Saturday, September 10, 2011
Diane's Diary by Diane Mueller
Out of tragedy, comes hope. With hope, comes an opportunity for a new beginning. Sometimes it takes a massive devastation to rally a spirit of camaraderie and purpose. Most memories of September 11th are filled with anger, sorrow and reflection; that same date has also become a day filled with new hope and new beginnings. We shall never forget the dreadful events of the day, and it is with great pride that Americans use the date to honor our past, while introducing newfound prosperity and opportunities.
I am so proud to announce that this date, September 11th, 2011, marks the one year anniversary of a company I have grown to love, respect and represent. That company being: 911Strong.com. On this date, one year ago, Aram Choe took a leap of faith by investing his personal time, money and effort into an initiative that he hoped and prayed would bring bounty for his family, while paying tribute to all of America’s heroes; past, present and future. “Nutritional Supplements for America’s Heroes,” is more than just a slogan to Aram Choe; it is the foundation of his deep seeded beliefs. With a passion for the strength and fitness industry, Aram made it his own personal mission to provide the highest quality supplements at the lowest prices for the members of our nation’s military and homeland service members, such as, law enforcement, fire and rescue personnel. Aram’s pledge was simple and direct: To make supplements affordable for our men and women of public service, who have high stress and high risk jobs so they are able to be in the physical condition the public needs them to be in, during these tough times of economic challenges. Money shouldn’t be the reason our heroes, who risk their lives on a daily basis, can’t afford to purchase their supplements which allow them to get into the best shape of their lives. “You commit yourselves to giving your best everyday... Isn't it time someone does the same for you?” ~ Aram Choe via the 911Strong website.
Being a man of great faith, Aram proudly promotes his company being anchored by integrity, morals, and Godly principles, as the foundation for success. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” ~ Joshua 1:9
September 11, 2001 is a date that sits at the forefront of every American’s mind. American’s everywhere recognize this date as the day of the most devastating terror attack to occur on American soil. The incident was one of those historic events where everyone can remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they first heard about the attacks on the twin towers. People sat paralyzed for hours in front of their televisions watching the terror unfold, fearful of what may come next. It’s the fear of the unknown, of not knowing whether the attacks were over or if there were still more to come, that resonates so deeply within us and causes that feeling of helplessness. We felt helpless and numb as we watched the aftermath of this great tragedy. Out of the ashes, our nation united. We stood united in mourning and in prayer. We prayed desperately for the souls of the individuals who lost their lives. We prayed for those who were still trapped, awaiting rescue. We prayed for strength and perseverance of the rescue workers to bring as many victims as possible, as well as themselves, to safety. We prayed for the families and friends of those whose lives were to be forever changed due to the unforeseen events of the day. United we stand, divided we fall. With great pride, we rose up and met the challenges of that day. We continued to press forward making progress day by day. We were united under the motto: Never Forget.
The events of September 11th have left a permanent scar on the psyche of every American citizen capable of comprehending the magnitude of the tragic events of the day; and Aram Choe is no different. Being a faithful man, Aram has devoted his life to serving his community, his family, and God. Being raised in a military family, Aram felt destined to follow the same path as his grandfather, father and uncles before him. They all proudly served in the United States Army, and his grandfather went so far as to become an investigator for the Criminal Investigations Detachment within the Army. Also being a respectful man, Aram heeded the advice of his grandfather and father when they advised him to attend college and earn a degree before enlisting in the Army, as life within the Army can be relatively rough if you’re not an officer. By enrolling after having a college degree, he could finish boot camp with the rank of 1st Lieutenant, which would also make him the first U.S. Army officer within the family. This concept brought a great sense of pride for Aram, and his mind was set, off to Cal State University – L.A. it was after high school graduation. It was during his fraternity days with Sigma Alpha Epsilon at CSULA that Aram was introduced to the concept of a career in law enforcement and his intentions quickly turned from a career in the U.S. Army to an equally honorable career as a police officer.
Aram’s law enforcement career began with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department where he enjoyed his five year tenure, however, he felt limited in his community service abilities. He had a desire to make a greater impact in one community, rather than being spread across an entire county. Holding fast to his faith, Aram did as he always does when he comes to a crossroad in life, he prayed. He prayed for God to guide him to the department where his talents and interests would be best utilized to carry out His will. This led Aram to the El Monte Police Department, the 7th largest city in L.A. County, known for its tough streets and Hispanic gang culture. He quickly moved up the ranks within El Monte PD, due to the gang experience he had gained during his time with the Sheriff’s Department. He was promoted to Gang Specialist, Community Relations Officer, Detective, and is currently a Corporal within the Detectives Bureau, making him the front line supervisor in a very busy division. He is currently up for another promotion, this time for a Sergeant’s position, which by the grace of God, he will hopefully achieve by the end of the year.
