A Tribute to Michael Stay

23 May

Today (May 23, 2013) I want to give tribute to Michael Stay, one of the most influential leaders ever in my life.

On May 17 while I was at the JVAlert Live event in Arlington, VA, I received the sad news that Michael had passed away after a year and half battle with cancer. I felt devastated. On May 22, I went with my wife to Michael’s outdoor memorial service. When I came home, I began crying because I missed him so much.

Great leaders inspire actionLet me tell you about one of my best friends ever, who modeled a life of faith and integrity.

I first met Michael in the Fall of 1999, a few months after stepping away from my full-time anesthesia job at Culpeper Hospital. It turned out Michael had stepped away from his bread-and-butter job the same month as me to work full-time in his own consulting firm. Michael had been working as Project Manager for Chevron Oil Company for all of North America.

Within a few months of leaving his full-time job, Michael’s daughter Tori was diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer and told she only had two weeks to live. She’s still alive and doing well 14 years later.

In early 2000, Michael and I began participating together in a weekly Bible study, my first one ever. Later that year, Michael and I began attending the same church. About a year after that, Michael agreed to join a weekly coaching group that I started along with Mark Jarvis and Matt Gregory. The four of us met weekly for coaching and lunch for 4 years. That’s where I came to realize the value of small group coaching.

Michael was the best strategic planner I ever met in my life. The slogan for his company Core Impact was “Strategists for Market Pre-eminence”. Michael took me and my company (Empower 2000) through three separate strategic planning processes over time.

In Aug 2001, Michael identified my coaching gift and recommended that I allocate some of my time for that. He was the very first person to tell me, “Joseph, you would make a great coach for executives.” It’s because of Michael’s influence that I took the year long training in 2007 to become a lifeforming leadership coach.

During his second strategic consult for my company in Jan 2008, Michael birthed the idea for the 30-60-100 increase and the 3×3 core focus areas. This 3×3 matrix has been on my Empower 2000 business cards for several years.

Empower 2000 business card

During Michael’s third strategic consult for Empower 2000 in May 2009, the idea for the 30-60-100 Master’s Mind Marketing for CEO’s was birthed. Without Michael I never would have discovered my gift of Dream Coaching and assembling high impact/performance dream teams.

And because of Michael, millions of people’s dreams will be empowered through Empower 2000 and those we are training to be Dream Coaches.

If I had to pick one word to summarize what Michael was about it would be POTENTIAL. Michael’s passion was MAXIMIZING POTENTIAL of those who would listen and were willing to grow.

One of the most important lessons I ever learned from Michael was the tricord of leverage is Rest, Reflection, and Revelation.

At Michael’s memorial service, Scott Stay, Michael’s son, shared Michael’s top three core values:

  1. Freedom
  2. Faith
  3. Excellence

I also learned that Michael finished his 12-week online training for Marketplace Ministry with Harvest Evangelism on May 16, 2013 and died later that evening. Obviously, God wants others to carry on Michael’s dream to change the world by bringing the power and love of Jesus Christ to the marketplace. Will you join me in that effort?

Prayer Power
Father, Papa, I feel so sad to lose such a good friend for the remainder of time I have left on this earth. I pray that you will bless Michael’s family with your peace that passes all understanding. May you comfort them during this very difficult transition. May you bless their family’s finances. May you bless Michael’s dreams and legacy through his family, through me, through Empower 2000, and through others he touched. In Yeshua’s name, I pray. Amen.

Joseph's storyBlessings to be a friend to those who need you!


Joseph Peck, M.D.
Blessed to be a blessing

1) CLICK HERE to see photos of Michael and Cindy Stay. Also see photos from the memorial service.

Michael and Cindy Stay with Joseph and Julia Peck

2) Cindy Stay, Michael’s wife, has written more than 200 songs. Here are a few samples from her album “Joy Beyond Description”:

3) CLICK HERE to contribute to Michael’s fund to help offset the medical expenses that accumulated during his fight with cancer. Will you help me to help Michael’s family?

4) Michael’s obituary

Michael Anthony Stay

Michael Anthony Stay was born May 28, 1957, in Denver, Colorado, to the late Clarence James and Leanna McLean Stay. He died Thursday, May 16, 2013, at the age of 55. Michael is survived by his beautiful and loving spouse of 35 years, Cynthia “Cindy”; his two children, Victoria and Scott; his three grandchildren, Penelope, Brody, Violet; and his one sister, Susan MacLachlan. He left this world but went home to his Lord, living a life committed to his core values – faith and integrity.

As family and friends across the globe come together and celebrate the LIFE of Michael, what resonates most of this Man was his unwavering faith-driven, can-do attitude towards all that life brought.

In his early years, Michael served -up wicked curve balls as a southpaw for the University of Denver. He chose to transfer to Colorado State University where his greatest achievement was not earning a degree in Civil Engineering, but finding his life-long best friend and partner, Cindy. As Michael’s family grew with the birth of his two children, he navigated an illustrious 21-year career with Chevron USA, retiring as Project Manager of North America.

The next chapter of his life was in his own business, Core Impact, Inc., where the goal in his own words was to “Transform Businesses, Leaders and Communities. “This vision could be seen in his work with Career Partners in Culpeper County, mentoring business leaders and future leaders, and the many small ways Michael was committed by his faith to helping others. Following this path, he also earned a Master’s in Theology at Life Christian University and served as a teacher there. A leader among men, people were naturally drawn to his faith, integrity, and uncompromising love for friends and family

This world will miss him so very much, but our loss is a great gain for the hereafter we love you Michael, Dad, Baby! A celebration in Michael’s honor will be held 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 22, 2013, at Mountain Run Lake. All are welcome for the casual gathering to share stories and memories. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made in his name to http://bit.ly/Z5NFNx An online guestbook and tribute wall is available at www.foundandsons.com. Found and Sons Funeral Chapels of Culpeper is serving the family.

Published in The Culpeper Star-Exponent on May 20, 2013

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