Nothing feels better than surrounding yourself with friends who inspire you and bring out the best in you. Keeping an inner circle is really essential to living a life filled with joy and positivity. Jason Sisneros introduces us to his inner circle – Shawn Hunt, Joe Calo, and Eric Michael Collins. They talk about business, philanthropy, passion, health and fitness, and politics. They share their stories about their adventures, their business success, the lessons learned, their view of charity and philanthropy, and things they’re passionate about. Get absorbed in such an entertaining and inspiring conversation as they pass the ball around, giving us insights and a taste of their wit, brilliance, humor, and fascinating views with friendly banters in between.
Watch the episode here:
Listen to the podcast here:
My Inner Circle Part 2
One of the things that we all have in common is fitness. We talk about vitality on my show because health and fitness, there’s so much crap out there. The idea is that we’re looking for vitality, the energy. Shawn, give a little bit of background. The whole point here is that we need energy. We need vitality. It’s not about having a six-pack. Maybe sometimes six-pack comes along with it.
Let me ask you a serious question. Do you work out because you love it?
I don’t work out because I love it.
Me neither. Why do you do them?
I do it for this exact reason. I want to be fit. I do like my body looking good.
You don’t want to be that fat man on the beach that you and I are always making fun of every day.
That is part of it but the older I’ve gotten, for me, it becomes about maintenance. Making sure that the machine works well and that I have the energy to be able to do these things in my life and keep that energy up. Working out and keeping fit and cardiovascular-wise and muscular-wise, it does have something to do. I do like to look good. We all have a little bit of vanity when it comes to that. For me, it’s about mental clarity and about having the energy to be able to accomplish the things that we’re trying to do. Shawn, give us a little bit about your background and how do you keep fit? What’s your short order advice to the people?
Eat less, move more.
It’s a pretty good one but you have some specific strategies and I see you. We’ve traveled around the world and no matter where we are and what circumstances we find ourselves in, you have a formula that you follow that helps keep you fit. What is that?
Never sit down and eat one big giant meal. I can’t remember the last time I sat down for a big giant dinner. I don’t ever do that, not in the last many years. I ate that big steak dinner and I immediately was like, “I’m going to die.” I don’t do that. I usually get seven small meals throughout the day, protein bars in between maybe. I wake up. I get my meal right away. I like to break the fast. All night long you’re fasting. Get up. Eat breakfast right away in the first fifteen minutes of waking up typically. Right into it get a quick workout in. Even if it’s ten minutes, fifteen minutes. That’s a good way to start the day. I didn’t feel like it. I got up. Woke up and did about fifteen minutes going through my morning rituals. What I’m thankful for. What do I love? What are my intentions for the day? What am I willing to give?
I go through those four things every morning. That takes typically ten to twenty minutes. I had a protein bar. Grab my water, ran downstairs into the gym. Hit twelve minutes on the stationary bike, enough to break a sweat basically. It was something better than nothing, even if you don’t feel like doing something, just doing anything at all. Sometimes if I don’t have time, I’ll do a couple of split lunges and some pushups before I jump into the shower, something that quick and that easy. Some days you have more time. The more energy and some days you feel like doing it and those are the days that you should kick butt.
[bctt tweet=”The quality of our lives is in direct proportion to the quality of the questions we allow ourselves to ask ourselves.” username=””]
I had this discussion with my dad. My dad is recovering from a stroke. He’s ordinarily in pretty good health, pretty good shape. He’s 73 years old. He doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink and may have a glass of wine here and there. He eats super clean, super healthy. These things happen I suppose. He ended up having a stroke. He’s having a tough time. He’s recovering, getting a little better every day. I gave him a giant game plan. Here’s a list of fifteen things you need to do every day. I bought him one of those little mini rebounders with the handle on it, ramp trampoline thing to bounce around on and get his balance back. He does that every day. I bought him little five-pound weights. He’s trying to lift a little bit to get his strength back so he can start moving again. I got him up, went down to his place on the beach and said, “We’re going to lunch.” The restaurant’s only 100 yards down the beach and 100 yards up the beach. I’m like, “We’re going to walk down there.” He was out of breath for sure. I told him, “What’s most important is that you’re doing something every day in working towards that progress.”
