Michael Stidham never thought he would be a caretaker, but after
his mother unexpectedly passed away and his father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, Stidham learned the true meaning of loyalty
and service. He draws from these experiences in his autobiography, Love Equals Sacrifice: The Journey of Loyalty
and Service (Tate Publishing, March 2009), an emotional and moving journey of caring for an aging father, which ultimately
inspired Stidham to return to the Catholic Church.
most of my life, I was somewhat of a control freak," Stidham says. "But just because things are planned out,
don't assume life's going to be boring. Mine certainly hasn't been."
Born in Covington, Kentucky, and raised in Bellevue, Kentucky, Stidham grew up with four older brothers and sisters and
two loving parents, Harold and Martha. He and his siblings attended the same Catholic grade school that his
mother attended and the same Catholic Church where his parents met, fell in love and married. Stidham adored his family
but as with most teenagers, he thought he knew everything, which eventually caused him to drift away from his family's cherished
Catholic Church, St. Anthony.
Religious or not,
Stidham, always excelled in math and headed off to Northern Kentucky University in 1983. He graduated with a Bachelor
of Science in both Accounting and Information Systems in 1988. Young and ambitious, Stidham accepted an accounting
position with a small CPA firm in Sharonville, Ohio. It was there where he learned about the working world including,
the different facets of accounting.
After receiving his CPA
certificate, Stidham spent the next year trying to find another job. Interview after interview, he eventually decided
to venture out as an entrepreneur and bought a sports bar. It was there where Stidham spent the next 12 years.
"I had something to prove to myself, and even though it was very hard work, I spent the next 12 years of my life running
what turned out to be a very successful business," says Stidham, who was the eighth owner of the bar.
But once his mother passed away and his father fell ill, Stidham's dedication for his business receded. He sold the
bar and entered into his next role, a full-time caregiver for his aging father. It was then when he received his spiritual
awakening. After 25 years of being absent from religion, Stidham began praying regularly.
"At first, I was embarrassed because I could barely remember the words to the 'Our Father' and the 'Hail Mary,"
Stidham says. "But I quickly realized God is the best friend you'll ever have and not to be afraid to pray.
Even the longest journey requires you to take the first step."
Michael Stidham currently resides in Bellevue, Kentucky, where he is actively involved in The Knights of Columbus, the Kentucky
Society of CPA's and the Campbell County Game and Fish Association.