Gary Maziarz is an IT Business Manager from Denver, Colorado with a passion for providing assistance to people and animals in need in any way he can. Gary is a graduate of La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/Accounting. After college Gary has worked in variety of different positions including Senior Accountant/Business Analyst II for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, an Account Manager for American Cleanstat, a Business Systems Analyst Specialist at Fidelity National Information Services, a freelance Business Consultant, and most recently a Business Enablement Manager at Toastmasters International.
He has certifications in PMI-ACP (Agile Certified Practitioner) in 2019, Scrum Alliance CAL1 (Certified Agile Leader) in 2017, PMI-PBA (Professional Business Analyst) in 2017, and Scrum Master 2016 from Scrum.org.
Gary has a very interesting history. He was a first responder at ground zero after 9/11. During that time, he was working at Alliance Consulting Group in the WTC, but he was on assignment at a company in Arlington, VA on 9/11/01. He was notified that day to report to the WTC to assist in the search and recovery process. He arrived at Ground Zero on 9/12 and remained there for a month. During that time, he also assisted the NY National Guard setup their command center at the Jacob Javits Center and led a team of Marines setting up tents to be used as temporary morgues and rest areas for the workers. He is currently part of the WTC First Responders Health Program due to multiple medical conditions resulting from inhalation of the toxic dust.
In 2009, Gary created a moving company, Amazing Patriot Movers, through U-Haul’s new program “Moving Help”. He only hired active duty and recently discharged service members to provide labor for those in San Diego county. The purpose was to provide other service members with the needed income to make ends meet. Paying them $25/hr plus tips was instrumental to them so they could meet their financial obligations. They averaged almost 5 stars over the course and were the number 1 moving company hired out of the Oceanside U-Haul locations.
In 2012, he was part of an organized effort in San Diego to “adopt” a family that was impacted by the hurricane. He paired volunteers in San Diego with a specific family, especially in Breezy Point and the Rockaways. He also helped publicize SecretSandy.org which provided gifts for children who lost their homes due to the hurricane.
In 2014, a local hospital and wellness center, Tri-City Wellness and Fitness, selects 13 candidates each year to participate in their running program which culminates in running in the Tri-City Half Marathon. He was selected to help and completed the half in January of 2015. Currently, he is a volunteer with Pawsitive Restoration Animal Rescue (in Aurora, CO) and a top donor to Helping Paws (Carlsbad, CA). Helping Paws is dedicated to helping current and former military with emergency vet Bill’s for their pets.
Currently, Gary is consulting on two Brad Furman movies: Betrayal and “untitled”. He is providing insight into both the military/combat aspects as well as the effects of PTSD on military personnel.
1. In the last few years, what lifestyle, habit or behavior change has had the biggest positive impact on your life?
Volunteering within my community here in the Greater Denver area. I started by raising donations for the Denver Dumb Friends League then found out about Xcel Energy’s Day of Service. The first year, I invited a few friends to participate but the following years, I engaged my HR team at work to publicize it, which gained a lot of internal interest. We’ve had about 25 volunteers each year now. Most recently, I’ve been volunteering my time with Pawsitive Restoration Animal Rescue. I help at adoption events, transportation of animals coming from other states and fostering dogs who need special attention due to emotional or physical abuse.
2. When you feel unfocused, what do you do?
Having a service dog (Czar) with me at all times, I have the luxury of being able to take a walk with him, engage in some playtime or just sit with him and collect my thoughts. As I spend time with Czar, I am able to clear the “clutter” and organize and prioritize my tasks.
3. What advice would you give a smart and ambitious recent college graduate? What advice should they ignore?
I would advise any recent college graduate to expect nothing for free. Do not anticipate a high paying, exciting position at their first place of employment. Be willing to start with a position which offers you the ability to learn from those who are senior to you. Take mental notes of everything, even those things they are directly responsible for. The more you learn about a business, the more enlightened you become thus, more valuable… if not to your current company, then to your next.
I always tell new graduates not to copy elitist attitudes of others. Never think you are too good to hold the door for a delivery person or say hello and thank you to the cleaning crew. Never treat anyone differently from how you would treat the CEO.
4. What is one lifestyle trend that excites you? (could be something like Hot Yoga, Healthy Eating, Wearable Exercise Technology)
Unfortunately, I do not get overly excited about “trends” because they often encourage you to change who you really are. I prefer to conduct my life based on my fundamental principles. However, I have gladly accepted how social media can be used to help me in my furthering those fundamental goals. For example, with the current COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve been reaching out to my friends using various platforms to encourage their faith, to offer my support and willingness to help, and to spread the word that this is an ideal time to adopt a new family pet while also slowing down and taking inventory of what truly matters: love, peace and family.
5. With or without naming names (whatever you’d prefer), who has been the biggest influence in your life and why?
For the longest time, I always admired my dad most of all because of his work ethic and sense of humor. However, since his passing over 24 years ago, I’ve come to develop an even deeper and more admirable respect for my mother. I’ve come to learn how it was her who held the family together by working side jobs but still being the most attentive and involved parent. Although she never graduated high school, she was able to handle anything necessary: taxes, financial planning, health benefits, etc. While my siblings and I always thought my father ran the house, it has become obvious that it was my mom who did it all and never let on that she was the “boss.” As children, we always saw dad go to work early and come home late. But while he was at his job, mom was doing dozens of other things while we were at school. And after dinner and on weekend, it was mom who there, side by side with my dad, renovating the house, tending to the garden/yard, or shuttling us to sports.
6. What’s one of the biggest life lessons you’ve learned (can be personal or business related)?
The biggest and most important lesson I’ve learned in life is stand up for your beliefs. Never back down if your convictions are a) doing what is right; b) helping or saving the lives of others; and c) worthy of whatever the punishment may be.
7. What do you think it is that makes you/someone successful?
I believe the biggest factors in my success and ability to start from the bottom in various industries is my desire to learn. Being open minded and having a will to accept criticism and advice from others and being willing to watch and listen has definitely paid off. Additionally, being willing to take chances and remaining diligent in pursuing my goals regardless of the hurdles faced. As examples, many years ago, I transitioned from the accounting/finance field to enter the business analysis realm because I saw an opportunity to learn more about the budding technology field and work to apply the new robust capabilities to the financial markets.
8. How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by a few major factors: being able to live comfortably with my service dog, being able to help my family when needed, being able to help charities which align with my beliefs and of course, carrying out the Word of the Lord.
9. What legacy do you hope to leave behind?
I wish my legacy to be that I opened the door and set a standard for my family to pursue higher education, if they wanted to, as opposed to working blue collar trades, in an effort to provide for more growth and opportunity for their families. Additionally, I hope my consistent contributions to pair rescued dogs with loving families encourages others to do the same and always treat animals with love and kindness.