In this episode of Inform & Connect, Melody speaks with Scott Tennant, CEO and Founder of Senergy Medical Group, a holistic wellness company.
Scott is also a generous philanthropist, seeing philanthropy and giving back as a huge part of his life and work. His generosity and passion to raise awareness of critical issues and drive positive change is evident in his practice. He was the sole funder of the trailer for "A Daring Adventure,” which will eventually become an hour-length documentary film about Helen Keller, her life and times, and why she’s as relevant as ever today.
The conversation will center around Scott’s passion for helping others and what this project means to him as a partner of AFB.
“When I first learned about Helen Keller in grade school, she made me feel like I could do anything and more importantly, be comfortable with who I am as a person,” Scott says. “Now that I have seen the impact she made past her childhood, I am making it a priority to get her story out to communities, schools, and the world.”
Melody: ... topic we're going to be discussing, but before we get to that, I love being able to cool, really cool stories and seeing how they change people's lives. So today we have with us a very, very dear friend of mine and AFB and partner in crime, I'll say, Scott Tennant who is the CEO of Senergy Medical Group in Dallas, Texas. Hi, Scott.
Scott Tennant: Hi, Melody. How are you?
Melody: I'm so excited. I'm glad to be here with you today.
Scott Tennant: Me too.
Melody: I know. I'm so excited. So, let's talk to these guys, our fun audience, our family members, and I'm also going to do shout out to your Synergy family that I noticed here and with us walking today. Because I quick side note got to visit the Tennant Institute when I was in Dallas, right before COVID hit, and we had a blast. And I got to tell you what fun everybody is there. It can definitely tell where your values lie with the way everybody is. It just makes you feel at home.
Scott Tennant: Thank you. We had a great time.
Melody: You really did. Well, let's talk about what we've done this year, but to kick that off, I want to get people to know a little bit about you, Scott. Do you want to kind of talk us a little bit about Senergy, and you and how everything got started?
Scott Tennant: Sure, sure. So, my dad is Dr. Jerry Tennant, and he's an ophthalmologist by trade. When I was working for him, he found himself ill, and there wasn't a whole lot they could do. I didn't really know what it was. So he retired and took off on a new journey to basically find out what was going on. So he did, and that started to an Institute and Senergy Medical Group. So the Tennant Institute is his practice and he helps people find their root cause of their illness. And then Senergy Medical Group is there to support and to support the clients to get the supplements that they need and the medical devices to use to help their selves heal and feel better.
Melody: That is awesome. You know what? I really love the story you told me about when you were a kid and helping your dad out with the office, just about how you started your values there about caring for people and helping people and that kind of stuff. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Scott Tennant: Oh, sure. Sure. So, when I was 14, I started working in the accounting department, and that was fun and nice, and I learned lots of nice things. But I really wanted to be with him over treating the patients. And it was really amazing to see them getting treatment and the smile and the joy of when we help someone. And it just really set me up for what I really wanted life, was seeing that miracle of helping somebody get well. And that started the whole thing. And I love my dad and I loved the way he thinks outside the box and really, really digs for what is going to help the person get to where they need to be.
Melody: So, one thing I love about you Scott, I'm trying to spell because like when we talk about being there for one another, your values are so embedded into that. And it's just about helping people finding who they are as individuals, and we're going to talk. We'll get into that a little bit later here, especially with the diversity piece. But what I want to fast forward a little bit now is, we have started at AFB, a project of creating one hour documentary for Helen Keller. And when we found out that there was the sizzle reel, well, the trailer. We'll call it a trailer. Immediately, Scott here, we couldn't be doing what we're doing without him. He's really been, I'm going to say a big thank you for helping us. He's the totally funded that project. And Scott, what you kind of talk about what it is Helen Keller means to you and what this project started off, because we're going to walk everybody through what we've been doing, which has been so fun.
