Education Imperative

My grandfather was the son of a 10th generation Belgian coal miner. Ten that we know of, it could be 15 or 20 as men have been mining in the low country of Belgium since coal was discovered there at the end of the 12th century. The graphic below reflects the Belgian tradition that the …

Mining Intuition

In 1885,  22 year-old Louis Bouchez, my great grandfather, immigrated to America,  leaving his family in Paturages, Belgium and the mines of the Pays Noir region of France, never to return. He went to live in Pana, a coal town in central Illinois, and gained employment as a laborer at the Penwell Coal Mining Company. In my …

Maximize the Impact of Your Content With A Strong Point of View

A strong point of view, consistency and confidence necessary for content to make a lasting impression with prospects, influencers and the market. Impact. It means to impinge or make contact especially forcefully. And as a business leader, you have it, especially when it comes to your people. But when it comes to impacting your external …

A Sustainable Content Approach

Imagine for a moment that you are the owner of an apple orchard. You want to raise your profile with the community of people who buy apples or know people who buy lots of apples, and so you’ve decided to start a blog. What can you talk about? Well, of course, you can talk about …

A Book of Work

The image at left is of a Belgian “livret d’ouvrier” issued to my great grandfather in 1874 by the province of Hainaut. Livret des ouvriers were official “work booklets” issued by the local government in France and Belgium throughout the 19th century. Workers were required to submit these booklets to their employers, who used them to confirm …

Bit His Lip Off

The following is an account of an event involving my second great grandfather (or his brother-in-law, see below) assembled from a series of articles in Laramie and Cheyenne newspapers. Links to sources appear below. Laramie, Wyoming (July 24, 1889) — At 9 p.m on July 23, Mike Coughlin, a rolling mill man who is really a responsible …

The Rolling Mill

The rolling mill where my great grandfather, Irish immigrant Michael “Cush” Coughlin (county Cork) worked alongside his father-in-law Joseph Stroebel and his brother-in-law named Michael Coughlin (no relation). Credit: http://www.wyomingtalesandtrails.com/ (Great stuff!)

Inherited Experience

I’ve been tracking down dead relatives for the better part of 20 years now. Understanding my ancestors — who they are, how they lived, and what happened to them — has provided me with many insights into the choices and character of my family and others like us. What has really been driving my persistent …