It’s easy to not do it. Tony always says, “It’s easy to do. It’s easy not to do.” Every other day, he wakes up feeling good. Every other day, he wakes up horrible. What I said is, “Days that you’re feeling good, you’re doing stuff and you’re more active. We’re on the beach, we go to breakfast. We come back, he needs to rest. I’m like, “You’re rested. Let’s go down to the beach again. Let’s go check the sunset.” The next day he’s like, “I’m dying.” He could barely get up and going because his body is still in such a recovery mode. For me, I told him, “The days that you feel good, those are the days that you should push it. The days you won’t feel good, those are the days that you should do something because it’s a struggle to do anything. You still got to do something. Doing nothing is not an option. That’s my old thing. That’s what I’m trying to help my dad do with his recovery.
You’ve helped me. You model success and I’ve modeled what you’ve done. I’ve modeled some of what Joe does. I’ve modeled some of what Eric does. Eric, what I’ve seen you do is you’re a big hacker. You want to try to figure out what are the shortcuts that work, minimal input, maximum output. You and I have had some long conversations about the whole psychology behind fat loss, energy, being able to think, and your body being able to function at a super high level. On your end, what advice do you have on vitality? How do you keep yourself going?
It’s one of those things where if you’re chasing the money, you’re not always chasing your health or vice versa. Basically, I was chasing the money for a while. Around 2015, I saw a photo of myself for a marketing piece and I was like, “Who is that fat guy?” I ended up getting up to 240. Everything was hurting. All the injuries, I was in a ton of pain all the time. I couldn’t sleep. I was drinking a ton to try and mitigate it. Finally, I was like, “Enough is enough.” With minimal input, how do I get maximum results? For me, it’s owning the morning and then it’s also how to incorporate it during the day. Reducing inflammation is hands down the number one most important thing. If you’re eating sugar, you’re jacking up insulation, cortisol on and on, slow breathing. I try to incorporate, and I create little worksheets that I have with me all the time to where I’m basically checking stuff off. I plan my day every morning. I have my morning ritual. What I realized is if you’re going to have a healthy life, you have to have a life that you’re not going away from. It’s like, “I’m going to work all day and then I’m going to go work out. I’m not going to work out on weekends.”
For me, when I plan out my day every morning, I skip my morning and then I break it out and I have about ten chunks of 25-minute sessions. Those are my activities for 25 minutes of focused intention. I’ll usually prime it mentally, which is a part of health. I’ll do a little breathing exercise like Wim Hof. I’ll do a little quick round of breathing, a little primer for the 25-minute session. I’ll take a five-minute break. During that five-minute break, I’ll do a more detailed breathing exercise like Wim Hof. With every one of those chunks then I’ll hang, or I’ll do a Superman or squats or pushups or crunches or whatever. Throughout my day, I’ll basically incorporate the most important parts.
I’ve got my alkaline water. I finished my bone broth. I got my butter coffee in the morning. In my office, I incorporate natural weight. I have a mat. Do some breathing. Do some different things, squats, and whatnot. The goal for me at least, because I have many injuries, is not to be shredded even though I’ve lost a lot of weight and I feel better and look better. The idea is more holistic health because at around 2:00 I was getting twitches in my eyes from stress. It’s doing those simple things throughout the day. If you’re doing these little things throughout the day it’s not, “I work during this time. I work out maybe once in a while,” because you skip it. On the weekend, I’m not doing anything. I do all this stuff all the time.
You’re more into the functional. One big thing that you’ve always worked on is inflammation and keeping that down because you’ve got all those injuries. That’s good advice for those people that are out there that are suffering from life. It piles up on you. Joe’s the beast of all of us. He does CrossFit. He’s always in beast mode and we travel a lot so I get to see his workouts when we’re traveling together at the hotels. What do you do for vitality?
Fitness had such an impact on me. I was so skinny as a kid. When I joined the Army, I was 180 pounds at 6’3”. My mother went to go buy me these pants that I wanted for Christmas. The guy asked her, “What are you dressing, a flagpole?” I was so skinny. That’s a true story. Providence, Rhode Island. She went to go buy these pants. It was different. I never envisioned myself as shredded or that was a possibility. I started doing it quite frankly because I want to be able to defend myself. I was too skinny and I was playing with Alpha dogs. It was out of necessity. When I hit it, I wanted it to fall down. It was always about survivability. After the military, when I was working in the fire department, we were walking around with an extra 60 or 80 pounds on us. If you fall through the floor and you’re not dead or with a broken leg, my goal was always to be able to keep that gear on and jump to the beams and pull myself out, so I don’t die.
