Posts Tagged ‘J. Lloyd Tomer’

ZamZuu launches ZamZuu Services

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010
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We heard about this back at Convention last month, and it’s arrived on our ZamZuu sites.

ZamZuu Services.

We mentioned a couple of the new services less than a month ago – right after Convention. Promoting how valuable these products are was fairly easy when the subject matter is family safety and personal identity.

If your thinking that these services are just another product offering or market that YTB has recently decided to get into – think again. Those of us who’ve been around for a while have heard Coach talk about this market for quite some time. If you recall, he made his fortune as a Rep with a company called A.L. Williams. (Now Primerica.)

A.L. Williams set out to transform the life insurance industry. They originated the “Buy Term and Invest the Difference” philosophy which encourages families to purchase affordable term life insurance so they can get the protection they need at a price they can afford and have more money to invest in their family’s future.

Today the Primerica generates $80 billion in life insurance annually.

These types of services not only work well in our industry, A.L. Williams did more business than all other traditional models COMBINED during it’s height.

ZamZuu Serivces are state-of-the-art services and products that insure, educate, and protect you and your family’s current and future well being. Just look for the ZamZuu Services ad to start shopping. (It’s the second store in the middle of the page.) It’s the new home of ZamZuu Insurance plus great new products like EduNation, KidZafe and more.

It’s a whole new product offering adding even more value as a one stop shop. Check it out today!


Coach moves into his 4th Quarter…

Friday, October 9th, 2009
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I always knew this day would come. I had no idea when or how it would evolve, but I knew it was coming. J. Lloyd Tomer, or “Coach” has handed over his Chairman of the Board title to his son, Scott Tomer so he can take some time to enjoy his “4th Quarter”. Coach will do what is true to his heart and what he does best: Mentoring the sales force through Coach’s Corner while increasing his efforts to the Company’s philanthropic division, Passport to Giving.

4thQuarterBookThat’s who Coach is. Those of use who know him, know how much he’s given back to the community. He’s been a teacher and mentor most of his life and it’s fitting that he moves into this phase of his life during his 4th Quarter. News of Coach handing over the reigns to his son Scott Tomer as Chairman of the Board and Robert Van Patten being names as CEO of YTB International came out today in an 8K filing.

After looking over some of the articles and news documented here, this move has been in the works for some time. We’ll review the changes and moves the last six months for you below to help you understand how well planned and thought out the new changes are. However, this has been something that was understood by Coach, Scott and Kim from the very beginning when YTB was founded back in February of 2001.

With Coach at the age of 75 and new book finally out, a Co-CEO who’s had 6 months to evaluate the company and it’s assets, the new Board not only in place, but with time under their belt so everyone could become acclimated, the timing was right to pull the trigger on this. The new changes also move key personnel into positions and talents they are best suited for.

From what I know of all the executives involved in the new changes announced today, virtually nothing about YTB as we know as TSO’s or Reps here in the field will change. Scott, Coach and Kim will still be around doing what they do best as Reps. (In fact, Coach will still be here in Atlanta in early November.) However, with YTB being publicly traded, YTB International now has a Chief Executive Officer and President in Robert Van Patten, who not only understands Wall Street, but from what I know, thrives in this atmosphere.

Back in April I wrote about Robert Van Patten, and actually had a chance to briefly thank him for all he’s done for the company while at this years Convention. Mr. Van Patten brings over 25 years of senior management experience to YTBI and was previously President of IMC Agribusiness, an $800 million dollar division of IMC Global. IMC was also listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The company now has someone with the experience and temperament to deal the day to day issues of running a publicly traded company. While few have laid claims to the demise of YTB, with predictions of bankruptcy, we owe a tremendous amount of thanks and gratitude to Scott and Coach for stepping aside to allow Mr. Van Patten to make the hard choices and decisions he has over the last 6 months, but also owe the same to Mr. Van Patten for insight to make these difficult choices.

New Board Members Thomas Baker, Jack Humes, and Patricia Williams who were appointed the YTB’s Board of Directors in June also have vast experience in finance, accounting, entrepreneurial business development, and legal services to corporations and governmental bodies. Their new insight and experience brought to our Board also played a key role in the changes made to YTB.

