Hobby Jam

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William Matheuszik

William Matheuszik has been living his passion as a pilot in what he describes as a daily adventure. For more than 30 years he has gained the experience of flying nearly every design of aircraft, commercial, private, and cargo planes.

William was born in Montreal, Canada. He wanted to further his education after completing high school, He continued his education at John Abbott College. However, he determined that he did not want to be an academic. What became very clear to William was, as it was for his father before him, he had a passion to become a pilot.

At this point, William Matheuszik begin his flight training in Montreal. He completed his training in Kingston, Ontario. He landed his first job with Air Charters in Montreal. After a year he joined Voyageur Airways. He has also flown for Sky Freight Express, Tal-Air, Pem-Air, Air Ontario, Air Canada, and Cargo jet.

William Matheuszik continues to enjoy his passion for flying. He is looking toward new horizons in a brand-new adventure as he weighs his options for the future.

In his free time, William is an avid motorcyclist. Alternatively, he enjoys cycling, camping, and all winter sports including skiing and snowboarding.

Tell us a bit about what you do.

I am a pilot. I started out flying small aircraft. They were six-seater propeller planes flying passengers, charters, and cargo. It was with a company that had a contract with the banks. I flew during a time when people were still writing checks. We were returning checks back to the cities that they came from in Quebec and Ontario. Then I moved to the second company which took me to Ontario. That was for scheduled passengers, charter passengers, cargo and Air Ambulance. I flew out of the toronto area until I moved to Pembroke, which was charter and passengers. After that I was hired to fly for a larger company and started flying Jets. Those flights were passenger, International, and domestic services as well as charters. With Air Canada, I flew scheduled passengers and charters. Air Canada had a contract with the National Hockey League at this time which gave me the opportunity to fly some of the NHL sports teams. The cargo company I was most recently working with was primarily Amazon products cargo. The planes were large aircraft that were converted B767 and B757 passenger airplanes. One aircraft was a converted 200+ seats the other used to be a 180-passenger plane. They were very large. I flew just about anything. I flew three Dressage horses from Toronto to Calgary at one time. It was very interesting having horses onboard. I like the adventure of what I do.


What gave you the idea for you to become a pilot? How did it start?

What gave me the idea to become a pilot was my father. I am actually a second-generation pilot. My father was a pilot first in the air force then he became a commercial pilot. We had the opportunity at one of the companies that I flew with to fly together. He was the captain and I was his co-pilot. We enjoyed doing that flight together. There has been aviation in our background as well. On my mother’s side of the family, she had an uncle who flew in the second world war. There has been aviation in our history. I was inspired by them and I enjoy the adventure of what I do.


What’s your favorite thing about your chosen profession?

What I like the most about my profession is that I get to play with a really big toy! What I do feels like a hobby and I get to earn a living while doing it. Most people put in their time then they go to work then they go home. I actually enjoy going to work. Every day is a different experience. The weather might be different. I could be flying during the day, night, raining snowing, depending on where you are. Aviation is very much like that. You can go between the same two points a hundred times and there will be a hundred different experiences.


What keys to being productive can you share with us?

When you have a goal, you plan your strategy to get to the goal in the most efficient way possible. You lay-out the steps that you need to take, including your timelines, especially if you have time constraints. You choose the path that will get you to your goal as quickly and professionally as possible.

Tell us one long-term goal in your career.

In the aviation industry, pilots are subject to medical exams every six months. Therefore, my biggest career goal is to stay as healthy as possible and stay a pilot as long as possible. My goal is to get to my sixty-fifth birthday and to retire as a lifelong pilot. It would not be my preference to be forced to retire for medical reasons.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the course of your career?

The most valuable lesson that I have learned in my career is to be flexible and open-minded. You never know who will have a better solution to a problem and you need to be open to other options. It is something that I always tell co-pilots when we are flying together. There is nothing that frustrates me more than if they see me doing something that they know can be done better, and they say nothing about it. I am very open-minded in that sense and flexible enough to know that you might be going from A to B but you may have to go to C. It could be with mechanical problems or weather problems or even passenger illness onboard. You just never know if you’re going to get to your original destination. Flexibility is the key to everything.


What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed as a pilot?

