Clarity – Original Poem

I want to stay young with you forever
Breathing in your love for all eternity

Each moment of your warm flesh against mine, a gift of the ages
A feeling has come over me

A pillar of marble forming the foundation of our future
I am intoxicated by the sobriety of your passion

I see my earthly existence cradled in your hands

A safe harbor
An asylum of compassion

This is where I am meant to be
Right here in the clouds with you

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Never lose faith in your dreams…Even when everyone else has – Congratulations VCU

We often hear of the corruption of sport…
The bribes, the gambling, the convictions but in a brief moment, for one day, any team in any sport can be the best.

That is the absolute purity of competition and the reason millions of us flock to arenas, bars and TV sets to see the dreams of young men and woman come true. As an underdog, the expectation is that you will lose. Maybe 9 out of 10 times or 99 out of a 100 times, but one day when everything aligns perfectly, that 10th time or 100th time is a memory that will last a lifetime.

It is the 1000 word picture that stays imprinted in your mind as you share the story with your children and grandchildren that continue to keep us coming back.

Today, the Kansas Jayhawks, walked into San Antonio, Texas as an 11.5 point favorite and sure bet to go to the Final Four of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. Who could have thought Virginia Commonwealth University; a humble school in a town of 200,000 could walk away the victors. Aside from the 200,000, not many more.

Witnessed by fans from coast to coast, a dream became a remarkable reality. From start to finish, they dominated the giant. In a true modern day David and Goliath story, these remarkable young men, with their confidence on their shoulder and their pride in their hearts put together sixty minutes of perfection to take down one of the best teams in the nation.

To bear witness to this event can only make you smile.

Embrace this moment, as a fan, a player, a coach or just someone that believes that life is unpredictable and in any given moment, miracles can happen.

Congratulations VCU for making a country believe in something magical.

Purchase “A Beautiful World” Today – Newest Poetry Collection by Mark A. Leon

A Beautiful World

Written by Mark A. Leon
Edited by Caryn Hull
Cover Photography by Amy Sapp

“The heart knows no truth except that written in the book of life”

The second publication in the anthology has arrived. The follow up to Sonni’s Abyss, A Beautiful World is now available for purchase. This collection of poetry and essays is a warm and refreshing look at happiness, birth, love, family and the strength of the inner spirit. Now is your chance to own the next installation by Mark A. Leon.

For those that own the Sonni’s Abyss, we hope you find the same connection you felt in the first book.

Click here for immediate purchase options:

Purchase Link and Samples

We are looking forward to bringing our lives to you.

Use Paypal or send a check for $10.00 per copy to:

Mark A. Leon
105 Pahaquarry Road
Hopatcong, NJ 07843

Mom, I would like to introduce you to Elizabeth Taylor

An icon of unspeakable distinction passed on today, Elizabeth Taylor.
A woman of beauty, charm, passion, strength and presence, she grabbed us both on and off the screen throughout her career and her life. She was a woman of class who had the power to don respect and admiration throughout the world.

I was saddened by her passing, but it was more internalized for me.

Often, we try to find a celebrity to compare ourselves. I cannot quite define the reason, but we often feel that if we can live our own lives vicariously through a celebrity, a little piece of that lifestyle stays with us.

Each time, I visit my childhood home, I see the beautiful wedding picture of my mother and father and each time I am in awe on how closely my mother resembled Elizabeth Taylor at the height of her beauty and elegance. Born less than a year apart, my mother fought diabetes and congestive heart failure as she battled the final years of her life.

Just to my left is a picture of my mother at the age of 10 with a bird, my uncle and a friend on a farm in Upstate New York. Like National Velvet, she had a glow as a child that carried forward into her adult years. I have often and continue to admire the strength of my mother much similar to how others share stories of Elizabeth Taylor.

As the world mourns the death of a screen legend, it is a moment to reflect once again on my mother.
Now in some other plane, the two who I often felt led parallel lives in a different perspective can finally meet.

Mom, I would like to introduce you to Elizabeth Taylor. Now, neither one is in pain.

Charity: Why aren’t you doing it????

‘When the world says, “Give up, Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.”‘ – Author Unknown

Did you know that a high percentage of mid-size and large cap companies offer matching gift programs and time off for charitable work?

Here is a short list of companies that offer a matching gift option (List provided by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society – htp://www.nationalmssociety.org)

