Where did you grow up? Where else have you lived? Where do you currently live?
Though I love traveling now and cannot imagine a life without adventure, this was not always the case. Nowadays I find myself ever comfortable with the concept of a nomadic life. A polar opposite of my childhood dream of living in a sleepy small town with friends I grew up with since birth. Not sure which came first, the God-given desire for the new or the necessity of acclimating to the many new places I lived as a child. Either way I am grateful and wouldn’t change it for the world.
Though growing up in the UK as a kid and traveling about several major European countries for recreational pleasure has its benefits, in the end Southern California is home. I know this entire State like the back of my hand. I guess I came full circle and satisfied my craving for the normalcy of a small town life. Staying put in Redlands, CA for 8 years, well at least part-time. Experiencing life in this historical gem of a SoCal town is never a dull moment. Surrounded by “cool” hipster liberals with an incredible vision to put this little town on the map, is pretty darn satisfying. Home is now where the hand crafted coffee has me waiting for 20 minutes, the citrus beer is pretty much breathtaking, our organic artisan chocolate is life and cycling culture is legit, often attracting world-class athletes from around the globe.
Oh…and when I cannot take another second of historical-orange-grove–hipster-heaven, I book a flight to a less suburban location.
How would your family and friends describe you (in one word)?
It's always hard to assume what others, who know you better than yourself on so many levels, would say. Though I would love to hear powerful, hilarious, kind and even strong, more often than not I believe I'd hear positive. I pretty much can find the good in anything or anyone. Positivity has paved the path for my resourcefulness and ignited my fire for creating change. Ultimately pushing me to discover the best version of myself. I'd accept positive as a main selling point.
How would you describe your family (you can use more than one word, how do you enjoy spending your time together)?
Unconventional! I no longer have parents or grandparents and I’m not very close to my siblings, except for my oldest sister. The baby of the family with four siblings dispersed all over Southern California. Geographical strains make it challenging to see one another. When we do get together, you’ll find us enjoying hikes and cooking delicious eats. I’ve created a nice little family of very close friends, whom I spend the majority of my time with, celebrating special occasions and ringing in the holidays. I'm blessed with two incredibly special young daughters. These girls are the light of my life. They do their best to make the world a better place every chance they get. I can’t wait to see what they do in adulthood! Most days you will find us exploring our city, enjoying hikes, and taking in our local summer music festival (redlandsbowl.org). We also enjoy cooking up great cultural foods like beignets or gumbo and often enjoy outdoor bonfires and Disneyland.
What are the values that drive you (to succeed, in life, as a person, etc.)?
Without a doubt I am driven by a greater purpose. One that I cannot even truly comprehend. To that, I try not to get to caught up in nailing down what my purpose is but rather make sure I'm living out my ethos: "do good & inspire hope".
Staying true to ones authentic self in all areas of life is the first step to success in my book. This is easier said than done! Though after years of practice I’ve actually won this internal battle. To that, I have a deep-rooted sense of these three in my life:
Responsibility, Optimism & Compassion
What is the most random thing you’ve ever watched all the way through on Netflix?
I’m pretty adventurous when it comes to Netflix. If I’m being completely honest here, I have watched an ungodly amount of random flicks on the Netflix as well as Hulu. My most recent comes in the form of a documentary on the tiny house trend. This film explores the world of small dwellings. Most often they are no more than 500 feet in the entire space including all the essential rooms and features that a traditional home would have. Overall super interesting, but I still wanted to keep my traditional 1200+sqft home.
Shark diving, bungee jumping, or sky diving?
Some people are adrenaline junkies as kids and typically grow out of it. I was the opposite. I grew into my craving for an adrenaline filled life. With a deep love for the ocean and a love for sharks, I have to go with shark diving. Fun fact! I once dated a shark attack survivor, who even after losing his leg to a shark gained incredible perspective and now travels the world as an advocate for sharks.
Where would you like to go on vacation if you had a month off and money was no object?
Hands down Africa with my girls to build water wells for remote villages. This has been a passion of ours for years and to experience this vast country while creating a life changing resource for many underserved people, would literally be a dream. I'm sure that we would take in a safari and eventually venture down to South Africa, soak up the picturesque beaches and pay homage to the great Nelson Mandela.
What is your favorite tech tool and why?
Too many to choose from so here is my top five:
1. Mac Book Air: Hands down my favorite computer EVER and super powerful for such a small guy.
2. My iPhone: Not sure how I ever got along with him!
3. The Apple Health App: I find this a nice alternative to a Fitbit, sure it’s not as accurate but I’m easing my way into an Apple watch purchase.
