The Authors

Leslie_GordonLeslie Maria Gordon is a believer. She believes in the power of the human spirit. She believes that surrounding oneself with vibrant, positive people provides opportunities for growth, encouragement and uplift at every turn. She believes that through her writing, she is but a vessel from which inspiration flows. She believes without question that the opportunity to write the very personal, poignant stories of twenty extraordinary people and the lessons they learned from their fathers is, in a word, divine. A native of Chicago and Kona, Hawaii, Ms. Gordon is an accomplished writer and public relations executive with more than twenty years of experience honing her craft. She writes feature and entertainment articles for her Website,, and fitness articles for a national magazine. She also writes speeches for corporate executives and powerful female entrepreneurs. Ms. Gordon has interviewed and written about many fascinating people from actress, producer and director, Angela Bassett to actor and philanthropist, Isaiah Washington; from former NBA champion Alonzo Mourning to Chicago Cubs owner, Tom Ricketts. She is married to Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist, Ed Gordon, and together they have three amazing children. Ms. Gordon earned a master’s degree in humanities from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in advertising from the University of Illinois. She is also an avid marathon runner and fitness enthusiast.


bill_familyWilliam (Bill) K. Middlebrooks passionately embraces and relishes his role as a father. He is devoted to his two sons Arthur (wife Tara) and Andrew and a loving husband to Karla his wife of 29 years. His oldest son, 1st LT and Executive Officer Arthur J. Middlebrooks is a decorated combat veteran (Bronze Star Recipient) and a 2010 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. His youngest son, Andrew M. Middlebrooks is a 2013 graduate of Western Michigan University and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in American Public Policy with dual minors in Accounting and Economics. He now works in Washington, DC in the Government Affairs Group for a lobbying and public policy firm specializing in the life sciences sector. His wife Karla, a retired automotive VP of Finance and current executive life coach received an undergraduate engineering degree from Northwestern University and a MBA from Harvard University.

Bill is a business entrepreneur, community servant and leader in the Detroit area. A graduate of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business he is also the founder and Managing Partner of Excellence In Action, Inc; a performance enhancement company that specializes in exceptional customer service and leadership excellence. Bill also is a co-founder and Partner in Detroit Metro Ventures, LLC a retail, food and beverage concession business that operates a portfolio of 16 establishments at the Detroit Metropolitan International Airport.

Bill serves as an officer and board member for the following organizations:

  • 100 Black Men of Greater Detroit, Inc. – Past President
  • Olivet College – Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees
  • University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy – Chairman of the Admissions Committee