Reviews for The Good Among the Great by Donald Van de Mark

December 3, 2012: Joe Schuster, Kellogg School of Management – Northwestern University

I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your presentation with Kellogg last Friday. That was definitely one of the most intriguing talks I’ve had the good fortune to attend! I’m eager to read the book and further explore the 19 attributes. Another friend who attended your talk and I decided that we’re going to get together to discuss one topic a week for the next 19 weeks. I’m very excited! Thanks again for sharing your story!

November 6, 2012: Kathy Mattingly

I just returned to my office after hearing your lecture on your book “The Good Among the Great. . . .” at the Denver Federal Center.  You are a wonderful young man and truly inspiring.  I left your lecture feeling more reassured than ever about my path in life!  And I’m 63!  Never too old to learn even more.

July 18, 2012: Richard W. Naumann, TLC Brain, Inc.

Your presentation was just what I needed… you not only had an interesting story to tell; a transformational message to deliver; but that you ‘drank the water.’ You appear to live the values you preach.

July 16, 2012: Organizer, St. Isidore Catholic Church meeting for SING, Danville, CA

Thanks so much for making the drive down to Danville last night. You received an universal thumbs up. It was the right talk for this group at the right time. The fact that you “sold out” your books is evidence of your ability to strike a cord with the crowd.

April 16, 2012: Margot Johnstone, Stonington, CT

Thank you so much for sending me a copy of your book. I found it to be incredible for some many reasons. It was extremely helpful and the timing was impeccable, especially the concept of staying open to love…  I think I will refer to your book for years to come.

March 5, 2012: Christina Mitchell

I’m not even finished with the book yet, but I feel like a better person already. Thank you Donald for putting the words that we so desperately needed into such a great book. Inspirational!

January 20, 2012: Kelly D. Minton, Leader, Strategy and Business Operations Corporate Technology

The team greatly enjoyed your presentation and I am getting flooded by requests for your book.

January 5, 2012: Lawrence J. Thaul, Executives’ Association of Greater New York

Hello Donald,
I know I speak on behalf of all of us when I say that we appreciated your
presentation yesterday tremendously. Your book is my designated weekend read, and more importantly, it kept us focused on the bigger picture of what Walt Whitman wrote about in his “Comportment of Life,” that is, namely, those aspects of life on the much larger, reflective scale. As Aristotle put it, “An unreflective life is not worth living for a man.”

Thank you very much all around and I’ll certainly consider you as a speaker
for other organizations.


November 17, 2011: Carol M. Carruba, Luxury Real Estate Professional

Dear Donald,
I have read your book many times over….jumping from chapter to chapter whenever I feel I need a ‘jolt’. Thank you so much for writing it. I want to give the book to a few friends of mine. Hope all is well.

Take care and have a great Thanksgiving,


November 5, 2011: Doug Cisney, Petaluma Library Branch Manager

Dear Mr. Van de Mark,
Thank you most kindly for the engaging and inspiring program you did at the Petaluma Library last Saturday – I’ve heard so many highly positive comments from people who attended the program! I also want to thank you for the gift copy of your book “The Good Among the Great”- we’re happy to add it to our library collection.

With appreciation,
Doug Cisney
Petaluma Branch Manager

October 30, 2011: Elaine, Petaluma Library speech attendee

My husband and I were in the audience and listened to you speak today. Thank you for making yourself available to those of us who are interested in being our best!

We did attend a Berkshire Hathaway convention a couple of years ago and saw Warren and his side-kick Charlie. What amazed me is the great sense of humor they still possess given the state of the economy. Also, that Warren still remains the resident of a home he purchased when he was not wealthy.

As I listened to you today, I realized how many of the traits mentioned are possessed by my husband (I am a lucky woman). We met at age 14 (I am 5’9″ and he was the handsome 6’5 1/2″ guy that I viewed across the dance hall), and married at ages 19 and 20. We are still together 41 years later. Since he has a financial mind and we have not divorced, he was able to retire at age 47 and me, at 50. (Behind every successful man is a fabulous, cooperative woman)!!
Sincerely, Elaine

October 15, 2011: Alice Berger, Bergers Book Reviews

The Good Among the Great is a thought-provoking look at the traits that lead to a quality life, but I would have preferred to see less of Maslow’s thoughts and more about the individuals profiled in each section. A more personal and less psychological approach would have deepened the connection for me, making these traits feel more real and achievable. Overall, though, this book provides some good ideas if you want to change your life for the better.

