2014 Inspiration Awards


September 17th, 2014 proclaimed:

“A Day of Leadership, Inspiration & Lasting Legacy with the Center for Wealth & Legacy”

In the City of San Diego by Mayor Kevin Faulconer

Mayor Kevin Faulconer congratulated all of the Inspiration Award nominees as the seal was affixed to the Proclamation and signed on September 17th, 2014. The Proclamation was read at the evening event by Jerry Sanders, President & CEO of the  San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce (Former San Diego Mayor)

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The 2014 Inspiration Award Recipient 

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
*Winston Churchill

Damian McKinney

Damian McKinney
Community Supporter & Advocate

Damian is active in the community, most notably for his work as an advocate for children with disabilities. He was an influential board member for All Kids Inc, a nonprofit for the inclusion of children in after-school activities and anti-bullying. Damian is currently on the board of directors for San Diego Center for Children, the Academy of our Lady of Peace, and the San Diego North Economic Development Council. Damian is an active member of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, CEO Roundtable, National Center for Fathering, and San Diego Military Advisory Council. Damian was recognized as an “outstanding contributor” from the San Diego Corporate Alliance Group.

Damian’s ability to energize others, and bring to the forefront that anyone can assist another person, is in his soul. His youngest child, born with disabilities, just completed UCLA Pathways Extension program despite not always being supported by, or fitting in with, typical school or children’s facilities. Damian has passionately worked with and impacted with many great nonprofits that are raising the bar on caring for children with disabilities.

Damian McKinney is the Principal and CEO of McKinney Advisory Group. He inspires his whole team to get excited and involved, supporting organizations through walks, events, and gardening at the local homeless shelter. Led by Damian , his team has rebuilt a garden at the local homeless center, committed to feeding homeless teens on a recurring basis, and much more. Damian encourages his staff with paid time off available, to volunteer in the community.

Damian’s Corporate Social Responsibility is the platform for everything he does. Damian and McKinney Advisory Group seek to enhance the bottom line and social impact of many nonprofits in our community.

Nominated By: Gina Manis-Anderson

A Special Presentation to The Recipients of The

                    2014  Lasting Legacy Award™

“The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”
~William James

Alicia Gwynn           Tony & Alicia Gwynn 

Tony and Alicia Gwynn Foundation was organized in San Diego, California in 1995 by Dr. Alicia Gwynn, wife of the late baseball Hall of Famer, Tony Gwynn.

TAG Foundation, a not for profit, 501(c)3 charity is dedicated to creating and supporting programs that enhance opportunities for youth to become healthy, educated, and productive citizens.




2014 Inspiration Award Top Finalists

Tony Baron, PhD
The Art of Servant Leadership

Dr. Tony Baron is dedicated to making an impact in the corporate, as well as nonprofit sectors. For over 20 years, he has studied the impact of power

on people, organizations, communities and societies. Counseling Survivors – Oklahoma, Columbine and Twin Towers In 1993, Dr. Baron founded Baron Center, Incorporated, a San Diego-based consulting firm hailed for pioneering violence prevention programs. His research led to the publication of Violence in the Workplace: A Prevention and Management Guide for Businesses (1992), Violence in Our Schools, Hospitals and Public Places: A Prevention and Management Guide (1993), and When Work Equals Life: The Next Stage of Workplace Violence (2000). He counseled survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing of the Murrah Building in 1995, the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, as well as survivors from the September 11, 2001, attack on The World Trade Center.

In 2009, Dr. Baron accepted the role as President of The Servant Leadership Institute in Vista, California, to help spread the concept of servant leadership to organizations on the west coast. While leading sold out conferences featuring speakers such as eminent authors Ken Blanchard and John Maxwell, Southwest Airlines President Emerita Colleen Barrett, and WD-40 CEO Garry Ridge, Dr. Baron studied transformational leadership in corporate America and religious organizations. His work resulted in the publication of two books on the subject: The Art of Servant Leadership (2010), a compelling case study of leadership tested by adversity, and The Cross and the Towel (2011), a call to action for Christian leaders to set aside ego, political correctness and selfish ambition in their ministry.

He has also been a big part of the formation of OurGenY LLC and inspired an audience of GenY and others at the “For Us By Us” conference on March 8th. Due to his passion for leadership he dedicated his day to the mission and lived servant leadership. He spoke about “serving for the sake of others”, clearly leading by example.  The impact he had on that audience is immeasurable.

