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Clarion Grad Rick Capozzi Shares International Growth, Development Experience
FRANKLIN, Pa. (EYT) – Clarion University graduate and former Venango County resident Rick Capozzi of the Capozzi Group has dedicated the last twenty plus years of his life to delivering personal growth and development training around the world.
Capozzi was born and grew up in Franklin, Pa. He graduated from Franklin Area High School in 1982 and went on to Clarion University, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Communication in 1985.
“I actually started out in advertising and marketing. I worked for Jostens in Brookville, in the printing and publishing department, where we worked on yearbooks, for a little over three years in the sales department, another three or four years in operations. I actually started the Capozzi Group while working there in 1991.”
Capozzi noted he had never been the type to just sit back and work whatever job came his way; he had the drive to do things for himself.
“I’ve always, literally from junior high on, had an entrepreneurial spirit. I started out with little business opportunities. I started with dog walking services, dabbled in other little things through high school and college, and contracted my way through college doing house painting.”
It was his interest in personal development that kicked his entrepreneurial spirit into overdrive and led to the creation of the Capozzi Group, his current enterprise.
“I’ve always had a strong penchant for personal growth and development. I was a cross country runner in high school, and it made me realize the power of human potential if you just tapped into it. I ran my first marathon in eleventh grade, and that made me ask myself what else I could do if I just tapped into my potential.”
“A few years later, I got my hands on some material on memory and thought, ‘wow, if I can enhance my memory, what could you do with someone really smart?’ Memory and time management and goal setting were some of the first areas I started researching, and they’re still some of my favorites.”
The Capozzi Group’s workshops focus primarily on “soft skills,” skills that can help people in their professional and personal life.
Some of Capozzi’s most requested workshops include:
- Natural Differences™ – The Art & Science of Dealing with Different Personalities
- The Journey™ – Overcoming the Challenges In Your Life
- Healthy Humor in the Workplace
- Balancing Work, Personal Life & Change
- How’s Your Memory?™
- Creative Problem Solving
- Reading, Understanding & Using Gestures
- Effective Time Management
- Dealing with Difficult People
The Capozzi Group also offers customizable workshops on a range of topics, including teamwork, team building, memory, success principles, goal setting, business etiquette, motivation, stress management, understanding personality profiles, and more.
After a little over a decade of doing seminars and workshops through the Capozzi Group, Rick Capozzi received an offer that took him on a brief, seven-year tangent.
“I’d been doing workshops at Penn State on a fairly regular basis, and had great contacts there, so they ended up asking me to apply for a position as a Learning Strategist in the Human Resource Development Center. As much as I enjoyed working for myself, with my son getting older, the 75% tuition discount that came with the position, for my kids and myself, made it too good to pass up.”
He stayed at Penn State until 2012 when he decided it was time to go back to doing his own seminars and workshops full-time.
As much as he’s learned and taught over the years, and as much as he enjoys all of his research, he does still admit to having a few favorites.
“I would say, at least prior to the armed intruder seminar, the personalities seminar was the biggest one and definitely one of my favorites. The program is called ‘Natural Differences’ and it is basically about how you can quickly assess someone’s personality type and adjust your interactions to accommodate them. We start with learning to better understand your own personality type, then we move on to how to assess others, and finally, we show people how to make adjustments so everyone gets along. It is a program that can help people build better relationships, both personally and professionally.”
“My personal all-time favorite, as well as what I would consider one of our highest value programs, is ‘Speed Reading 101′. It is an introductory speed reading program. The emphasis of the program is not really on speed, though; that is just the easiest measurement. It is a 90-minute program that can actually double a person’s reading speed with no loss, and most often a distinct improvement, in both comprehension and retention. It is about increasing the what we call the ‘bandwidth’ between the words on the page and your brain, getting more out of reading, and becoming a more efficient and effective reader.”
As if all the research, program building, and public speaking, both in the U.S. and abroad, wasn’t enough, Capozzi has also served on several educational and ministry boards, gone on mission trips to locations in South America and Central and Eastern Europe, and written two books, with two more currently in the works.
“The books actually started because of an inspirational/motivational weekly column I wrote. It began when I wrote an article for the very first issue of a new local weekly publication in my area, and after that, they wanted another, and another until they finally asked if I’d become a weekly columnist. Three years later, I finally had to wean off of it, because I just had too much on my plate, but my first two books are actually compilations of those weekly columns.”
His experience with the weekly column and the later book compilations gave him a start on publication, and he decided it was time to do more.
His upcoming book titled “It’s Not About the Rules” focuses on business etiquette, most specifically dining etiquette. The book emphasizes the difference between etiquette, the “rules” a person is expected to follow, and manners, which he defines as the flexibility to understand how to modify the rules based on a given set of circumstances.
“People can get so caught up in the rules, they miss the importance of how you apply them in real life.”
Capozzi has also begun work on a fourth book, this one on his more recently popular topic of dealing with an armed intruder, though he says it’s really just in the earliest planning stages and doesn’t even have a working title yet.
Though his Survival Mindset workshop has become quite popular, he still most often comes back to his love of soft skills as the things he really enjoys passing on to others. When asked about what he would tell young people from his old hometown, he said, “Don’t be afraid to dream and do. Most people are capable of doing so much more than they realize. Often, people don’t accomplish more because they don’t realize it is possible.”
“Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t let others talk you out of living the dreams the Lord has put in your heart. Sure, it may seem like a stretch, but maybe you have a passion because that’s what you’re meant to do. Don’t let other people talk you out of what you are supposed to do.”
Though he believes in following a dream, he also understands that it takes drive and determination to see it through.
“It has not been an easy road. It has taken a lot of time and effort and emotional ups and downs, but it has all been truly worth it. I’m honestly thankful for the challenges I’ve come up against in my life because they’ve turned me into who I am.”
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