Much of that was driven more once I had kids, I didn’t want to leave them without a father. That was a hell of a why. That moved me. It was always functional fitness. Functional from the fighting side and the self-defense side, that was always a driver. The military taught me this valued piece that you should be able to do as much humanly possible damage to your body and still function. It’s messed up. It’s not an actual good plan but we would drink until 6:00 in the morning and go to PT. It was insane. We would drink and smoke. How much damage can you do and still run flat out for a mile? That was always that mindset. That’s where I started to push functional fitness and that was always my thing. I had kids when I was older. I wanted to see them get married and grow old so there was that piece that drove me.
The other piece for me was I hated that I was skinny and it was such a pull to gain weight. Some of it is exchanged lately because I’ve dealt with some injuries and whatnot. I’m in that space where I’m shifting back. I hated it so much because I was so skinny, and it was so much work that I was going to do it because I said I was going to do it. It was about strength up here. Every ounce of me doesn’t want to do this and wants to come up with an excuse, so I’m going to do it just so I build this muscle. Not the muscle in my arm. Not the muscle in my chest. It had less to do with that for me and more to do with the determination.
Sometimes I’m not focused on vitality. I’m still staying up too late and drinking too much. I do a lot of pushups and pull-ups and heavy bag. Heavy bag for the cardio, heavy bag for the shoulders, heavy bag for the core, and then pushups and pull-ups. I’ll spend those high-intensity quick and then strain the muscles. High intensity, quick cardio, then strains the muscles. I eat whole foods by and large. I don’t eat a lot of junk unless I’m hungover and I need the BK Lounge or something because I’m hung over. Other than that, it’s pretty rare that I eat junk. I eat by and large meat. I do eat grains. I do eat carbs. I’m fine with carbs because my metabolism is fast and vegetables. That’s pretty much it. I don’t drink soda hardly ever. I used to have a Monster every day or whatever, one not 27 of them. I cut those out.
[bctt tweet=”When we fail at something, that is an indicator that we need to change something about ourselves.” username=””]
The main reason why we talk about is that there are many people out there and they’re looking for the right model of what works. It’s personalized medicine. We had a client of ours that focused in on personalized medicine. It comes down to what works for you functionally in your own life. Eric’s had scenarios happen to him in his life that none of us have had. Joe, you’ve had the same thing. You’ve had different needs for being a firefighter and doing the stuff you did in the military than we did. Shawn’s had his life that he lives and I’ve had mine. We’re all different ages and we all come at it from a different angle. It’s asking the better question. How can I have the most vitality possible with the tools that I have available to me, and doing that research and putting some time, effort, and energy into it for yourself? That’s a good segue for us to move into a non-confrontational subject called politics. We have a wide belief in politics. It’s a good insight. We’re all different parts of the country. All do different things. You’ve got California. You’ve got West Coast, East Coast, flyover states. It’s all representative of the country.
The last podcast I did with A New Dawn, we went through and they were talking about being high-end prostitutes and being heroin addicts. One lady was thinking about committing suicide and she was going to use a chainsaw to cut her head off. When she first said it to me, we were at Dawn of Hope. It was their yearly event. She was telling me this story and I asked her a question to test. I said, “Did the chainsaw have a lock so that it would be going?” Her idea was she was going to fall back on it and there’s no coming back from that was her sentence. She said, “I couldn’t afford the one with the lock on it. I was going to have to Jerry-rig it with bungee cords.” I’m like, “She really thought this out.” These are the things that they were going through and we get to the end of it.
The end segment that I was in these shows with is politics. It was five of these women around the table telling crazy stories. I go, “What’s your political leaning?” They all at the same time went, “No, no, no.” You can talk about being a high-end prostitute and cutting your head off with a chainsaw, but we’re not going to talk about politics? That’s too sensitive for you? That’s a good indicator. It shocked me a little bit when it happened because at the same time they all were like, “I’m tapping out at talking about politics.” It’s become one of those things when you identify yourself as a Democrat or Republican, everybody starts to assume who you are. It’s important that we talk about it a little bit. Give me your opinion. We’ll start with you, Eric. What’s your viewpoint on what’s happening in the world of politics these days?