We are grateful for his dedication and continue to feel honored to see his example of Servant Leadership internationally and in San Diego.

Nominated By: Rachel McKinney


Dana Bristol-Smith
Leap To Success

Dana Bristol-Smith is the Founder & Exec Director of Leap To Success.  She is helping women who are victims of domestic violence to make something beautiful out of their lives.

Their mission is to educate and empower women who are overcoming domestic violence, homelessness, and other major life challenges to reach their greatest potential. Dana’s vision is a world where women can speak and be heard… a world where it is safe to communicate, where it is safe to be in relationships, where it is safe to love. That’s why she founded Leap to Success. They are an empowerment and leadership organization working with women who have not been empowered, and have not yet been leaders in their own lives.

Domestic violence robs women of their voices and their power. Abusers isolate their victims. Often, they make them cut their ties with family and friends. They tell their victims that they are worthless, dumb, stupid and that nobody else would want them. They whittle down their self-esteem and make them think that they are lucky to have them.

By helping women heal, helping them release shame and helping them be able to share their stories with courage, they become beacons of hope for others. In the past 4 years, they’ve been able to empower more than 100 women to transform their lives.

What has been most important to Dana has been building a community of women who know that they are empowered and can help to inspire and uplift others. To help women transform horrible life experiences where they thought they were powerless, to be able to see now, looking back that they are experiences that they have learned from and do not need or want to repeat in their lives.

Nominated By: R.J. Kelly


Andrew and Julie Doan
Real Battle Ministries

Andrew and Julie Doan have unique expertise, gifting and passion toward helping others with technology addiction.  On-line video gaming once nearly destroyed their marriage and family.  Andrew and his wife were blessed to pull through that season many years ago.  They have grown from that experience and through Andrew’s core research is shedding new light on the deep and dark effects of technology addiction.

They now devote their time and expense to traveling the country as guest speakers, championing this message to families, churches, sports teams and college forums.  Their dialogue on technology addiction freshly exposes the tip of dark and secret icebergs in the lives of people of all ages.  Their message and solutions are empowering, transformational and life saving!

My wife and I parent differently since we heard them speak and have gotten to know them.  I know my children have been blessed through the Doan’s Inspiration and leadership in this field.  We look forward to hearing and learning from them each time they come to Minnesota.

The Doan story is captivating as it digs into a challenge every family faces at some level.  Their story of healing is motivating to listeners.  Their guidance and solutions have become a ladder for our family and many others in similar situations.  Experiencing the Doan and Real Battle stories of victory inspires others to turn their challenges into victories too.

Andrew and Julie’s work is ground breaking and eye opening.  They are on the front lines of a battle that is looming and growing in families everywhere.  The more we understand the risks to online addiction, the

better equipped we are to strengthen our families, future leaders and the health of our society.

Nominated By: Erick and Cara Bothun

Richard ‘Duke’ Harbin
The Navy SEALS Fund

Duke Harbin has spent the last 20+ years of his life serving first his country as a Navy SEAL, followed by the community of Encinitas as a firefighter/paramedic. After nine years of active service as a Navy SEAL, “Duke” has continued to fight for his brothers through the non-profit organization that he and fellow Navy SEALS founded called the “Navy SEALS Fund”. The fund facilitates help for current, retired. And former Navy SEALS/families in need of assistance as a result of injury, loss of life, transition needs, or some of life’s unexpected events.

San Diego has long been recognized as a proud “Navy Town”. SEAL teams are often cited as the most elite, flexible and highly trained Naval Command Force. In uncertain times, we rest easy in our homes with the knowledge that men such as Duke and his brothers serve our country proudly, fiercely and without hesitation. Anyone who experiences and educates themselves about the struggles that our military endures, especially upon returning home as well as at the end of their service and then takes it upon themselves to help in any way possible is a huge testament to how proud we are of our military men and cements how critical our armed forces are to American people. The Navy may be an army of men but it is individuals like Duke who make up that army and make a difference in our lives.

