Contagious Optimism compiles uplifting, personal stories of positive forward thinking, written by professionals in fields like business, medicine, and more. The first volume was released this past summer and the second volume is currently underway. David Mezzapelle ’90 will donate a portion of sales to Fairfield and other charities.
Mezzapelle had always prized optimism and loved listening to other people’s stories about overcoming struggles and finding success.
Mezzapelle said, “When I look back, I notice that all those stories have three common elements: They start with adversity or some type of obstacle; there is perseverance along the way; and they all end with wisdom that was gained and ultimately shared with others.
“As I have gotten older, I have always wished that I had captured those stories,” Mezzapelle said. “I frequently say to myself, ‘What I wouldn’t give to hear those stories again today.’”
Over the past 23 years, Mezzapelle believes he had used many of the lessons learned from the School of Business. “The School of Business taught us that real-life experience is just as important as what we studied in books,” he said. “This was reflected in class projects brought to our marketing and finance classes from local companies.”
“I am an eternally grateful alumnus and a proponent of this fine university,” he said.
After graduating from Fairfield University, Mezzapelle worked in business and marketing; he founded a data center infrastructure technology company called Goliath, which he sold in 2007. He also developed employment tools for schools, students, and alumni.
His mentors and friends encouraged him to start Contagious Optimism. His academic advisor, Dr. Andrew Demostes, was one of his main influences. Whenever Mezzapelle visited campus, Demostes would remind him to write. Mezzapelle was also urged by Vincent DeCenzo, a former Fairfield alumni gift officer, and Geri Derbyshire, DeCenzo’s successor.
In 2010, Mezzapelle finally decided to make Contagious Optimism not only about himself but also about other people worldwide.
Now, Mezzapelle tours the country, visiting bookstores, retirement homes, and other group settings, talking to people from all parts of life. He believes everyone has stories to tell, all of which help “people look past the tough times they may be experiencing and instead see that there is always something positive ahead of them.”
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