To Coach, Scott and Kim’s credit – They not only understood that Mr. Van Patten was best suited for this new role – they allowed him to execute the changes necessary.

Make no mistake however. The move announced today by YTB and it’s Board we’re carefully thought out and planned by Coach, Scott, and Kim. If they didn’t believe this was the right move for the field and the company as whole, none of this would have happened. They’re Reps at heart. After a fight and successful settlement in place in California which not enabled YTB to continue doing business in the state, but kept our compensation plan in tact, there’s sufficient prove the Founders have held true to their heart.

By handing over the reigns to Mr. Van Patten to deal with the day to day operations of the company as CEO and President of YTB International, Scott moves over as CEO of YTB Marketing, and Coach is completely freed up to do what he loves – and that’s being with the field.

Key people in key positions – doing what they do best. What a concept!

It will be nice to have both Coach and Scott back here in the field. Coach will not only be doing a book tour with his new book “The Fourth Quarter”, but also has plans for 12 Day Tour to Israel and Jordan in April of 2010. (Check your Travel Portal for more details.)

All in all, it’s a great move for YTB, especially with the way this all this developed. This isn’t some band aid or hasty move that didn’t have input or thought from everyone involved. Not with the Board of Directors YTB now has. Gone are the “good ol’ boys” and “buddy system” and in with some very promising and talented executives. 

Congratulations to Scott, Kim and especially Coach for making this choice, and thank you for your ability to let go. It shows this Rep and TSO you really do care and have my best interest at heart.

And Coach – enjoy your 4th Quarter. ;-P


Dog’s Now Chasing Their Own “Tales”?

Friday, August 28th, 2009
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I had something else ready to post this morning, but found a fairy tale that was just WAY to funny that I needed to share with you. It never ceases to amaze me how low some people will go to bend and twist documentation in an effort to pitch their own perceptions and limiting beliefs.

1817_DogChasingTail_LRGIt’s no secret that there is a segment of our society that think rich people are greedy. Because this segment of society has never actually known anyone that thinks in terms of “net worth” instead of some “hourly wage”, this same segment also assumes that rich people got their money through unethical and dirty business practices. It’s one of those social memes I wrote about some time ago.

Now, take the myths and social memes surrounding rich people and combine it with Network Marketing and you’ve got yourself one heck of a double whammy when it comes to anger, bitterness, and resentment.

Case in point, our very own J. Lloyd Tomer.

While Coach is certainly loved and admired through the ranks of YTB members, there is a segment of society who spend an exorbitant amount of time attempting to knock this man off his perch because he’s obtained his wealth through Direct Sales or Network Marketing. For those of you who don’t know his story, you can Google “J. Lloyd Tomer, AL Williams” to find his bio. Here is one on the first pages that I found on (emphasis mine)

J. Lloyd Tomer, Chairman of the Board of Directors, has been a Director of YTB since December 2004. He is the father of our Chief Executive Officer, J. Scott Tomer, and is a seasoned veteran of direct sales and marketing. After spending thirteen years in the ministry, he became an agent of the A. L. Williams Company (now known as Primerica Financial Services (“Primerica”) in January 1981. He achieved the level of Senior National Sales Director in 1985 and maintained that position through 2001. While at A. L. Williams he built a successful sales organization numbering in the thousands, whose combined life insurance sales was measured in the billions, with assets under management of $750 million. He sold his agency in Primerica in January 2002. Thereafter, Mr. Lloyd J. Tomer devoted his marketing expertise to, Inc. He attended Anderson College in Anderson, Indiana.

Here’s a guy who build an immensely successful organization with sales in the billions and assets in the millions through Direct Sales from 1981 through 2002 thanks to capturing the dream of Art Williams back in the early 80’s. Even after the sale of the business to his son Frank in 2002, the assets and money generated from this organization were used to help fund the start of YTB in the early years.

Fast forward to today, and we find a select few are upset with Coach, an outsider, for infiltrating their business segment with a bunch of Travel Agent wannabes’. (Or so they claim.) What we end up with are obscure twists on how this man attained his wealth, lived his life, and given back to the community.

