Testimonials

Doug – I want to thank you for joining us at our national sales training meeting. You made a significant impact on all of us. We continued to discuss your definition of Accountability (commit & do whatever it takes to deliver), inspiration vs motivation, and focusing on excellence every day – no exceptions.

We have a lot of positive change occurring at Invacare as we fundamentally transform the kind of company we are, focusing on the best healthcare value and ‘excellence’ everywhere. It is a transformation that will take some time, but your clear message well-presented will help us improve more quickly.

Matthew E. Monaghan
Chairman, President, CEO
Invacare Corporation

"Mr. Fortenberry's message is uplifting and beneficial for all audiences. His persistence, strength and relentlessly positive outlook is an example for all. Our team has amassed hundreds of years of experience in wheeled mobility, spinal cord injury and rehabilitation, still, they all left Doug's talk saying it was one of the best they had ever seen"

Brad Peterson
Vice President of Professional Affairs and Clinical Education
Invacare Corporation

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed Doug’s presentation. I have never heard a story remotely close to Doug’s and was so inspired by one individual’s drive and determination to make the best of any situation no matter how bleak. He demonstrates the type of spirit we all need to live by to attack each day as if it were our last and get the most out of life!!! I will never forget his talk.

Thank You

Matt Appleton
Invacare TBM Central/Eastern Iowa and Quad Cities

Mr. Fortenberry's message to our group was inspiring and genuine. His message of "Attitude + Action + Accountability= Success and Excellence" lends itself to what we strive for as a company, helping our customers achieve their goals.

Keith Kelleher
Invacare

I want to tell you how powerful your message was to my family. You didn't know how we were struggling that day and how we continue to struggle with the emotions of adopted children who were abused you gave us hope and encouragement without ever knowing it you are an awesome speaker

Debbie Tillman

Your presence alone was amazing and I was so inspired. You have a way of giving me confidence to know that whatever comes my way, I cannot give up: just keep on plugging and I will work through it.

You are one of a kind.

Blessings and thanks,

Jane Ann Jones

Tommy and I really did enjoy your worshiping with us the other Sunday. Your message blew us away but it wasn’t just your message it was your attitude, your joy, your being comfortable in your own skin the way that it is, that really spoke to us. The fact that you are an overcomer is so evident. I am so glad that I did not miss being there for your time of sharing.

Thank you for coming and thank you for sharing, thank you for your christian life and witness.

May God continue to bless you as you hear and obey, and trust in faith. May He bless your giving a hundredfold.

We look forward to seeing you one of these days in heaven and dancing a"little jig" before the Lord along with David.

In His Love,

Judy and Tommy

I really appreciate you coming to our church and speaking to us. You really got me to thinking about a couple of things. First is how much we take for granted and how blessed we really are. I loved how you went from you felt sorry for your friend that was in the wheel chair and didn't know if you could live with yourself if you were in a similar situation to using your disability to have a different look on life and how much better you are because of it. You also showed me that just because people have a disability, you shouldn't treat them any different. I am a teacher and I see kids that use their disabilities as an excuse all the time. I try to teach them that they just have to learn a different way. Thank you again so much for coming to speak with us.

Amber Jones

Doug visited our church and did a fantastic job. I highly recommend him in any setting. His message was inspiring and encouraging. He hit a home run with our church. I can't thank him enough for his message and his willingness.

Doug, you gave a very inspiring message and one that meant a lot to many of us. Thank you for sharing it with us. Hope to see you again soon. God be with you as you continue to do His work. Pat Voyles.

Gary Boles
Pastor First Methodist Church, Littlefield Texas

"On behalf of CHS and its staff and students I want to thank you for the tremendous program you brought to our school. Your candor and your openness truly impacted our kids and staff. Your story is powerful and it is that of heroic proportion. You illustration of how to handle adversity with grace, style and perseverance was incredible. Your Footprints in the Sand slant on this message was moving beyond words and your delivery touched the hearts and minds or our students and staff. It sure puts life in perspective and ensures each of us that regardless of life's perils that we can achieve and that we just do "Whatever it Takes" to overcome. I appreciate and admire your willingness to share such personal triumphs. Sir, you make a difference and you truly have "what it takes" to demonstrate your message."

Virdie Montgomery
Principal
Commerce High School
Thanks again for a phenomenal inservice. You said everything that I think but can't put into words. I am 100% convinced that this school year will be the best one ever at Mineral Wells High School because of the positive attitudes that you have sparked among my staff. Your story is inspirational and the lessons you draw for your audience are powerful. This wasn't a presentation that a person can walk away from without being changed in some way. I know I was challenged to look at life from a new perspective. I feel like you've given us that extra push to really enable us to bring the "Whatever It Takes" philosophy to life.

So, if you ask me today if I'm willing, my answer will be, "Whatever it takes." Thanks again, Doug. I look forward to having you back next year. (Several of my teachers suggested that I have you talk to students next year, and not just to staff. You were a hit!)

