The Silhouette Man by Jillip Naysinthe Paxson (and condensed version for students, The First Thirty) are based on the true story of a young person's efforts to make a small but meaningful difference in the world outside his window, the 'ripple effects' that occur from the process, and the lessons learned along the way. There is also an (optional) companion workbook A Place To Sit by Catheryne Izeklow Rozelle. The First Thirty was honored as NSDLC 2007 Multicultural Relations Book of the Year. The Silhouette Man was honored with the 2009 Wisdom Speaks honor in Canada. Greg is the real-life person upon whom the books are based. The books and workbook have been used as part of internal, external and/or civic programming and curriculum by a wide variety of schools, companies, organizations and teams working with people of all different ages, races, cultures and backgrounds. To learn more about the books, read reviews and/or order copies, click here .
Greg has been invited to speak at schools, graduate schools, organizations, companies, conferences and events around the world. The events have included a diverse mix of groups. During one 24 hour period, for example, Greg spoke at four events: a workshop for high school students, an event jointly sponsored by two colleges, a gathering for Russian senior citizens (with a translator), and an annual breakfast for philanthropists (appearance sponsored by Time Warner Cable). In some cases, he has been one of multiple speakers at an event. In those instances, the other speakers have included some of the best known figures in the world. They have included: Michelle Obama, John Sculley (former CEO of Apple, former President of Pepsi), Nobel Peace Prize honoree Elie Wiesel, legendary football coach Tom Osborne, actor/producer Henry Winkler, and best-selling authors Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point) and Greg Mortenson (Three Cups of Tea). For pictures and feedback from past speeches, click here. To ask about booking Greg for an event, email Events@GregForbes.com
From time to time, Greg works for the media -- writing guest columns and feature stories for a variety of publications around the world. The topics of the guest columns have ranged from the impact of labels and stereotypes, to the wisdom of grandparents, to how to talk to students about the ramifications of 9-11, to the internal strength of those who deal with physical obstacles. The feature stories have chronicled the life and/or work of notable figures in different fields such as art, athletics, entertainment, media, business, diversity, education, politics, public service, tourism, and philanthropy. For more on his writing, click here
In addition to books and articles, Greg enjoys writing poetry. In school, he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Literary Magazine. One of the poems he wrote - entitled Legacy - is now the basis of a poster. For more, click posters.
My Sleepless Nights features Greg's pencil-based portraits of historical, contemporary and cinematic figures who inspire us to think, act, give, serve and lead. Called a 'tribute...to diversity' by Art World News, pieces have been on display at events in Canada, USA and Africa. His other two collections are called The Art of Nothing and Rejection Art. To see samples of his art, please see MySleeplessNights.com
Greg's first job ever (hotel restaurant busboy), first job in college (food delivery), and first job after college (restaurant doorman) all involved the F&B, hotel, restaurant and event industry. Greg has coordinated and hosted (or co-hosted) hundreds of events to bring people of diferent races, cultures and backgrounds together. The groups have ranged in size from 5 to 500. The events have included brunches, dinners, galas, parties, and a film premiere. They have occurred in cities throughout the United States as well as Canada and Africa For more, click here
After graduating college, Greg decided to spend one year as an educator - working as a public school substitute teacher. One year turned into eight. Since then, he has guest lectured and/or served as Scholar (or Writer or Artist) in Residence for schools or programs in USA, Canada and Africa. He also has served as Honorary Principal for the Day on several occasions. He provides internships to students on a regular basis - including previous interns from schools like George Washington University, Princeton and Berkeley.
Greg's volunteer efforts have included starting a program for young people to volunteer with seniors, and launching ProjectThankYou.com as a way for people to acknowledge publicly the efforts of First Responders. His primary volunteer efforts have involved The Brunch Bunch Mentoring Program. Each weekend, for 243 consecutive weekends, he coordinated and hosted brunches for up to 25 people (young professionals and students, like the two featured in the picture, joining together as a large group over a meal), followed by an athletic or volunteer activity. More than 700 people attended at least one of the brunches. For more, click here
Greg is Founder of The 11-10-02 Foundation. Founded in 1998, the nonprofit organization has provided grants and scholarships for students with financial need and the schools which they attend throughout the USA. For more, click here
Over the years, Greg has been featured by media like CBS, NBC, FOX, The Washington Post Co, Good Morning America, USA Today, National Public Radio, CBC Radio, Newsweek Kaplan College Guide, Senior News, Education Week, Art World News, Volunteer Leadership, The NonProfit Times, Nation's Restaurant News, and Brandweek.
He has received some special honors such as the Jefferson Award for Public Service and America's Daily Point of Light. He was honored at Princeton University as one of America 's top social entrepreneurs under 40. In 2008, he received the Portraits in Humanity Award in Canada - given to someone who 'has used the arts to make a difference'. In 2007, EntrepreneurshipWeek USA - sponsored by Kauffman Foundation, Inc. Magazine and New York Times - recognized him as one of its 'Trailblazers' in business. He has received other honors from companies and/or organizations and/or divisions of companies/organizations like CBS, NBC, Hasbro, The Education Center, Zeta Beta Tau and Simply Family. Separately, he has been invited to speak at a variety of events in the USA and Canada where other people were being honored -- like an annual event (left) honoring 40 emerging leaders under 40.
Greg has been active in sports/fitness throughout his life - playing them in school and, after four operations on his feet, completing his first Triathlon in 2008 . In 2009, he was given an (all-in-good-fun) 'tryout' with the Rochester Red Wings (AAA team of the Minnesota Twins). He also has worked with those in the field in a number of capacities including: speeches for sports teams at the high school and college level and for those who work in health-related industries. In some cases, teams (such as the Toronto Blue Jays, Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants) have incorporated one of Greg's books into their community efforts. For more, click here
A firm believer in Taking Leaps, Greg likes to try new things and take on challenges -- and sets out to do them sooner than later. His 'Leaps' - in addition to the triathlon (which he did on two weeks notice) and the 'tryout' with pro baseball - have included: skydiving, entering a crocodile pit, whitewater rafting, zip-lining, snorkeling with fish and baby sharks, and one round of sparring with a former UFC fighter. For more, click here
Greg was rejected from every college he hoped to attend. He eventually talked his way into a school. Once in college, he was elected to class office, appointed Chairman of Community Service, joined a fraternity, completed an internship on Capitol Hill, and graduated with Highest Distinction. He has since received a number of honorary degrees.
Greg's favorite historical & contemporary figures include Harriet Tubman, JoAnn Robinson and Nelson Mandela. His favorite cinematic figures include Forrest Gump, Roy Hobbs and Rocky Balboa. He loves animals, films and sports. Greg is single. His best friend was his late Grandma.