I live in Communist California and every chance I get, I try and run away but my wife has got a bunch of families here so I’m stuck. Basically, it’s a nanny state. If you can’t take care of yourself, California is going to try and tax you and tax the people who are doing something and then redistribute that money to people who aren’t. I’m a big fan. Like you, Jason, I’ve never and maybe I should have. I lost everything I owned. I didn’t declare bankruptcy, hate off a ton of stuff. Still to this day many years later I’m paying people off. No employment, no this and that. I’m big on self-reliance or your village. All of us have stumbled. Everybody except for Joe has helped me in times of need. We need to get back to that. I voted libertarian simply because I didn’t think that in California my vote would matter if I voted for Trump, otherwise, I would have. The two-party split down the middle, every Republican thinks this way, every Democrat thinks this way is a joke. I want my personal freedom. I want low taxes. I want my guns. I want you to stay out of my life and I’ll give you the same courtesy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be the trend.
We had Trump go on and say that the barter is a disaster. Then you have Pelosi and Schumer pop up like a couple of goofballs, sitting there saying things that are not true. 80% of the people at the border are not women and children. When you stand there and you say, “At the border, women and children are trying to get in.” It’s not true. Both of you people need to stop lying, the left and the right, and/or you guys keep saying whatever you want but it’s up to us to fact check. I’m not saying Trump says everything right. Trump is a hot mess in many ways. He’s also doing a lot of things that I’ve wanted to get done. Shawn can probably attest to this as well. When we were doing artificial grass, I go out there in front of the manufacturer. I got twenty people on the whole list, 100% of the installers did not have contractor’s licenses and were illegal. The issue that I have is people are always talking about a level playing field. Let’s have a level playing field. If somebody wants to come in and immigrate legally, I’m all for it.
You’re an intelligent person. You think things through and you have your definite opinions. What you see when you’re on more of the conservative side of things is you see that we pad things. We say, “There’s this,” but you try to see both sides of the equation. When I’m dealing with somebody that’s radically on the left, there’s no stop gap. They say what they believe and with no apologies to anybody. That’s been that dichotomy between the right and the left. In my opinion, I’ve been very vocal about it is that most people in this world and especially in this country are not right or left. They’re right decisions that end up building posterity in the future for our kids and for our grandkids. You’ve got the loud people on the right that are idiots and you got the loud people that are on the left that are idiots, and Trump’s doing some good things. On the other side of the equation, they’ve got some good ideas. When you demonize everybody, it’s BS.
I’m a hypocrite. One of the single greatest things that have changed my life is the legalization of cannabis. I never did it before. I hated marijuana because if I ever did, I look like a sloth. I can bag on California but at the same time, they passed that law. As a result, I traded one strategy for another. I was downing a bottle, a bottle-and-a-half of wine at night, on the weekends knocking back a case of beers because I was in so much pain. I’m like, “I’m not going to get addicted to opioids,” and then I started to do that. It’s like, “What do I do?” I haven’t had a drink in several months. It’s not because I’m trying to be sober. It’s that strategy wasn’t working for me because if I’m in pain and I’m under stress in business, that strategy doesn’t work. I tried a different strategy, low-dosing THC, high-dosing CBD along with other things but that gave me at least a little bit of help to where I could sleep through the night without waking up 30 times in agony.
It’s easy for us to judge other people. I don’t believe everybody on either side is right. Some of them are definitely wrong. Some are definitely right. The problem that I have is that nobody’s taking the time to see it from the other person’s side. More and more as I get older, I’m definitely trying to do that. I still have certain opinions. You once said on a fishing trip years ago you’re like, “You’re one of the most certain people I know,” or something like that. Since then I was challenging those beliefs. When I hear something from a Democrat now, I don’t shut it off. I sit there and I go, “What is there to that? What am I missing? What am I not seeing?”
That’s called intellect and more people need to use it because when you’ve got CBD, that’s not a Democrat thing. There are medical uses, there are all kinds of things that it does that is good and then there are people who take it too far. There are people that are against it for stupid reasons. There’s an in between and that’s where we have to fall. We’re in business. Being in the business, the whole thing is around compromise. The whole thing is around win-win situations. The whole thing is around negotiation. The whole thing is looking at an opportunity and using your intellect instead of saying, “I’m a Democrat or Republican,” and going on the thing that disgusts me about people that are on TV. When you see a Democrat, they know what they’re saying is BS. You’ve got a Republican that goes on there and they know what they’re saying is BS. They’re doing it because it’s talking points. That noise, that’s what needs to stop. How about you, Shawn?