As president, Duke is growing the organization and hopes to raise more awareness that the Navy SEALS fund mission is to provide SEALS families relief thru educational and /or financial assistance. He wants others to know (military or non-military) that they are veterans helping veterans. Duke also works with fellow Navy SEALS in applying lessons from serving with SEAL teams to teach and propogate safety to the public. Their company Move2 Safety, saves lives by teaching people to safely escape active shootings and to rely on themselves in emergency situations.

Duke feels that what he does is simply giving back to those who have already given so much.

Nominated By: Catherine Maranca


Shannon Keith
International Princess Project

In February of 2005, International Princess™ Project founder Shannon Keith took a trip to India that opened her eyes to a tragedy that was occurring daily to women and girls throughout the country. After visiting one of India’s many red light districts, she was forever changed by what she witnessed…modern day slavery. She heard story after story of young girls sold into the sex trade by their families, orphans picked up off the street by pimps, and even young mothers just trying to feed their children. Many were held against their will. Others were trapped by economic poverty. Worst of all were the stories of those who managed to escape the brothels only to return due to social stigma with no other way to survive.

Shannon returned home and gathered friends to do something about it. Together, they founded International Princess™ Project to advocate for these women, give them opportunities to restore their broken lives and empower them to live in freedom. Shannon and her team quickly discovered that without a new occupation, these women and girls stood little chance of surviving outside of the brothels.

The fabric of the traditional Indian Sari, worn in even the darkest places in India, inspired the solution. They worked with skilled seamstresses to create a simple pattern that the women could use to learn how to sew. Stitch by stitch, the women would gain confidence not only in their new found trade, but also in their new found hope and freedom.

This launched a life-changing, cycle-breaking product known as PUNJAMMIES™. What started with just six women sewing in a single room has grown to over 150 women and girls employed by one of International Princess™ Project’s three sewing centers in India. With every PUNJAMMIES™ purchase, the dignity and freedom of a woman is reinforced and the future in India gets a little bit brighter. The vision is for thousands more! Together, we can bring light to some of the darkest corners of India.

Nominated By: R.J. Kelly


 Victor Marx
All Things Are Possible

Victor Marx is an expert martial artist, former U.S. Marine, filmmaker and a sought after speaker.

He is the founding director of the non-profit organization, All Things Possible, which works on a global scale to free children from abuse and the effects of its trauma. As an advocate and agent for the rescue and restoration of victimized children, Victor sheds a light on the silent epidemic of child abuse and reaches out to abused and wounded youth with his message of hope.

Victor, himself, survived and overcame a childhood wrought with unspeakable abuse and heartache. Now, he shares his own journey from child abuse victim and troubled youth, to Marine, martial artist and ultimately advocate ?with groups across the country. His story crosses all boundaries, providing inspiration and encouragement to audiences including incarcerated youth, military personnel, NFL players, corporations, faith groups, high schools and universities.

He brings a message of hope and redemption to the front lines of the hurting and disenfranchised, speaking most frequently to incarcerated youth as well as children in the foster care system.

Best known for being the “Fastest Gun Disarm Man,” he holds the world record for this amazing feat that has been seen by over 16 million people worldwide on YouTube; Victor is considered a master of martial arts.

Drawing from his half a century of fascinating life experiences, he uses humor and real-life transparency to captivate and engage his audience. He shares insights and life-changing takeaways on leadership and overcoming life’s greatest challenges, including Post-Traumatic Stress (Disorder) (PTS(d). He is able to speak to these issues because of his own struggles and his ability to overcome some of life’s impossible situations. He has been an H2H since the mid 80’s as well as a speaker and inspirational mentor to many who serve or have served with some of the most elite military personnel in the special operations forces community.

Victor’s life story has been chronicled in his autobiography, “The Victor Marx Story” and in a documentary film of the same title. His life is marked by a relentless dedication to the protection of children of all ages and to the healing that is possible for abuse and trauma survivors.

Victor recognized that all of this would not be possible without his faith and belief that with God, all things are possible.

 Nominated By: Dr. Andrew Doan


Nico Pecht
MS 4X4 Racing

Twelve  ago, Nico Pecyearsht was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and he’s FOUGHT every day since to maintain his quality of life and especially to inspire others.

