Role Model Series

The Role Model Series is video database of interviews with highly effective leaders, dedicated to providing young athletes with advice and strategies for being more effective as a leader and reaching success. 

Senior Chief Petty Officer Chris Kepko is currently serving as a mentor for young naval operators who are interested in pursuing a career in special operations. Chris has served within the Naval Explosive Ordinance Division and Special Operations and he has encountered many stressful experiences throughout his many deployments in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries post 9/11. His stories are meant to inspire young adults to take advantage of every moment in life and have fun whenever possible. Chris believes it is also extremely important to surround yourself with friends that will always have your back and refrain from putting you into situations that could compromise your morals and beliefs. Chris manages stressful situations by focusing on "one day at a time." In order to create a successful life you need to manage your stress and overcome the challenges along the way. But most importantly, make each and every day count.  

Attorney David Daggett is a serious triathlete who has completed more than 185 triathlons, including 28 Ironman competitions. He has completed the Hawaii Ironman World Triathlon Championship eight times. David is also the managing partner of Daggett Shuler Attorneys At Law. He is experienced in assisting clients with all types of injury cases, including serious injuries, wrongful death, and insurance claims. David Daggett is a founder of Safe Sober Prom Night, Inc., a program that promotes safety and awareness among teenagers in North Carolina. David Daggett has received numerous accolades and awards for the Safe Sober Prom Night program. Recently he received the Ford Ironman Everyday Hero Award including being featured worldwide on ESPN and Universal sports. David truly exemplifies what it means to "go the extra mile for your success."

United States Senator Thom Tillis is the junior United States Senator from North Carolina. After graduating from high school, Sen. Tillis was unable to afford college, so he took a job as a warehouse records clerk earning minimum wage. Through hard work and dedication Sen. Tillis quickly moved up the corporate ladder, earning his college degree at 36 and becoming a top-level executive at PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM. Fueled by a desire to make a difference in his local community, Sen. Tillis’s involvement in public service began by serving as the PTA president of his daughter’s high school and as a member of the Town of Cornelius Board of Commissioners. In 2006, he was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives and was selected by his peers to serve as Speaker of the House from 2011 to 2014. In 2014, he defeated Kay Hagan in the US Senate election.

Rob Underhill is a filmmaker born in Michigan but currently residing in Raleigh, North Carolina. From an early age, Rob's developed a passion for storytelling. This passion has led him to establish his own drama club at Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, North Carolina. Along with collaborating with many talent individuals for several feature films, Rob has written and directed over 50 short films of his own. Several of these films were selected by major film festivals and received distinguished awards. Rob was kind enough to offer his time to provide insight into his creative world of writing and directing films. This episode provides a guided light for aspiring filmmakers into the ever changing landscape of artistic filmmaking.

A North Carolina State Senator, a lawyer, and JAG Officer with the United States Army National Guard, a father, and a husband; Senator Jeff Jackson is the definition of the "American Dream." In this edition of the Role Model Series, Senator Jackson offers his time away from the NC Senate, to walk us through his pathway to success. A path guided by the events of 9/11, lighted by a passion for seeking justice, and continuously flourished with the desire to advocate for the rights of the citizens within his district. "To be an effective leader, you have to love working with people," said Jackson as he shares his wisdom for leadership acquired through his military experience and training. Jackson is not only wears a political hat, he is also a business litigator and a Captain in the United States Army National Guard Judge Advocates General Corps. This interview will serve well to those who are interested in pursuing a life of meaningful purpose.

Gunnery Sergeant Cody Morris served as a combat leader during the offensive in the town of Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2011. His experiences with the United States Marine Corps (USMC) provided him with the foundational principals of effective leadership. But after continuous studying and training to maximize his leadership discipline, he has been on a mission to use his knowledge to mentor and improve the lives of young individuals and student athletes. In this episode, Gunny Morris shares some of his experiences serving with the USMC and the importance of leading by example while capturing the hearts of the individuals you lead. He also provides solid advice for creating motivation and setting expectations and consequences. As Gunny Morris so eloquently put it, “your rank gives you authority and your character gives you respect.” 

North Carolina State Wolfpack Head Coach, Dave Doeren, embodies the mentality, “We play hard. We play tough. And we play together.” As a coach, Doeren now has more nine-win campaigns than any coach in school history, and has now led five of his past nine NC State squads to seasons with eight or more victories. As a leader, he has hand-crafted a winning culture at NC State, turning into a blue collar workforce that prides itself on winning and family. Doeren’s love for coaching is his love for his players. He prides himself on seeing young men go on to be successful men, husbands and fathers, in addition to being great players. A blue collar coach and a blue collar team, playing their hearts out every Saturday for their blue collar family. 
Written and Directed by Cameron Hardesty 

We are very pleased to bring you our first official short film. This film was shot (July 2017) during a blazing summer heat wave in Downtown Raleigh, NC. The entire shoot was completed within 12 hours. This film was selected by the Longleaf Film festival in Raleigh, North Carolina on May 11, 2018.

A special thank you Samantha Rahn, Assistant Director Jonathan Duran, Colby Benfield, Penn Harrison, Reilly Walters, and Director of Photography Suraj Vege.