I would advise anyone aspiring to be a pilot not to become a pilot because of what you see in movies or read in books. Don’t let the Hollywood version of flying be your compass. I would tell them to get into flying because it is your true passion. If it is not a passion you will have a tough time succeeding, being a pilot is a grind. There is a lot of hard work in the beginning. It is low-pay and long hours. There are many unpleasant environments. I have had to do everything from loading cargo onto the aircraft then flying it to its destination and having to unload it. I’ve had to load people onboard in stretchers. It is not the glamorous show-up at the airport in your stretch-limo where you have everyone staring at you saying wow, I want to be like that. It is a job that requires a true passion. If you think you’re going to get rich at it, it will just grind you down.


What are your favorite things to do outside of work?

My overwhelming out-side-of-work passion is motorcycle riding. To a lesser degree, I enjoy cycling, camping and winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding.

Name a few influential books you’ve read and/or websites you keep up with that you’d recommend to readers.

I read as a form of entertainment. I am not really a textbook reader. Right now, I am reading a series called The Expanse by James S. A. Corey. It is a seven-book science fiction series. My reading is more of an escape rather than a search for knowledge. When I have an interest in learning something I go online and read different perspectives on my topic of interest. I prefer reading a variety of opinions on a topic to determine my own opinion.

For more information, please visit williammatheuszik.com/

 

Greg Orzeck

Greg Orzeck is the Director of Business Development and co-founder of AI Research Inc., a boutique clinical research organization in Exton, Pennsylvania. Orzeck started the company nearly a decade ago with his wife of 18 years, and the pair have continued to grow AI Research into a highly respected research monitoring team that prides itself on providing business partners with world-class clinical research support services for all phases of clinical trials, while hiring only qualified registered nurses.

Orzeck attended Temple University in nearby Philadelphia for his undergraduate studies, graduating in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Management and Operations. He now enjoys spending time with his wife and two dogs, and likes to go fishing and golfing with friends whenever he can find the time.

What is your hobby? 

In my spare time, I love to golf, fish, and work in our garden. Another one of my favorite extracurricular activities is keeping up with my professional development and continuing education responsibilities. I keep up with my area of expertise through reading professional journals, attending seminars, and taking the occasional class either on-line or traditionally.

How did you first get into golf? What are your earliest memories of the sport?  

A friend of my father who was an avid golfer bought me my first set of golf clubs when I was about 5 or 6 years old. I would practice hitting balls in a field with a shag bag, going back and forth for hours at a time. I also worked as a caddie when I was younger. Working as a caddie taught me a great deal about competing, character and getting along with different personalities on and off the course. Caddying instills and helps you understand integrity, honesty and hard work. You develop a true appreciation for the game, unlike some others that get into golf later in life.

What inspires you to continue playing on a regular basis?  

Few things are more frustrating, discouraging and occasionally embarrassing as playing a bad round of golf. The truth is that the never-ending challenge of the game of golf is exactly what keeps me coming back time after time to try to improve my game and accomplish new goals. It doesn’t matter whether your trying to break 70 for the first time or break 90 for the first time, all golfers have a goal in mind that they are working hard to reach.

What life lessons has golf has instilled in you?

In the game of golf, the only competition you face is yourself. The greatest golfer does not analyze how another golfer plays; he works on improving his own game by developing consistent habits that generate consistent good results. The smart golfers, take tips, understand that it’s a game requiring constant growth and learning, and they don’t let ego get in the way of improving their game when others offer up constructive criticism. The same is true in life. The more open we are to learn, the humbler we remain, the more fulfilled we become as we grow and become better than we were the day before. When you focus on your own game, and you remain open to growing, learning and being adaptive, you gain the brilliance and means to create new values. Being humble and hungry for growth will enable you to add something to the pie that is missing… making a bigger pie. Much like the game of golf, for us to experience sustainable success in life, requires we focus on developing ourselves to be consistent, productive, resilient, and above all people who add value to others. The key ingredient to growing as an individual is much like improving your golf game. Focus on yourself, develop your own qualities, become consistent, productive, improve your own game.

Tell us about your favorite courses to play, and what makes them so enjoyable.  

Growing up in the Philadelphia suburbs affords us some of the best golf courses in the country. Stonewall is my favorite place in the world to play. Others are Philadelphia Cricket, Merion, Caves Valley, Aronimink, Gulph Mills, Winged Foot and the list can go on and on. I’m a big fan of traditional tree lined fairways and classic design.

It seems as though golf is becoming more and more popular with younger generations. Why do you think that is?

