Author, Fairfield U alumnus, spreads 'Contagious Optimism'

David Mezzapelle, author of “Contagious Optimism: Uplifting Stories and Motivational Advice for Positive Forward Thinking,” will speak at the Fairfield University downtown bookstore Tuesday, July 16, at 7 p.m. Some of the proceeds will benefit his alma mater, Fairfield U.

David Mezzapelle, author of “Contagious Optimism: Uplifting Stories and Motivational Advice for Positive Forward Thinking,” will speak at the Fairfield University downtown bookstore Tuesday, July 16, at 7 p.m. Some of the proceeds will benefit his alma mater, Fairfield U.

Connecticut native David Mezzapelle will share anecdotes about overcoming adversity at the Fairfield University Bookstore on Tuesday, July 16, at 7 p.m.

A 1990 graduate of Fairfield University, Mezzapelle’s recently released book Contagious Optimism: Uplifting Stories and Motivational Advice for Positive Forward Thinking features real-life narratives from people around the world and professional expertise from members of the health care community.

Optimism-coverMezzapelle, whose family lives in Stamford, said he is surprised by the response the book has received since its June 15 launch.

“I didn’t expect how many people would be affected in a personal way,” he said. “We receive hundreds of phone calls and emails a week from people saying this book has helped them and made them realize the importance of counting their blessings. It’s been very gratifying.”

The publication of Contagious Optimism follows on the heels of Mezzapelle’s 23 years as a business entrepreneur. He is the founder and marketing director of Goliath Technology Inc., a worldwide data center infrastructure company. Mezzapelle also operated GoliathJobs, a marketing and consulting organization, and JobsOver50.com. Partnering with SilverCensus in 2009, Mezzapelle helped the senior living and health services resources company develop and grow.

Mezzapelle said he’s always wanted to write a book based upon the wisdom he garnered listening as a child to his family’s personal stories.

“I always thought there is so much wisdom in people all around us,” Mezzapelle said.

Additionally, Fairfield University encouraged Mezzapelle to write a book about the importance of optimism and positive attitude in the business sector.

He said he was “finally ready” for the project in 2010.

However, Mezzapelle’s vision was to share more than his own success story; Mezzapelle’s design was to publish a compilation of inspiring tales from a variety of different people.

“I definitely had setbacks in my life, both personal and professional, and I really had to find the silver lining in the clouds,” he said.

For example, Mezzapelle said that when “the technology bubble burst in 2000,” his company was dramatically affected.

“Instead of closing our doors, we looked at other emerging markets and said, ‘Let’s start marketing to them aggressively,’” he said.

The business accounts in the new markets grew and his gamble paid off.

On a personal note, Mezzapelle often recounts for audiences how he dealt with a serious bicycle accident when he was 7.

Mezzapelle’s upbeat attitude helped him to endure surgeries throughout the next 33 years. Today he is completely healed.

A portion of the profits from Contagious Optimism will be donated to Fairfield University and various charities.

“I consider myself to be an active alumnus,” Mezzapelle said. “I love this school and I appreciate the opportunities my parents and the school gave to me.”

To assist with the editing process, Mezzapelle worked with students in Professor Jim Simon’s advanced journalism class.

“The project worked well at so many levels,” Simon said. “It gave students in our Journalism Editing and Design class a professional editing experience and a résumé credit. It let the students inside the publishing process, and they all got to see how an enthusiastic entrepreneur like David could take a project from conception all the way through to the final published product.”

In keeping with a business model he implemented at Goliath Technology, Mezzapelle also uses student interns located at college campuses globally for marketing. About 45 staff and interns and 70 co-authors worked on Contagious Optimism’s first volume.

Volume 2 is scheduled for release in early 2014. Mezzapelle said the third book in the series was “just completed” and is slated for publication in late 2014.

“We’re pushing for publishing one every nine months,” Mezzapelle said.

Mezzapelle’s book talk and signing is part of the Inspired Writers series sponsored by Fairfield University’s MFA in Creative Writing program.

More information may be found at lifecarrots.com/index.html and fairfield.edu/cas/mfa_inspired.html.

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