Hobby Jam

What People Do For Fun

Menu Close

Chris Kaiser

Chris Kaiser is a Pennsylvanian Vermonter that comes from a large family with three brothers, two sisters and an army of nieces and nephews.  Spending all of his time split between the woods and a baseball diamond, Chris is an outdoorsman, that has unknowingly been engaged in a hobby since his first home at the age of 24.   After successfully building businesses since the fifth grade, Chris Kaiser now finds himself applying his creative knack and attention to detail to the art of property beautification.   This is not landscaping, but rather a “bigger picture” view of your entire living area.

What is your hobby?

Some call it landscaping, but I call it property beautification.  Why have three different properties, with three different usages, and pay three sets of taxes?

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

When I was 24 I bought my first home and became infatuated with creating interesting paths, hang out areas, gardens and usable appeal.  Instead of a square lawn with a typical garden, I wanted more substance.  A campfire area back near the woods, so it felt like a getaway, a lot of sea grass near the patio so it felt like the beach, an outdoor shower, some trails to walk in my woods.

Tell us what you love about it.

I think I love the creativity and exercise of this hobby the most.  The possibilities of things to create are endless, but they take labor.  Building a camping lean-to back on your property with some cross-country ski trails, including trail signs is so fun!  Utilizing building skills and digging, raking and cutting gives you all the exercise you could possibly want…and its outside.  The finished products for me are not just a bunch of plants and bushes neatly placed around your house for visual value, but rather they are usable finished products for good health, sport, and fun.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Generally, to do any property work, I need a few basics.  A good ax, shovel, pickax, rake, and chainsaw,  With those I can pretty much do anything.   Of course, as you get into this type of hobby you will find yourself wanting more.  A brush mower, fire rake, power screwdriver, hand saw and a hammer will allow you to build anything your heart desires.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I could spend hours in a Tractor Supply or hardware store.  Some people think its just boring hammers and nails, but I look around and get ideas.   Sometimes just seeing a particular bolt or saw gives me like 10 new ideas for an outdoor shower, floating dock for the pond or a new log hut for having coffee on a cold ski afternoon.

Are there any good books for beginners?

I have not really found any.  TV shows tend to do things with an army of people and a healthy amount of money.  I look at property beautification as using what is there.  Simple restructuring or cleaning up areas of your property to use them for something.  Like building a cool bench made out of a tree, specifically placed to watch the sunset for an hour.  Simple things like that.  If you do enough of them, suddenly you have a retreat.

How has this changed your life?

My hobby has allowed for another outlet to my creativity.  Fitness and the outdoors has always been the core of my life, but so has creativity.  When I look at any property whether its 1 acre or 100 acres, I see a blank canvas.  I feel as if the sky is the limit.  So doing property beautification not only increases the value of the property but allows for genuine hard work and an outlet.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

My advice to others trying to do some things to their property is simply draw a map or write it out first.   Sometimes I will draw an entire map of a three year plan, so I am not just spinning my wheels.  If its something you want, then its not wrong.  Meaning doing it your way, that makes you happy is usually the right way.   For things I have never done before, I will research a little on how others have done it, and then mix in my desire.   Again, this is not landscaping.  To me landscaping is just adding eye candy to parts of the house for color and feel.  Property beautification is much much bigger than that.  Its usable, functional and situational.

 

Michael Asimos

Michael Asimos is an entrepreneur who has managed to turn his passion for wine into a highly successful career.  As a native of Portland, OR, he has always demonstrated an exceptional understanding of wines, something that has helped spur his business ventures. Asimos spends a significant amount of time traveling different parts of the world to explore new opportunities and search for exquisite wine varieties for his clients.

The wine expert is also known for his love for jazz music. When he is not focusing on wines, he also likes spending time in travel destinations in Europe and across the Atlantic. This gives him a chance a refresh and take a new look at his ventures. It comes as no surprise that many wine lovers depend on his wine importing and exporting business to discover balanced wines for their own consumption or for sale across the United States.

