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Michael Anthony Deffina has been successful in business and life. Like many others, he accomplished much of it through circumstance, rather than by design. He believes that there is a more effective way to approach life and is committed to helping young people develop their personal life plans based on their personalities, natural talents, strengths, and desires.

Michael’s parents divorced when he was in high school, leaving him to sort out his future on his own. After graduating high school, he joined the Navy and became an electronics technician. He then went to work in a development lab specializing in guided missile technology. Michael attended college in the evenings after work. He was recruited by IBM to work on the guidance system for the Apollo IV moon landing.

At 29, Michael realized that his true interests were his interactions with people, and he transitioned into Sales. He became a member of IBM’s Golden Circle, representing the top 5% of their sales force and was promoted to Marketing Manager.

He was then recruited to become Senior Vice President of Sales for HQ-Headquarters Companies which grew to $55 Million in Sales in five years.

Michael has had many successes including owning and operating his business consulting firm serving local businesses, startups, and large corporations. His consulting services included the development of business plans, training sales staffs. He is a Contributing Editor – Encyclopedia of Investments, Lecturer on Franchising Management – U.C. Berkeley, and Public Speaking – Public Broadcast, Private Events. Ready to spend more time at home, he built a local real estate and mortgage brokerage, which led him to co-found Ellie Mae Inc. providing software services to the mortgage industry. Ellie Mae became a successful NYSE traded company.

Michael’s personal life is successful as well. He married his high school sweetheart. They have three children, eight grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. He enjoys his time with all of them and enjoys guiding the teens on planning their own paths to their happiness and success.

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