Tell me one thing on your bucket list.
Traveling, for the sake of actually traveling. I've been almost everywhere in the world as a tour manager with bands, but you're only there for a day and it's still work. Pretty much what we see is airplanes, venues, and tour busses. Even if we had a day off when we were traveling, you're mostly just happy that you have a bed in a hotel room to yourself and you just want to sleep. I want to go back to places I've been in Central and South America and just experience them not on tour; there are so many ancient places to see. Like Costa Rica—I've been there 10 or 12 times on tour, and only once to actually experience it.
What's something that people are surprised to learn about you?
Usually it's my affinity for heavy metal music because I don't really look the part, unless I'm wearing something where you can see my tattoos. I've never really "dressed the part" of a heavy metal fan. My older brother has a good sense of style, and I guess I got the way I dress from him. I know what matches and looks good together. But I definitely am a rock and heavy metal kid.
Why are you working in research?
I've always been techy, even when I was little, breaking apart radios and putting them back together. It's always been kind of my thing. Computers weren't really even out at that time, but when they did come out, I dove right into them. It was easy for me, programming and math and technology. Even when I was out touring with bands, I was doing programming on the side just to keep my mind going.
What's one thing you love about working at Bovitz?
The overall environment. It's not stuffy. Everyone is very laid back, everyone is really nice, and everyone is really helpful. It's really nice to see that, and it goes all the way to the top, from Greg on down, everyone really wants to help and make sure that everyone else is doing ok. That's really cool.
Why is being people-first important to you?
In my role, being people-first means making sure I do the best I can to help our teams accomplish their goals. I want to make sure each of them has a good experience in getting their projects started off on the right foot. I truly believe that one can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.
Tell me about one of your colleagues.
The two people I've known the longest are Debbie and Steve. Debbie is fantastic—extremely intelligent and very driven. And Steve just has a really good overall picture of what needs to get done; I know the way to get things done, but he can see the bigger picture and how we might want to do things differently for a good reason. We're a really good team. We've worked together for 10 or 11 years, and I don't think we've ever had an argument. He's a big reason why I'm here.
Do you have a hero?
My mom is the strongest person I've ever met. She came here with nothing and was able to do really well. She died of cancer, but she battled it to the end for a good ten years. But it never brought her down; she would be like, "I'm just going to keep going." Her strength has always been amazing to me. I couldn't do what I saw her go through.
What's one of the best pieces of advice you've ever gotten?
From my mother, just don't dwell on stuff. Move on. If you dwell, it just eats at you. If something bad happens and it's out of your control, just move on; don't dwell on it. I don't hold grudges. If something happens one day, the next day is a new day, and I'm over whatever happened. Growing up, that's just how our household ran; if two people got into an argument, they just dealt with it and moved on.
What's something that you're really proud of?
My son. He's a great kid. He's now in his junior year of college and kicking butt. I never really got the whole thing about why kids are so great. They're not great; they're a pain. But to see him now, I'm starting to understand that a little more. I can look at him and say that I actually raised a decent human being who's going to be productive in society, and not just another statistic. I'm proud of that.
What's your happy place?
Riding my motorcycle. Just being out there on my own—just me, the bike, and the road. There's nothing else. Your head is clear. You have to clear your head because you have to concentrate so much on everything else around you. I like that—just getting on my bike and everything else just clears out and I'm just going.
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