Given this background, we decided to have a chat with Michael to discuss his professional career, among other things.

What is your hobby?

I have a deep passion for wines and I’m constantly learning about them. Whenever I get a chance, I love sharing everything there is to know about vino!

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

My passion for wine began many years ago when I was growing up in Oregon. I was exposed to a wide variety of wines and I could not resist but fall in love with the beverage. The passion grew stronger as I got older. This compelled me to invest a lot of time learning about wine. As a result, many people turned to me for advice or information about wine. It became a natural choice for me to start importing and exporting wine.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love that I can find so many opportunities to enjoy my passion right in my own backyard. I get to spend a lot of time exploring opportunities in California, which is a few hours’ drive. I have always been fascinated by the central coast wine country. It is one place that captures my imagination in a phenomenal way. When I visit the area, there is just so much to do that I often forget to relax and enjoy the sights of other parts of California.

Santa Barbara boasts some of the finest Pinot Noirs that can I recommend to anyone. My colleagues always urge me to take a break and visit the local pier, which is magnificent. Some of the restaurants in the area are simply irresistible.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

Wine tours are a great way to become familiar with wine! A wine tour, in an area like California, can translate to unforgettable moments for tourists. It boasts striking scenery and features some of the most expansive vineyards.

Local regions like Napa Valley provide sophisticated programs and facilities for touring. The procedures and visiting hours vary between regions and to some extent the vineyards. It is also common for wineries to welcome tourists only by appointment, so plan ahead.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought?

Do lots of wine, flights all over the world and gorgeous stem glasses count? If so, then yes. Definitely!

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

People ask me that all of the time, “Where do you purchase your wine?” My answer would be all over. I enjoy wine from all regions the globe, to high-end priceless bottles to even premium box wine.  What I am drinking depends on what mood I am in, or what I am blessed to be doing at the time.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Yes, absolutely! There are many books, guides and even apps to check out. I recently finished “What to Drink with What You Eat” by Andre Dornenburg and loved it. Many wine enthusiasts swear by it and I must say I am a big fan myself.

How has this changed your life?

To find your real passion in life, and to be able to make a living doing what you love, truly is priceless. I have had the great privilege of traveling the world, meeting lots of people along the way and of course, sampling the best wine you will ever taste. My adventures have been endless and I hope they continue for many years to come.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Have fun with it! Throw a wine party where everyone brings a bottle to try, pick up a guidebook, travel to a wine tasting near you.  There are numerous inexpensive ways to get started and I think that is the best route to begin. If you need additional tools follow me on Twitter and check out my website. I have many articles that will help.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I love Jazz! I think it is the most important music genre of all time and spend a lot of time traveling to Jazz festivals. Basically, my perfect day would be listening to Jazz, wine glass in hand.

Noelle Neff

Noelle Neff is a photographer and entrepreneur. She currently works and lives in Florida, and her business, Noelle Neff Photography, is based in downtown Miami. Neff is a graduate of the University of Miami.

Noelle’s business began out of a love for her art form. She has been taking photographs for over ten years, due to her love for capturing visual images. It was only two years ago that Noelle Neff Photography became an official business, but Noelle was building the business for years before it officially came into being.

Her client base originally came from word-of-of mouth relationships, but quickly grew to include the greater Miami area. As Noelle branched into digital marketing, her customer base continued to grown and expand. She focuses on wedding photography, but also works at speaking events and athletic events.

Her award-winning photography also includes portraits and photos of fine art. She is known for pushing the boundaries of the genre she decides to photograph, and her work has a distinct style. Neff credits this originality to the creative process that she has developed over the years.

In addition to honing her creative skill set, running her business, and taking photographs every day, Noelle also enjoys spending time at the beach, eating Japanese food, reading, supporting fellow entrepreneurs, and singing.

Neff has won several awards in the past years, since starting her business. Of these, she is most proud of the photography accolades she has received from her Alma mater, University of Miami.