Nico’s lifestyle provides a tangible and inspirational example of how one can achieve goals, despite obstacles. When Nico’s immune system began to attack his mobility, his passion of rock crawling and off-road racing was limited; his friends helped him continue being a part of the racing community. With their help, he led Team Nico to two “Most Inspirational” team honors at the annual MS Walk.  Nico now owns MS 4×4 Racing and buggy races in Internationally-followed ultra4 races..

Nico’s story has been featured in CRAWL Magazine, Dirt Sports Magazine, and on the 2014 King of the Hammers Race website. He pushes us all to remember physical ability is NEVER a limitation to your dreams.

MS 4 X 4 Racing inspires young people with MS and shows them they can be involved, no matter their physical abilities. Nico’s involvement with the Pacific South Coast Chapter of the MS Society has brought media attention (inc. NBC 7/39) and tens of thousands in donations to research and support programs.

Team Nico raised $1900 for medical bills in one week by getting Nico’s story out on social media. Donations came in from Germany as well as the US–his story is global!

What Nico is doing–creating a racing team to raise awareness, trying a new treatment, undergoing physical and occupational therapy– inspires all of us not to quit, to continue supporting one another in times of trouble, and to fight to overcome personal challenges.

“I want to make a footprint on this earth. I want to let people know what happens so they can get involved and help. I don’t want to just sit here.” – Nico Pecht (MAY 28, 2014)

Nominated By: Erika Lin Payne


Amy and Mitchell Robbins
The Seany Foundation

The Seany Foundation is a non-profit organization founded to carry on the legacy of Sean Lewis Robins and his battle with Ewing sarcoma, a rare childhood cancer that affects soft tissue and bone. The Foundation was Sean’s vision. He first expressed the desire to start a foundation to help advocate for other kids who had cancer in 2005. He even named it “The Seany Foundation.”

After Sean’s death on November 17, 2006, the Robins family began working on making Sean’s dream a reality. To date, The Seany Foundation has raised over one million dollars in the fight against childhood cancer.

Their main goal is to bring relief and happiness to kids struggling with cancer and to their families, particularly siblings. In addition to the free summer camp they have for kids with cancer and their siblings, they also help children who have parents that are suffering from the disease.

The organization’s mission is to fund meaningful projects that enhance the lives of kids, teens and young adults affected by cancer. Having been involved since the summer of 2012, they recently took over the Camp Reach for the Sky from the American Cancer Society. It is a magical place where kids dealing with the stress of cancer can go to hang out and connect with other kids who truly understand what they are going through.. Although funding cuts are threatening to close down similar camps across the nation, The Seany Foundation is committed to keeping the doors to this Camp open.

Much of the successes in childhood cancer treatment are due to clinical trials. Currently, The Seany Foundation helps fund a Clinical Research Associate at Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego to enroll pediatric patients with cancer in potentially lifesaving clinical trials.

Nominated By: Josh Koehnen


Opal Singleton
Million Kida

Three thousand children each day are lured, tricked, and coerced into prostitution by gangs, drug cartels and pimps of organized crime rings utilizing “bottom hoe’s” implanted in our schools, social media channels, Internet gaming, and other methods of preying on kids seeking love and acceptance. That’s how many children are trafficked throughout the world. This must stop. The name Million Kids says it all. According to UNICEF over ONE MILLION KIDS are trafficked worldwide each year. We cannot afford to be overwhelmed by the scope of the problem

Million Kids began with a simple concept, believing if the bad guys are harming this many children a year, then the good guys must help even more. Million Kids joins with local law enforcement and concerned citizens, businesses, and organizations to end human trafficking domestically. Locally serving on the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (RCAHT)  helping activists and communities develop effective anti-trafficking programs in their locales. They educate and engage individuals, organizations and corporations about human trafficking. Internationally conducting programs and working with partners to serve rescued children and to create prevention strategies. They provide local solutions while taking a global perspective on the human trafficking problem.

“The Love Trap” program teaches School Administrators, Teachers, Parents, and teenagers how predators identify a potential victim, the methods they use to recruit innocent kids, how parents can recognize the signs that their child may be being recruited, and, most importantly, it teaches a young person how to protect themselves so they will not become a victim of human trafficking.

Opal Singleton founded Millions Kids and for the first 3 years worked for free to free kids subjected to sex slavery and persecute Johns and Pimps, while her husband fights deadly kidney cancer in his only kidney.

