My Second Father

Welcome to a blog dedicated to Duane Ausherman by Vanessa Madrid Martinez.

Duane’s a man who has changed many peoples’ lives; however, is a man who some love or hate and no in-between.  This blog is an opportunity for people to share their stories and experiences related to how Duane has changed their lives.  I thank everyone in advance for contributing to this blog and to Duane’s legacy. I invite you to click on the “Student Posts” link at the bottom left of the page to read the contributions to this blog. I also invite you to contact me at to contribute to this blog.

It is so difficult to try to synthesize how Duane has changed my life but I’ll provide a synopsis regarding our connection; I first met Duane during my senior year of high school, which I had no clue would be a catalyst in my life.  Duane and I clicked immediately, especially when he began unraveling the world to me.  When Duane asked what I wanted to do with my life, my reply to him was that I wanted to be a psychiatrist; Duane knew it would not be a good fit for me.  My plan was to go to UC Davis because it was the only option I had heard of aside from the community colleges.  Duane told me about Cottey College, an ivy-league prep women’s college and he helped me obtain a full-ride scholarship with money leftover.

After my first year of Cottey, I took my exams early and Duane arranged for me to teach English in the Czech Republic for seven weeks. I absolutely loved my time there and has been among many of the catalytic experiences that have changed my life forever.  I went on to graduate with a dual bachelors degree from UC Davis, debt-free, and continued working in the wireless telecommunication field, which Duane had introduced me to when we first met.  Duane’s network is so robust that he just made a couple of calls and before I knew it, I was leading the quality control and safety division of a renowned wireless company in a male-dominated industry.

It is impossible to write a short synopsis of how Duane has changed my life — and most importantly, how he continues to do so every day.  Duane has become an essential part of my life, my go-to person for any worthwhile decision.  Mr. Ausherman also helped me meet my husband, who is the brother of my Cottey sister; Duane is now a proud grandfather of two.  Duane and I communicate almost daily and I cannot imagine my life without him, my second father.  Duane is also my representative and I am so fortunate to have someone who I can trust with my affairs and money.