What is your hobby?

Singing. I sing with an informal choral group, as well as on my own as a daily practice.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I got started with this hobby when I was in my early twenties. A friend of mine asked me to go to a “yoga class” with her, at a local Miami studio. I thought we were going to be stretching, and getting a work-out in! I was very surprised when we got to the class and it was all about sound. Mostly we listened to sounds, and then repeated them back. We were asked to see where the sounds vibrated within the body. This had a major impact on me because I could feel for myself what the sounds were doing within me — in my actual cells. This inspired me to start singing, mostly for the effect it had on my personal well-being.

Tell us what you love about it?

I love using my voice in an authentic way. One of the biggest challenges, I feel, for creative types is that we tend to get caught up in our own worlds. I’ll just speak for myself and say that when I am really in the zone at a photography shoot, I am completely living an inner experience. Voice is unique because it comes from inside the body but projects out into the world. I find that when I sing, I break the barrier between my inner world and my outer world.

Are there any groups that you’re apart of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

I am a part of an informal group of women who get together to sing. We try to meet once a week, but sometimes it turns into once every two weeks. My good friend, who introduced me to yogic chanting in my early twenties, facilitates the group.

Have you had to invest in any equipment, and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought?

This is interesting, because with singing, your body is the instrument. Yes, I have had to invest in my body! I keep my posture aligned, my cells hydrated and healthy, and my system fueled on high quality foods. One thing that I invested in recently was nutritional enzymes by Rainbow Light. I also buy music which inspires me, that I can sing along to.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I often shop at Whole Foods Market because I like knowing that they screen for toxic ingredients. I want my body to be happy! I shop for my music online, through my Apple account.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Yes, I recommend “Soul Vows”, by Janet Conner. Singing is about using your voice in an authentic way. There are some technical aspects of it, but mostly your voice comes from your heart. You have to feel at home in your body, and this book can help you do this.

How has this changed your life?

When I sing, I put myself into a creator state. There are different ways of being in the world: creator or victim. When you project your inner experience onto the outer world, you become a creator.

What advice do you have for others starting out with your hobby?

My advice is that you don’t let embarrassment or shame stop you. Some people are naturally gifted singers, but let me tell you, that wasn’t me. But it doesn’t matter what your natural ability is. Keep searching for those true tones. Let the notes waiver or be off a bit, but feel into it, and work to correct it. You can do this on your own for a while, but eventually try to sing with others. Moving into a public arena gives your practice new depth.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

Of course! I am curious about all sorts of things, so I find that I get into all kinds of hobbies. One of them that I’ve been diving into pretty deeply lately is cooking! I find combining different flavors to be an art of its own.

Grace Lever

Grace Lever is proud of each and every one of the personal and professional titles she carries, and the author, wife, entrepreneur, daughter, speaker, sister, mentor, and friend is indeed known for possessing a dynamic skill set that has enabled her to accomplish so much in such a brief period of time. A native of Australia who attended college in Sydney but now resides in Adelaide Hills, Grace Lever reviews how female entrepreneurs can apply the principles of doing to ensure their new business ultimately goes on to achieve its full potential for success.

 

What is your hobby?

Lately I’ve become increasingly interested in exploring my physical limits through long distance running.

 

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

Traveling is a big part of my life, but traveling on a regular basis isn’t always conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Since all you need to go for a run is a pair of trainers on your feet, running was the best way for me to stay fit despite my busy travel schedule.

 

Tell us what you love about it.

I wasn’t always fond of running, and it was definitely a struggle at first. I love that running always gives you a challenge that must be overcome, and I love that the progress you make is directly tied to the effort you put into it.

 

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

There’s a small group of local runners that meet up on Saturday mornings for a long run, so I run with them whenever I’m in town. I also like to compete in road or trail races, and I recently completed a 12k run.

 

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

So far my running shoes are the only investment I’ve made, but my husband did give me a GPS watch as a gift just a short time ago.