To say Aram’s life has been blessed by God is certainly an understatement. Because he has been a faithful servant to God he enjoys good health, has a wonderful wife and family, and has a career that he loves. By following the dreams that God has placed in his heart and mind, he was brave enough to throw caution into the wind by opening an online supplement company, which has continuously grown month after month. Being a shrewd businessman, Aram has taken advantage of using facebook for the bulk of his marketing, rather than purchasing expensive advertisements in magazines, which helps keep his overhead costs to a minimum, and he passes those savings on to the consumer. He also has the support of a select few athletes, his “Sponsored Athletes,” who believe in Aram, his principles, the company, and the cause itself. These athletes proudly represent the 911Strong.com brand and promote the company to the best of their abilities to help it to continue to grow at record pace.
Nobody reaches the top without some help along the way, and Aram is no different. When he first began this quest, he had troubles getting started. He would call supplement manufacturers to try to purchase the products at wholesale cost, but they turned him away, telling him he had to purchase from the distributors like everyone else does. By cutting out the middleman he could keep his prices low, which was the original concept behind creating this business in the first place, to be able to sell the best products at the lowest prices. Along the way, Aram had struck a friendship with Joshua B. Smith, owner of a supplement company called NRG-X Labs. Joshua and Aram struck a quick friendship as they both have a strong Christian background and both support public service. Joshua kindly allowed Aram to purchase his products from him direct, so Aram began 911Strong.com selling NRG-X products exclusively. Perhaps it was divine intervention, but shortly after 911Strong was up and running, the same manufacturers who originally turned Aram down in his previous requests to purchase from them direct, were now calling him trying to get in on this new niche in the supplement sales market. People higher in command than the people Aram had been dealing with all saw Aram’s vision, and couldn’t believe that the public service niche had gone completely unnoticed and untapped this entire time. They were more than happy to invest in 911Strong.com, and Aram’s vision had become a reality.
Because of the quick success Aram has enjoyed with 911Strong.com, other companies have accused him of cheating in order to get ahead. Being a man of such deep faith, I assure you, the words Aram and Cheat are not synonymous. It is not in his genetic make up to cheat. As a matter of fact, Aram believes in Honor, Integrity and God so much that he is one of only a few businesses not afraid to claim those attributes on his website under the “About Us” section. Instead of cheating, Aram does what most companies won’t do, and that is: relying on his people skills to create relationships with people in the industry. Joshua Smith introduced Aram to the man who has become Aram’s best friend that he’s never met, Michael Marcanio, owner and CEO of Big Rig Supplements. Michael was a retailer just like Aram when they first met, but Michael had been in business for a while and was able to teach Aram the ropes and helped him through some growing pains with the business. To Michael’s success, he has turned his retail shop into a Brand Name and has marketed two products that are quickly becoming household names: Body Ignition and N.O. Xhaust. Because they shared the same morals and principles, Aram believed in Michael as a person and as a business owner, so he invested in his products and 911Strong quickly became the #1 retailer in North America of both of those products.
As the America prepares to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks of September 11th, 2001, 911Strong.com is preparing to celebrate its one year anniversary of successful business in the supplement sales industry. Aram’s life has been a whirlwind of activity this past year with the creation of 911Strong.com, while continuing to work his police job with the El Monte Police Department, and having a family which includes 3 young children to take care of. Aram continues to live his life and run his company, with his Christian morals and values in tact. His 911Strong facebook fan page is less than 300 fans short of reaching his goal of 1,000. Aram considers himself truly blessed to be able to say he has turned the idea of developing a company dedicated to America’s heroes and the supporters of this great nation, into a thriving business and the future looks bright ahead for 911Strong.com. There are no signs of depression or recession for this company, 911Strong is moving upwards!!
It has been an absolute honor for me to be one of the fortunate few who have had the privilege of calling themselves a 911Strong.com sponsored athlete. During the time that I have had the opportunity to know Aram, both as a person and as a boss, I have continually been impressed by his passion and his integrity. I will never forget the conversation we had one day when I was thanking Aram for standing behind me when my morals were called into question, and he said to me, “I learned a long time ago that integrity is something you have to live, not just believe in.” At that moment, I knew 911Strong.com was the perfect company for me to represent. I stand strong behind my morals and principles therefore, having a sponsor whose beliefs and values are equal to mine is a true gift from God. I feel that I was predestined to find Aram and 911Strong, and I also feel there was a divine intervention that my original sponsorship rejection email was sent to my spam folder where I was unable to find it. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
~ Isaiah 55:8-9 (King James Version)
God works in mysterious ways and I am forever thankful for God bringing Aram Choe into my life.
As always, thank you to my sponsors: 911Strong.com and Big Rig Supplements for your continued support of my personal and my bodybuilding goals. You have opened doors for me that I never dreamed possible. And thank you to my mentor and coach, Jennifer Abrams (www.jenniferabrams.net) for your guidance and support, and for making me believe that even the sky is NOT the limit.