Inspirational Leaders - The Alford & Hoff Blog - August 2015

The other day during an Alford & Hoff staff meeting, we started talking about Inspirational Leaders. More than people who lead a church… or a follow a particular philosophy… we were recognizing amazing people who make a difference in the lives of others by being exceptional in their own actions. The words they speak, the actions they take, the wisdom they share. The way they bring a smile to a stranger’s face and make good friends laugh.

Inspirational leaders are everywhere. They are the people who remind us to pursue great things. You see them at the gym. They are at family reunions. They are telling stories at coffee shops and at gatherings, sharing the things they are doing to make the world a better place. And yes, here at Alford & Hoff, we are always talking about the inspirational leaders we encounter on our journey, too.

In our world, we create Alford & Hoff fragrances that complement the amazing existence you are having right now. We want to inspire you to achieve greatness. And we know that taking a stand, being daring, and not letting anything prevent you from achieving your dreams – are actions that create a “cause and effect” vibration that manifests success.

Look around you. Inspirational Leaders really are everywhere. And just like them, when we all keep our eyes and minds open, we have the opportunity to appear in someone’s life at the exact moment they need a boost… and when they need to be reminded they are important.

So today, let’s all take a moment and practice being amazing people who do amazing things. In this Blog, we are excited to share information about individuals and events we encountered these past few weeks that are real-world examples of people being inspirational for others. Next time you feel tired, drained, and in need of a “burst of energy” to get you through your next meeting… think about Dr. Ray, Clayton Frech, Ezra Frech, Steve Lewis, and remember: you have the same infinite potential to do great things, 365 days a year.


- Barry Alford, CEO of Alford & Hoff

Image courtesy of Alford & Hoff


Robert “Dr. Ray” Nettles, M.D. is a good friend who invited me to be part of his talk show in July. Visiting his website, you’ll see he is a “philosopher, physician, artist, a practicing medical doctor, and cosmetic surgeon by day” – who also hosts a radio show on UBN Radio/TV.

Dr. Ray takes a stand for building a beautiful world around him, by examining and understanding the WORDS we use to shape our lives. The radio show was a FUN experience. The live talk show format is a dynamic environment where just about anything can happen. Being asked unscripted questions is great because it challenges you to be present and reflect the way you exist in the world, while observing who you are being at that very moment.


I spoke about the philosophy of Alford & Hoff, the experience I had at Agape Revelation 2015, and the words of Panache Desai. (You may recall I spoke about these topics in our July 2015 Blog.) I have to say, it was very empowering to have a real conversation about the messages revealed from all types of inspirational leaders, who share a common theme of being a good example of the world you want to live in.  (Reference: Mahatma Gandhi)

Seems to me, the resounding message shared is: help create a better world free of greed – and through our action, we can free ourselves from self-imposed prisons and ideals that may not really be true.

That’s a great thing to think about the next time we start limiting our growth by hanging onto outdated perceptions we inherited from past environments. Perhaps we behaved in a particular way… once upon a time… because that’s what was needed then – but now is a different time… and fresh, bold, unique ideas are needed to drive humanity forward.

Image: Ray of Light Show



The Ray of Light radio program reaffirmed for me, how every person’s words can make a positive impact on someone else, and how one seed of inspiration can give birth to a movement. After all, it is true… through positivity and love, we can move minds – and inspired minds can move mountains. 

If you have not heard Dr. Ray before, check him out. The Ray of Light show discusses contemporary issues with a philosophical angle, while reinforcing positive messages and shared perspectives for the show’s listeners. Indeed, it was a great day to be called-on and share the way Alford & Hoff seeks to inspire the greatness in all our friends and customers.

We all have the ability to make a positive impact on everyone we encounter.  So think about that today… and when you get called to demonstrate your greatness, grab that opportunity and shine!

Image: Ray of Light Show




A few weeks ago in Los Angeles, I was fortunate to have dinner with my good friend, Clayton Frech and his family. Clayton is named in UCLA Anderson School of Management’s “100 Inspirational Alumni” and received Anderson's first Alumni Outstanding Service Award, in 2004. While sharing a great meal and talking all night, Clayton told me about an event called the “Angel City Games,” which was taking place right down the street from our offices in Los Angeles at UCLA. 

Clayton told me the event was inspired by his son, Ezra, who was born missing his left knee and left fibula, and missing three fingers on his left hand. When he was only two-and-a-half years old, Ezra underwent extensive surgery to amputate his foot on the shorter leg and use one of his toes to create a second finger on his left hand. Now, Ezra uses a prosthetic leg to not just walk around, but to compete in sports – including basketball, football, karate, and track & field.

Inspired by his son's experiences participating in adaptive sports events, Clayton and Ezra decided to create an event in Southern California… and thus The Angel City Games came into existence.

See the power we all have!

Image: Angel City Games

I decided to add my support and bring my good friend, Steve Lewis, to the event. Steve is an Olympic Gold Medalist in track & field, and also an alumni of UCLA. This day turned out to be another great whirlwind of inspiration.