 

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

One of the runners from the Saturday morning group owns a sporting goods store where we all go when we need to replace our shoes or upgrade our running gear in some way.

 

Are there any good books for beginners?

I’ve always advocated for learning by doing, and I think most beginners would learn more about running by going on a group run with a few experienced runners.

 

How has this changed your life?

It’s made me feel a lot better about eating several slices of pizza along with a delightful glass of wine, but more importantly, it has allowed me to explore my surroundings in a way that helps me stay fit and healthy during any extended period of travel.

 

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Have fun and focus on building a base with short, easy runs along with plenty of recovery. Running requires a long-term approach, and trying to take a shortcut almost always leads to injuries.

 

Are there any other hobbies you have?

None that I’m all that serious about, but I have thought about taking up winemaking. I also consider myself an amateur dog trainer, and I’m quite proud of the progress my puppy Delilah has made since she joined our family.

Thomas Gionis

Thomas Gionis was born on Long Island. He came from a tough home and was raised by his grandparents who he considers to be his role models and rocks. They helped instill strong faith, values, and morals in him and they always taught Tom to respect his fellow man. Today Tom lives in Weston, Ct and still applies everything he learned growing up from his grandparents. His greatest joy in life is helping others in their time of need.

What is your hobby?

My greatest hobby is helping people. I live life paying it forward to others.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?
My grandparents inspired me to do good and help others. I was maybe 18 at the time and I saw this mom and her son who was around 8 years old, he reminded me a lot of myself at that age. They were standing by a soda machine and he was begging her for one but she didn’t have a quarter (that’s how much it was back then) to put in the machine. He was crying and I could tell by the look on her face that she was disappointed but she just didn’t have it. I reached in my pocket, pulled out a quarter and bought the kid a soda. I didn’t realize it at the time but what started as a simple good deed changed my life forever.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love the feeling I get when I help people. It is the best way that I know for anyone to feel good or self-love. It makes one feel like they contributed to something, made a difference in some way.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

No, this is all me. I think that helping out, donating to a cause, dropping food off to a food bank, donating clothes are all wonderful things that people can do. However, for me, this is more personal and I love being able to see how I am helping.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Not for myself, no. I have bought cars for people in need of one, groceries for those who can’t afford it. Some of them don’t even know where these things came from. Keep in mind, I do not need to know these people very well all I need to know is that they are in need.

How has this changed your life?

I can’t really describe how it has changed my life except to say that it has made me feel like there is no better deed that I can do than this. Helping people that need help and that who are so grateful is euphoric. I have had people ask me what I wanted in return and when I tell them nothing I am just there to help, sometimes they don’t believe me. I may never see these people again but knowing that I was there to help in some way no matter how big or small, that’s what it is all about.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

This is something you have to really want to do, not something you do for the sake of saying you did good. If you are looking to do this for a pat on the back you are going about it all wrong. Remember, for me, it started with a soda. It doesn’t have to be big but the feeling you get from it will be.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I love to run.  I have been an avid runner since the age of 18. About 5 years ago I had to stop because of my knee. I am supposed to get a knee replacement which I am fighting against. I now walk about 2 hours a day.

D. Scott Carruthers

D. Scott Carruthers is an artist whose primary medium is photography. He grew up in Anaheim, California, with a natural ability for the visual arts. This aptitude took off in his teenage years, as he began photographing musicians. Rather than attending college, Carruthers chose to travel all over California, taking photographs of musicians and models. His reputation grew steadily, which led to more gigs and more opportunities to persu his passion. He started photographing events in addition to the work he was doing within the entertainment industry. At the age of twenty, Carruthers opened his first photography studio. Because he already had a wide client base, the studio was successful immediately. This gave Carruthers the chance to dive into more aspects of photography that he wanted to explore, including advertising. When he signed on with an agent at the age of twenty one, he was given the opportunity to work on national ad campaigns. He also began photographing top movie stars and athletes. He continues to work in his Anaheim studio, and loves the thrill of being creative every day. His style has progressed over the years to include more abstract elements, as well as edgier subject matter. He is known to push the limits of the art form.