I do my best to stay out of politics because it’s all BS. I got a tough time with both sides. The biggest problem is a few you might know what I mean by this. I’m orange. I’m not blue. I’ve got a tough time taking one side or the other and this is the way it needs to be. I live in California and it’s none your business what I do. Get out of my business, I stay out of yours. I think for myself. Everybody at the end of the day on TV is full of it. Everybody goes out and repeats the entire BS that they heard. We got a major problem at the border. People that think there’s no problem at the border are delusional. I took Jason and Eric also in the helicopter. We went down to the border. We followed the border from San Diego, from the beach all the way inland pass Otay to that compound where we landed. That was about 50 miles of the border. About every ten miles or so there’s a gap where there’s no wall at all for a mile to two miles. Every river that goes through there, no fence, no wall, no anything, it’s literally wide open. You can walk through it. You could walk around and do whatever you want. There’s no border at all.
Where you put the big barriers, the illegal crossings stop by 96%. Where we were going, we may or may not have been firing machine guns out of the helicopter. Right across the way, you could see drug-smuggling staging houses. It’s not like this stuff’s not happening and everybody that thinks that they’re going to ignore the problem because it’s Democrat or Republican, it’s an American problem and it’s a Mexican problem. It’s everybody’s problem. They’re filtering drugs across and it’s not even about the people so much. It’s about the drugs and about the other entire BS that’s coming across that border.
[bctt tweet=”There are two mindsets in this world – to wait for somebody to rescue you or to participate in your own rescue.” username=””]
Human trafficking is a higher revenue source for cartels and drugs. These people get here and they’re stuck and they’re trapped. They’re threatened with death or their family members.
Shawn, you summarized how we all feel. Try to stay out of it. I don’t try to stay out of it. I’m making it my mission for people to realize that there’s an answer in the middle. That’s the thing that makes this country great is the tension in the middle. You go too far left, you end up with Venezuela. You go too far right, you end up as Hitler. I don’t want either one of those things to happen. What I like is people meeting in the middle and having that natural tension create an idea that was bigger or better than both sides could have come up by themselves. That’s what we need to do and if that takes a third party or that takes us hammering down on that concept. Joe, what’s your take?
The hard thing is there’s a natural tension between the two. It’s like the Hatfields and the McCoys. Everybody’s in it for their own interests. Our founders got together and they vehemently disagreed with each other’s positions. Yet they were looking at it as what’s best for the people who lived here. They came to compromise not for the sake of compromise, which is what happens not for the sake of political shifts that I can cash in later, but this is what’s going to serve better.
All we do is we run the same narratives and everybody’s out for themselves. These people have nothing but political influence in their entire careers. Term limits would be a genius. Everybody always says, “We can’t do that. We need the people who have been there for many years and know how to do it all. If we had term limits on them all, you’d know how to do it all after a couple of years. You wouldn’t need that many years to know how to do it all if you had term limits. Career politicians, all they have are a political influence.
You and I disagree on this. I wasn’t happy with either candidate. I don’t like either one of them. I don’t remember exactly where I heard it, but I don’t believe it was all mine or maybe pieces of it are. My concern with Trump was that he was going to erode the social fabric. He’s done some of that. My concern with Trump was that he wasn’t going to govern conservatively. He has surprisingly. I was happy about that. My concern for Trump was that he would do so much damage to the Republican Party that it would never recover. Those three things, two of them have yet to be seen. The social fabric thing’s already been done. It already is what it is.
The other one, Benghazi is enough for me. The crimes were enough for me. The criminal stuff was enough for me. For me, it felt like am I sticking the knife in the top socket or the bottom socket? I didn’t like either one of them if I’m honest, but the two-party system creates a lot of that. My deciding piece was judges. It was all about the judges. That was a big deal for me and Trump has certainly excelled in that regard. It certainly looks like we’re going to get another Supreme Court justice. That’s a big deal. The natural tension between the two and we know that this came from Jordan Peterson. Anything you do, you’re going to have somebody who’s better at it and somebody who’s worse at it. If that gets out of control, then you have oppression in that system.
On the left, you always have those people that are trying to balance that out, if that gets then you’ve got Venezuela. What’s that natural tension in the middle that benefits us all? Some of the old positions, more conservatives nowadays are more socially liberal than they used to be. I don’t care who you bang, guy, girl. It doesn’t make any difference to me who you marry. It makes no difference to me. A lot of it was rooted in the Judeo-Christian backgrounds and that’s where a lot of those pieces. I don’t think our dad’s Republicans are what it means to be conservative these days. Stay out of my business. Stay out of my life. You’ve got to take my guns from me, that will be interesting. I hope you expect to receive fire when that happens. That’s my take and they all want to spin it to their own end but nobody’s trying to solve the problem.