4. The Apple Podcast App: I’m a little obsessed! Those who know me well deal with my incessant podcasting habit. I crave education like a fat kid craves cake so I find Podcasts feed my insatiable hungry for knowledge- well as long as you find the right ones. Can I get a “fact check” amen!
5. Evernote: Because I gotta jot notes down from all those podcasts ; ) Pretty obsessed with the web clipper tool they have. I run across so much on the web and honestly bookmarking is not the most efficient way of saving info so this little guy is a must for me.
Where is your favorite place to go on a weekday afternoon when you have no plans or obligations?
This one is hard so I will split it up into two answers:
Locally: My city is nearly 130 years old and nestled among orange groves as old as the city itself. I love taking in beautiful Victorian-era architecture and delighting my senses in local artisan imports. A long walk followed by a visit to my favorite local shops is the sure best way to enjoy a chill afternoon.
· Best Coffee House: http://www.augies.coffee
· Unreal Ice Cream: www.alaminuteicecream.com
· Pure (sustainably farmed) Chocolate: http://www.parliamentchocolate.com/
· Ridiculous gluten free/vegan treats and pizza: www.bricksandbirch.com
· Artisan Grilled Cheese: http://www.cheesewalla.com/
· The cutest local hangout you ever did see: http://oliveavenuemarket.com
1hr Drive: I live in such a central location. About an hours drive to LA, the Mountains, beautiful Southern California beaches and the desert.
My favorite 1hr. or less driving destinations:
- LA: www.griffithobservatory.org
- Mountains: Lake Arrowhead Aztec Falls for hiking and chilling by the waterfalls.
- Beach/OC: Hands down thousand step beach. Yes it’s a trek to get down there and even harder to get back up but my goodness it’s well worth the journey. I love that it’s pretty deserted (wonder why) and is home to many caves, cool rock formations and my personal favorite the natural pools (see link) http://www.amazingplacesonearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Laguna-Beach-Pool.jpg
Or if I’m not necessarily feeling the actual beach, I head over to Disneyland.
- Desert: I often find myself taking quick day trips out to Palm Springs to enjoy the picturesque mountain backdrop and the crazy cool vintage vibes. The Ace is my favorite spot https://www.acehotel.com/palmsprings offering yearly day passes to the grounds, which include a super cool pool area. Highly recommend if anyone's headed to Coachella this year. It’s even super family friendly with outdoor patios equip with fire pits great for s'more roasting!
What is your secret to remote-work success?
Wouldn’t say I have a secret sauce, but I’m a pretty well organized individual by nature. Might I add a recovering control freak/ people-pleaser. Over the years I’ve actually worked on my own quite a bit which can sometime get pretty lonely. Since joining the team I relish in Slack convo’s when I'm in need of some freaking human interactions.
In any work environment assessing my day and prepping for the next has always been my way of life. I believe creating your own schedule each day with the top three goals to meet, is vital to success. Not only in a traditional setting, but also for sure in remote. I have a standing desk in my home office, which is my saving grace! I set timers for walks throughout the day to keep active. I will say my #1 secret to remote work success is gratitude! The majority of our world leads an 8-5 traditional work life filled with traffic jams and over caffeinated colleagues. I am blessed each and everyday to lead a life of calm and comfort, where I don’t have to choose work over my child’s school performance. I can literally schedule everything in and work late into the night or start working a bit earlier to meet deadlines. So yeah, I guess I do have a secret sauce…Gratitude.
What is the weirdest scar you have and how did you get it?
A life long klutz that seems I've passed down the trait to my oldest daughter, I find my body is pretty filled with scars. Bad thing…not so much, scars are simply proof that you’ve lived! From falling through stairs or the removal of my gallbladder (not fun) I’m quite the imperfect human body. I do have one interesting scar, well not necessarily a scar but rather a permanent bruise. On my right leg directly on the vastus lateralis muscle to be exact, you’ll notice a faint large bruise. One year I continued to get hammered with bruises in the same exact spot (result of my adrenaline junkie addiction I guess) and it just never went away. Strange...I know!
If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
I have a deep love for classical music. Actually it’s pretty standard that if we are driving we're listening to classical (well if I’m driving). However, I also have a major obsession for jazz, Bob Marley, blues, Coldplay, Drake, electronica, Drake. But one song…
Ahhh the agony! Do I have to choose one? Can’t I compile a sound track?
1. Top Album: “Thriller” by Michael Jackson. I grew up on vinyl and this was one of my coveted albums. This album is everything good that was my childhood with a home filled with music from Lionel Riche to John Coltrane to Aerosmith.
2. Stop everything and sing: "Valerie" Amy Winehouse & Coldplay "Fix You"
3. Always makes me feel better: Hillary Scott "Thy Will"