Profile: Wayne Coffey
Founder & Board Member
“I believe that God puts trials in our life and we have to look for the silver lining in our struggles. I wouldn’t be able to talk to people if it didn’t happen to me.”
Wayne Coffey of Coffey & Company is a man with kind eyes and a warm smile. He is a dedicated businessman whose insurance company provides a sense of security to thousands of clients around the world. As President and CEO, Wayne works hard to ensure that everyone his company serves is treated with integrity. And though we’d like to think that everyone holds this virtue close to their hearts, Wayne’s desire to treat others rightfully runs a bit more personally.
In addition to being the head of a successful business, Wayne is also the founder of the non-profit organization No More Stolen Childhoods (NMSC) which aims to change the public’s perception around childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and offer healing to its adult victims. Wayne himself had been abused as a child by his uncle and godfather. Though this happened in his younger years, it wasn’t until Wayne was well into his 40’s, had a family of his own, and a life separate from his parents and siblings that he had even begun to come to terms with his trauma.
When he was 45, he took his uncle to court for the abuse he had endured. Even though his uncle admitted to abusing him for eight long years, from the age of 5 to the age of 13, he was only sentenced to three years of probation without supervision and was advised to continue seeing a therapist.
After years of pent up rage and a secret that brought him deep shame, Wayne went on a trip with other insurance executives to California, where he met Monty Roberts, a horse whisperer living on his own ranch. Having worked on a farm himself, Wayne did not believe in the Monty’s power and questioned his ability to connect with the horses. As a result, Monty asked Wayne to return to the ranch for another visit, this time on a personal trip. Not long after, Wayne and his wife, Dolores, returned. It was then that Wayne opened up to Monty about his abuse. In response, Monty challenged him to do something good with all of the trauma he had endured.
Monty had planted a seed that hadn’t even crossed Wayne’s mind before. “I didn’t even think about it. I was more concerned with my [own] healing.” Now, he had both the tools and empowerment to create something that would offer a new, more far-reaching sense of healing to both to himself and others.
After this life changing visit, Wayne confided in his friends at Vistage, the largest group of CEOs in the world. They were the first group that Wayne told about his childhood sexual abuse. He felt as though the professional and personal closeness that he had formed with his colleagues there cultivated a safe and supportive space for him to share his experiences. His friends at Vistage were not only eager to hear his story, but felt strongly enough about Wayne’s mission that a number of them even sat on No More Stolen Childhood’s original board of directors. Others hosted galas at their estates in support of the organization’s fundraising events.
“I’ve always had a faith, but when I finally tried to understand the process of my abuse, that’s when my faith got stronger.”
Now in its fourteenth year, No More Stolen Childhoods has helped change the lives of many individuals who have been impacted by childhood sexual abuse. Knowing that statistically, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18 in the United States alone, it came as no surprise to Wayne that at least one person has approached him every time he has given a presentation or someone has read his book, which recounts his journey through his trauma, and share their own story of abuse.
For Wayne, “The most rewarding thing for me is getting a phone call from somebody out of the blue who can’t remember who gave them the book but [tell me], ‘Now I’m six months drug free.’”
The impact of Wayne’s story has been far and wide and has inspired individuals to take back control of their lives after years of believing that they couldn’t. Since its humble beginnings in 2004, Wayne has been intentional about gradually taking a back seat in leading NMSC’s mission and letting others take charge in furthering the organization in a way that goes beyond his single story.
With this shift in both leadership and gaze comes a new opportunity for Wayne to tell a different story: one that centers around hope and healing rather than the pain of abuse. He hopes to write a sequel to his first book that talks about what he has accomplished since first coming to terms with his abuse.
Through the work of No More Stolen Childhoods and his personal story, Wayne hopes to tell everyone that they are not defined by their abuse and have many opportunities to move forward. “You can have a more fulfilling life,” he says.
Wayne’s story of survival and resiliency is an inspiration to all who are willing to listen to and learn from his story. No More Stolen Childhoods aims to offer that same empowerment and opportunity for rebirth to everyone touched by the horrors of childhood sexual abuse, one person at a time.