The thing that we fight against that I’m fighting against is it naturally happens unless it doesn’t naturally happen, which is it forms into this oligarchy, a ruling class that thinks that they know better than us. The thing that I have a major problem with is that the Founding Fathers said that it should be a sacrifice to go serve your country and then go back to where you came from to create wealth or to take part in your constitutional rights. Therefore, while you’re there you will never set a law against yourself because you’re going back, and nobody goes back anymore. I also heard it said that if you go to Washington DC to serve and you come out richer than when you started, you stole. Who did you steal from? You stole from your neighbors. You stole from other people. You stole from the general public.
[bctt tweet=”You have to be able to measure the success of what you’re doing against the money that you’re bringing in.” username=””]
People don’t understand that. They’re okay with people going in with $100,000 and coming out with $100 million. Where did that money come from? It came from people buying your stuff. When you go in there and there’s a government shut down and all these people are getting paid, that is against what the Founding Fathers ever thought was supposed to happen. They opt out of all of the stuff that we have to do. If you’re a senator, congressman, or any part of that government, you all of a sudden get a pass on following the same laws, same taxes, and all the same stuff we have to go through as the general public living under it.
That my friends are why America was founded in the first place was to get away from that stuff. It takes a few months for the average American to pay their taxes. January, February, March, and April before you ever get to keep any of the money that you’re having. We left and we fought a war and we went to war and died and fought against a place that the taxes were much lower. The taxation was much lower without representation. We’ve got to take this country back. I strongly support #ReplaceThemAll and get that flow of people where it’s a sacrifice to go serve and do your best for your country. Fight your battles right and left but then come back to a system that you helped to improve. Not one that you set up for yourself for a lifetime appointment in an oligarchy system that says you’re better than I am and you’re going to you’re going to make decisions for me that you don’t live by. That’s my big deal.
Thank you so much. I appreciate your time. I appreciate you guys coming on here. Hopefully, everybody got a taste of why I love these guys so much. Will take a bullet for any one of them. I respect and love you guys. We’ve been through some massively bad situations together and we all come out fighting and better off. I wanted the world to get to meet you and to see the things that I see in you. To let them know I’m proud to surround myself with fellows like this. I trust them with my life and we have a great relationship. Thank you, all, for being here. I appreciate it. I love you very much and back to kicking butt and taking names.
Thanks. Love you, guys.
- Previous episode with A New Dawn
About Eric Michael Collins
Eric Michael Collins has a track record of helping entrepreneurs realize their vision: Eric Collins helps companies streamline, strengthen and succeed.
Eric is as passionate for business as he is for life. He’s an entrepreneur, inventor, an angel investor, and educator. In the course of his career — and he’s only in his 30s — Eric has owned, partnered with an established joint venture with dozens of successful businesses in a variety of fields. He knows the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the backward and forwards of building businesses. Eric’s life and professional career have been a spectrum of triumphant pleasures (as well as hellish agonies). Eric is fervent about using his experience to assist entrepreneurs to build success while eliminating the risk factors that all-too-often produce failure. His devotion to the process led Eric Collins to create Compounding Success. Eric Michael Collins provides entrepreneurs, salespeople and corporate executives with practical expert advice to measurably increase profits, revenue and free time while decreasing expenses and eliminating risk.
About Joe Calo
Joe Calo brings his considerable experience as a strategic thinker and facilitator. He has been driven by the need to improve his situation since his underprivileged childhood and has used his tenacity, ingenuity, and creativity to change his economic circumstances.
While in the Army, Joe was recruited as an Intelligence Officer and served during Panama, the fall of the Berlin Wall and Desert Storm, working with the Central Intelligence Agency, the Special Operations Command, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Air Force Intelligence, and the Naval Intelligence Service.
Following his military and intelligence career, and after a period of personal unrest, Joe spent a 20-year career with a large fire and rescue department, was a tactical paramedic assigned to the SWAT team and participated in high-risk warrant service, barricades, and hostage situations.
Separately, Joe participated in negotiations for both labor and management, wrote comprehensive policies and legislation that changed the culture of the department, and ascended to Chief Officer where he successfully managed all organizational legal and human resource matters for the Department including arbitration, mediation, depositions, and federal litigation at the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.