I learned a long time ago from Harv Ecker that part of the rewards of being rich is the ability to donate money or assets to organizations and associations that are important to you. When you think about it, what makes a bigger impact – $10 in the offering plate or $10 million in stock options to pay off a mortgage? Obviously creating wealth can and does have a bigger impact for those who desire to make a difference in people’s lives.

Those of you who have met Coach, spent time with him, or listened to his leadership call’s: Would it surprise you that new documentation has come to light of Coach’s generosity?

In a link provided just this morning to a court document, it has been revealed that Coach and his wife Chris donated a parcel of property to Midwest Community Church in 1998 so that the Pastor and his family could have a parsonage (a home) in which the Rev. Casey, his wife, his son age 16, and daughter age 13 could live. The property was bought by Coach in 1995, and when Coach was elected as Trustee of the Church in 1997 he donated 100% of the use of this parcel to the church.

According to the document revealed we also found the condition of the property.

Initially the yard needed to be cleaned up. All of the lights outside the house had been broken. Inside the house there were numerous electrical problems that violated the electrical code and which needed to be corrected. The house had two furnaces. One furnace to heat each side of the house. A new natural gas furnace had been brought in to heat one side of the house. It was anticipated that natural gas would soon become available in this neighborhood. However, that did not happen.

The document also reveals that at the time the land was donated, Coach’s desire was to assist in the development and growth of Church’s religious organization. Pursuant to the agreement, this parcel could be used for any purpose the Church deemed appropriate, including but not limited to a parsonage, youth retreats, church administration, or marital retreats. In return, the Church was responsible for all expenses, repairs and maintenance costs, and was to maintain adequate insurance on this property, naming the Tomer’s as a loss payee.

Because I can actually read and comprehend the documentation provided, I can deduct that Coach was enjoying a tremendous amount of success and creating substantial wealth which enabled him to purchase the property in the first place. I can also conclude that the church obviously respected his financial position by appointing him as trustee to the church. I can also assume that Coach believes in sharing his wealth and supports religious organization with very generous donations to a number of church organizations.

Not a bad way to live your life if you ask me.

Now I know this is going to upset some of you, but I need to remind you that we’re not dealing with individuals who are playing with a full deck here. (Not the sharpest tools in the shed, if you know what I mean.) I do however think it’s important to reveal how desperate and delusional some people are when it comes to mud slinging and slandering individuals who they’re obviously jealous of. They need to peck and poke in an attempt to bring others down with an obvious twist on what actually happened.

I’d advise you that you put down any drinks or food at this point because it may end up on your computer screen. Here’s the introduction of the post I found this morning concerning what happened:

Once upon a time in a land far away, there lived a man in a ramshackle house. The house was in such bad condition, that the local authorities would not issue occupancy permits. When the time came to pay the tax man, the man in the ramshackle house could not afford to pay the property taxes.

Destitute and without too many options at his disposal, he turned to God and the Church. Knowing that Church property was exempt from taxes, he “donated” this ramshackle property to his Church for only a year who decided to worship on the property and to fix up the house for their minister and his family to occupy as a parsonage.

While I can’t disagree that this donation was a “tax deduction” for Coach and Chris, (donated in December of 1997) but to claim that Coach was destitute at this time with an AL Williams business generating millions, and an elected Trustee of the church is a pile of manure that only critics can step in. What makes it comical for me is the way this guy capitalizes “TRUTH” at the end of the post which links and documents what we’ve uncovered here.

The truth is, this “expert” doesn’t expect people to actually read the document he’s provided because he’s bend out of shape as the “be-all-and-end-all” when it comes to YTB. (Arrogant and cocky I know, but that’s what he thinks of himself.) What it turns out to be is yet another documented example of the lies, deceit, and misrepresentations that are plastered all over the internet to pitch Coach as some sort of scammer. If you look at the URL that links to the court document that clearly recommend that Madison County Parcel be exempt from real estate taxation in 1998 it’s linked by hims as

I might not be the best speller in the world and I’ve been known to make a mistake or two over the years. But at least I can read and comprehend what’s truth and what’s pure spin. And how are the critics going to answer to this blatant attempt to spin and slander? My guess is that what we’re going to find as a rebuttal is a dog’s tail isn’t spelled “tale” in an attempt to take the focus off them and back on our Founder in YTB and me.

Think it’s gonna work?

