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The Power of Reflection

Columnist: Lawrence Amaturo
February, 2018 Issue

Lawrence Amaturo
All articles by columnist

“Review, reflect and realign”—this was the essence of the advice my father, Joe Amaturo, gave me the morning of my birthday last November. I thought sharing a lack of interest in my own birthday that day would have sat well with a guy who’s observed a bunch more birthdays than I have; boy was I wrong. He had a completely different take on the matter and admonished me for not jumping on the opportunity to take stock that day and improve myself. My father’s 90-plus years of wisdom clarified that birthdays offer a chance to reflect upon your successes, learn from any failures and to realign yourself before moving forward.

Each new year offers each of us that same opportunity. This month’s Health & Wellness issue highlights the opportunity to make changes and improve yourself both physically and mentally—something every hard-working executive needs. Jean Doppenberg digs into the pursuit of “age neutrality” and shares methods that our plastic surgeons are perfecting. Fillers and injections, for example, are administered with fine needles to repair acne scars and eliminate wrinkles micro-needling to help us retain a youthful appearance. Of course, our health is in large measure determined before we’re even born, and you’ll read how Sutter, Memorial, Marin General and other local hospitals are advancing care for expectant mothers and their babies. Our cover story on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), however, is most topical.  David Abbott’s fine piece reveals how the traumatic and life-threatening October firestorm can cause an increase of PTSD among not only the victims of these fires, but the police, fire and emergency professionals who fought the fire. Thankfully, David shows us the way forward from this real and burdensome condition, which is now treated as any other on-the-job injury.

It’s Stephanie Derammelaere’s thoughtful take on the Italian toast Cent’ Anni, however, that triggered the reflective thoughts from my father.  I’m hopeful he will be with me to 100 Years and beyond, and know he believes his best chance for this is to stay physically and mentally active. It is his contention that staying engaged in our chosen fields extends and improves our life rather than diminishes it. Well into his 90s, Joe dedicates much of his time developing a live/work/dine complex in South Florida that he believes is the next big thing in retail. Given his 70-plus year success record; I tend to believe him!

Born of loving immigrant parents, Joe was Bronx-raised, Jesuit-trained, Navy-forged and Harvard-groomed. Like some many teenagers from his era, the Pearl Harbor attack led him to quit his day job, defer his Fordham College night school classes and join the fight. Officer training school sent Joe to Cornell where he learned all that can be taught from a classroom about how to skipper a Navy vessel. There certainly wasn’t much time for extensive training and perhaps Joe’s very first experience on a boat of any kind was when he was shipped off to captain his own 120-foot Landing Tank Craft (LCT) along the shores of Okinawa, Japan. One had to learn real fast in World War II, and Joe took on the challenge superbly. Thankfully, he survived the war, earned his MBA (courtesy of Uncle Sam’s G.I. bill), met the girl of his dreams and began what would become an incredible business career in media, telecom, movie theaters and (now!) shopping centers. He’s a prime example of someone who has maintained vitality every decade of his life, and is an inspiration to me.

Joe refuses to retire from his work because it challenges him. These challenges keep him focused and vibrant. Today, as my father approaches his own Cent’ Anni moment, he is living proof of our country’s “Greatest Generation.” For him, showing up for work each morning is the routine that keeps him healthy inside and out.

As we all begin this new year, I encourage us to do our own review of the past 12 months. Let’s reflect on what we’ve learned and realign our work, home and social life to succeed in all our endeavors. I’d love to hear what you come up with and welcome your ideas and suggestions. Please drop me a line at


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