Scott Tennant: Sure. Sure. Once you asked me if I would help, the thing I remember is when I grew up, I grew up in a very small town. And just knowing there wasn't a lot to do there and a lot of opportunity there, and being a young man that knew that he was gay, and just trying to find your way through the world in that environment. And I remember when the teacher brought in a movie and it was the miracle worker, and we watched the movie. And what I noticed is there's a lot you can do, and there's a lot you can do for yourself and just move forward. And that's really all I knew was that I didn't really notice that it was really, Annie's story because all I knew it had ended when she said water, and that was pretty much all I knew. But the impact that Helen Keller made on my life was you can do things and you can make an impact. I think I'll survive here. And it was an automatic yes, because the world needs that now today.
Melody: No, I love that. I'm going to go back to the miracle worker because that's kind of how we [inaudible], until I really dove into our AFB Helen Keller archive was, I didn't know everything that Helen did past the time when she became a woman, but you and I had this major discussion about her finding the word water and the significance of that. I mean, that's when she really found her voice. That's like when the light switches, and I know about you and me. I think we all can agree that there is a time in our lives when something just switches, right?
Scott Tennant: Yeah, I do. And that was one of the first ones that I noticed, but it was funny it changed me, but I didn't notice it till we looked back.
Scott Tennant: And I do remember not too long ago, a lady I call my sister, Tina. She called me and she was a little disturbed and her child that's going to an advanced school. They told her to find someone that actually changed their life. And she came up with some TikToK star. So Tina, she said, "Well, Liz, why don't you find somebody important? Somebody like say, Helen Keller." And Leah said, "Who?" And it was like, time stopped for a minute for Tina. And then when she told me the same thing, my heart drops. It's like, "Wow, the TikTok star." And it was interesting because we had a chance to teach from that point of view about who Helen Keller was and what she did. And this was a good year before we had this conversation.
Scott Tennant: So.
Melody: And I think what I really like is moving forward. So we've had the opportunity to really work with Max and his team on the creation of... Even we'll just talk about the Trailer for today, which everyone can check out and we'll put the link in the chat box and also tell you 100 times, but it's afb.org/hKfilm. And what are some of the things? Let's talk about, what is something that really struck you about Helen, that she did that you didn't know that she did before?
Scott Tennant: Well, I really didn't know that she was that influential with say women's Suffrage, and that she travels so much and she was an ambassador and all the different things we're learning about just where she actually was. But it was amazing because somebody would have a hard time doing all those things now with all the resources we have.
Scott Tennant: It just amazes you when you look back at the archives is where she was and how she was able to do this. It boggles your mind.
Melody: It does. It really does. I don't think people maybe even know for me that she worked at AFB for over 40 years in her advocacy and that she was able to reach at so many levels, friendships relationships with Theodore Roosevelt and the Roosevelt's themselves, and for being able to bring... What really struck me was how she had that ability to bring people together, even during controversy.
Scott Tennant: Sure. Yeah. It's amazing. And I'm with you looking through the archives, as we're doing the research, working with Max, is it's astounding and you get trapped in there just learning. It's amazing.
Melody: It's there. Yes, for sure. When you look at kind of like the film and what we're doing with Helen Keller, what are some other... I know we talked about those two things, but also about her fight for equality.
Scott Tennant: Sure, sure. I think with the way she just tackled things is she didn't seem to see anybody any different. She treated everybody the same. And we talked a little earlier about deaf, blind and how people see it as a disability. Well, it's not. It's a different ability in the way she even tackled herself and what she could do in the way she helped other people see that. And it was so far reaching that not only the people she touched, but the people that she still touches today, just from her example. And I think we're going to release some things that are going to surprise people that she did that much, but it's just so far reaching.
Melody: It is. And I don't think [inaudible] for me it was another [inaudible] is that she traveled to 39 countries. And the way that she was able to not only go and ask for change, but she commanded it.
Scott Tennant: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Quite gracefully.
