Joe Rhea
Not Your Average Joe


From: UMKC
Robert Greim, Associate Athletic Director
April 23 2005

The Program:
1. How would you rate the overall impact of this program?
I think the program is excellent. The message Joe sent was unbelievable and useful for people of all ages. It was very engaging and yet real.

2. Would you recommend this program to others? Why or why not?
Yes, most definitely. The program is about things that happen to all of us. Everyone needs a reality check once in a while and most certainly some motivation.

3. How could this program be improved?
I don't know that I see any need for big improvements.

4. Did the specific parts of the program stick out as particularly outstanding or weak?
I think when the speaker used visuals, like the brain, skeleton and pictures they really brought the message to life.

The Speaker:
1. Was the speaker polite, friendly, and easy to work with?
Most definitely and in everyway. He was very engaged and willing to hang out with the athletes and talk.

2. Did the speaker make a strong, personal connection with students and staff?
Yes, he went to our softball game and out to dinner with our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. He definitely went the extra mile.

3. Would you recommend this speaker to other campuses/organizations?

From: University of Kansas
Mark Mangino (Head Football Coach)

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing this letter of recommendation on behalf of Joe Rhea. Joe came to speak to our team and tell his story to our players.

He did a terrific job of articulating his story and relaying his message of inspiration. Many of my players were touched by his story and I would recommend Joe to speak to any group looking for a motivational speaker.

From: Feist Publications
Cliff Pruitt, Stacy Swopes and Johnny Turpin
Kansas City Sales Management Staff


We wanted to take a moment Joe and thank you for the incredible presentation you gave our sales staff last month. With more than 50 sales representatives to hire, train and motivate we are constantly looking for success stories that individuals like you have to tell.

It was most pleasing to our management team to see the response you received from our sales staff. Your ability to translate your physical personal challenges into everyday sales challenges we face was insightful and provided strong impact for our sales staff. Your focus on overcoming adversity, goal setting and continuing to focus on a 'work in progress' mind set is something many of us need to adhere to everyday in our personal and professional lives.

Had a chance to speak with Ed and our Wichita sales management staff last week. They were thrilled with your visit and the presentation you provided there as well. Super Job!

Please stay in touch and best of luck in all your future endeavors.

From: Feist Publications
Ed Fanning

I recently had the opportunity to see and hear Joe Rhea speak at Feist Publications. I was informed that he would be speaking to our group before anyone of us had actually heard him speak. I informed my associate that bring in a speaker that he had not heard speak yet was risky. What if he was no good, boring, uninformative, etc. We would be wasting our staffs time, not to mention our time as well. Joe quickly put my fears to rest, because of the adversity he has faced; he had a direct line into the hearts of our group of more than 50 sales people.

I have been speaking myself for a few years now, so I know a little about what it takes to be a successful speaker. Joe has that gift. He has a story that is incredibly powerful and motivational, but it is how he tells it that is truly inspiring. It was very refreshing and uplifting. Several of my staff came up to me afterwards and told me how much they enjoyed Joe's speech. If you are looking for someone that will remind us of how blessed we are, how grateful we should be and of what it takes to go out and be successful every day, then it is without hesitation that I recommend Joe Rhea to you and your staff. I know he will do for you what he did for us.

From: Biomune Company
Ronald Plylar, President

Dear Joe,

This letter is being sent to express my appreciation and that of the other Biomune employees for your presentation at out National sales meeting the last week of September 2001. Considering the 'down' mood of our people subsequent to the tragedy of September 11th, we found the revelation of your triumph over adversity to be extremely inspiring and uplifting. Your life experience of overcoming a major handicap against tremendous odds helped to lift the emotional spirit of our group to meet the challenge of a very difficult business environment.

Thanks again Joe for your participation in our meeting. Please feel free to share this letter with others and have them contact me regarding the benefit of having your life experience shared.

From: California Trail Junior High
Kerry Lane, English Teacher


It is not everyday one becomes inspired by listening to another's story. I am very fortunate for being in the right place at the right time. when I heard your story of courage and compassion at Indian Trail Junior High, I understood what I needed to do. As a teacher, I wanted my students to have the same opportunity I had, had to listen to your story and find their own message within.

When you came to California Trail during our Kindness Kansas Citian reception, I knew you had impacted some young lives. The seriousness in which they drank in your story and the looks of awe on their faces are not typically found in a junior high assembly. The comments from the students the next day confirmed that your story truly did inspire.

I wanted to thank you on the behalf of our students, faculty and staff. Thank you for deciding to share your life altering experience and allow others to learn from your tragedy. Thank you for letting our students know that kindness is not just a word, it is an act that is remembered for a lifetime and, most importantly, thank you for inspiring us to all be better people.