Me neither, but the faceless, nameless cowards who support this jerk as some type of crusader against the evil YTB will be jumping for joy that they’ve found more documentation and truth, when it’s obvious to me, their simply chasing their own “tales”.


Community Awards

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008
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Yesterday I posted about Coach’s involvement in the church. Today, we’re going to post about his involvement in the community at large. Last October, Coach was honored for his community involvement with YTB at a State of the River Bend Luncheon, an event organized by the Growth Association of Southwestern Illinois.

“YTB International Inc. was honored for its community involvement. The Internet-based travel agency that has its headquarters in Wood River has seen a 300 percent jump in sales and the creation of 134 more jobs between July 1, 2006, and June 30 of this year.

Lloyd Tomer, owner and founder, received the award — and was the only honoree to put on the ship captain’s hat, which is presented to each winner along with a plaque.”

A few days later, an entire article was written up in The Telegraph about YTB and pictured the man honored at the luncheon.

YTB International keeps growing

WOOD RIVER — Rapid growth and achievement have earned YTB International in Wood River a Growth Association Captain of the River Bend award for community enhancement.

YTB, American Water, and The Telegraph will receive the awards at the Growth Association’s State of the River Bend luncheon at 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, at The Commons at Lewis and Clark Community College.

YTB has seen a 300 percent-per-year growth the last four years, said Andy Cauthen, president and CEO of YourTravelBiz, which is part of YTB. The company employs 277 in Wood River and Edwardsville.

“I’m so happy they have come back to their roots in the River Bend,” said Monica Bristow, president of the Growth Association. “They were in Alton for a while. They outgrew the space and (were) in Edwardsville. They blossomed in Edwardsville.”

“Things are going well at YTB,” Cauthen said.

The Internet-based company, founded by area residents Lloyd Tomer, his son, Scott Tomer, and colleague J. Kim Sorensen, began renovating the former Kmart store on Illinois Route 143 in Wood River last year and moved into 20,000-square-foot renovated office space in December. The Wood River building is still in the process of renovation, with even bigger plans to come.

“YTB is currently working with the Wood River City Council in acquiring land for YTB’s corporate campus,” Cauthen said.

The campus will include four office buildings, lakes, a hotel and conference center and an employee recreational park. The project will take three to five years to develop on about 50 acres at an approximate cost of $150 million.

“Our building will be built under LEEDS (Leadership and Energy Environment Design),” Cauthen said, “with more efficiency and environmentally friendly. Even the furnishings are ‘green.’ It’s a growing trend in forward-thinking businesses. It costs more upfront but is more profitable.”

Cauthen credits the company’s leadership for having vision and integrity. He said they have taken the firm to where it is. The company was in the old Meridian Bank building in Alton from January 2001 to July 2005, when it moved to Edwardsville because of the need for space. Success and growth made the move to Wood River desirable.

“We expect to employ 350 at the end of the year,” Cauthen said.

Lloyd Tomer is chairman of the board. Cauthen said the Tomers and Sorensens want to keep the company in area. The company has 125,000 referring travel agents.

“We were just short of $300 million in travel sales last year,” Cauthen said. “In 2007, projected travel sales will be $1 billion.”

YTB assists or trains people to start their own Internet travel businesses.

“We developed the booking engine,” Cauthen said. “The technology is personalized for each. We provide technical and administrative support.”
Cauthen said YTB has agents all across the country, in the U.S. territories and Puerto Rico. He said the company founders have “great heart” and want to help people succeed in individual business. He credits the Tomers and Sorensen for the company’s success.

“We are about to go into Canada, target the Canada market,” Cauthen said.

YTB has an open house almost weekly, inviting national distributors to come to Wood River to visit the corporate offices and attend training.

“We anticipate the number of guests in this area being around 40,000 for the year ending 2007, 90,000 in 2008 and upwards of 150,000 in 2009,” Cauthen said. YTB plans to lease space in East Alton for January occupancy to accommodate up to 225 additional employees. Current and future renovation and new development, including project costs, employee payroll and visitor spending over the next three years could exceed $400 million.