Melody: Yeah. Yes. Quite nicely, yes. She totally... And just with the way she even wrote to people, like when you walk through the archives or the pictures, she compliments them well. But also says, and it's the reason why I come to you because I know you have this in your hearts. Because you have this in your heart, this is what I'm asking. I mean, within Japan too, but being able to visit there and how she was so well adored.
Scott Tennant: True, true, true. And it's nice to see how you can find people reacting to her in the old films. They were intrigued how she was able to do this and touch their heart.
Melody: Yes. Okay. And do that and then also being able to develop schools for the blind and she does in Japan. And also the critical work she did for our veterans.
Scott Tennant: Sure, sure. It's absolutely just amazing. And it's wonderful to be involved in the project and to see the backside of how it's created and just know how we're going to bring her into this modern age to say, here's who she really was and give people that idea that they're looking for. What next. A little bit scared about what the world's going to be like in the next couple of months as things opened back up.
Scott Tennant: But an example of somebody who did things in all the diversity that hit her in her life, but to move forward and to make change and to do good and be good.
Melody: Yes. And what I also is, the way that she did this in speaking truth. She was not, I think in this world with this, what we're dealing with now, there's so much division. And now the push, even in our Centennial at AFB for, inclusion knows no limits is our theme. And I really feel like this project is like the centerpiece of what it is we are doing here at AFB, and our programs is really elevating her into bringing her into this current stage of life and where we are.
Scott Tennant: Sure, sure. It's going to be a miracle project, I think.
Melody: So, one of the things I do want to talk about is you can tell that is we did have the opportunity for meeting with about six of Helen Keller's descendants. How fun was that?
Scott Tennant: Oh my gosh. That was amazing. That was amazing, and to know that they spend a lot of time in Dallas, which is where I'm from.
Melody: Yes, yes. And to hear [crosstalk]. Yes, and the stories that they told about her and her favorite food at the end of the day, it was a hot dog with mustard only, and a nice martini. Just really humanizing her, and I think that's so important because there's so many. I know for myself, when I look at Helen Keller. She seems so untouchable to me, but there are so many things that I see her doing into practice that actually, I've put into practice myself when it comes to even my personal and professional life. Can you talk? Have you done any of those [inaudible]? I know we've talked about this. I know you've done the same.
Scott Tennant: Yes, yes. I think by learning from her, and then I noticed this from her early life too, is I did look for diversity. I looked from people that I could learn from, and looked for their strengths, because whether it's just seen, quote disability or invisible disability, there's a strength there that somebody has to get through. And when you see the sameness in someone else, then you can find the strength that you each have and you can share that and grow together. So, it's given me more of that. You I can find that more so than others.
Melody: I love... Well, let's talk a little bit about diversity. And we're going to use it into a fun story about us to play off of that. When we were there in January, we're talking about... I love how you say that you find diversity in your life. Can you tell me why that's so important to you?
Scott Tennant: Gosh. I just like learning, and I always said that I find that every bad thing, every good thing in my life is a stepping stone or a lesson. And so, I noticed that when I was younger, I'd find people that were friends that were Chinese from Hong Kong. And it was interesting because I was interested in their life and what they could teach me, and we learned from each other, and it was a very interesting relationship because it joined us together in the difference. And so I found that just different people that I've found that have a disability, they keep moving, and they find a different way. It's a strength which makes everybody grow.
Melody: I love how you said that. I think what I really have learned from diversity is that you do find at the end of the day, all of our differences is what makes us stronger when you choose to unite.
Scott Tennant: Sure. Yeah. Yeah.
Melody: Even when it comes to your driving your car, which he did let me do by the way.
Scott Tennant: Yeah. That is true.
Melody: Yes. But I do want to talk about that in the sense of that being a very... Although I hadn't driven since I lost my eyesight and he let me do that, which was great when I visited it. But what was great about it, you guys, I know it's really fun and it was funny, but it did put us at a different bonding level to where there was a trust, right? He drives a Maserati. Okay? And even if it wasn't that, but it's the fact that there is this trust issue that really, I think in our society today is so lacking.
