Thank you Ed Ackerman

November 3, 2016

I want to send a big congratulations to a major influence in my life and career to Ed Ackerman. Last night in Pittston, he received the lifetime achievement award, and I couldn't think of a better to receive such an award. If you've never had the pleasure to meet or know Ed, he is an inspiration, and I doubt you will find anyone who would argue that fact. Ed was a major reason I fell in love with the world of communications, and decided to pursue this career. I was never a great student in highschool, and I never thought I would even make it one semester in college, let alone five! Ed, gave me, and I'm sure MANY others, the confidence I never had before.

Instead of pointing out your flaws, he would point out your strengths, and use those strengths to help your flaws. He would always greet you with a smile, a joke or just a friendly hello. Recently Ed reached out to me via email, and invited me to Luzerne County Community College to help co host Ed Fest, and it was one of the biggest honors I have had in my career. I have been to the CMA awards, met countless country artist and celebrities, but Ed Fest, that was special.

It was one of my greatest influences, asking ME, to come co host a festival dedicated to HIM. He walked me around campus, introducing me as a "local celebrity". I can't say for sure if Ed was or is proud of what I have become, but that day, it sure felt like it, and it really put a lot of things in perspective. That I must remain humble, and realize that day in and day out, people are fighting and struggling to make their dreams come true. Some never get that dream, and some do, but forget how hard it was. Going back to LCC, seeing those students, and their eyes light up when Ed walked in the room, took me right back to 2004, when I was 18, trying to get my life in order, figure out a future, and a path.

Ed is a not only a mentor, a teacher, but he is also a friend. Not just a friend to me, but to all of his students, and community. Ed has this amazing ability to remember, not only who you are, but your back story, parts of your lives, even your old college friends. I really hadn't talked to Ed since 2007, and this year was the first time we really had the opportunity to catch up. Ed, remembered so many details of my life, even asking how my best friend I made at LCCC, and to this day I'm still best friends with, is doing.

That same best friend recently got married, and he sent Ed an invitation. My friend wasn't expecting him to show, but come the day of the wedding, Ed was at the church with a smile on his face.

That's the kind of person Ed is. He is humble, kind, and a great motivator, and although many people feel the same way, he will never admit it. He will tell you he is just a normal guy, who likes to grab a beer with his wife at local bars, and hang out with his friends.

I sat here trying to think of a nice way to end this, and I think the best way is to simply say, Ed, Thank you and congratulations. Maybe we can get a beer sometime and celebrate.