“Coach” Tomer, A Man and His Vision

Monday, September 15th, 2008
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I get a kick out of how much attention is focused on YTB these days. Over the last month, it’s escalated to a degree I’ve never seen before. I realize YTB has been “front page” news for what’s going on a year now, which all started with Royal Caribbean shipping more marketing materials than any other vendor to our annual Funshine show last year, but instead of showing up, sent a form letter to YTB informing the company that they change their mind.

At the time, it was speculated that supplier doors would soon close on YTB, we found 17 MORE vendors this past weekend then last year at our Funshine East show.

That got me wondering…what’s going on with the growing majority of these vendors, that a couple of the “critics” don’t get?

While we all know that the driving force behind YTB Travel Network, (that’s the travel side of our business for those who don’t know) is J. Kim Sorenson, we also know that the man most associated with YTB in general is our very own, J. Lloyd Tomer, also known as “Coach”.

It pains me to see Coach maligned and ridiculed the way he is by those who fall for these myths about rich people being greedy, or doing something wrong in order to make the millions that they do. What’s even more aggravating is how some take exception concerning his faith. I come from a long line of Ministers in my family and so does Ronda. To speculate that Coach would be anything less than the members of my immediate and extended family is completely foreign to me.

Knowing Coach the way I do, I can tell you that the man has more ethics, morals, and integrity wrapped up in his little pinky than the whole lot of “critics” who are attempting to shame him into submission. I know that’s not saying much, because there really aren’t that many “critics” out there, but you get the idea.
I wanted to take this week and highlight just a few of the “good” articles I was able to find on the internet concerning Coach. For those that have never met Coach, I hope these articles might give a better picture of just who this man is, and what he truly stands for.

A couple of ground rules before we get started. One, none of these is in the form of press releases by the company. Nor are any of these articles any type of “paid endorsement”. These are people that have actually met the man they are writing about, and I challenge anyone to give me an negative article who has actually spend any length of time with the man they are maligning so horribly on the internet.

Just so we’re straight here.

The first article was found in the Saturday Evening Post in the July/August issue. While I wish I could find the 1983 interview when Coach was with A.L. Williams, obviously that was a little before the age of the internet. This article however, does offer a nice background into just who Coach is.


A man and his vision: J. Lloyd “Coach” Tomer has a dream—to build his company, YTB, into more than just the world’s largest travel agency

Although J. Lloyd Tomer may be the chairman of the board to a publicly traded company, you wouldn’t know it upon meeting him for the first time. Underneath the easygoing demeanor, he harbors a powerful vision to change the world. And it all started with his mother’s prophecy nearly 59 years ago.

On Christmas Eve before Tomer’s 16th birthday, his mother called all her children into the parlor for what would be the last time. She looked at each one of them.
“She told my brother John to stay on the farm,” said Tomer. “He’s still there.”

She then turned to Tomer’s sisters, Roma and Faye.

“She told them they were going to college to become teachers,” said Tomer. ‘They have both retired from that field.”

When she came to Tomer, she paused for just a second. As she looked him in the eyes, she told him that God had something special for his life that would help transform the entire country. He just had to go and find it.

Tomer’s mother passed away the very next day. Since then, he hasn’t stopped searching for what would fulfill his mother’s dream. Through the years, the search led him in several different directions. A former 82nd Airborne paratrooper, Tomer was called to the ministry in the small town of Benton, Illinois. Of the 44 people who attended his first service on Easter Sunday, 14 were family and friends. Flash forward a few years later at the dedication of the new church building, a former theater, and over 2,000 people were in attendance.

However in 1980, the year after he lost his wife and ministry partner to cancer, Tomer found himself unemployed. He left the church believing he wasn’t serving it as he once had. His next stop on his journey led him to a company that said if he could build a team to sell their products, it would compensate him in direct proportion to the results. Tomer accepted the challenge. His sons, Scott and Frank, were first to join their dad’s team. Together they built a thriving business with more than 250,000 clients in A.L. Williams, a company that promoted the novel idea of buying lower-cost term insurance and investing the difference (between that and the cost of whole life insurance) in a high-interest savings plan.

As a senior vice president at A.L. Williams, Tomer’s 1982 income was more than $175,000. Ultimately, his wealth grew to millions in earnings.

“Everything is so right and honest and moral at A.L. Williams,” he declared in a 1983 Saturday Evening Post interview, “that if I were to build my own company from scratch, this is exactly how it would turn out.”

