Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Letter from the Editor

Joseph W. Norman
The Notable and Newsworthy: VIP Profiles, Issue 3, February 4, 2007

Happy February Readers,

The next few weeks will be an exciting time for us at Notable and Newsworthy for several reasons. We have some very interesting people scheduled to be interviewed and we have added a few new members to our writing team. A website is also in development so you, our readers, will be able to find all of these great people's profiles online. This will add a whole new dimension to the experience and value we desire to add with our services.

I attended a leadership conference at Paychex Headquarters in Rochester on Saturday. It was a worthwhile experience and I would like to second his motion to get involved with this type of workshop if you have the chance. I have been blessed to be a part of dozens of these leadership development conferences and they have all taught me something new or provided me with some new friends. Personal development is something I have taken seriously, which leads to this week's book recommendation. Recently, I re-read John C. Maxwell's, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. This is an in-depth analysis of his best selling leadership principles. If a lack of spare time hinders the more developed analysis, then his Leadership 101: What Every Leader Needs to Know, would be more worthwhile. This is a one sitting read that covers many of his ideas on the subject.

This week's features are Lisa G. Burns and Deputy A. Gary Miller. Lisa Burns, a child of the 60's, is the Tourism Director of Livingston County while Deputy Miller, a retired educator and military man, is the current Administrative Assistant to the Livingston County Sheriff.

Please continue to support our growth by telling people you think might benefit about our newsletter and providing us with your constructive criticism. Also, keep us abreast of potential interview candidates or people you would like to read about and most importantly keep reading (and enjoying) our newsletter. Feel free to contact us at viprofile@gmail.com, with any questions, comments, or reactions.

Note: Attached is also the Notable and Newsworthy Objective Letter for those of you joining us this week. Welcome and enjoy!

Thank You,

Joseph W. Norman
Notable and Newsworthy
CFO and Editor in Chief

A. Gary Miller

Deputy A. Gary Miller: A Man of Principle

By: Joseph W. Norman

“I guess I’m one of those people who are very fortunate to have had a number of different careers,” remarked Brigadier General A. Gary Miller. Currently, he is the Administrative Assistant to the Livingston County Sheriff, but he has served in a number of other positions. He finished a thirty three year teaching career in the Pavilion Central School District as a secondary Social Studies teacher in 1995, and a thirty four year military career in the New York Guard system in September of 2004. “I had the good fortune to have met a lot of really nice people and make many good friends.” During those tenures, he also ran a family retail business and began his law enforcement career, obtaining his police certification and a variety of instructor certifications. “Well rounded,” seems like a fitting way to describe this man. Currently, he has a considerable amount of responsibility in his role at the Sheriff’s department. He also does assessments for New York State and for the New York State Sheriff’s office, helping other offices that are seeking accreditation. In addition, he teaches at a Police Academy, writes all of the agency policies and procedures, does a significant amount of grant writing, and “pretty much anything that the Sheriff assigns.” What seems to be most telling about an individual of such variety is not necessarily all he has done, but rather the constants that have remained through his range of endeavors. For Deputy Gary Miller, his passion for history and his principles are those constants.

His principles are evident in the two pieces of advice he makes an effort to share whenever he gets the chance. “I have always believed that you should strive to do the right thing for the right reason. That is something that is very important to me.” His other mantra is to “Always try to make a significant difference; Make your mark and make it a positive one that enables other people.” Throughout his many careers, his marriage and helping raise his two children, Michelle and Michael, these have been the motivating forces.

As an educator, he was fueled by his passion for history and took on many extra opportunities to make a positive influence. He served as department chair, advisor to the American Field Service Foreign Student Exchange, advisor to the Future Teachers of America and the Student Government. Also, he conducted the Model Congress and Mock Trial programs for eight school districts. His efforts were noticed with a variety of awards both externally, including Outstanding Young American Educator in 1973, and internally, with the fulfillment of making his mark on a younger generation. His military career was filled with many awards and decorations as well. Throughout his efforts with the New York Guard system he had the opportunity to lead many and make an even greater impact. The skills he brought to this role moved him up the ranks to wear he finished in 2004 as Acting Commanding General with a rank of Brigadier General of the Line (achieved in January 1991). These efforts went with much recognized success as well including, two Meritorious Service Medals, two Military Commendation Medals, the New York Guard Commendation Medal, the Long and Faithful Service Medal (for thirty years of service), and many more. No mention of these achievements comes out in conversation with Deputy Miller though. His humbleness and focus on his current tasks and circles of influence are what seem to consume this man. He is constantly trying to do his jobs better and “make his mark.”

When posed with the question of who he would like to meet or have met, he had two people in mind, the late former President Ronald Reagan, whom he “admired from the standpoint of what he did and what his values were.” Deputy Miller felt Reagan handled his presidency well because of his perseverance acting on what he inherited in terms of the military and economy. Ultimately, Miller believes these attributes helped Reagan made a positive impact on the United States. The next person is from the category of war time hero. Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller, a barrel-chested Marine who served in both World War II and Korea and was awarded the Navy Cross five times, which is second only to the Medal of Honor. Miller quipped that Puller probably never earned the Medal of Honor because he was not very politically correct. The admiration of Puller comes from his tenacity, courage, and personal values which stayed constant through his efforts. Miller told a story of when General Puller and his First Marine Division were surrounded in Korea in the throws of a deep freeze winter. Puller’s comment after hearing about this formidable situation was, “Good, now they can’t get away!” He then fought his division out of that area and back into South Korea. A photo of “Chesty” Puller remains on the wall behind Deputy Miller’s desk.

In the spirit of history, if Deputy Miler could live in any time period, he would like to have been around during the great change in American history influenced during the Civil War time period and the reign of President Lincoln. His preference is living right now though. In fact, the first thing he thinks about in the morning is, “What did I miss in the previous day?” In response, he grabs the paper and reflects on all of the things that are going on in the United States and in the world.

When he is not checking up on the world or working, Deputy Miller enjoys watching the Syracuse University basketball team and the New York Yankees; both of which he is a big time fan. He enjoys gardening or “weeding” as he describes it as his wife Barbara is the “green-thumb.” In addition, he enjoys camping and spending time with his three grand-children. German cooking is his favorite but he also likes pizza and real Italian food. In terms of a candy bar, “any chocolate will do.” One of his favorite books is American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964 by William Manchester. In his future retirement, the sixty-six year old Miller, who remains in excellent health, plans to continue living in Western New York with his wife, another former educator, and spending more time with his children and grand children. He attributes his success to his organizational skills, hard work, and values.

A quote that has stuck with Miller for much of his life is one by Ralph Waldo Emerson. “There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide.” This seems to hold true in Miller’s life as he has made his own original mark on this world and will no doubt continue his positive influence. Deputy A. Gary Miller’s principles have stayed true throughout all of his endeavors and that defines his success.

Deputy A. Gary Miller

Livingston County Sheriff’s Department

4 Court Street

Geneseo, NY 14454

E-mail: gmiller@co.livingston.ny.us

Website: http://www.co.livingston.state.ny.us/Sheriff/home.htm