Adaptive triathlete Hector Picard is redefining inspiration. In 1992, he lost his arms in a near-fatal electrical accident. Today he’s competing in triathlons around the world and making news as the first double-arm amputee to race in the famed IRONMAN in Kona, Hawaii.
We talked with Steve Hardwick, CMO of Novation Settlement Solutions to learn more about the Hector Picard-Novation partnership. In this interview, Steve shares how Hector’s relationship with Novation naturally evolved from customer to sponsored athlete and discusses the many ways Hector inspires the Novation team and the world at large.
How did Novation’s relationship with Hector evolve to sponsorship?
When we met Hector, we found a kindred spirit. Hector is genuinely dedicated to helping people, which is also at the core of Novation’s mission. It’s one thing to advertise that idea, and we do, but it’s entirely another thing to put someone who we’ve helped in front of people and allow him to tell his story.
It was a very natural evolution from customer to friend to partner. We just have some much in common and he’s such a joy to be around. Because there’s so much commonality, putting us together to do good was very easy.
What are the five words you’d use to describe Hector?
Brave. Authentic. Inspirational. Patient. Kind.
What has most impressed you about Hector?
His patience. I watch him move through things and sometimes it takes time, even more time than what has become his new normal. Sometimes things take a couple of tries, sometimes even more than that. But never once have I seen him become impatient or frustrated. He just focuses and gets it done. I aspire to have his level of patience.
You mentioned teamwork. Why do Novation and Hector make such a good team?
We make a good team because we share the same core mission: helping people. We do that in different ways, but we also did it together the same way we would with any of our valued customers. He’s the real deal and so are we. We know how important it is to get people a leg up on their finances and he knows how important it is to remind people to never give up. Same song sheet if you ask me.
Ask any triathlete and they tell you the secret to winning is not just being strong at all three sports, it’s in the transitions between each. How does Novation as a company help individuals with transitions?
It’s occurred to me that the transitions in triathlons are a little like life’s transitions: Moving from one thing to another can be challenging, especially when it comes to money and your finances. At Novation, we help people transition to better financial circumstances by unlocking the cash tied up in their long-term settlement payments. And that helps them transition to a better lifestyle.
It’s a big deal for a company to sponsor an athlete. What has Novation as an organization learned from Hector? Has he had an impact internally?
These are early days, but we’re learning that, together, we can do a lot. Hector is a joy to work with and he makes everyone inside Novation very proud to be part of the team behind him, helping him continue his good work.
What have you personally learned from Hector?
I’ve learned that nothing in my life is that difficult and I need to be more mindful to be grateful for what I have. I’ve often said to friends, “After meeting Hector, if I ever complain about ANYTHING, someone needs to knock me on the head!”
What’s the best way to reach Hector and book him for a speaking engagement?
Through his website, dontstopliving.org.