What is your hobby?

Cycling; I do both road cycling and mountain biking.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I got started with this hobby when I first opened my photography studio. I wasn’t used to spending long hours inside, with people. I found that I really needed to get outside on a regular basis, and clear my mind. I always had bikes growing up, but never took it that seriously. Suddenly, though, I was getting more into it and using my time on the bike to stay sane and happy. It was a big shift! That made me really passionate about the sport.

Tell us what you love about your hobby.

I love the solitude that cycling can provide. Usually, I ride on my own so that I can be alone with my thoughts. The physical aspect of it is a plus for me, because mostly I’m using it as a meditative way to be alone out in the fresh air.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

No, I don’t usually cycle with a group or attend events. Once in a while I will join up with a group of guys from my neighborhood, and we’ll all go for a long road ride. But for the most part I am a solo rider.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought

I love my Specialized mountain bike for riding in the woods and on trails. I bought it years ago. I also bought a new road bike recently, as well as an app for my phone that records the distance I travel and tracks my elevation gain.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I try to buy locally, here in Anaheim. If I can’t find exactly what I need, I’ll start to look online.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Yes. I recommend “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” by Haruki Murakami. He is one of my favorite writers, and even though this book is about his experience with learning to run and how that affected his writing, I find that it relates to my experience with cycling and producing photographs. Creative people can get a lot out of steady, meditative physical exercise. Murakami puts it into words so precisely.

How has this changed your life?

My artwork has benefited. While I ride, I have time to process thoughts and emotions, and clear my head. You can only make great art when you have a clear mind. If it wasn’t for cycling, I might have picked up something more destructive as an outlet for my energy and emotions. When I first started cycling, I recognized that I felt more relaxed and calm. Long hours in the studio don’t bother me when I know I’ll get a ride in at the end of the day.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

When you first start cycling, you might feel discouraged because you are not as fit as you want to be. Go for rides that are enjoyable, not rides that push you to the point of spitting blood. If you love and enjoy the activity, you’ll stick with it over the years, and that is what counts. You want to love every moment on your bike. Improvement will come; don’t force it.

Are there any other hobbies that you have?

Besides cycling and photography, I also read constantly. It’s an obsession.

Charles Lubbat

Charles Lubbat is a professional writer who specializes in travel with a focus on destinations. With his career has also come an opportunity to traverse the world and see different destinations, and this has been as a part of his effort to document as many sightseeing places as possible. He has done all this in a bid to offer accurate and reliable information to those who come to him seeking advice on various destinations. Some of the places he has visited include historical destinations that feature monuments, museums, and galleries that speak much about the history and struggle of the past that those born recently can only read or learn about.

He has championed a course to help bring to the world the reality that crowns various cities and towns across the world, and his articles are insightful for the average traveler who would like to hear something about the best hotel or most enjoyable places to visit while in a specific city or country. He has done this with great mastery and accuracy that he has earned himself respect among his peers, and the world of tourism at large. Charles is a charming and passionate explorer whose desire to see the world has also come as an eye opener for others who want to understand the world better.

What is your hobby?

Well, part of my life has been more about interacting with humans and getting to learn more from nature, so in this process, I created a deep connection with traveling to see new destinations. I find exploration interesting and when am not traveling I love spending time at the beach as this allows me to cool off as I give my mind space to reflect.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

What basically triggered me to get into traveling is the desire to see the world beyond where I live. I believe there are many treasures that I am yet to come across and staying at the same place doesn’t give me the chance to explore the world well. It is an interesting pursuit that has helped me to understand different cultures and communities.