And when you find that, it really, to me when Helen Keller says, I'm going to go back to some of her quotes is this like, some say that life has treated me unkind and she has troubles in her heart. I'm not paraphrasing this, but at the end... And she thinks about the blessing of friendship. She disregards all like no negativity against her life. And it's true. It's so simple, but it's so true. And I love that we're sitting here just having these discussions that I think everything we've talked about is what we can practice in our own individual lives today.
Scott Tennant: Yeah. Yeah. I agree. I agree. And I think it's moving forward, it's doing good. It's finding good in the world. It's finding that trust, like you said. And that was what was interesting about us. We were very new friends, and what we both came into it in our lives was the possibility of... And what we're here for to do good and do good for others. And we had fun in the experience of, all things are possible, no limits.
Scott Tennant: No limits. We changed circumstances to make it possible for you to drive the car, which was fairly easy to do. Life doesn't have to be that hard, and it wasn't, and it was fun. And we learned, and it was fun.
Melody: It was, and it's something that I'll always treasure. And now fast forward to here, I love how you said no limits because again, that's our tagline and our mission statement, is that we really need to stop putting limits on each other and ourselves. I think we do that a lot and think that things are unattainable, but they are, if we just sit back and be open-minded and look at diversity. Diversity is such a beautiful thing and it can open up so many minds, hearts and souls. So thank you so much for that, Scott. It's been a real pleasure working with you and I thank you. So again, I think you on behalf of AFB too for kicking us off and doing this. Your spirit is just so contagious and it's been a real joy. I've learned so much from our friendships. So thank you so much.
Scott Tennant: Thank you. And thank you for allowing me to do that into work with you guys, because each and every one of you is totally amazing with huge hearts. And the caring and the opportunities you bring to people and looking out for people is just amazing. So thank you.
Melody: Thank you so much. We are already at [inaudible], which is crazy to me. That's like five minutes, but I want to go ahead and kick it off to John. And thanks again, Scott. I just want to be sending you a big hug.
Scott Tennant: Totally. Back at you.
Melody: Thank you.
John: Thank you, Scott. Thank you, Melody. Scott, from what you have learned about Helen Keller, how would you put her methods into practice in your life?
Scott Tennant: Oh gosh. I really already started and every single day I learned something different about her, and what she means to other people. One of the questions I love asking people when I tell them about the project is what did Helen Keller mean to you? And it's interesting because everybody says water, but then they stop and they say, "It meant I could be somebody." And that seems to be kind of a common theme. So, to bring that back into my life is, it just gives you that peace of mind that you do make a difference. So, that's how I think I've added it to my life.
John: Do you find others understand Helen past what we've all seen in the Miracle Worker?
Scott Tennant: Yes. And that's interesting because what I notice is, I noticed that people come back a day later and they have left when I asked them that question. They came back and they said, "This is what I found, oh my gosh. Let me send you what I found." And it started a whole new discussion of wonderment, I think. The past and the history of what was happening at the times and what she possibly was thinking. Pretty amazing, actually. So yeah, they are seeing the possibility that she can give.
John: And how do you see this effecting positive change in the realm of diversity and inclusion?
Scott Tennant: Wow, wow. I see that, especially as the documentary comes out. I think more and more people will see to reach out to find others and find the commonality. I really feel that the interest that I'm seeing is creating that in people in just when I saw this as a real about you see all the things that she has done just to briefly. I mean, it's only like four minutes and that's just the beginning of what we found. But it's really making people think that they can do it.
Melody: Yeah, I agree. It's definitely giving a pause. I'm just going to add that in. It's just giving a pause and saying, "Okay, wait, let me take a step back and reevaluate my life." and looking at her as just a person.
Scott Tennant: Sure. Yes, yes. And I think that's good is, yes, she's a person. I think that's the way she actually went through her life is, I think if you really look back at it that she was just a person in her own mind and she was just doing good. There wasn't any motive behind what she was doing. It was just what was right.
