CULTURE CORNER: Joe Fricano, Region Advisor

Q: First, tell us a little about yourself–where you live, your family, how long you’ve been at DE, and what you did before coming here.

A: We live not too far from our DE headquarters in Wisconsin. We actually live right off of Highway DE – funny how that worked out, right? It’s Katherine, my bride, Vinny (14), Donny (13), Luey (11), Jonny (10), Bella (6), Ana (1), Chica (21 in dog years), and I. 

I have been with DE for a little over 5 years. Before I started here, I was a high school and college teacher – teaching Spanish and history, and training teachers at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

I was also coaching several select and high school soccer teams and doing some translation work.

Q: What do you love most about working at DE?

A: I love our mission and culture at DE, which is made possible by our great people. I look at each day as a new adventure and I love being of service to those out in the field and helping them bring their best. 

I love that we are helping fulfill the Great Commission through our work, and that we are providing excellent branding opportunities for local businesses. It’s a blessing to work alongside such professional, virtuous people who know they were made by God to be great.

Working within our excellent culture, among magnanimous publishers, account executives, home office staff, and other leaders who are on the same page, makes it fun, rewarding, and exciting each day.

Q: What topics could you spend hours talking about?

A: side from branding and what we do at DE, it would have to be sports, including fishing and hunting.

Q: What movie or book do you know the most quotes from?

A: Tommy Boy or Napoleon Dynamite

Q: What’s your favorite way to unwind after a hard day?

A: Playing ping pong or chess with my kids and watching Everybody Loves Raymond or Seinfeld with Katherine.

Q: Do you have a favorite prayer and if so, why is it your favorite?

A: Tough question. This is one of my favorites because my kids taught it to me and because it encompasses what it is to follow Christ:

Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi (Prayer for Peace)

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Q: What’s the furthest place you’ve ever traveled to?

A: The Canary Islands off the northwest coast of Africa

Q: What advice would you give to someone new in the business?

A: “Don’t let your life be sterile. Be useful. Blaze a trail. Shine forth with the light of your faith and the light of your love…” -St. Josemaria Escriva

Follow the program DE lays out with intense focus over time, while keeping God at the center through daily prayer. Stay connected to your Region Advisor daily and maintain a hunger to learn because if you’re learning, you’re growing, and if you’re growing you win. Get your head right. You are building something special that takes time and perseverance. Be aware of the distractions that inevitably come so you can prevent them. Guard the Culture, which means be magnanimous. Stay humble. Work hard. Manage rejection joyfully. Push yourself to your limits. Be a servant leader. Treat others as you want to be treated. Complete the tasks of the day even when you don’t feel like doing them. When one seed doesn’t grow, plant another – just one more yes! The harder your work, the luckier and smarter you get. Finally, give thanks to God for all He has given you.