Archive for category: 2009-05 TMLP Times



Terry Mottinger- Team Cincinnati, Team 1, Quarter 1 

Terry Mottinger is an art teacher who has a special charge. She teaches kids to love art. She works in an inner city school in Columbus, Ohio. She always loved kids but recently discovered a special passion for them. She dreams of creating artists for the future; giving them real training in the arts world so children can become whatever they want in life–kids following their dreams. 

A professional artist herself, Michelangelo was always Terry’s favorite artist. He did the kind of art that inspires Terry, spontaneous and inspired. Since she pictured the children in her classes learning art the same way, she decided that Michelangelo’s Group would be a great name. 

The kids of Michelangelo’s Group create all kinds of art, from decorating the school dance to making jewelry to throwing pots to painting to dancing. Her group is waiting to hear if they’ve been invited to show their work at the Student Art Show of the Columbus Museum of Art, a prestigious invitation. 

So far the response to Michelangelo’s Group has been an overflow of enthusiasm; parents so excited they turn up at school to find out what’s happening, kids dropping by at any moment, other teachers asking what’s going on. The school principal loves Michelangelo’s Group and the kids feel honored to be part of a special group. Everyone wants to be part of Michelangelo’s Group

Terry says so far she hasn’t been stopped by problems and now her Game in the World is getting bigger and bigger. She’s excited by the possibility of expansion and adding team members. Terry says the only thing she’d have done differently in starting Michelangelo’s Group would have been to be more confident and playing a bigger game from the very beginning.  

The next steps for Michelangelo’s Group are to push it out into the community further–to executives in the arts organizations such as the Greater Columbus Arts Council and to professionals who can share their gifts at low or no cost with the kids. 

What if the world started playing the game of Michelangelo’s Group with Terry and her kids? She believes we would all live in a world with every person in touch with creativity, in touch with humanity and in touch with the art spirit. 



Emily Shields- Team Washington DC, Team 1, Quarter 1


What would it be like to wake up every day and absolutely love what you do? Or wake up every day and know that you changed someone’s life?   Emily Shields gets to have both of those experiences every day.  She found her passion when she and her co-workers created Lifesavers in Life, a team dedicated to re-defining the level of care in ICUs. 


As a physical therapist, Emily sees many ICU patients who are very sick.  Some cannot even perform basic functions of life, activities like walking, sitting up, and talking that we all take for granted.  


In a typical ICU, the mortality rates are typically very high, running on average between 12 and 17%.* Many of the patients who survive are unable to walk again.  But at the ICU where Lifesavers in Life began, it was a different story.  Of the 25 patients they worked with, 65% were able to walk again before going home. 


So, what did Lifesavers in Life do that made a difference? They created an environment where patients got to design their own recovery plans and the doctors, nurses, and physical therapists met with each patient and their family members to develop that plan.  The patients themselves decided what they wanted to accomplish during their recovery.  They had control of their diseases rather than being at the affect of their circumstances. 


One remarkable transformation happened with a woman critically ill with ovarian cancer, unable to walk or talk.  Her only line of communication was in through writing.  Undeterred by the challenge, the physical therapists worked with her daily.  Two months later, she left the hospital, walking and talking.  She is now winning her fight against ovarian cancer, thanks in part to Lifesavers in Life.


In creating Lifesavers in Life, Emily and her team saw it could be possible to give ICU patients a more positive outcome by supporting them in an exploration of what they could achieve and what outcome they wanted to create during their stay. The ultimate goal was to have every patient dance in the celebration of life. 


Emily used the knowledge she gained from the Team Management Leadership Program to create structure around Lifesavers in Life, setting specific goals and milestones to achieve unpredictable outcomes.  But that was only the beginning. Lifesavers in Life have now set their sights on changing ICU’s around the country.  They are working to develop a case study published in a professional medical journal by 2011. 


So Emily and the Lifesavers in Life are on their way, their goal to redefine the level of care in every hospital around the country and make a profound difference in the lives of critically ill patients.






Sylvie Chapdelaine- Team Montreal, Team 2, Quarter 1


Going through a divorce is never easy, but as Sylvie Chapdelaine found out, it was even harder for her seven year old son, Francois-Xavier. Constantly bouncing between his parents’ homes was difficult for him. He felt caught in the middle and pressured to choose one parent over the other. Francois didn’t want to hurt either one and was afraid to express his feelings. Sylvie felt as though she was losing her son.  He was no longer happy and had become withdrawn. 


Fast forward to today. Francois-Xavier is a fully self-expressed child, full of life and love. How did this dramatic change happen?  It all started with Sylvie’s commitment to her son and the knowledge she learned through Landmark Education’s Team Management and Leadership Program. Sylvie had a vision of sharing love, freedom, and wonder authentically with her son, and inspiring other families going through similar circumstances to create the same for themselves. She was excited about the notion of families where the children of divorced parents could freely express their feelings. Out of this dream, she created her Game in the World, Freedom of Choice for Children. The game itself was to design a cookbook for her son, Francois-Xavier. But this wasn’t just any cookbook. It was one with a special ingredient, Francois-Xavier.


