Fire Protection Association and a member of numerous similar safety organizations. Alan consults with numerous fire departments throughout Ohio and in 2005 was chosen by the Ohio Department of Health as the fire service member on the Ohio School Inspection Advisory Committee. He was also awarded Ohio Fire Official of the Year in 2009 by the Ohio Building Officials Association. Alan is the Fire Marshal for the Washington Township Fire Department in Dublin, Ohio. The Washington Township Fire Department provides fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency medical services, and education and safety programs for Washington Township, which encompasses parts of Franklin, Delaware and Union Counties.

Live Safe Foundation is an Ohio based non-profit organization (501c3), devoted to making and fire and life safety education, awareness initiatives and life saving tools available on a broad basis to communities, campuses, and institutions in an effort to reduce national fire fatalities and fire losses.

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