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GARY DeRIGNE - Author and Speaker

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Gary DeRigne is a combat veteran of Vietnam, where he served as an infantryman and platoon sergeant with the Army's 1st Cavalry Division.  He returned home both physically and emotionally scarred, to quickly learn that his perspective, his emotional state, and indeed his life, had been altered... forever. 
         A victim of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Gary fell victim to anxiety, depression, and a range of other emotional issues.  His mental state caused his later divorce from his first wife, the woman who had waited through agonizing months at home while he'd served in Vietnam. 
          After four more years of  struggle he re-married, and later became the father of two fine sons.  He often claims that those two little boys saved his life. 
        Gary went on to a successful business career and eventually became a teacher and philanthropist.  But the war continued to haunt him.  He was divorced for the second time in 1999.
         In 2004 he was inspired to begin writing about the war, and he published his first novel,
One Young Soldier, in 2007.  With that success came many opportunities to speak about his war experiences and the plight of many of America's veterans, and he began to use those opportunities and a portion of the proceeds from book sales to help support several Veterans' Charities.  One Young Soldier became a hit among Vietnam veterans, since it realistically told the story of what it was like to be an infantryman in combat, a story many veterans had never been able to tell their loved-ones themselves.
         Now retired from business, happily married, and a proud father and grandfather,  Gary spends much of his free time writing and speaking about Veterans' issues.  His second novel,
Angie's War, a sequel to One Young Soldier, was published in May, 2019.  It brings the stories of America's wars forward to modern times, and serves to help Americans more fully understand the everlasting human cost of war.    
        Please browse this website, and
purchase a signed copy of Angie's War or perhaps a set of two including his first novel,One Young Soldier$5 from the sale of each book through this website will be donated to a supported Veterans' Charity.
          Also consider
requesting an author's talk and book-signing for any organization you're a part of.  There is no fee for these talks, and no travel expenses for any talk conducted within 150 miles of Kansas City.  $5 from the sale of each book at an author's talk and book-signing will be donated to a supported Veterans' Charity.

                                                    Thank you for your interest!

Education, Business Career,
Community Service

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© Copyright 2019 - Gary M. DeRigne - All Rights Reserved

 


Education:

Executive MBA with Distinction, Rockhurst University, Kansas City, MO (2001)

 
 


Business Career:

2002 - 2011  The Yarco Companies of Kansas City.  Retired as President of the Property Management Division. Yarco provides decent, affordable housing to Americans with limited incomes.

2000 - 2001  Affinity Internet Services of Lawrence, Kansas.  Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.  Affinity Internet Services developed, marketed, and operated technology based fundraising tools for non-profits.

1966 - 1999  Butler Manufacturing Company of Kansas City.  Began as a draftsman.  Final position as Sr. Vice President of Information Systems and Engineering Services.  Butler was the world's leading producer of pre-engineered metal buildings.
 

 
 

Military:

Kansas Army National Guard and United States Army, 1965 – 1969.  Served first as a rifleman and then as a platoon sergeant with the 1st Cavalry Division during combat operations in the Republic of Vietnam, achieving the enlisted rank of Staff Sergeant.  Wounded in combat on September 18, 1969, and awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal, the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and several other decorations. 
 

 
 

Teaching:

As an adjunct professor with Rockhurst University’s Helzberg School of Management for several years, Gary taught Ethics for Leaders, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Management of Information Technology in the school’s conventional and Executive Fellows MBA programs.  He also managed school outreach projects with Operation Breakthrough, one of Kansas City's leading human service non-profits. 
 

 
 

Professional and Community Associations and Awards

  • Management Executive of the Year - Apartment Association of Kansas City - 2008
  • Chairman – National Yardi (software) User Group, 2003 - 2007
  • Adjunct Professor – Rockhurst University Master’s Programs, 2002 - 2009.  Named the Helzberg School of Management Outstanding Adjunct Instructor of the Year, 2001  - 2002.
  • Judge – Kansas City Business Ethics Award Competition – 2001 - 2007
  • Board Member – Phoenix Family Housing Corporation, 2002 – 2008. Fundraiser Committee chair, Technology Committee chair, member of HR Committee and Economic Task Force
  • President – Rockhurst University Executive Fellows Alumni Association, 2002-2003
  • Founder and Board Member – Rockhurst University Executive Fellows REFLECT program
  • President – Board of Directors – Harvesters Community Food Network – 2000 - 2001
  • Founder and Chair – Harvesters Technology Committee - 1994 - 2000
  • Honored by Harvesters for Outstanding Volunteer and Leadership Activities, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2002
  • Vice President of Operations – Board of Directors – Community Resource Network
  • Founder and Chair – Kansas City Action Committee on the Information Technology Worker Shortage
  • Technology Advisory Board member – Rockhurst University, University of Missouri at Kansas City, Johnson County Community College
  • Board Member - Silicon Prairie Technology Association
  • Member – Stanford University Center for Integrated Facility Engineering
  • Board Chair – Regional Consortium for Technology and Information Exchange
  • Motivational Speaker – Kansas City Inner City Youth Motivation Services Program
  • Coach - Youth Soccer, Softball, and Baseball - 1983 - 1998
  • Gary was honored as a Philanthropic Leader of Kansas City by Ingram's Magazine in January, 2001