Rather than creating a cookbook for her son, Sylvie empowered Francois-Xavier to create a team to make the cookbook.  She discovered that at seven years of age, Francois- Xavier was a true leader.  He inspired his team to complete every task of the cookbook –from selecting the recipes to designing the vision for the artwork to developing the stories about the recipes. His cousins picked out the recipes, his grandmother wrote the stories, and his uncle developed a family website so they could track the progress of the book. They are having so much fun that they want to create more books and short stories together in the future.


In the last three months, Francois-Xavier has completely transformed.  He is now able to freely express himself. He feels loved by his entire family and no longer feels the need to choose between his parents.  Sylvie knows that when Francois-Xavier is older and reflects on this period of his life, he will remember how much fun he had creating this cookbook with his family and the freedom and self-assurance it brought him. 


With the cookbook in the process of being completed in August, Sylvie, her son, and the entire family wants to be a model for families caught up in divorce. They are committed that all children from divorced families are able to be fully self-expressed just like Francois-Xavier.  They want every child to have the Freedom of Choice; the freedom to rise above the circumstances of divorce and create their own future. 


Sylvie recognizes that she could not have done this alone.  She acknowledges Team Montreal for supporting her and giving her the strength and courage to keep the possibility she created for her son alive at all times.  Through the Team Management and Leadership Program, Sylvie has learned to stay powerful, fully self expressed and at ease; even during the times she could not physically be with her son. Through the game she created, Sylvie and Francois-Xavier have created a relationship full of fun, laughter, and most importantly, love. 



Don Murphy- Team Cincinnati, Team 1, Quarter 3

Have you ever wanted to have a second chance at something?  For many ex-felons, they want just that, but they rarely get a second chance. This is where Don Murphy and his Game in the World, A New Lease on Life, stepped in.


Don began formulating A New Lease on Life in October 2008, when he got excited an idea that the re-entry process for ex-felons could be transformed.  As a public defender, he had firsthand experience of the criminal justice system and didn’t like what he saw –a constant stream of low-income felons entering and re-entering the prisons, people stuck in a cycle without a support structure to change anything. Don dreamed about creating a safety net for ex-felons, a program that would provide inspiration, completion, and an opportunity for service. A New Lease on Life would give them a second chance where they could discover ways to not only survive outside of prison but make a contribution to their communities.


Typically, when felons are released from prison, they are given a little money and sent out into the real world.   In many cases they have no job, no shelter, and no food—and little chance to succeed.  Companies don’t want to hire ex-felons and apartment owners don’t want to rent to them. Some ex-felons are even ineligible for any Federal assistance programs. To get by, some resort to old habits and commit crimes, while others violate parole simply due to lack of transportation to attend required meetings. With the cards stacked against them, a high percentage of ex-felons end up back in prison.


A New Lease on Life is out to break that cycle.  The program’s mission is to provide ex-felons with opportunities for employment and self-sufficiency; in fact they get a new lease on life. Participating in the program, they have an opportunity to, not only reverse the high recidivism rates for prisons, but to go out and make a difference for themselves and their communities.


To accomplish his mission, Don partnered with Jesus House, a halfway house, with a goal of providing food, shelter, and transportation to parolees. The ex-felons are able to stop worrying about basic necessities and start speculating on what they can accomplish in their lives. Jesus House already has a successful model, with an 87% success rate in keeping ex-felons from re-entering the prison system.  Now, Don and his team are in the process of improving upon that success rate by creating a series of classes teaching ex-felons life skills, things like how to write a resume and how to interview for a job.  A New Lease on Life is also creating a safe space for the ex-felons to discuss what stops them from being able to reach their goals. 


With new hope, the ex-felons are also participating in creating the career fair by recruiting potential employers.  Others in the community are getting involved, creating “suit drives” to provide these ex-felons with suits for their job interview.   A New Lease on Life also wants to raise $10,000 for Jesus House by the end of 2009. 


People in the community are starting to take notice. An Indiana University criminal justice professor has begun an independent evaluation of the program that will allow Don and Jesus House to apply for grants to fund programs and expand Jesus House to other cities. 


While it’s predictable for released felons to be trapped by the circumstances of criminal activity they find themselves in, Don and his team are committed altering their circumstances and giving each of them a chance to have their dreams fulfilled. 


If you would like to join Don in his mission or contribute to A New Lease on Life, you can email him at



Marshall Muller- Team Detroit, Team 1 complete

Marshall Muller’s passion is renewable energy; he’d worked in it all his life and always wanted to make an impact in the world. He had invented a process for creating solar cells at half the cost. However, before he could finish, Marshall was laid off as a research scientist and ran out of money for his solar cell invention.  This is when he used the knowledge he gained from the Team Management and Leadership Program. 


Instead of quitting, Marshall persevered and created a Game in the World called Love and Light, where affordable, renewable energy would be available for all people, bringing the lowest cost solar panels to everyone. Using the Team Management and Leadership program, he created a complete management team and enrolled them in his mission to make this outcome a reality. 


Once the team was set, they began to create a business plan and develop a portfolio of patents. After two years of working to implement Love and Light, the team has an investor and is on the road to signing a two million dollar deal that will expand and enable the development of this transformational solar energy technology. The next steps for the team are to go from development to manufacturing, the next level of producing results.  


Marshall believes that sharing Love and Light with the world will bring about understanding where we see it is possible to come together as caretakers of our planet.