Tell us what you love about it

One thing I honestly love about traveling is the fact you are ushered into a new reality and this gives you an opportunity to appreciate the beauty that makes up our world. From the people to the landscapes, it comes as a great opportunity to uncoil and see the world in a different lens than you are used.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

Indeed, I have come across various travel clubs that share similar ideas as me, and the theme dominant is ensuring we get to embrace nature with a positive mind. For example, one of such groups has been championing travel and exploration while spreading awareness on the need to preserve the environment.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought

Yes, I have equipment that I use whenever I visit a new place, and these include my cameras and tabs that I use to document the facts I come across while traveling. This data is what is relayed to the audience through my articles while reviewing travel destinations.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

With the online space expanding and offering many places to shop, I search through the internet to see what items I need. Once I find the ones that I need, I just place my order and the same is delivered to me.

Are there any good books for beginners?

For beginners who want to pursue travel journalism, I would recommend reading Jack Kerouac’s On The Road, which highlights all the things you need to understand when you enter into travel journalism.

How has this changed your life?

This has changed my life a lot. I must acknowledge that it came as a great way through which I can channel my feelings and ideas. While traveling, you are given a chance to learn that what you know is not the absolute truth and that there are many others who practice cultures that are different from what you know.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Don’t be discouraged by the challenges you come across while at it. This is a hobby that involves a lot of exploration and you are not likely to get all you expect, so it’s advisable to join with a prepared mind to face any challenges.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

As pointed earlier, I love swimming, particularly around the beach. And I also find reading interesting and quenching to my mind.

Rusty Tweed

Rusty Tweed is the founder and president of Tweed Financial Services, where he has spent the past 25 years providing clients with comprehensive, highly individualized financial advisory and wealth management services. In addition to his lengthy financial services career at the helm of Tweed Financial Services, Rusty is also the owner of Mold Zero and serves as the president and CEO of TFS Properties, Inc. The longtime resident of the Greater Los Angeles Area originally hails from Ontario, Canada, where he earned his degree from the University of Waterloo before relocating to Southern California. In his spare time, Rusty enjoys the beautiful SoCal climate while hiking and biking throughout the city of Los Angeles and beyond.

 

What is your hobby?

I’ve recently become more interested in cycling as well as hiking, particularly since both hobbies allow me to really savor the perfect year-round climate here in Southern California.

 

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I started cycling and hiking more often because I wanted to find more excuses to spend time outside while also staying active. One of my clients is an avid cyclist who spoke so highly of both cycling and hiking that I felt inspired to try both pursuits for myself.

 

Tell us what you love about it.

Cycling is not only a great low-impact activity, but also is a solid option for simply getting around in Los Angeles. As for hiking, it is just such a wonderful way to connect with the natural beauty that surrounds us, and it’s nice to have so many local trails available to explore.

 

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

Yes, quite a few actually. There’s a big group ride every weekend, and there are a few early-morning riders I meet up with on weekdays every once in while.

 

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

I only had to buy a pair of boots for hiking, but cycling is a bit heavier on the equipment side. Over the years I’ve bought quite a few parts to upgrade my bike as well as clip-in shoes, riding gloves, and, of course, a helmet.

 

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

There’s a local bike shop that organizes our regular weekend rides, and we all try to support the owners by getting all our supplies there.

 

Are there any good books for beginners?

Inspiration is one of the best ways to spark interest in a beginner, so I’d recommend the following books: For hiking, “A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf,” by John Muir; for cycling, “Great Road Climbs of the Pyrenees,” by Graeme Fife.

 

How has this changed your life?

Even though both hiking and cycling are physically taxing activities, I feel far more energized in every pursuit than I ever did before I began cycling or hiking.

 

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Since cycling and hiking require developing an understanding of quite a few safety precautions, newcomers should try to find someone with experience who’s willing to show them the ropes before attempting to go it alone.

 

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I enjoy writing about economics and often spend time reading books by the Pacific Ocean.

Krishen Iyer

Krishen Iyer is a Fresno, California-based entrepreneur and digital marketing expert with a wealth of experience and expertise in technical development and client relations. The prominent entrepreneur and marketing expert recently founded Managed Benefits Services, a new venture specializing in health and dental insurance marketing and leads.