I think golf has become a ‘cool’ sport to play now versus when I started playing. I think we can attribute a lot of that to Tiger Woods who grew up playing junior golf. This amazing sport has brought out the best in young men and women today, as it teaches many valuable life lessons.

For someone looking to get started in the game, what would you recommend?

I would recommend the obvious; a good mentor, teacher/coach, decent equipment and a place to practice and play. Practice, persistence and listening are key. In golf, instant success is very rare. People succeed by daily practice, persistence and through being open to listening to their teachers or mentor. In life, it is important to know that we rarely reach our goal in one shot or stroke. By practicing, making corrections along the way, being open to coaching and being persistent, we can tackle most of life’s tough challenges. One of the most important life lessons young people can learn from golf is to be gracious and respectful. Golf requires you to show courtesy to others and that you communicate with respect.

What tour pros do you try to model your game after?

I like the swing thoughts from Ben Hogan and Harvey Penick.

What’s in the bag?

Titleist 917 Driver, Ping 3-wood, Titleist hybrid, Srixon 965 irons 4-PW, Titleist Vokey wedges, Scotty Cameron putter.

 

Josiane Peluso

Josiane Peluso the Director of Sales and Marketing for a New York Medicare company. Since joining the company eight years ago as a Health Education Specialist, Josiane has gradually worked her way up the corporate ladder.

Josiane received her Bachelor’s Degree in Health Promotion and then paid her way through CUNY-Brooklyn College, where she graduated with a Master’s degree in Community Health Education. Before joining her current company, she worked in a call center for two years with Health Plus. Currently, Josiane is working towards a Strategic Healthcare Leadership certificate from eCornell.

In the beginning of her career she was involved with City Harvest and specialized in teaching healthy eating and nutrition to New York’s most vulnerable on a volunteer basis. She had completed an internship in Nutrition through NYU before she found her calling educating people on how to improve their health and well-being through a variety of programs. She also volunteered with the Police Athletic League as a youth educator.

Josiane enjoys spending time in nature, as well as with her family. Constant personal growth is very important to her as she believes that if you are not constantly growing then you are not getting the most out of life that you possibly can.

What is your hobby?

Dancing and healthy self expression through physical movement. I thrive when I have a positive mindset. By having a positive mind, it generates higher quality thoughts which impact us on an emotional, mental and spiritual level. Dancing helps me do all of that and is a way for me to exercise.

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

There are very sentimental reasons for me. Not only is it a way for me to relax and express myself but during childhood every Saturday, my mother and I would clean the house. As we would clean, we would listen to music and together dance in the mirror, while singing along to the songs. When I dance, I forget everything else, problems, stress, deadlines, whatever that is in my head. I just have fun, express myself and enjoy the moment.

Tell us what you love about it?

I am really passionate about dancing; Its good physical exercise, it makes me feel happy. “To dance is to be out of yourself,” Agnes de Mille famously proclaimed. “Larger, more beautiful, more powerful. This is power, it is glory on earth, and it is yours for the taking.” I really enjoy the therapeutic nature of dance. It allows me to refocus my thoughts and mind and helps to

What is your favorite thing about your hobby?

My favorite things about dance are the aspects of self expression, healthy release of energy, and community when dancing in groups. In this day and age, we have many outlets to express ourselves, the main one being social media. I’m fairly old school and I like to express myself in the ways that it used to be done. Dance is an important way for me to blow off steam. For me as well, it’s a great way to exercise. Going to the gym and doing the same workouts week after week can get boring, dance allows me to incorporate another form of exercise to keep things fresh.

How would you say your hobby has changed your life?

Dance has done a lot for me. As I mentioned before, it has met a lot of basic needs such as self expression and exercise. Besides this, it has helped me cope and get through some of the most challenging times in my life. It`s ability to relieve stress has been such an important factor in my growth as a person. If I was ever sad, angry, frustrated, or even tired in some cases, I danced it out. Even in the rain. It would help me refocus and reenergize myself. I also find that I have much better coordination, agility and flexibility which is a very important factor of staying healthy as you grow older.

