One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for June 3, 2015.
My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.
I am always amazed when you really get to learn about other people you find out how they transformed their lives. Some leaders I know were in a bad place with some aspect of their life and decided that they would make a change. When you hear those stories it is inspiring. Some changes are about faith, some are about lifestyle, but most are about careers.
I also have another set of friends that were not in a bad place but made a career change anyway for a myriad of reasons. Change is frightening to a lot of people especially when it comes to a career. I am not a psychiatrist but I think one reason people experience fear with a career change is the transformation you travel thru. With an existing career you have some level of expertise. In a new profession or job sometimes at best we may be classified as an apprentice. Those leaders who successful navigate that transition from expertise to apprentice to expertise again in my opinion have not lost their childlike curiosity about learning.
One of my friends that has successful navigated that career change is Mike Cox. He is a continual learner and that designation makes him a leader.
If you live in Lumberton, NC you might recognize the name Mike Cox as the former Fire Chief from the Lumberton Fire Department. In 2010 Mike embarked on tranforming his career after retiring from the Fire Department after 26 years. He did some analysis and realized that he already had the minimum requirements needed to begin physician assistant training. Upon acceptance at the New York Institute of Technology Mike packed his bags and headed to New York to become a Physician Assistant.
Mike graduated from Lumberton High School and joined the U.S. Navy immediately after high school. Upon discharge in 1984 he joined the Lumberton Fire Department, where he worked for 26 years, climbing the ranks from fireman recruit to fire chief. Along the way he earned an associate degree from Fayetteville Technical College in Emergency Medical Science and a Bachelor of Science degree from Western Carolina University in Emergency Medical Care.
Mike had a great career as a fire fighter but he is one of those leaders that wasn’t ready to stop growing so he found a new calling in medicine. When people make significant career changes in their 50’s I call them “special leaders”.
Mike is currently working at the Maxton (NC) Family Practice Center which is associated with Scotland Heath Care out of Laurinburg, NC. Mike is married to Audrey Cox, a registered nurse working as a clinical application analyst at Southeastern Health.
Picture Audrey and Mike in Alaska
The couple has three sons and one grandson. One of his son’s Corey is a good friend of my son Matt. Mike’s grandson Gabe is his buddy and he loves spending time with him.
Mike loves him some Duke Blue Devils, baseball and traveling with his wife.
That love of baseball and living in Lumberton got him to know a baseball fanatic named Bruce Mullis.
The Friend-MIKE COX
The Friend of the Friend-BRUCE MULLIS
Lumberton Baseball Fanatics
Bruce Mullis loves a lot of things. He loves his family, his alma mater East Carolina University, his golfing buddies, and his wife Barbara.
If you get Bruce around baseball you get him to his happy place. Bruce Mullis serves our community in a lot of different ways.
Bruce is the Vice President and City Executive for Select Bank & Trust in Lumberton, NC. He is just more than a banker to Lumberton, NC he is also a leader that serves in a number of different ways.
He has been an active member of the Kiwanis Club of Robeson/Lumberton. He is very involved with his church. He has been a long time supporter of the Lumberton Pirate High School Booster Club. He is supporter of a number of non-profits in our community including the American Cancer Society and it’s “Relay for Life” event.
One area where he really shines in service to our community is he serves as the Chair of the Lumberton Recreation Commission. Under his leadership he has nurtured a dream of seeing Lumberton have a first class recreation facility built at Northeast Park. Bruce has taken the shared vision of many in our community and continues to push for Northeast Park to become a first class recreation destination for our citizens and for tourism.
Bruce like Mike has shown the ability to preserve and make a change. He has weathered some career challenges the same way he deals with the progress at Northeast Park. Bruce like all good leaders takes it a day at a time but remains focused on the goal at hand.
Lumberton is home to a lot of leaders including Mike Cox and Bruce Mullis.