Krishen’s new company features a highly sophisticated multi-layer marketing platform capable of analyzing user data in order to verify and rate the quality of each lead, all in real-time. Managed Benefits is sure to further benefit from Krishen’s technical development skillset as well as from the knowledge and experience accompanying his status as a certified insurance agent. A graduate of San Diego State University, Krishen is an avid reader who enjoys the work of Stephen King.

What is your hobby?

I love to read and have always been into literature, so I enjoy using any free time I have to get into a really good book.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

Stephen King is my favorite author, and it was after reading one of his short story collections that I first felt inspired to read everything else he wrote.

Tell us what you love about it.

Reading is such an intimate experience, and I love the fact that fiction really heightens your sense of empathy by challenging you to see things from the perspective of all the different characters that play some role in the storytelling. That alone is valuable, but I also enjoy the imagery, the lyrical wordplay, the subtext, and everything else that makes literature so unique.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

There are a few of us in the Fresno area that have similar tastes in literature, so we created an informal book club where we get together once a month to discuss a new book we’ve all read.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Other than bookcases and the books themselves, no, I can’t say that I have. I do, however, intend to invest in an Eames lounge chair one of these days.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

There’s a local bookstore that sells new and used books, so I tend to buy books there. They’ve always been kind enough to order a specific title for me if they didn’t have it in stock, and I just think it’s important to support local businesses.

Are there any good books for beginners?

I’d probably recommend Different Seasons, a collection of novellas and short stories by Stephen King, as a starting point, but it’s probably better for beginners to just head to a local bookstore and ask for a bit of guidance based on their own personal interests.

How has this changed your life?

Reading has been so valuable to me for so many reasons, but I’d say that its role in expanding the boundaries of my imagination has had the greatest impact on my life.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

All it takes is finding an author whose work resonates with you for one reason or another; once you find that author, you’ll almost certainly develop a lifelong passion for literature and will immediately begin to reap a seemingly endless array of rewards.

 Are there any other hobbies you have?

I’m really passionate about outdoor activities and also enjoy supporting the community in any way I can, so I like to volunteer at cleanup projects and other events that allow me to give back to the local community.

Lee Trotman

Lee Trotman is a digital marketing and ecommerce expert, and has clients such as Home Depot, Southern California Edison, Amazon, Costco and other Fortune 100 companies as well as smaller manufacturers.  Lee Trotman was raised in New York, Germany, Japan and Korea before coming to Los Angeles.  Lee Trotman learned many things from each of these environments, and along the way acquired a love of playing live music, sports, traveling and working on cars and motorcycles.

What is your hobby?

Traveling is my primary hobby.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I was eight years old and my family moved from New York City to Hanau, Germany.  My first ride on an airplane scared me, but within minutes became second nature.

Tell us what you love about it

I love traveling to new places and living like a local.  My travel is split into two categories: educational and leisure.  Educational travel involves learning about the local culture, history and people.  For example, when I travel to Europe, it’s always educational.  I love local customs, different environments, etc.  When I travel to tropical places, it’s always leisure, and I try to soak up living life like a local as much as I can.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought?

Luggage, snowboards, electronics for whiling away  the hours on a plane, etc.  The most important equipment are noise-canceling earbuds to enable me to fall asleep.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I like shopping at the destination so I can have souvenirs that actually have a purpose.  Each purchase leads to a better traveling experience on another trip.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Plenty of great books, so I highly recommend a Frommer’s guide from AAA.  And any maps of your destination.

How has this changed your life?

Traveling has broadened my perspective on world events.  It’s one thing to read about a country and its personality, but another when you visit.  Some of my world views come from interacting directly with locals, and I take this interaction to heart.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Use the internet to its fullest potential.  In the old days, you had to rely on travel agents and extensive research, but today you can learn from TripAdvisor and Expedia most of what you will need to know about a travel destination.