If a 3 foot tall, 40 pound, bright yellow, wooden fisherman/wannabe pirate captain can accomplish his goals, you have no excuse not to…
Our families seven decade old legacy has opened the minds of thousands of individuals and organizations to “Commandeer Life!” We use selected stories from our chronicles to show you how to creatively problem solve, start lasting relationships, and how passion is the key to all endeavors!
Our experiences are offered in hour-long seminars, 90-minute keynotes, and 2-day workshops. All presentations include a bucket list activity which helps to reveal new ideas for team building and future activity planning that stem from the results!
Our signature topics are part of every presentation:
- The Origins of Ahab’s Adventures: How a 78-year-old “Big Fish” story about a boy, his grandfather, and a lawn gnome evolved into a motivational movement.
- July 18th, 1943 – Captain Ahab is ‘recruited’ by my grandfather and his comrades as part of a common WWII naval prank.
- 1944 – Captain Ahab’s tour with the Navy ends, but he stays with my grandfather and his comrades afterward.
- 1945 – The men (and Captain Ahab) buy a farmhouse in the Catskills of New York and host an annual reunion for the next 57 years.
- July 18th, 1993 – At this year’s reunion, I stumble upon a secret late-night card game, which annually decided Captain Ahab’s next adventure destination.
- July 19th, 2002 – Captain Ahab is passed on to me and attends university, where he becomes the unofficial mascot of the Class of 2005.
- 2005 – University ends and over a decade of traveling ensues. Captain Ahab evolves from a social mascot to a motivational icon for all.
- Present – Seventy-eight years later, we continue to travel, motivate, and present the lessons learned from the generations my family has shared with this lawn gnome.
- The Art of an Ice-breaker: A lawn gnome is an obvious one, but a joke, talent, or signature apparel can set you apart, leading you to new connections and expanding your network.
- Future Friends: Every friend, imaginary or not, was once a stranger. Remembering that, and experiencing firsthand how Captain Ahab opens doors, should make new beginnings that much easier.
- Play to Your Passions: My grandfather, Captain Ahab, and I have all aspired to be modern-day pirates, even though the Golden Age of Piracy ended more than 350 years ago. Through our story, I demonstrate how identifying your strengths can lead to finding the best outlets for them, even if that means circumventing the traditional route.
- Finding Your Excuses: Most people make excuses that hinder their goals. It is time to start making excuses to achieve them.
- ASK: The most important three-letter word in our language. When you start asking questions, instead of wondering ‘what if,’ things get done!
- Bucket Lists: Writing down your goals is the first, and most important, step!
- The Power of a Moments: Commandeer this moment, because a moment is all it takes.
The 2-day workshops includes exercises within:
- Signature topics
- Now that you have the keys, what do they actually unlock.
- “Building your Legacy”
- Legacies are one part planning, one part luck, and eight parts passion.
- “In addition to your normal day-to-day”
- Time is what you will have to sacrifice, but where will you find it in your busy schedule.
- Custom Segments
- Workshops will always cater to specific needs within your organization!