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

I`m a part of a local hip-hop yoga studio which I really enjoy. Feeding off of the energy of the other people that I attend class with is a lot of fun. They`re great people as well which makes the whole experience more enjoyable. I also attend a swing dance club in Manhattan which is amazing. There`s something very different about swing dance for me that draws me to it. I think its how high energy it is. During the whole routine there is very little time slow down, its high intensity and it`s a lot of fun. My husband and I also take salsa lessons at a local dance studio. I love being able to spend time with him in this way. It`s definitely a great bonding experience and another way that we are able to change up our workouts and get some more variety.

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

Forget about how you think you look to others and enjoy yourself. There are a lot of people these days that are very hesitant and timid about dancing, but its such an important form of self expression and a great way to build confidence in public. Let yourself feel the beauty of dancing. Dancing is a way to find yourself and lose yourself at the same time.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I have a few other hobbies that I really enjoy. I love to travel, play darts, rollerblade, hike, read, and take boating trips in the New York area. Traveling is my favorite out of all of those. Having all the knowledge and experience that I have gained from traveling has been indispensable. I am so grateful to have had numerous opportunities to travel across the world and I recommend anyone with the ability to do so to get out there and experience what the rest of our planet and its people have to offer.

For more information, please visit josianepeluso.com/

Carl Guidice

With a type “A” personality coupled with a passion for life, a need for adventure, and a consistent call for a new adrenalin rush, Carl Guidice and his wife travel the world in search of new escapades. Carl stretches the imagination for what a semi-retired gentleman, with seemingly limitless wealth, should truly look like.

Carl Guidice is a devout family man with a wife and three beloved daughters and grandchildren. His extended family is also close to his heart. They participate in many sports activities together. Carl gets a kick out of challenging his younger family members whenever he has the opportunity. There are many younger family members who Carl joins for routine work-outs and exercise. While he and his wife follow a two-hour work-out routine daily.

Carl Guidice will be returning to the business world in 2022 but until then, he is using his boundless energy to follow his passion and happiness to explore it all.

What is your hobby?

My number one hobby is my family. I am very athletically inclined and have many hobbies. I run at least an hour daily. In addition to that, I go to the gym, I bike, I swim, I scuba dive, and I travel. We just got back from a trip that was twenty-eight thousand miles and thirteen flights that took us around the world. We went paragliding, bungee jumping and jumped off of a 600-foot cliff. I also went to the outback of Australia. With all of these trips and traveling plans, we stay quite busy. In fact, we have a myriad of adventures that we go on. I saw a shark on the barrier reef. There is virtually nothing that we haven’t tried at least once.

How did you get started with your hobby?

What got me started in all of my hobbies is that I have a type “A” personality. I don’t like sitting still. I like to go. My family and I are up for just about anything. So, we’ll try lots of adventure sports. We have a lot of young family members. I enjoy competing with them even though I am pushing sixty years old. Furthermore, I sometimes even best them. Since I have some young grandchildren,I want to keep as healthy as I am, so that I can enjoy them for as long as I can. Hobbies allow me to do that. We also live in Disney World so obviously we are attracted to things that keep you excited and somewhat adventurous.

Tell us what you love about it.

We love the adrenaline rush. Especially if it is something new. Running off a cliff that is 5,000 feet in the air with a paraglider is purely an adrenaline rush. It keeps the mind busy. I have watched some family members that prove the old adage that “if you don’t Use it you Lose it” is absolutely true. Family members that are not active and think that they can’t do things they stop doing them. I am going to continue to think that I am twenty-five years old until they put me in the grave.

Are there any groups that you are a part of or any events that you attend?

There are numerous groups that I belong to that are associated with different groups. I have a group that we play tennis with, another group that we dive with. I exercise with my family on a regular basis. The groups are varied and numerous and sometimes hard to keep up with.

Have you had to invest in any equipment and if so can you share whatever you have bought?

I have invested in a multitude of equipment. I have wave runners, all-terrain vehicles, I have an off-road jeep, I have an off-road truck, I have a sports car up on a lift. I have all sorts of ski equipment and scuba gear. I have whatever toy or gadget that comes out. I follow the adage, the one who dies with the most toys wins. I think I am definitely a competitor for that. I love new gadgets and new toys. I love things that will give me an edge. If a bike comes out with a new feature or is more lightweight, we get it. I think we have nine bikes. We have paddle boards and surfboards, I don’t know if there is a piece of sports gear that we don’t have other than golf clubs. That is the one sport I can’t seem to get a handle on.

Where do you get most of your supplies?