Melody: Even when it became a little bit uncomfortable, because there were times definitely uncomfortable, and it wasn't all she fought. I mean, she was a fighter.
Scott Tennant: Yes. Yes, and it was always for the right. It was always to be right, and make it right, and that's what I think we all need to strive for. And I think that's what we're looking for right now that everybody's so scared with what's happening in the world. Now what? We've been locked down. What's the world going to be like? And we all thrive and hunt for and search for just seeing our friends again.
Melody: Right. And Helen lived through the Spanish influenza. And if you go our archive or like, she [inaudible] beautiful quotes on how she kept and how she moved through that time.
Scott Tennant: True. True. Yeah. Yeah. It gives us so much, and it was a long span and that she actually was involved in things. The world war and the suffrage and how that changed the world just because it was happening here, but it changed the view of what a woman can do.
Scott Tennant: And any one piece you can drill down into and it's important. It's important. And I think that's what people's looking for now. They just have not had that. A role model that actually fits with good.
John: Right. Hey guys, sorry. My, my internet dropped for a second, so if I was quiet for a really long moment, that was why.
Melody: It's the Zoom world we're living in.
John: We have a comment and a question in the chat, but as these minutes go by very quickly, I want to mention the Trailer. Where can we see the Trailer?
Melody: So we can see the Trailer. If you visit afb.org/hkfilm, you can go to that link and you can see the Trailer. It's eight minutes long, I think. But it is packed with beautiful images from our archive. It's fully accessible because inclusion knows no limits. So it has audio description and also captioning as well, and you can find it there. And what I would love more than anything is for people to take a look. Go visit our archive as well, and come back to us at AFB, and let us know what you saw. Come back to me or Scott, or anybody and things that you want to talk about, because there's going to be, trust me, things that you just have never seen that are going to touch your heart completely. Let's get to that one question.
John: Okay. Well, let's start with the comment, and this is from our friend in past informant connect guest, Mark Reynolds. He shares an anecdote. As a Brit, the story I've always remembered is her house with the rope outside, but she could live a normal life without relying on other people as a way to cross the yard of sorts.
Melody: Oh, I love that quote.
Scott Tennant: Wow. Nice. It is.
John: Little anecdote. So Scott curious, our audience is very curious. Do you have a favorite Helen Keller quote or maybe one particular moment that surprised you?
Scott Tennant: Gosh. We mentioned it and right now, I don't have it in front of me the actual quote, but there was something about where Helen Keller, the world became my child. And I think that says a whole lot about how she cared for other people, because she wasn't able to have a family or didn't have a family. And I really think that says a lot about who she is in the way she cared about people, is that it was nurturing and helpful and to help people move forward way past where they ever thought they could be. So, yeah. Yeah. I think that's my favorite quote. I'd have to get it for real. I need it here somewhere in my office, but it's huge. I think it's huge.
Melody: It is. I think if we all looked at the world that way, we'd be in a different place.
Scott Tennant: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. To me, it's just very motherly and kind and loving. And to me, it just really kind of encapsulates what I see when I see anything that she did or the outcome in the actions that she took and the group she worked with is loving and kind and nurturing in the end.
Melody: It is. Well, Scott, thank you so much for being here with us today. And before we go, if people wanted to learn more about you or get in touch with Synergy, how could they do that?
Scott Tennant: Sure. So, you can go to our website, which has Senergy with an E. So it's S-E-N-E-R-G-Y.US. And that's our main website, and you can reach us there and we can get back to you.
Melody: Thank you so much. Do you have any social media handles? So you wanted to...
Scott Tennant: That's actually the easiest way to find me. You can find me @Scott Tennant on Facebook, and I'd love for you to come in and become my friend, and we can share our lives together.
Melody: Oh, thank you so much. Well, you guys thank you for being here with us today. I really enjoyed this angle of this discussion. Just finding out things that we've learned. So again, it's afb.org/hkfilm. See our Trailer, and also you can visit afb.org/100.