|Bill & me|
First Nations businessman Bill Adsit delivered a powerful presentation at Tuesday's Leader Impact Luncheon at the Doubletree by Hilton in downtown Regina.
Born in Northern B.C., Bill (originally named "Belfry") was orphaned by the age of seven and found himself in a residential school where he endured sexual abuse, physical abuse and emotional abuse. Over the years he would bounce around several communities in Western Canada before winding up in jail on multiple occasions.
It was during his last stint in Corrections that he made the decision to walk down God's path, because everything else he'd tried hadn't worked.
"The Bible says God is a Father to the fatherless," Adsit told the crowd. "That was me. And although I never really believed God was there for me while I was suffering in the residential school, I never forgot the idea that God is there for you when you need Him."
So, like most who make that similar choice in life, Bill's life began to turn around for the better almost immediately.
He didn't have his Grade 12 but he was accepted at Trinity Western College and later the University of Alberta. The rest, as they say, is history. Adsit went on to have a long career in the public service but is also a multimillionaire businessman who sits on the Board of BC Hydro.
In fact his bio states:
"Bill Adsit is a member of the Tahltan Nation and was the President and CEO from 2004 to 2013. He currently lives in Sherwood Park, Alberta and works in Dease Lake and Vancouver, British Columbia. He has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Alberta. After serving 37 years in the Canadian Military, Transport Canada, Revenue Canada and Industry Canada, he retired in 2004."
Adsit now travels the country speaking at Leader Impact events and to other groups.
His speech had several powerful points, but was sprinkled with a few anecdotes which had the room in stitches.
One of the key points of his 25-minute address was the advice "Don't be a victim of your circumstances. There's always help available out there to anyone who needs it."
Looking at his thousand-dollar outfit on Tuesday, it was hard to believe Bill was orphaned with just the clothes on his back as a little boy. As they say, don't judge a book by its cover.
I asked him afterwards if he's currently sober and he replied, "I still have the odd glass of wine now and again, but I haven't been drunk in years."
Hey, whatever works. Obviously it's working for Bill Adsit.