Life, Liberty, & Happiness

Honoring Fred Dusel


n March of 2016, I had the opportunity to host an art exhibit for Fred Dusel, a friend of mine I'd come to know here in Nashville. We were both veterans - and we both were survivors of a difficult childhood.

Fred had been diagnosed with lung cancer and his dream had been to have his photography exhibited before his death. I knew immediately I had an important job to do - to make his dream of an exhibit of his photography become a reality. So with the help of friends at The Arts Company and a website design and build by Chase Geiser, we held an exhibit of Fred’s work. When I’d visited him weeks before we planned the exhibit, he was at home in a recliner “waiting to die” – those were his words.

Because of the exhibit, Fred Dusel received 100's of orders for his photographs. When I was visiting with him last week, Fred told me our exhibit gave him extra time. He found a purpose in the midst of a terrible cancer to tell his story and share his life. He said he had periods that he could forget about the cancer when he was sharing his photography with others. Prints of Fred’s work hang throughout the Narus Health offices here in Nashville.

When I asked Fred what he hoped people found in his art, this was his reply: “It is my desire that people viewing my pictures will find that quiet, contemplative part of themselves. A place that allows them to feel some degree of peace in the midst of a storm." If you’ve taken the time to carefully view his photographs, I believe you’ll discover what he hoped you’d see: peace.

Fred went into hospice a few months ago – and last night, he went to join my son Ryan Burcham - and so many others we’ve all lost - in the world after this. He was a good friend. He was a mentor. He was a decorated war hero. We shared stories, cigars and scotch. But most of all, Fred was a person who defied the odds as life hurled its worst at him - and he made the best of it all. He made me want to be a better person.

I love you Fred. Rest in Peace

About Dr. Michael Burcham

Michael is an executive coach, entrepreneur, investor, and strategist with 30 years of experience leading investor-backed, high-growth organizations.

“I built and sold a $40M company with Dr. Burcham as my mentor. This is the thing: if you EVER get the opportunity to learn from this man, from that moment forward, you’ll list him as one of the most influential people in your life, even if you live to be 90. And, you’ll know how lucky you were to have that opportunity and you’ll immediately say YES to any chance to be in his presence again—his wisdom is that impactful.”

Sherry Stewart Deutschmann

Former CEO, Letter Logic

“If you are looking for a trusted mentor and coach for yourself or your leadership team, I highly recommend Michael Burcham. He has worked with me as my executive coach for well over a decade now. Our conversations and his feedback have helped me sharpen my critical thinking skills. He’s a trusted advisor that I can confidentially speak with about any issue—and I know I’ll get valued feedback. I highly recommend him.”

Ryan McGrath

CEO, Asset Living

“Dr. Burcham’s depth and breadth of experience makes even the most ADD entrepreneurial leader sit up and take notes! His coaching skills bring out the ‘best you’ possible. He selflessly shares the good, the bad, and the ugly—leaving you with an authentic and moving experience sure to spur action and professional growth!”

Julie Lenzer

Director, U.S. Department of Commerce


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