Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image
Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image
Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image
Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image
Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image
Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image
Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image
Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image
Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image
Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image
Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image
Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image
Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image
Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image
Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image
Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image
Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image
Eye on Kansas Magazine previous issue link Image Eye on Kansas Magazine previous story link  Image Eye on Kansas Magazine table of contents  link Image Eye on Kansas Magazine next story link Image Eye on Kansas Magazine next issue link  Image

An Old Green Porch Swing

Ron Willis

By Sarah Popelka

No “flash and fluff” with little substance here. Given the opportunity, Ron Willis, Jewell, provides inspiration rather than motivation as the true path to excellence in a keynote or seminar.

Ron offers keynote addresses, seminar and training workshops to corporations, businesses, educational associations, health care providers, social service agencies and child care organizations across the country. His commitment to values of integrity, compassion, honesty, affirmation and genuineness presented as stories that touch the heart has earned him the title of the “Mr. Rogers” of mental health.


We become better professionals, business persons, spouses and parents in only one predictable way: we must become better people!


Ron holds an education specialists degree from Fort Hays State University and has completed graduate work at Kansas State University and University of Denver. However, he values most the education he received from his grandfather, a retired railroad engineer with only a seventh-grade education. Sitting on an old porch swing with his grandfather, Ron learned the principles of how people are suppose to treat one another.

“My grandfather always believed that in the business of helping other people what you had living in your heart was far more important than a
[diploma] hanging on a wall,” Ron says. Ron recalled what Mark Twain said: never let school interfere with your real education. Ron believes real education doesn’t happen in a classroom.

In 1984, Ron started his business Green Porch Swing Productions giving weekend seminars as a way to earn extra income. However, in 1996, facing a life-threatening illness, Ron re-evaluated his life goals: he needed to be working with his true passion full-time. In June 1996, Ron took early retirement from his position of clinical director for the Beloit Juvenile Correctional Facility. Soon after he launched his website, www.greenporch swing.com.

Ron considers himself a storyteller. His stories evoke similar memories among his audiences.
Along with his customized programs to address specific audiences, Ron likes to focus on hoe employees interact in workplaces. According to studies, the number-one desire of workers is a friendly place to work where they are appreciated and supported, Ron says. Unkindness in some workplaces—no matter what field—are caused by people who have just forgotten how to support each other in a positive way, he says.

One section of his seminars addresses “No Mean Spirit.” Ron hands out “No Mean Spirit” stickers to audience members. They are instructed to put the sticker in a place to remind them of the “No Mean
Spirit” attitude. He highlights the value of verbal control by physically holding one’s tongue as well as forgiveness by saying sorry with meaning. He also emphasizes to not let the sun go down with anger.

Ron does not advertise. He relies solely on “word of mouth.” Health care systems often contract Ron to do a series of training involving workplace relationships. Many businesses are beginning to schedule Ron for his successful seminars. He also works a lot with mental health programs and childcare providers. Additionally, he works with state and national organizations as well as private companies. His long list of clients include the Kansas School Board Association, the National Resource Center, National Head Start Organization, Great Plains Health Alliance, American Health Care Association and many more.

Ron truly enjoys what he does. “We become better professionals, business persons, spouses and parents in only one predictable way: we must become better people! Anything less is simply a collection of feeble techniques and strategies; doomed to fail when the going gets rough.”

Ron’s grandfather emphasized that the only meaningful credential is if [people] are better from spending time with you, he said

 

 

 

 

Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image
Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image
Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image
Last Updated April 6, 2009
Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image
Eye on Kansas Magazine Blank Image