September 21, 2011: Joseph LaCrosse, LinkedIn connection

Just picked up The Good Among the Great. You’ve connected the dots on alot of things I’ve taken for granted. I’m a geek and cannot put it down. While we have not worked together directly yet, I’d be honored to add you to my network. Best of luck in your future endeavors.

July 29, 2011: Thomas Loarie, Catholic Business Journal

The Good Among the Great inspires by highlighting exceptional people who are stand-out contrarians in a turbulent, self-indulgent world.  It also provides supplemental guidance on how we can improve our being with a transcendent faith, a belief that we are here for a reason, and by using our God given gifts to make ourselves, our lives, and the lives of those around us better.

May 26, 2011: Christina French, Publisher & Editor, Table Magazine

I just wanted to say thank you for your speech in Pittsburgh and I think your new book is fantastic! It has already come in handy. My parents are going through a transition period of retirement where they disagree about what’s possible, what’s “right” based on their perceived obligations to family and what their reality truly is now without work or children pulling at them. I’m giving them your book to read together so they can work through any obstacles and be inspired by others who follow a more instinctive, creative and inspired path. It really was an odd coincidence that a book about people who are happy and effective helps to counsel those who are potentially unhappy and paralyzed by their own unnecessary speed bumps or superficial external pressures. It may not have been your intention with the book, but seeing how it works in reverse for two people I love dearly and want to see embrace life without regret while they still can was worth noting. You have created something special and I am so grateful (for my own enjoyment) and happy for you that you tapped into a very potent topic that is so meaningful and helpful to your readers. Congratulations and thank you!

May 12, 2011: Dani, Positively Present

I’m not one of those people who is on a hunt to find ways to change myself; I’m all about self-love and personal acceptance. I am, however, always open to new ideas and ways to improve myself and my life. What’s great about this book is that, as it explores these 19 traits (which are interesting enough in themselves), he also provides readers with guidelines as to how to embody these traits. The well laid out guidelines, made easily accessible at the end of each chapter for those not interested in ready every single word of the book, provide a great resource for anyone interested in personal and professional achievement.

May 9, 2011: Phil Hadley, Middletown Patch

A wonderful treat in delving into the psychological philosophies of successful individuals around the world.

April 26, 2011: Norman Goldman, Bookpleasures

The information provided in this book is timeless, presented clearly and without frills, as it peels away common traits of individuals that are not only great but also good. Van de Mark has written an inspirational book that gives readers the key to finding those few individuals who possess these wonderful nineteen traits and as he concludes, “bring them into your orbit-your work, your play, and best of all, your family. They can’t help but rub off on you!

April 19, 2011: Being Fully Present

If you want to achieve greater success in your personal and professional growth, consider adding this book to your leadership, business, psychology or self-development library.

February 28, 2011: Foreword Reviews

For some people success may be measured in the fatness of a bank account or the amount of press garnered; but for truly admirable individuals, success includes intangible but vital properties like exuberance, appreciation, and autonomy, believes first-time author Donald Van de Mark.(“In this uplifting guidebook to work and life, Van de Mark provides a road map for emulating these successful people, and recognizing their impact.”)

February 22, 2011: Salem Weekly review

The Good Among the Great posits that there is more to life than finding success in your career or racking up a myriad of achievements. There is a way to achieve all manner of successes while still being a truly good person. Van de Mark analyzes personality traits such as integrity and empathy, and examines how these traits play parts in the lives of specific, beloved people, including housewives, hospice nurses, and Meryl Streep. He includes step-by-step guidelines on how to integrate these traits successfully into your own life.

February 15, 2011: Library Journal starred review

Van de Mark… discovered that some people were not just successful but exemplary. He studied modern high achievers who were also beloved characters, found 19 shared personality traits, and integrated his findings with the models of Abraham Maslow. In this distinctive book, he focuses on each particular trait and gives an example of someone who possesses it; in the “Integrity” chapter, Warren Buffett, and in “Empathetic,” Charles Schwab. Many of his examples are not household names but are as inspiring as the celebrities. An essential read for those wanting to improve themselves and the world.