Veteran Business Owner Celebrates 5 Years of EMPOWERing Adventures

Captain Joe DeRing's Last Patrol in Afghanistan
Captain Joe DeRing's Last Patrol in Afghanistan

Middletown, CT (April 8, 2014) In April of 2009, former Army Captain and Ranger, Joe DeRing began an unexpected journy into the world of outdoor adventure by founding EMPOWER Leadership Sports & Adventure Center; a business built around the idea of developing leaders. Joe, a graduate of the University of Delaware in 2000, was commissioned into the U.S. Army as an Infantry Officer with a rank of second lieutenant. As a lieutenant, Joe led light and motorized platoons of up to 60 men in combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. These operations included the attack on Baghdad in March 2003 and the capture of high value targets. For his efforts and the success of his teams throughout Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2003 to 2004, Joe was presented the Bronze Star. In September of 2006, Joe was deployed again, this time in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While in Afghanistan, Joe helped lead a special working group charged with developing, instituting, and publishing a standard operating procedure detailing proper implementation of non-lethal war fighting measures for the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police. For his leadership of the "Effects Working Group," Joe received the Army's Meritorious Service Medal. Throughout all of his experiences, Joe developed a great passion for teaching leadership skills, and training and mentoring leaders.


In 2007, Joe began to conceptualize a way to make leadership quantifiable and teach people what it means to be a leader. After countless hours of hard work, research, meetings, and part-time jobs, EMPOWER Leadership Sports & Adventure Center was born. On April 25, 2009, EMPOWER opened its doors for the first time and has since led adventure programs for over 400 companies, universities, high schools and middle schools for team building, leadership/character development and corporate outings. Because of Joe's committment to leadership, the EMPOWER guides and staff have had the opportunity to lead nearly 50,000 people through the tree tops as part of their Zip Line Canopy Tour program. The 30 acre adventure center features Connecticut's only tree top zip line canopy tour, team building obstacle courses and high ropes team building challenges.


EMPOWER offers adventures for all ages and abilities and are custom designed for families, friends and individuals, youth groups and sports teams, as well as businesses and corporations. All EMPOWER programs are professionally facilitated and include complimentary digital photos. On Saturday April 26th, EMPOWER will celebrate its 5 Year Anniversary with special pricing on all of its adventures. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (860) 638-4754 or by visiting www.LeadershipSports.com.


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