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Find your Ivan: A New Year’s Message from the Wingman

A few weeks ago I lost a friend. Most of you don’t know him, and you never will.

His name was Ivan Weinstock. And he was a wingman.

Ivan was a consultant to OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety) and was instrumental in having me become a columnist for the magazine. I met him and his wife Sheila at the 2005 Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) Conference. An Air Force veteran, Ivan was inspired by my wingman message of trust and could relate to it. But it was actually Ivan who inspired me. You see, Ivan epitomized everything about being a wingman, and his countless friends will tell you so.


Ivan gave unselfishly. He was intensely passionate about helping others and making the world a better place. He gave his time freely and never expected anything in return. Most importantly, he always had a smile on his face.

Before he passed away, Ivan gave his friend a list of people to call to say goodbye. Even at the end, he was a wingman.

Ivan made me think a lot about my relationships. He made me realize that I often don’t take enough time to call or reach out to the people in my life that are special to me. I get so bogged down with work that I forget about my relationships. The days fly by and before I know it, another year has passed by. I mean, what am I fighting for?

Sound familiar?

As we celebrate this holiday season, ask yourself who the ‘Ivans’ are in your life that you need to call.Don’t wait until it’s too late…and don’t stop come 2 January!

Make it a point to connect with at least one friend, customer, and family member every day in 2007 and beyond. Find your ‘Ivans!’ Make them feel good about who they are…and mean it when you tell them.

We all want to be appreciated. It fuels our soul and gives us courage to engage the challenges of life. Ivan gave that gift to me and everyone he came in contact with. And I would like to offer it to you as we start a brand new year filled with wonderful opportunities, health, and peace.

Thanks for being our wingman Ivan. We’ll miss you.


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