When we first arrived, we saw so many kids and adults facing everyday challenges that are difficult to comprehend. I observed how seemingly ordinary life-tasks were much more challenging. But these amazing kids and adults refused to let any perceived disability keep them from achieving their goals. In fact, they demonstrated such enthusiasm for life and all it has to offer, they were actually being inspirational leaders just by figuring out new ways of being and excelling in the world!   

Watching the amazing kids AND adults compete in sporting events they love was indeed a life changing experience. The Angel City Games were more than a demonstration of courage and strength of mind. This was a FUN day of cheering-on, and supporting some very great athletes.

I have played football most of my life and watching the Games gave me a greater appreciation for all athletes. I am very grateful for the opportunity Clayton gave me. Steve was also impressed by the focus, dedication, and drive everyone put into their competition. And of course… everyone was excited to hang with, and meet a real Gold Medal Olympian. :- )

Thanks again, Steve. Thanks again, Clayton and Ezra. You and the Angel City Games helped me gain a broader perspective and appreciation for everyone who struggles with tasks, big and small.  And congratulations to all event participants for showing us how to not let a physical disability (or any disabling mental thoughts, for that matter) prevent anyone from doing and being their best.


Congratulations to all the track & field athletes who participated. Thank you for all being inspirational leaders!

Image: Alford & Hoff 



Every one of us at Alford & Hoff encourages and challenges you to be a leader – and to inspire everyone in your life.  Sometimes, that can happen by just listening to a good friend who needs to express their feelings. Other times, you may find an opportunity to encourage a colleague who resists fulfilling their lifelong dreams, and who may… as a result of your friendship… do something great that changes the world.

Inspiration comes through big ideas and small moments that create momentum towards a great accomplishment. Inspiration also comes from overcoming an obstacle you might be facing, or by observing and/or helping someone else overcome their own struggle.

For all of us at Alford & Hoff, inspiration comes from making products that add-to our customer’s powerful experience and their own pursuit of excellence. In the next few months we will continue sharing with you *our* amazing journey: the things we see, the things we do.  We are also excited to talk about our new fragrances and lifestyle products coming your way that we will share with you first.

Thanks to you, our business is growing and in this field of gratitude, we want to always inspire YOU to achieve your wildest dreams.


For now, thanks for reading and sharing our August 2015 Blog. We also invite you to share your own stories on our Facebook Wall, so we can keep our unified, positive vibration growing.  :- )

Have a blessed month and remember: Do not miss the opportunity to experience the positive effect you can have on someone else’s life. You just might inspire them to be, and do, something amazing – and you’ll feel great being part of it.  :- )


- Barry Alford, CEO of Alford & Hoff

Image: Alford & Hoff


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Bonus Feature: Catching Up, and 3 Questions with Steve Lewis



On a sunny, Saturday morning in Los Angles, I met-up with Steve Lewis at the 2015 Angel City Games, held at UCLA. This event is the only multi-sport event for Youth, Adults, and Military with physical disabilities in Los Angeles. In support of this great event, I invited Steve who is a UCLA alum – and also a track and field runner who won three gold medals in the 1988 and 1992 Summer Olympics.

On this particular day, the Angel City Games schedule included Throwing Events, Jumping Events, a Toddler Run, a 20-meter run, and various track and field events. Being there, watching the participants, and talking with Steve was a very moving experience. Yes, we spoke about his career… but we also marveled at feeling the confidence and empowerment the participants projected, and how it felt being inspired by everyone doing their best, despite any perceived limitations.

That got me thinking.

After the event, I asked Steve to share with us, his thoughts and feelings of “what” he does to remain inspired and connected with his family. Today I am sharing that conversation as an added Feature in our Alford & Hoff Blog: 3 Questions with Steve Lewis.

Image: Steve Lewis Facebook



Question: Steve, how do you pray?

Answer: I pray throughout the day as I'm driving from one appointment to the next and during my workouts; and when I take breaks between sets. I also pray when I'm with my 2 daughters. When I pray, I ask God for the strength and courage to accomplish my goals - and for the health and well-being to endure to the very end. Finally, I pray and ask that He protects my family and watches over my daughters when I'm not with them.


Question: Steve, what inspires you?

Answer: I'm inspired by selfless acts of generosity. I'm inspired by watching the underdog overcome incredible odds to be victorious. I'm also inspired by my daughters. I take great pride in watching them accomplish small and large goals.

Question: Steve, how do you “pay it forward”?

Answer: My number 1 priority in life is to build a strong legacy. I don't believe I can accomplish that goal unless I give back and share personal experiences that may help others. I continue to pay it forward when I partner with organizations that are doing work to positively affect the community.



Words to live by. Words to thrive by. Words we can all admire.


Thanks for sharing with us, Steve! Have a great day!


- Barry Alford




Barry Alford
Barry Alford


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