What Tomer was really saying was, when he builds his own company, it will share the same principles of honesty and morality as A.L. Williams.

After retiring and selling his A.L. Williams business to his son, Frank, Tomer quickly discovered that he missed his longstanding role of coach and mentor. And he still hadn’t fulfilled his mother’s dream and began looking for something else. In 2001, at age 67, Tomer came across an opportunity that he simply couldn’t pass up–a business that combined Internet travel and referral marketing. Together, with his son Scott and longtime friend and business associate J. Kim Sorensen, the Your Travel Biz (YTB) Travel Network came to life in the small town of Alton, Illinois.

Today, Tomer is going stronger than ever and credits his energy, health, and longevity to a life of balance and staying busy. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that his positive vision of the future inspires everyone from family to field leaders to employees to travel industry associates around the world. Earning the esteemed title of “Coach” from his “team” of more than 170,000 referring travel agents (RTAs), field leaders, and marketing reps, Tomer is enjoying his lifelong passion of mentoring others to success in life and in business.

Although YTB becomes more successful every day and though many believe he found the answer to his mother’s dream, Tomer is still searching. He believes the search will end with the kickoff of his 10,000 Millionaires program in January 2009 on his 75th birthday.

“My father is 74 years old, and he is looking forward to the fourth quarter of his life when he turns 75,” says son Scott. “He knows he will accomplish more in the fourth quarter of his life than all the other years combined.”

Tomer’s Guiding Principles

“Hundreds of people have come up to me at our conventions and said, ‘Coach, YTB saved our pension, saved our home,'” Tomer says. “And I think of this multiplied hundreds of times. We have a chance to do something that’s never been done in the history of this great country of ours, and this is only the beginning.”

The 10,000 Millionaires program is Tomer’s main vision for the fourth quarter of his life. He wants to build 10,000 millionaires in 10 years based on the 10 principles that he has followed in his own life. The new program kicks off with the release of his debut book, The 4th Quarter, where Tomer shares his story for the first time and talks about each of the principles that guided his life. He is also working hard on the infrastructure of other programs that will be available to YTB’s reps and RTAs.

Throughout his life, Coach Tomer inspired many people. Bill Charlton, a retired 26-year Tennessee truck driver, had to return to work as an 80-hour-a-week driver for a pharmaceutical company to make ends meet. “Coming out of retirement can be a familiar scenario for ‘seasoned citizens’ of the baby boomer era,” says Bill and his wife Ro. “Boomers are running out of options to make ends meet when their retirement funds run out.”

Their friend, Rick Ricketts, first introduced them to YTB. “We found out the financial rewards were excellent,” says Bill. “But the best part of this business is helping other people gain financial freedom.”

YTB offers two different opportunities. The first is owning a YTB travel Web site. By referring friends and family to your Web site, the owner, or RTA, earns commission through the travel booked. The other opportunity is to become a rep and sell travel Web sites. YTB reps earn commission when they sell travel Web sites, and also have the ability to earn overrides on the sales made by other reps in their team.

Wise men have said that if you want to become a millionaire, find one who will mentor you and do exactly what he tells you to do. Here’s where Tomer really shines. On his weekly “Coach’s Call” conference calls, he talks about such topics as goal-setting and attitude, offering inspirational insights harking back to his days as a pastor. The calls attract thousands of listeners each week as Tomer shares steps to success in business and in life and inspired the 10,000 Millionaire program and his book.

YTB also hosts Red Carpet Days almost weekly at the company’s home office, where hundreds of eager YTB prospects and new RTAs can meet the home office staff that serves them every day in various ways. Visitors are offered tours of the facility and treated to lunch, followed with a presentation by Tomer and his co-founders. The Red Carpet Days are now a very popular event and great way for reps, RTAs, and prospects to learn more about the heart of the company.

With Tomer’s willingness to always credit field leaders and reps of YTB and a powerful vision to build 10,000 Millionaires, YTB is well on its way to becoming the number-one travel agency in the world.

“The abilities and successes of our reps and RTAs never cease to amaze and inspire me,” Coach says. “I’m extremely excited to mentor people in how to be successful, not only in business but also in life.”