John Kuhn
Principal
Mineral Wells High School
Simply outstanding.  Your presentation and preparation was great.  Word spread so fast in our district, we had to ask you to come back.  It’s the care you show for others and servicing children that shows and counts.  Keep going strong.  Palestine High School will be 10 times better this year because of your help.

Shon Joseph
Principal
Palestine High School
Assistant Regional Cooridinator of TASSP for Region VII

Motivation doesn’t spark most eighteen year olds the first time in introduces itself to us. However, mine came to me on the Friday Mr. Fortenberry chose to leave his footprints, or tire tracks as he liked to call them, all over me. I’m not a disrespectful girl by any means, but usually when a speaker comes to share their experiences, I only hear them, I never listen. I believe I chose to listen on this particular day, because his words were not to lecture, but simply to share a story—one that goes outside the box we generally find ourselves in.

As he talked about his daily routines, and why it was that he has to do these routines, it occurred to me, that my life is perfect compared to others. I realized that for the past eighteen years I have been spoiled, babied, and quite flatly blessed. It is because of Mr. Fortenberry that when I walk across that stage on June 12th I will no longer have the attitude of, “thank God I can get away from here.” Instead my thoughts will be along the lines of, “thank you God for allowing me to be able to walk across this stage so I can go on to do tremendous things with my life.”

Out of all the things I heard come out of Mr. Fortenberry’s mouth, there is one specific quote that left it’s “footprint” on my heart, which is “being paralyzed is not a condition of the body, it is a condition of the heart and mind.” It is now my promise to never let anyone or anything paralyze me or allow me to be crippled, because it would paralyze my ambitions and dreams. It is because of today, because of Mr. Fortenberry, because a woman decided to make a u-turn on top of a hill, that my mind and heart will persevere through my struggles to be great, to do Whatever It Takes.

Brittney Gomez
High School Student
Class of 2009
"Since a motorcycle accident changed Doug's life a quarter century ago, he doesn't dwell on the unanswerable question of "why do bad things happen to good people?" In an attention getting style, he presents the possibilities of the future by asking "now that this has happened, what shall I do about it?" His no non-sense story makes a powerful impact helping people meet the challenge of adversity through a positive attitude. As he connects with the audience his compelling adventure reveals how he has turned a combination liability and disability into an asset and personal strength. If you are willing he is able to help anyone become their best."

Mike Silverstein
Counselor
Wylie High School
"Doug is one of the most interesting and inspirational people I know. I always encouraged him to share his story because I knew that others would be just as inspired and motivated by him as I have always been. The presentation is awesome, as I knew it would be."

Carah Marquez
Counselor
Plano East High School
"I really enjoyed your “Footprints in the Sand” presentation. I often ask myself, “Are you making a difference?”, but hearing your story and the question you asked, “Are you willing to do whatever it takes?”, makes me re-evaluate my purpose in life. Wanting to make a difference and doing what it takes to make a difference are two separate events. Thank you for sharing your experiences, struggles, and successes in a way that inspires others."

Melanye Griffin
Math Teacher
Byron Nelson High School
"Your program was an incredible illustration of the concept of seizing the day, not in spite of the obstacles it may present, but simply because they’re there to overcome. It really puts into perspective the inclination our society has to complain about the small things. It also reminds me of Jack London’s adage: “The function of man is to live, not exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.” It was one of the best inspirational presentations I’ve attended. I actually kept thinking, “He should take this on the road,” but I knew you wouldn’t because, as your speech implied, you’re doing more good where you are than you ever could as a motivational speaker."

Brian E. Booth
English and Creative Writing
Wylie High School
"Thank you for taking the time to tell your story Monday. Your story is an amazing blend of courage, strength, commitment, dedication, and faith, and I am glad to see you take the opportunity to share your experiences with us. What an inspiring message of hope and encouragement!

I have worked with you for years, and have observed your attitude and spirit on a daily basis. I can honestly say that hearing your story andobserving your life is confirmation of your “Whatever it Takes” approach to life. Your presentation was not just a speech, but a powerful testimony to the power of faith and perseverance.

While you were speaking, I continually thought of Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” God has given you a wonderful heart and has equipped you with unique gifts to make a difference in the lives of others. Keep sharing the message!"

Donald Dennis
ESL Teacher
Wylie High School
"Totally blown away man. Your incredible, and I have always wanted to hear your story. I am honored to be able to say we may have crossed paths out there on those dusty roads and to work with you every day. You made a hell of an impression on one of my students last week, will see if it works with him, but he has never taken the time to talk to me about much, but he did last week (he waited at my door for me to see him)and he could not wait to tell me how you made an impression on him. He seemed motivated by your talk last week and I was very surprised by how wide is eyes could open when he told me about your talk with him. It seems as if he needs something to get him going."

