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This article was prepared for the

April 25, 2001 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Hooked on Inspiration

<B>Ted Fattoross found his calling in high school.

He wasn’t a student at the time, but rather was running the family

disposable paper and plastics business. He went to a career day at

St. Joseph’s High School in West New York to speak to youngsters about

what it is like to run a three-generation business. Somewhere along

the line he "ripped up the agenda" and began to deliver an

impromptu motivational talk on following inspiration.

The students were mesmerized. He was hooked. Inspirational speaking

would be his life.

But first, he had to extricate himself from T.A. Fattoross Paper


a Hoboken-based business in which 15 out of 52 employees were family.

The business had been sold, but he had signed a contract to run it

for three years. Over the strident objections of his father, he quit.

Soon after, he began to suffer anxiety attacks, but pressed on, giving

motivational talks to corporate audiences and schoolchildren. Ten

years into his new career, Fattoross says he gives 300 talks or


sessions a year.

Fattoross delivers the keynote speech, "Mission Possible —

Managing Multiple Projects, Deadlines, and Bosses," on Friday,

April 27, at an all-day Administrative Professionals Day event


by Mercer County College at the Hyatt in Princeton. Also presenting

are Ozana Castellano on communications, Primrose Reeves

on assertiveness, Mary Jo Abbondanza on wellbeing, and Edward

Kucharski on financial freedom. Cost: $129. Call 609-586-9446.

A resident of Hackensack, Fattoross attended St. Michael’s College

in Vermont and St. Peter’s College in Jersey City before joining the

family business, where he worked for 17 years.

Among his current projects is a plan to create a combination adult

retreat, year-round camp for inner city youth, hospice, and shelter

for abused animals in or around Colts Neck. A fundraising effort,

with a goal of $5 million, is slated to begin on July 1. While his

family originally was opposed to his plan to work as a motivational

speaker, they are now reconciled, and both parents are on his advisory

board for this project.

Fattoross has no formal training, and says "training is for


He says he learned everything he needs to know about motivational

speaking from his mother. "She had three rules," he says.

"Always be yourself; always be yourself; and expect some people

not to like you."

Following this advice, and no doubt drawing upon a substantial innate

gift for engaging an audience, Fattoross has built up an impressive

list of credits, including work with dozens of Fortune 1000 companies,

including American Express, Cisco Systems, AT&T, Merck, GE Capital,

Lucent, Ford, and Bell Atlantic.

His advice runs to sayings, some a little cryptic — "Be a

pig, not a chicken," but most obvious — "Don’t get


you’ll lose your edge." And while some of his platitudes could

be debated — "Report all the news, the bad news first,"

others are largely beyond argument — "Every day above ground

is a good one. Believe it."

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