Micah Chase ‘84

After graduating from Trinity-Pawling in 1984, Micah Chase went on to earn his BA and MBA at the University of Rochester. He headed West after graduation and was working in Silicon Valley in the virtual reality industry when his father persuaded him to join in a new start-up invitation business.

It was in this capacity as a young entrepreneur that Micah realized the tremendous value of three key lessons learned through Trinity-Pawling’s Effort System.

Lesson One placed a premium on the importance of always doing your best. It was ok if you didn’t know everything, as long as you were bold enough to ask for help when needed. Failure was not a problem as long as you got up after being knocked down and you tried again. At Trinity-Pawling, Micah learned that, “…the key is to persevere through challenges until you come out the other side with a success or a lesson.”

Lesson Two was the ability to work through uncertainty. “We weren’t allowed to freeze when facing something we were uncertain about. We just had to do it,” Micah recalls. This skill helped enormously when Micah joined his father in business. Micah’s father, Arthur Chase, was busy serving the people of Massachusetts as a state senator so Micah relied on the self-reliance and perseverance learned at T-P which enabled him to find the answers he needed to keep growing the business.

The third lesson Micah learned at T-P that fuels his innovative management style hinges on courage. The T-P Effort System helps students discover what they are good at and what they can contribute to the world. “Each person finds their own beat and that takes courage,” explained Micah. “And courage is cultivated at T-P.”

These lessons have not only helped Micah make Checkerboard, his high-end stationery and invitation business, the gold standard in the industry, but they have also made it a great place to work.