I am a strong believer that we need to impact this world in the most positive manner we can with the limited amount of time that we have in this world. Put simply, I love motorsports and cars. I choose to make that bold impact by investing in motorsports talent that come from a diverse ethnic and economic background. I want to help be responsible for giving opportunities to those in the motorsports industry that otherwise would not have that opportunity. This bold goal comes from my experience as an advisor of youth over the past 15+ years where I have had the chance to impact many young individuals in their pathway to adulthood.
I joined the Order of DeMolay or DeMolay for short, when I was 12 years old during the summer of 1995. I have been around DeMolay for a few years beforehand ever since the reinstitution of Knickerbocker Chapter in 1992 — an effort spearheaded by the then District Deputy Grand Master of the 4th Manhattan District (my father) in New York, Alfred B. Dais with the support of the Square Club of the Fourth Masonic District of Manhattan, Inc. and the Trustees of the Masonic Hall & Home. Thanks to them we have one of the strongest, heavily family-oriented chapters in the world. I am very proud to be a part of it.
The thing that intrigued me the most about DeMolay, which is a youth organization for young men between the ages of 12 and 21 years, is the brotherhood shared between young men within that age span. It really is quite unique as youth fraternities typically do not exist other than 1 or 2 others in the United States. Before I joined, I just loved being around all of the members because they were all like big brothers to me. This is all encompassed by Comradeship — the 4th precept of the 7 precepts that are the foundation of being a DeMolay. A brotherly tie or mystic tie to another DeMolay that is quite hard to explain unless you experience it for yourself.
Now that I am in my late-30s, I reflect on how DeMolay has affected my everyday life as an adult. I learned how it is okay to fail and learn from your failure because every time you try you become that much closer to succeeding in your goal. I know that a brother, even not by blood but through fraternal obligation, will always have your back and be a willing individual to assist you when you need help the most or vice versa. Lastly, I attribute any success that I have achieved in my career in the finance industry where I am currently the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of an equity long/short hedge fund to my learning experiences when I was a DeMolay member and an adult volunteer / DeMolay Advisor.
Impacting people’s lives on a daily basis is what excites me when I wake up. DeMolay is a platform where I can assist in guiding our youth of today to be our leaders of tomorrow in society. It is ever most important that we try our best as Freemasons to leave a lasting impact on society in whatever shape or form you choose to do that.
Let me share my learning experiences with you as a DeMolay Advisor and as an active DeMolay member.
I have a number of notable experiences as a DeMolay Advisor that have really touched my heart and made me proud. One in particular stands out in my mind. It was the turnaround re-build of our chapter’s membership in 2007 and when I became Chapter Dad of Knickerbocker Chapter. The Chapter Dad is the advisor in charge of guiding the youth leadership of the chapter and to answer any questions that the members might have that the youth leadership are not able to answer. There were five members that were attending our meetings, which is small in number as you could imagine. I remember having a conversation with them about what they wanted the chapter to be like in a few years. And they wanted it to be vibrant and to have more members that they could call brothers and enjoy their teenage lives with. They then proceeded to put together a plan of action to achieve that goal, and in a few short years, they did achieve it and brought the active membership to nearly 20 members attending every chapter meeting. In looking back at that experience today, I am extremely proud of those five members on how they achieved their goal. They were the main reason Knickerbocker Chapter was able to survive a tough time where the chapter nearly closed down due to inactive membership.
I was an U.S. Army ROTC Scholarship Cadet during my first two years at Fordham University. The summer of 2003, I had been selected to go to Airborne School in Fort Benning, GA. I was super excited to perform my 5 combat jumps. Unfortunately, I had a heat stroke on Day 2 of being there and nearly lost my life with a body temperature of 107.9 degrees Fahrenheit and eventually resulted in a medical discharge from my postgraduate 8-year commitment to the U.S. Army. It was a 3-month recovery to be able to walk again with no major pain and nearly a 6 month+ recovery to be able to run and exercise on a regular basis. I will never forget how helpless I felt during that time. My family was there with me every step of the way and so was my extended DeMolay family as well. Positive reinforcement from all of the loved ones around me really helped to get my life back on track post that experience. The first time I ventured out from home recovery was to attend an event at the Masonic Hall in Manhattan for my Chevalier Investiture. The Degree of Chevalier is the highest honor that an Active DeMolay can receive. It was such a memorable affair. Even the Grand Master of DeMolay International, at that time, had attended the event. It was quite special to me, and I will always remember how I felt when I received that honor and how I really could not hold back the tears of joy in sharing that experience with my family, my DeMolay extended family, and my friends. What I learned most from that experience was that we have to be there for everybody we love & trust, especially those that have taken the same obligation that you may have taken as a DeMolay and as a Freemason.
Earlier this year, I was very fortunate to meet Yosi T (IG: @askyosi / www.askyosi.com) through a mutual friend. I mentioned to Yosi that I had no interest in racing cars after acquiring a GT3 cup car, go figure, but I was more so interested in the development of youth talent to potentially become a professional driver, engineer, or business professional in the motorsports industry. Light bulb moment! Yosi introduced me that same day to Jason Myers whose reputation precedes him with his decorated career as a Marine and former team manager at various levels in motorsports. Jason and I clicked right away, and I knew that he could potentially be the right person to run our team over time. Jason and I both share a common vision in impacting young talent that come from diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds. Our Driver Partner #1, Alex Sedgwick, had met Jason through the Ultimate Driving Tours in Europe, and in turn, he was promptly introduced to me by Jason as a potential driver partner to work with as he is in his pursuit to bring his driving career to the next level. The stars aligned very quickly, but from my experience in my personal and professional life, do not let speed intimidate you…just know when to pump the brakes firmly when you start to feel like you are losing grip on the road of life, but going fast can make you feel alive and in the moment. Between the three of us, I believe PT Autosport has found the appropriate level of balance to win in competition and in developing talent.
When we are in a position to invest in others, we should. That is something I stand by whether it is through my time or investments. PT Autosport is dedicated to giving opportunities to those that otherwise would not have that opportunity and to helping the individuals that we partner with to make their dream of becoming a professional in the motorsports industry come true. Let’s make an impact together in the motorsports industry and hopefully add more diversity to its ranks through our efforts.