“Geeg and Ahab’s story completely changed the dynamic of our TEDx event. The presentation received a great response from the crowd, and then afterward brought people together in a way we never expected. Geeg and Ahab had people taking pictures together, introducing each other, and starting friendships that never would have happened otherwise. This story can absolutely help those at your next event Commandeer Life.” -Sam Falleta, TEDxAkron Founder
“Ahab’s Adventures energized, entertained, and motivated our students. He kept an auditorium full of high school kids interested and engaged for 40 minutes. Not an easy thing to do. He inspired the kids to think about what they want out of the next four years, and more importantly, how they are going to make it happen. Teachers still refer to his talk specifically during classes and loved the follow-up list with all the things the kids identified as things they want to accomplish. We will use this list in future activities to keep the message alive.” -Jeremiah Ames, Principal, HVMHS
“I’m not going to lie – Geeg wasn’t a unanimous vote for PechaKucha Akron. Without much information on him, some were a little concerned about inviting a lawn gnome to present. But everyone was won over the moment he took the stage. Geeg’s story was quirky and heartwarming, leaving the audience smiling and inspired. He was one of the most talked-about presenters after the event, and none of us would hesitate to bring him back!” -Heather Roszczyk, City of Akron Office of Economic Development
“You stole the show with immense humor… and huge goodwill toward others… You aren’t just telling a nice story, you really are going to help change the outlooks, and maybe the choices, of people who share in a moment of your travels.” -Showgoer, Martha’s Vineyard
“The part of Wiles’ speech that made it highly intriguing is that the stories of magnificent adventure did not come from himself, but from his companion who he is rarely seen without a 40 pound, wooden, 70(ish)-year-old garden gnome who is also a world-class traveler and honorary WCSU classmate named Captain Ahab. Wiles anthropomorphizes Captain Ahab to help him (and not himself) do tasks as adventurous as skydiving or as benign as seeing the world’s largest ball of twine. The presentation is unique and one that truly inspires others to be the person they want to be and to do things that they want to do. It is well worth your time.” -WSCU Orientation Leader
“Geeg never lets me get a word in!” -Captain Ahab
It was a story from a stranger that started this crazy journey, so why not let our story be the start of yours. Cheers.
Upcoming 2021 Speaking Events:
2021 Speaking Events:
May 30th – Tribe of Unicorns – (36:33)
April 21st – Gritty Mystic – (July Release)
March 20th – The Independent Mouth Podcast (2:31:19)
February 27th – Passports and Postcards (27:53)
January 4th – The Creative Commute (38:04)
2020 Speaking Events:
December 9th – Stranger Connections (31:48)
December 1st – The Lisa Show on BYU Radio
November – Kleidon’s Three for Three (Not published yet)
November 18th – Better Call Daddy (33.51)
Oct – Maverick Mondays (Not published yet)
September 15th – Getting2knowupod Podcast (Full Version 173.56)
September 14th – Getting2knowupod Podcast (Short Story Version 22m)
September 9th – Wednesday Wisdom
July 30th – Strategic Possibilities Podcast with Emmett Ferguson (36.44)
Feb 1st – Selfcare and Wellness Festival – Easthampton, MA
2019 Speaking Events:
August 30th – Hoosac Valley Middle & High School – Cheshire, MA
March 7th – PechaKucha Night: Adulting is Hard – Berkshire Museum, MA
2018 Speaking Events:
September 5th – Hoosac Valley Middle & High School – Cheshire, MA
June 12th – Nashua, NH
May 19th – Westfield, MA
April 28th – Masonic Con
April 27th – Green Mountain College
March 24th – New England Brotherhood Night – Concord, NH
February 7th – 1 Million Cups – Franklin Falls, NH
January 13th – East Longmeadow, MA
2017 Speaking Events:
November 28th – Newton, MA
October 26th – Marion, MA
October 25th – Attleboro, MA
October 24th – North Adams, MA
October 23rd – Lowell, MA
October 19th – Warren, MA
October 17th – Monson, MA
October 12th – Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School – Northampton, MA
September 28th – East Bridgewater, MA
September 24th – Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts – North Adams, MA
August 31st – Hoosac Valley Middle & High School – Cheshire, MA
August 26th – Southern Vermont College
July 18th – Berkshire Historical Society @ Arrowhead
June 12th – Drury High School
May 20th – TEDxAkron
March 15th – Discussing Fitchburg Now!
2016 Speaking Events:
October 12th – Northern Michigan University
October 5th – Saint Anselm College
September 1st – Hoosac Valley Middle & High School
August 18th-20th – Western State Colorado University Orientation
June 23rd – Fitchburg Massachusetts Speaking Event
May 12th – Fleming Art Museum, VT
April 29th – Martha’s Vineyard, MA
February 18th – Berkshire Museum, MA
February 11th – Portsmouth, NH
February 5th – Akron, OH