According to Ellen: How lucky can a nephew be?! Alan has always gone over and above with his Uncle duties (which to Alan are never a duty). From learning to communicate Jakey style to running and organizing hundreds of volunteers for our events Alan has modeled the true meaning of the words love and supportive. Thank you Alan, Marla Jamie and Aiden for being you. We cherish you!!

According to Alan:

How did you come to be involved with Jacob’s Ladder? Being that I’m Jacob’s uncle it was a no brainer.

What does your affiliation with Jacob’s Ladder and (Jake’s Gigantic Give specifically) bring to you?

I guess above all it’s my connection to my nephew. We all want to connect to our nieces and nephews in some meaningful way. With Jacob it’s a little more challenging. So I see my role within Jacob’s Ladder being that connection between us. Albeit unwittingly, Jacob’s raison d’etre is to give people pause to think about how fortunate they are. And he brings out the best in people. I’ve been able to help Jacob realize his purpose, and along the way he has brought out the best in me.

What does giving mean to you?

I’ve learned the simple irony that giving is really taking. Pulling off a Jacob’s Ladder event is a knock down, drag out exercise that leaves you physically, emotionally, and mentally drained. However, as that last volunteer leaves the venue, and the clean up is finished, you are overwhelmed by a sense of community and a feeling that you’ve been a part of something special.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Well that’s a tough one. Seeing my kids master things for the first time is pretty incredible, or perhaps watching my dog Molly run free. But I’d have to say an afternoon nap trumps them all.

Which living person do you most admire?

Luckily I don’t have to go too far to derive inspiration from people. I’m lucky to have a tireless wife, a courageous daughter, and a son who reminds me to try to live life through the eyes of a five year old boy as much as possible.

Who are your heroes in real life?

I’ve never really thought about it. There are tons of qualities I admire in people so I’d have to say anyone who displays leadership, courage, selflessness, grace under pressure, and excellence. I also really admire people who can do the Jumble.

What is your dream job (other than the one that you have now)? Crossing guard, or perhaps a waiter at a 5-star restaurant.

What is the natural talent you would like to be gifted with? That’s an easy one. To be able to skate like the wind.