Tom Hickey
Welding Teacher
Wylie High School
"I just wanted to let you know that I thoroughly enjoyed having you as our guest speaker for the Wylie Education Foundation retreat on Tuesday, 6/10.

It was indeed an honor to have you, especially since I've known you already for the past year or so as Bailee's Guidance Counselor at Wylie High School.

You did a terrific job and you were very relatable to your audience. Your testimony to what the Lord has done in your life since your motorcycle accident is one that all of the kids (and grownups) need to hear.

We live each and every day not really knowing what could happen in our lives and you were definitely proof of that. In an instant our lives can be changed forever. I know the Lord has put you where you are at Wylie High School because of the great influence that you can have with each and every student there.

It is so true that "if we are willing", it is just a matter of "doing whatever it takes" in every circumstance of our life.

We cried and we laughed which I think is what makes a great motivational speaker because you spoke to us through all of our emotions.

I wish you tremendous success in everything that you do at Wylie High School and for your future speaking engagements. Lives will be changed because of what you have given to each one of us."

Susan Stooksberry
Non Profit Board Member
"Just wanted to say that I was very motivated by your speech yesterday. Thank you soooo much for sharing your interesting and exciting life with us. You are an inspiration to all of us! I told everyone about your speech and thought about it during the night and this morning. Lindy called me this morning and said she thought about it to. Good Luck on your new endeavor. WHATEVER IT TAKES!"

Vicky Cross
Non Profit Board Member
"Doug's speech was such an awesome inspiration! He's an eloquent speaker whose stories moved me to tears. I left feeling blessed to be an educator and able to conquer the world with mere perseverance and a positive attitude. We're so fortunate to have Doug in WISD!!"

Kim David
Non Profit Board Member
I feel so grateful and blessed to have been able to listen to your story. I only wish we could have had more time! I knew the basics of your accident before, but thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, and feelings, and lessons learned. I will truly live with a Whatever It Takes attitude, because you have taught me, that life is what you make it. You are truly an inspiration, and I know I am one of the luckiest students in the world to be able to call you my counselor.

Noelle Defoe
High School Student
Class of 2009
I really appreciate you telling us your story. For some reason I have never wondered why you roamed the halls in a wheelchair, because you have never given me a reason to. Your attitude is always optimistic and just incredibly positive, which influences everyone around you. Continue being awesome and telling your story. You do make a difference in our lives. You have in mine!

Chelsea Griffin
High School Student
Class of 2009
"Many of us older people are blessed to have made it through life without facing too much adversity. Doug is a fine example of doing "Whatever it Takes" to overcome what life has dealt us. Young, old, and middle aged will all benefit from hearing his message. We never know what awaits us around the next corner or over the hill."

Joe Merrick
Fina Oil Company
Retired
"I just wanted to let you know how inspiring your story was. I never knew just how tough it was for you, and the obstacles and hardships that you overcame. I truly believe you are a blessed man. God has given you a heart that you use so, so wisely. I absolutely loved everything you said about having a legacy and leaving footprints. Your story about your first year of teaching just touched my heart. I hope the one day I will be leaving my footprints in the field of education just as you have done. Thank you so much for taking the time to come talk to us. It was a true blessing. God bless."

Kalie Feuerbacher
High School Student
Class of 2008
You are truly an inspiration to my life. To me you represent honesty, humbleness, determination, and so much more. You defeat every obstacle that faces you. You say I’m just doing my job, but in my heart, and I know in yours as well, it’s much more than a job, it’s an opportunity to be a blessing in someone’s life. I can see your passion to help others do great things in their lives, and for that I know it’s not just a job. You have been a blessing in my life, and give me hope for a better future. Because of you, I know that anything is possible, and there is no obstacle in life I can’t overcome. Your Awesome and I love you!

Koryanda Jones
High School Student
Class of 2009
Thank you for talking to us the other day. I really appreciate you telling us your story. It helped me realize that no matter what life throws at me I can make it through. You are an inspiration to me and have been the past four years. I will remember you and your story and how much you have helped me. I know that through Christ I can do anything and you helped me realize this even more. Thank you for being such a wonderful, outstanding person, and counselor.

Samantha Salsberry
High School Student
Class of 2009
"Your speech was so inspiring. I am inspired to follow that what you said in your speech. I am really impressed by how charismatic your speech was overall."

I found myself laughing one minute and crying the next. And as I get ready to head off to college this exactly what I needed to hear! You changed my life!

Faiza Susan
High School Student
Class of 2008
I really loved your speech the other day. It made me realize that life is worth living no matter what just do Whatever It Takes. J One awesome point that you made was that if you are living in a depression and without forgiveness in your heart then you are wasting your life away and it only hurts yourself. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your inspiring story with everyone. Your incredibly positive attitude has definitely made a difference in my life!

Stephanie Stephens
High School Student
Class of 2009
"That was just so so good. The message was excellent and I could have sit here and listened to him all day. He made it so interesting."

Cori Hill
High School Student
Class of2008

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