Sharing Waves of iNspiration
by Judy Connors
I met John Iannuzzi this month for the first time (virtually, of course, as a result of the recent COVID-19 social distancing conditions) and I knew immediately we had a connection. After a long phone conversation, we discovered so many overlaps in our lives that it was uncanny- both Philadelphia born and raised, we grew up about a mile from each other, went to the same high school, Archbishop Ryan (I was two years ahead), both had a Temple connection (he for undergraduate, me first job out of college) and we must have walked past each other at CBS in Philadelphia where he was in advertising and I was in the newsroom.
As we talked about life, family, career and motivation another similarity surfaced our shared love of language and the best way to use our treasured words to mark the passage of time, experience and lessons learned.
Recently, we have all been challenged to find the bright side of life. However, spending an hour or so with John made me feel grateful for the ups and downs that bring us all full circle in a world that doesn’t always make sense and recognizing that if we approach life as inspirational, and surround ourselves with positive people, we can be amazed at how our story turns out.
John has an impressive resume: he graduated from Temple University in 1985 with a BA in Broadcast Communications and, in 1984, was selected as one of the nation’s top twenty communications students awarding him a New York TV Industry Fellowship.
After graduation, he spent several years as a television account executive with NBC affiliates, WMGM-TV and KYW-TV in Philadelphia returning to school part-time to pursue his MBA at Temple University. After some time in New York, John returned to Philadelphia and KYW-TV affiliate, CBS3, and taught part-time as an Adjunct Professor at Temple’s School of Communications. In 2008, Philadelphia-based Comcast recruited and appointed John Regional Sales & Marketing Director.
Fortunate to be able to retire in 2017 at the age of 57, John began pursuing his career-long passion of writing, inspiring, and motivating people to realize their full potential. “My time in corporate America helped me understand how words really matter and how they can make a huge difference in the trajectory of someone’s life,” John says. “Life is hard and if we can approach it with a grateful and positive attitude, we can begin to understand what got us to this point in our life and where we are headed.”
And that brings us to where John is today. Pursuing his passion to inspire, motivate, and educate people, John founded and published the website, YouriNspirationNation.com, launched March 2018.
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al, motivational, and educational content curated from the industry’s most influential motivational and inspirational writers, bloggers, authors, publishers, and producers delivered monthly in a variety of formats: blogs, book links, quotes, videos, and more. “What drives our mission to inspire, motivate, and educate is the simple belief that people who are encouraged to reach their full potential become motivated to live up to those expectations, hopes, and dreams and, in the process, make the world a better place.”
Members receive the Weekly Wave of iNspiration eNewsletter sent straight to their inbox at the top of each week in an easy-to-navigate format.
A recent visit to the site included links to motivational books about rediscovering your passion in life, intelligent ways to deal with toxic people and timely pieces on Covid-19 anxiety, how communities are staying connected during coronavirus, and how to stay calm when you know you’ll be stressed. The website explains, “We are passionate about this philosophy which is why we have dedicated ourselves to collecting, organizing, and simplifying the search for uplifting and motivational content by curating multiple forms of inspirational and educational online resources; then, carefully selecting the type that reflects our philosophy and arranging it in one convenient user-friendly place.”
His wife of 28 years, Kathie, has also been employed in the communications industry is a very successful personal/professional life coach, John says, and is his greatest inspiration. They are the proud parents of 24-year-old John Ryan, a Richmond University graduate and now Washington, DC Aerospace Analyst with Avescent Consulting; 20-year-old Shane, a rising senior at High Point University in NC; and 16-year-old Maurina, a rising senior attending Villa Maria Academy in Malvern, PA.
While raising their family as a dual-income household, the Iannuzzi’s struggled with relevant and meaningful ways to nourish their children’s emotional and intellectual foundation during their critical early-age years—in spite of the demands imposed on their time-deprived schedules. “My wife and I confronted those challenges first-hand raising our three young children while both working full-time out of the home.” John, a CBS television executive, and Kathie, a Talent Director with QVC Broadcast Network were determined to find an effective way to reach, teach, and inspire their children during those years. They developed a unique collection of Messages, Exercises, Activities, Lessons, and Stories (aptly sub-titled, KID M.E.A.L.S.) created to nourish seven essential qualities within early-age children.
People in their circle became curious about their program and it motivated John to document their idea in a popular inspirational book for parents raising early-age children titled, Parent Power – Nourish 7 Essential Qualities Within Early Age Children with KID M.E.A.L.S. – Messages, Exercises, Activities, Lessons, and Stories
published in 2004 by Xlibris Publishing. Subtitled, LIFE-SIZE Lessons in Kid’s Sized Bites, John says, “I knew parents were eager to find creative, positive, loving, and effective parenting techniques to enhance the quality of time they spend with their children during their developmental years and my book is packed with practical methods of reaching and teaching children during their formative early-age years to compensate for the limited amount of time they are able to spend with them due to the hurried pace of today’s family lifestyle.”
It has received high praise from Dr. Richard R. Bocchini, Ph.D., Psychologist and Founding Director of Pennsylvania Hospital’s Child and Family Services Center Community Health Program, who adds, “This book provides parents with a different and effective way of thinking as they relate to their children. Parents who take the task of parenting seriously must take the time to be ’emotionally with’ their children. To put effort into helping a child develop a sense of self-responsibility is no small task. John has created something that offers today’s busy parent’s valuable, educational, and loving guidance for children of modern times.“
One of the ways John and Kathie were involved early on in their kids’ activities was to develop an annual sporting day with the neighborhood families in their Glen Mills neighborhood. Aptly called The Concord Chase Olympics.
The idea centered around giving all the kids an opportunity to get out one day each Fall (the weekend after kids returned to school) and participate in friendly competition. “It really was all about making a community for my own kids,” John says, and turned out being a highly anticipated event for 5 years in the neighborhood with full family participation. One young man in particular, who was the subject of a Garnet Valley Living cover story last year, was a big part of the idea. Luke Raymond, who suffered from a congenital heart defect, embraced the Olympics and, according to John, would “just light up” as he was able to participate in sports with the other neighborhood kids. “It was a magical time for our neighborhood and we all pulled together each year to make it happen,” John fondly recalls.
Time has passed and the Iannuzzi and neighborhood kids have all grown up and moved on, but John’s desire to make a positive impact in this, and many other communities, is as fresh as the day he started YouriNspirationNation.com.
“I feel blessed to be able to do what I do now,” he reflects.
“Having the ability to observe and really absorb what is going on in your personal life, acknowledge the passage of time and life stages and accept what got us to where we are today is a dream come true. Not many of us get to turn an avocation into a vocation.” I totally agree with him and, before we end our conversation add how amazing it would be if we could each just accept our lives for what they are- our unique story, owned by no one but us. “YES!!,” he agrees. Just another point of similarity between us, and, in case you were wondering, it turns out we still only live two miles away from each other.
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