Nominated By: Dr. Andrew Doan

2014 Inspiration Award Honorable Mentions 

Stephanie Burns
Chic CEO 

Chic CEO was created by women for women to make sure that every woman has access to the ground-level information she needs to start and build a successful business. Chic CEO created a website and a community of women as well as a social media and interactive platform to provide valuable and free information as well as tools that set women up for success and supports them along the way of starting their own business.

Nominated By: Gina Manis-Anderson


Anita Button
Road 2 Recovery Foundation

After Anita’s son sustained serious injuries at a race at Qualcom Stadium he was forced to retire from professional motocross.  He was told that he would never be able to walk again. Anita and Jimmy set out to prove them wrong. He not only is walking he did a fundraiser ride across America on a road bicycle. After working through her son’s injury, she was compelled to found Road 2 Recovery.  Speaking from experience, she offers support, guidance, resources, and knowledge to get other professional and amateur athletes and their families thru serious injuries.

Nominated By: Renee VanHeel


Jolane Crawford

Jolane has a tireless dedication to volunteer/non-profits in the San Diego community. She is an inspiration to all. Her story is very compelling and brings to the forefront how one individual can enrich lives and empower others to believe in themselves and what they can achieve personally, spiritually and professionally. Jolane has brought awareness to the community on how they can empower other’s to contribute their time, efforts and heart.

Nominated By: Jan Reitel


Michaelene Fredenburg
Abortion Changes You

When Michaelene became pregnant at 18, she had an abortion. She was completely unprepared for the emotional fallout.  In the following years she heard many heartrending stories about abortion. Although each story was unique, a common thread moves through them all—abortion changes you. This led her to write a book that shares some of the stories she’s heard. She also felt the need for a safe space for people to tell their stories, explore the ways abortion impacted them, and find resources. She created AbortionChangesYou.com to fill this need.

Nominated By: R.J. Kelly


Dan Gillespie
Building God’s Leaders

In spite of Dan’s challenges in his own life, he has the onset of Parkinson’s Disease … a truly physical obstacle that would stop most mortals from continuing with their efforts… Dan is committed to helping the impoverished in our world. He spent the month of July in Malawki. Africa with a team of young people at a camp run YoungLife style. Much was new and unfamiliar but filled with fun while building relationships and teaching concepts about being God’s leaders.

Nominated By: Jay Wentz


Ed Hidalgo

Ed is passionate about serving his community.    He recognizes that you cannot dream about a future of being an engineer if you are not exposed to the wonders of engineering.  Creating the ThinkaBit Lab at Qualcomm has exposed students to challenging and positive hands-on experiences that are based in engineering in order to spark that interest.  The Lab is helping to prepare students for college admission and competitive job markets after graduation.  Ed and Qualcomm are giving back to help native San Diegans to be successful.

Nominated By: Cindy Martin 


Tony Olaes
Filipino Community Advocate

Tony Olaes, a born again Filipino, grew up in a Caucasian neighborhood with a strong impetus to assimilate. His paradigm shift began as he was introduced to the incredible work Gawad Kalinga is doing to build homes and communities in the Philippines. Most business professionals in America pursue the dream that encourages us to pour ourselves into getting “more than enough” for ourselves and our immediate family. Tony has flipped the “more than enough” vision on it’s head and is now pursing “enough for more” though his work with Gawad Kalinga.

Nominated By: Wayne Schmidt


Courtney Olinger
Spectrum Community

Spectrum Community provides therapeutic support to children, adolescents, adults and their families impacted by autism spectrum disorders, behavioral concerns, learning challenges, social skills difficulties, developmental disabilities, and other like concerns. The need for support for these families is huge.  Often times our history helps define who we are and can help make a difference in the lives of others.  Courtney Olinger’s personal experience growing up with a brother with Asperger’s Disorder has turned into a passion to help others in a similar situation.

Nominated By: Robb Hijar


Rob Pace

Rob founded Goodsnitch, a free mobile app that allows individuals to send private feedback to businesses and recognize “everyday heroes”, like nurses, waiters, and grocery clerks, in 2013.  The goal was to make it easy for consumers to send feedback on ANY business. Residents have used Goodsnitch to recognize thousands of heroes and to help dozens of San Diego businesses and nonprofits. When a user recognizes a “hero”, a long-term cycle of goodwill is created.

Nominated By: Lynley Sides