Each of our lives have probably been an interesting journey, especially for some that have been around long enough to have had multiple careers and lived in a number of different communities. It must be very gratifying when that journey leads to a place which is all about helping others find ways to navigate their own as this week’s Doer and Dreamer has. Say ‘hello’ to Lester Strong who is parlaying a long and distinguished career in many fields into a new venture that helps others find their pathway through life.
Your name: Lester Strong
Business or organization: PATHWAYS TO CONSCIOUS LIVING
Our focus is to give people the mental, emotional and spiritual tools necessary to more smoothly manage their lives.
What is your approach to your business or occupation that makes you unique?
I believe a successful business and personal life are measured by the level of joy, clarity and contentment a person experiences. To that end, I measure PATHWAYS’ success by the extent to which its practices and techniques enhance these qualities in a person’s daily life.
Where are you from originally?
I grew up in Braddock, PA, a small steel mill town just outside of Pittsburgh. Since then I’ve been fortunate to have lived in many different US cities (New York City, Boston, Atlanta and Charlotte) as well as having traveled to more than 20 different countries for work and pleasure.
What brought you to the Kingston area and keeps you in this area?
I met my wife, Pat Courtney Strong, while working in nearby Sullivan County and we’ve been together now for 14 years.
What is your favorite hangout in this area and why?
Definitely Stone Soup on Broadway. Without their terrific menu, Pat and I would be seriously malnourished because of our hectic schedules.
When you’re not in Kingston, what’s your idea of a wonderful city to visit, and why?
I’m a huge fan of Vancouver, Canada; particularly Stanley Park. There, you’re surrounded by the lushness of trees, mountains and waterways. Topographically, it reminds me of the Hudson Valley in a lot of ways.
Tell us something that we never would have guessed about you.
When I was in the third grade my parents were told that I was mentally challenged (retarded), and they should not waste their time trying to get me anything other than a very basic education. Fortunately for me, there were three people in my town, a barber, a minister and the mother of a friend, who would not accept that characterization of me. From third grade until I graduated from high school, they tutored and mentored me. I owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude for the 40-year career I’ve enjoyed in TV, international relations and non-profit management. I tell this story to remind myself and others of the long-term benefits of investing in our youth regardless of superficial appearances. It benefits not only the child but also our communities and our country.