It starts with a suggestion, moves toward a desire, then builds into a dream. At that point the road has two very clear paths. The first one, steady and easy. The other? All uphill and unknown. The second path offered the temptation of success, but without being able to see the other side, it also brewed with risk, fear, and failure.
I, of course, took the second path, joined at times by dear people who chose to walk alongside me. Some held my hand for an hour and others carried my backpack all day. Although failure never stopped looming, I persevered and saw it through. For those who guided me along the way, thank you. Thank you so very much.
Ron Russ - The man who makes a career out of lifting me up and making me shine. He also holds the world's record for most bars eaten.
Nick Russ - Ron’s son whom I deeply love and appreciate for his countless hours of being Joey’s best buddy and keeping him occupied for this past year, and especially these past few months.
Steven Lees and Deborah Randolph- for their support of Autism Odyssey by giving us the ability to create a foundation.
Nancy Hala - World’s greatest brander who took my ADHD brain and kept me on target by taking a million dreams and condensing them into one bar.
Rachael Hanna - Creative designer for the awesome logo and packaging.
Wendy Neff - Chef consultant and creator of the nutrition label. She helped me fine tune the recipe so we could add the maximum amount of nutrition with a minimum amount of carbs.
Olivia Hayano - Sous chef and Master of Patience. She is truly my right arm in the kitchen.
Maggie Kaiserman - The Joey Bar photographer.
Jennifer Durand - The closest thing I have to a mother (even though she’s my age). She talks me off the ledge quite often and she's also my coveted proof reader.
The Autism Odyssey Board of Directors - Mia Prohaska-Simpson, Andre Bennett, Carolyn Hallett, Akiko Nelson, and Riley O’Neil for your willingness to put your name on our foundation. A special shout out to Riley for being the inspiration behind Autism Odyssey.
Kalin Brionez - my bookkeeper extraordinaire, and Alyson Witherspoon for developing a financial business plan.
Kimber Allen - for calling me from Thailand during a meditation retreat to tell me I had to sell a bar
Rebecca Fisk and Elaine Chan-Sherrer -who guide me when I can’t see the path amidst the rain.
Rick Leslie and Mark Seal- for shipping advice.
Michael O’Neil -who truly knows my autism world and Carrie Kane- my nutrition and recipe buddy.
All my incredible friends- for offering constant, much needed, encouragement.
My daughters and their significant others: Jessie Prohaska and Michael Cuffe, and Mia Prohaska and William Simpson. I know they are as proud of me and this project as I am of them!
And finally, Joey- my motivational, character building teacher. He came into this lifetime with a lengthy agenda, and I thank him dearly for choosing me to represent him.