ADP Foundation
Aetna
Allied World Assurance Company
AMDMatching Gift Program
American Express Foundation
American International Group, Inc
American Petroleum Inst
Amgen Foundation Matching Gifts
Anchor Capital Advisors Inc
AON Foundation Matching Gifts
Applera Charitable Gift Match Program
Bank of America
Baxter International Foundation
BD Matching Gift Program
Becton Dickinson & Company
Best Buy Company, Inc.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation
CA, Inc.
Cadence Design Systems, Inc.
Chestnut Hill Realty
Citgo Petroleum Corporation
CitiGroup Foundation Matching Gifts Program
Citizens Charitable Foundation
CNA Foundation Matching Gifts
Company, AMGEN Matching Gift
Computer Associates International, Inc.
Daily Press, Inc.
Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation
Eaton Vance Management
Firstgiving, Inc.
FM Global
Fortis Investments
GE Foundation
Genzyme Corporation
Gillette Matching Gifts Program
GlaxoSmithKline Foundation
Global Impact
Goldman Sachs & Co Matching Gift Program
Google Matching Gifts Program
Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. LLC
Highland Capital Partners LLC
Home Depot
Hospira Employee Giving Campaign
HP Employee Charitable Giving Program
IBM Corp. Matching Grants Program
International Data Group
Investors Bank & Trust Company
John Hancock Financial Services
Johnson & Johnson Matching Gifts Program
JPMorgan Chase Foundation
Juniper Networks
KeyBank National Association
LandAmerica Foundation
Loring, Wolcott & Coolidge
Mass Mutual Financial Group
Mass Mutual Life Insurance Co.
Massachusetts Port Authority
Mastercard Matching Gift Program
Mattel Childrens Foundation
McCormick Tribune Foundation
Merck Partnership for Giving
Merrill Lynch & Co. Foundation, Inc.
MFS Investment Management
Microsoft Corp.
Millipore Foundation
Minerals Technologies Inc.
Monsanto Fund
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Fdn
Motorola
National Grid
New York Life Political Action Committee
Newbury Corporation
NGM Charitable Foundation
Nissan Gift Matching Program
Oce North America, Inc.
Old Mutual Asset Mgmt Chartable Fnd Inc.
Omgeo LLC
Oppenheimer Funds Legacy Program
Oracle Corporation Matching Gifts Program
OSR Open Systems Resources Inc.
Pfizer Foundation
Pfizer United Way Campaign
Phoenix Foundation, Inc.
Pioneer Group, Inc.
Pitney Bowes Giving Station
Polaroid Foundation Inc.
Prudential Foundation
Putnam Investments
Reebok Human Rights Foundation
Reuters America Inc
Rogers Corporation
Rose Displays
RSA Security Inc.
Sabre Holdings United Way Campaign
Saint-Gobain Corporation
SAP Matching Gift Program
EMD Serono, Inc.
St. Paul Travelers Foundation
State Street Matching Gift Program
Stop & Shop Supermarkets
Sun Microsystems
TAP Connected to the Community Giving Campaign
The Arthur J. Gallagher Foundation Employee Gift Match Program
The Home Depot Political Action Committee
The Math Works, Inc.
Thomson Financial Services
Tyco Employee Matching Gift Program
UBS Foundation USA
United Healthcare
UnumProvident Corporation
Varian Semiconductor Equipment
Verizon
Wachovia Foundation Matching Gifts Program
Waters Corporation
Wellington Management Company LLP
Woodland Partners, Llc
Ziff Brothers Investments, LLC

We often hear of the larger global foundations assisting throughout the world:

Ronald McDonald House (www.rmhc.org)
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (www.gatesfoundation.org)
Bono’s Charity Work (www.looktothestars.org/celebrity/26-bono)
American Red Cross (www.redcross.org)
Salvation Army (www.salvationarmy.org)

Why are so many not taking part on the greater good of charity?

Last evening, I was walking down the beach on the Gulf Coast in Fort Myers Beach. The soft evening breeze and light of the full moon was interrupted by a shower of candlelight. I had stumbled up a Relay for Life raising money for the American Cancer Society. A course was set up on the sand consisting of bags with candles each representing a person who survived or lost the battle to cancer. Just standing at a safe harbor, I observed and reflected on my own personal stories of those that was afflicted with Cancer.

When I think of charity, the world that comes to mind is “personal”. Many of us have personal triumphs and tragedies that shaped how we deal with the course of our lives. We need to view charity as a respectful act of generosity with a element of selfishness as we are not only helping others, but respecting those in our lives that have dealt in the past. Charity is a balance between hope and sadness. It is a way to forgive the cruelties that surround us and see a light at the end.

Charity is not about immediate results, but what we can give to future generations.

Remember, when you chose to give your money, time, thoughts or skills for the benefit of others, have a purpose and a connection because what you do is selfless generosity that cannot be measured in any monetary value.

We are a society of perseverance and inner strength that grows stronger with tragedy.

“The life of a man consists not in seeing visions and in dreaming dreams, but in active charity and in willing service” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Corporate Talent Acquisition – Are you Partnering with the Business?

There is an unwritten rule in many corporations that you will never see written in any handbooks or policy guidelines: Stay within your own bubble.

We don’t want to see Accounting fraternizing with Information Technology or Human Resources hanging out with Legal. It is just the nature of the business community. Stick with your own and they will have your back. Well, aside from getting first dibs on the food at a birthday team party or access to all the inside jokes, this is a very narrow minded perspective on doing business especially in Talent Acquisition.

We have all embraced the “business partnership” or “internal client relationship” piece of Talent Acquisition but to what extent. Having open communication on the specifics of the role, culture of the team, day to day responsibilities, soft skills, technical components and key logistics are critical elements, but we perhaps are missing the most significant piece of the relationship: Knowledge sharing.

As you review the professional portraits of your senior and executive leadership, you will see some common elements including consistent industry experience. As these more senior members move through the path of their career they develop expansive networks. These networks offer a hidden batch of talent on the passive side. This network of successful human capital will not be on the search engines or active in the talent communities but will provide you with the key skills to generate sales and increase business value.

Talent acquisition needs to partner with senior leadership to access the contacts and begin a process of warming that talent and bringing them into your stratosphere. When you can bring these top performers into your network, the rest is up to you. Then sell, sell, sell. With your persuasive skills you can entice this talent to your side and when the key roles open up, you are a folder away from closing the deal with the top industry talent.

When you are looking for that needle in the haystack, they may be closer than you think.

A Belgium Delight – Original Poem

In a moment, two hearts embraced the sweet escape of a Shakespearean love affair

In the arms of another, salvation is the strength she endures

In one perfect mistake, everlasting love rises in the vision of a rainbow of sun light

Snuggled bodies lie still in motion as an outpour of emotion screams in silence
Her finger tainted by the uncertainty of a diamond
She is the dream I can touch the fantasy I had given up on

The setting sun provides reflection on a relationship over the horizon

Tomorrow wonderland will return to a box in the corner of her mind

She will wake to the comfort of home and wonder