Why my spouse is my hero

You’ll all have to put up with some spouse-bragging, which I suppose you won’t mind since most people who read this blog are some form of relative or close friend.  Once your kid/relative/whathaveyou goes off into the world and moves in very different circles than you do, sometimes it’s not easy to understand the scope of what they accomplish.  I just want you to understand how many people Max has touched and/or helped, directly or indirectly, and continues to do so. 

This weekend was the culmination of weeks of work for Max, as the MTHC health conference (3rd year now) filled auditoriums and classrooms as Metro State University with doctors/health practitioners and with community members.  It was massive and very well rated via all forms of feedback.  Max is in the process of stepping down as co-chair after many years and so a tribute was given to Max before the afternoon keynote address by the remaining and incoming co-chair.  I captured much of it on video on my cell phone, but I need to try to clean up the audio as it is difficult to make out the words.  It was a big auditorium full of people.

Some of the key statements however were, “4 years ago we were just 3 people sitting in a room not sure what to do.  Then Max arrived, and it was like a hurricane blew in.  Many of you have worked with Max so you know what it is like — Max has the project done before it is even started.”  Generally the sentiment was that Max had grown the organization by leaps and bounds beyond what the initial group ever thought possible.  They gained their 501c3 nonprofit status, formed a board, developed and delivered professional level trainings to medical personnel, and created the Health Conference which has grown to huge proportions and is attracting all sorts of national attention and attendance.  When the other co-chair was finished speaking the place erupted in a huge standing ovation for Max.  It was deafening.

Just to ice the cake, that night at the conference cabaret it dawned on me that no fewer than 3 of the excellent acts / groups has been created by Max, or spawned from something Max had created (such as a choir that formed for the first time at a Voices conference Max co-created several years ago).  And here they were going strong years later and performing at the latest of Max’s creations.  Too funny. 

Of course this is all while co-chairing a large group at the University of Minnesota that applies to all statewide campuses, which boasted a list of achievements of its own that made life a lot better for certain groups of students and staff/faculty, and of course you know, that real life job thing.  I think I’d have to go to bed for a week just to recover from one “Max-week.” 

Max would be the first to say that there was lots of help along the way.  However the vision and passion Max brings to the table, the sheer raw determination, the complete willingness to personally take on any task that needs doing, and finally a deep commitment to creating community and making sure everyone has a place at the table … that’s what makes Max so successful and so well loved. 

You really are my hero honey!! 


  1. Max said

    *sniff*… wow… I have absolutely no idea what to say. Thank you sweetheart, and I love you! You make what I do in the world possible.

  2. Ilon said

    Max, you are more than just Tyler’s hero.

  3. Gerrit said

    Max WOW, so nice to read that piece by Tyler.. You are one hell of a person to do all that and I am so proud of you…Its great to see you get the recognition for it also and tell them to put it in writing so you can have it for future use … Again congrats and proud to be your father in law… hugssssssssssssss Gerrit

  4. Johanna said

    Max, you are truly amazing!! You and Tyler just hosted us for a long week, and you were gearing up for all this, but still made time for some quality time with us. Not to mention teaching piano and managing Ted Mann Hall. How do you do it all??? Tyler is justifiably proud of his spouse and I am so proud of you as well. May I send what Tyler wrote to my sisters? I wish I could have participated in that standing ovation!
    Lots of love and hugs,
    Mom Van V.

  5. Dana said

    Go Max! You make the world a better place and I’m so proud to have you as my cousin and friend!

  6. Janet said

    Wow! I’m sitting here crying. I have watched you do all the amazing things you do all these years and I still burst with pride,excitement and enthusiasm when I hear about your newest activities and accomplishments. Sure wish I could have been there to share in the past two weeks. Thank you so much, Tyler, for writing your beautiful report and tribute and all your loving support. I couldn’t have wished for a better son-in-law. I’m looking forward to having some fun with you both this summer, and to seeing the video of your recital, Max.
    With Deepest Love and Constant Amazement,
    Mom P.

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