Tonight my fiancée Carrie Hemphill is flying to Italy to checkoff one of her bucket-list items; three weeks of language immersion in Italy. For the past two years she has studied the Italian language tirelessly, three times a week, with my cousin Elio Mussi via Skype. I am so blessed that Carrie shares my love of Italy, the Italian language, and my family heritage.
On June 24th we will be married in Pescara, just 45 minutes from my grandfather’s birthplace, Popoli Italy. I know that my grandfather Francesco di Gregorio will be smiling from heaven on that day. It will be the first time that my mother has stepped foot on Italy soil and will see her father’s birthplace.
God has blessed me with an incredible life partner in Carrie Hemphill. She is a loving Christian woman who is growing in her faith in Jesus Christ. My mother was instrumental in her conversion to a living faith in Jesus Christ. It is such a twist of fate; I led my mother to Christ over 30 years ago!
As I sit in our brand new home, alone for the first time, I was compelled to write about the incredible blessings that God has bestowed in my life. I often joke that I have had many “lifetimes” of blessings as my careers have changed over the years. There are so many people that have mentored, encouraged, loved, collaborated, and lovingly disciplined me over the years. Tonight, I decided to make my first attempt at reflecting on my path, which has brought me to a new beginning in my life, marrying Carrie Hemphill in June of this year.
Before I recount my “experiential lifetimes” I have to thank my parents for a wonderful childhood. James and Frances Pasch will receive an award in heaven for putting up with the antics from five crazy boys. My brothers and I can look back now and laugh, but we did put our parents through some very difficult times. Now as a father, I understand how easily a parent’s heart can break over the smallest things.
I have to start my first “lifetime” and rebirth with Joe Pecoraro, my High School Physics teacher, who first introduced me to a living Christian faith: a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. My conversion experience led me to Hydewood Park Baptist Church and a youth program led by Gordon Schuitt. I was blessed to be mentored by Gordon in High School and I miss his counseling as I write this post today.
As a result of the welcome I received from Gordon, I became involved in church programs and outreach. Our friendship was critical in later years as I was comforted when going through a very difficult time in my life after Randy and I separated. I often think of Jeff Graves, Mario Romero, Jack Darida, Danny Parker, Ruth Kirkland, Dane Lowrie, Joanne Lowrie, Pat McCord, and Ed Nicholson from those wonderful days at Hydewood.
My second lifetime was an amazing, but short career as a High School Physics teacher at Westfield High School. I look back on that great experience and thank David Stoneback, Head of the Science Department, for believing in me. I loved being a teacher despite having to work “two” jobs: teaching during the day and working on creating lesson plans at night.
My third lifetime was spent learning how to be a land surveyor. My mentor was Ted Hallard, a member of Hydewood Park Baptist Church and a wonderful Christian man. I loved working for Ted as I drove his dilapidated Dodge Dart vehicles on land surveying projects. I learned that being a successful businessman and Christian were not mutually exclusive. I often think of Dan Parker, John Alessi, and Jonathan Kirtland from those days at Hallard & Associates.
My fourth lifetime was my first business called “Customer Computer Systems.” We built personal computers for small businesses. I also wrote a software program using Rbase to manage the billing, accounting, and map files for surveying companies and engineering firms. I had the opportunity to work with some amazing people including Scott McCauley, Sharon Lima, and my brother James Pasch. When the economy started to tank in 1989 I decided to look for greener pastures.
My fifth lifetime was a great adventure that led me to New York City. I was hired at Goldman Sachs in 1990 when Goldman was the finest company to work for on Wall Street. In my role as a Senior Telecom Analyst I learned so much. My experiences at Goldman influenced my life in ways that I could never imagine. I could thank many people who mentored me at Goldman but those who come first to mind are Michael Marsh, Brian Duffy, Mary Byron, Liz Martin, Dan Haddad, Edie Hunt, and Fred Portuondo.
My sixth lifetime was a rollercoaster ride as I joined my brother’s telemarketing company and was also married in the same year to Denise. There were so many people who impacted my life during this time and none more than my son Connor James Pasch who was born on March 26, 1997. During my years in the telemarketing industry, I developed lasting relationships with great people including Leif Maiorini, Travis Rodgers, and Inna Zelepukina.
My seventh lifetime was a resurrection experience. Losing everything and building a new business from nothing. Starting my new business, which is now known as PCG Companies, I was the only employee back in 2005. Over the past 11 years, I have developed a new appreciation for entrepreneurs and the work it takes to build a successful business from the ashes of failure.
Only now can I clearly see that God had something even better in store for me. During this time I came to learn the many talents of my brother Glenn Pasch, who is a trusted business partner and friend. My local friends that supported me during this second “rebirth” include Joe Monte, Pat Scire, Jeff Wrightson, Gabe Farina, and my future father-in-law Joe Hemphill. I also count my early employees as core to our current success. My veterans include Carrie Hemphill, Shawn Hoagland, Renee McGowan, Melanie Ferrato, Lisa Grande, and Marc McGurren.
My eighth lifetime is about to begin with my love, Carrie Hemphill. We are the definition of “iron sharpening iron” and God has blessed us with a great local church, Park Church in Tinton Falls. I am so excited that Christian Andrews (our Senior Pastor) and his family will be joining us in Italy to officiate our wedding. I am blessed with great health, a growing business, and a loving future bride. Together, Carrie and I look forward to starting a family and sharing the blessings that God has given us. I am more than excited!
You may ask what inspired me to publically thank God for his blessings over the past 54 years? It was my trip this week to Syracuse, New York.
I met with Roger Burdick and Lou Bregou, partners at Driver’s Village and Firas Makhlouf. On Thursday night, these three Christian men shared their testimonies at dinner. Each man shared a story of redemption and God’s grace. Together we prayed for our meeting on Friday and that God would bless our efforts to grow the business. It struck me how wonderful it is to work with passionate, inspired Christian businessmen. It also reminded me of my many blessings over the years.
As I embark on my eighth lifetime path, I encourage you to count the blessings that God has given you over the years. I am at peace. I could not be happier to be spending the rest of my life with Carrie. I look forward to seeing Connor grow and find his way. The future is bright.
How about you? Are you content? It is never too late to change your path and find favor in following the path that God has for you. Regardless of your past, God’s forgiveness and grace can cleanse your entire soul. I can attest to that.
I pray that I will be a great husband to Carrie, continue to be a role model to my son Connor, and a witness to the living God that is within me.