As a child with a wandering mind, Greg was fascinated by a variety of subjects. As an adult, he has done his best to explore as many of them as possible. His primary focus has been diversity, service & philanthropy. Shortly after college, in response to an incident he witnessed in a restaurant, he founded The Brunch Bunch mentoring program, to help bring people of diverse backgrounds together within his community. Good Morning America buried a Time Capsule which chronicled the first 100 brunches. He has hosted dinners based on the same concept in other cities around the world.
When he was 25, he founded The 11-10-02 Foundation. In addition to funding grants for art supplies, musical instruments, computers, books and other educational needs for schools, the organization has funded grants & scholarships for students with financial need. He also has volunteered & worked extensively with retired people around North America. His other civic efforts have focused on issues like literacy & cancer.
Greg has had a lifelong interest in the creative arts. He has created three art collections. The primary one, My Sleepless Nights, has gone on exhibit at events in different nations. Called a "tribute to diversity" by Art World News, the collection features Greg's portraits of cinematic, historical & contemporary figures (like Nelson Mandela) who have inspired others to think, act, give, serve & lead. At an event in Canada, he received the Portraits in Humanity Award - given to someone who has used the arts to make a difference.
A former educator, he has served as Scholar-in-Residence, Writer-in-Residence, Artist-in-Residence or Fellow for schools, programs & institutes in different parts of the world. In 2013, he was invited to be one of the Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar Fellows. He also frequently speaks or guest lectures at schools, events, companies & conferences throughout the year.
Greg has been actively involved in health & fitness throughout his life. In 2013, he was featured on the home page of USA Triathlon. In addition to his own athletic experiences, he has been invited to speak at events for student-athletes & has collaborated on professional & civic projects with high school, collegiate & pro athletes & teams.
On the fun side, Greg founded TakeLeaps.com - a site which encourages people to take chances, explore ideas, pursue dreams & learn new things. His own personal Leaps have included entering a crocodile pit, skydiving, cooking classes, an all-in-fun 'tryout' with the Minnesota Twin's AAA team, and one round of sparring with a former UFC fighter.
Greg is the real-life person upon whom The Silhouette Man by Jillip Naysinthe Paxson is based. The book was honored in Canada in 2009. The student edition (The First Thirty) was NS Diversity Leadership Conference 2007 Multicultural Relations Book of the Year.
His story also has been featured by media like USA Today, Education Week, NonProfit Times, CBS, NBC, NPR & The Washington Post. Over the years, he has written for the media as well. His poem, Legacy, became the basis for the Legacy Poster.
The greatest honor that Greg ever has received is having the world's greatest Grandma. For his civic efforts, he has received honors like America's Daily Point of Light & the Jefferson Award for Public Service. He was honored at Princeton University as one of America's top social entrepreneurs under 40. He has received other honors sponsored by organizations & programs like CBS, Tylenol, Zeta Beta Tau, Entrepreneurship Week USA & Hasbro. Greg graduated college with Highest Distinction & has received a number of honorary degrees.
As a child, his favorite places included the movie theater & the public library. In the process, he became fascinated with stories -- hearing them, reading them & sharing them. Initially, reading was a struggle for Greg (the words got jumbled up in his head), but once he learned to read, he spent hours 'in the stacks' at the library - reading as many books as he could, opening his mind to different places, people & ideas. When he learned of a way to raise money to help others just by reading books, it furthered his interest in reading & sparked what became a lifelong interest in philanthropy & service. To this day, he loves to read. Recent reading includes: 12 Years a Slave, David & Goliath and The Visit.