I love the bass pro shop. I love academy sports. I shop at the players and the Yamaha dealers for the ATV’s. Of course, there is the internet that sends you teasers based upon the latest toy you bought.

Are there any books you would recommend for beginners?

Sports is not the place where I’d recommend a lot of reading. There are some magazines like runner’s world. Jim fix wrote a book on running which is sometimes helpful. It teaches you how to stretch. Sports is more about doing and less about reading. People are all different you have to see what works for you. What works for you may not work for someone else. The only way to figure that out is just to get out there and do it.

How has this changed your life?

I think sports in my life has kept me grounded and balanced. I think balance is a very important ingredient in society today. A lot of people are missing that element in their lives. I think the pressure on people with careers and the number of hours that are required is prohibitive for balance. The pressure on the family is enormous as well. Everyone needs something for balance and to keep sane. Everyone needs some sort of hobby. It is important to take your mind off of your daily life. It will help people solve problems in their professional careers. I have solved so many problems on my runs.

What advice would you have for someone else starting out with this hobby?

 Whatever hobby you choose, running, swimming, or scuba diving, you have to make it something that works for you. You have to figure out the time you have and the money you have and what is going to make you happy. What is your happy place? I can tell somebody till I’m blue in the face what works for me, but that is not necessarily going to work for them. I think it is a little trial by error. Move into it slowly and don’t spend a fortune on a sport that you may not like. Just take it slow and figure out what works for you. Learn to maximize your happiness quotient.

Are there any other hobbies that you have?

There are two things that I have not yet tried, and I am not sure if my wife will let me. The first one is a halo dive which means you have to have oxygen in front of Mount Everest at about thirty thousand feet. The second one I’ve tried to do is dive with great white sharks. We’ve actually flown across the country to San Francisco and met the boat. Weather conditions did not allow us to go on numerous occasions. I’d really love to get in a cage and witness a great white shark up close.

 

For more information, please visit carl-guidice.com/

SCOTT HALL

Scott Hall HobbyJam

Scott Hall grew up in Northern Virginia after his family moved from New York when he was 5 years old.  After graduating from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, he spent several years living in South Florida prior to moving back to the Washington, DC area.   He and has family have resided in the Ellicott City, MD since 2005 and the Baltimore area since 1997.  He has spent the majority of his professional career in retail operations, with the last few years spent working in the personal mobility space.

What is your hobby?

I’m a passionate collector of Legos, particularly the larger, more complex sets in the Star Wars, Technic and City series.

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

I was fortunate enough for my parents to get me my first Lego set when I was 4 years old – and I was hooked.  Starting with Lego’s iconic Space sets from the mid-70’s, I started building massive Lego cities and taking over more and more of my parents’ house when I was growing up.  At that time in Northern Virginia, there were lots of large transportation projects happening at the time, and I would ask my parents to take me to the building sites so I could watch what they would do – and then try to make similar structures with my own sets.  To be a kid and think you could build these structures that could take up 2-3 feet of space – and couldn’t get knocked down easily, like blocks could – was fascinating to me.

Tell us what you love about it?

There are two things I love the most about building and collecting Legos today.  Much of what Lego does nowadays is create sets of very complex mechanisms, either from the movies or from real life.  To have a real-world replica of the things that you see only in the movies or at some huge construction site is like a dream come true.  For example, Lego has a series called Technic – these sets are incredibly detailed and replicate motors, gears, windows and just about anything you can think of on a vehicle.  You can use batteries to power all the functions on these vehicles so that they operate just like they do in real life.  Vehicles like Mercedes-Benz’ Unimog 6-wheeled go-anywhere vehicle, Volvo’s front-end loader and Bugatti’s Veryon are all vehicles that Lego has created and built that I’ve collected over time.

Second, for many people out there, the Star Wars movies are an obsession.  Lego didn’t make a lot of Star Wars sets until the early 2000’s, so I didn’t get a chance to play with much Star Wars stuff when I was a kid.  When the second movie trilogy came out in the late 90’s, it was a renaissance for kids like me that grew up with the original Star Wars movies and longed for more cool things to play with, but never existed.  The realism of what Lego has released in their Star Wars line has continued to get better over time, so you feel like you’ve got the same quality model that the professionals use.

From a collecting standpoint, it’s wonderful to know that there are limited runs of many of the products that Lego makes.  And many of the people who purchase sets do so to build them, so it reduces the inventory of collectible, brand-new copies of sets.  For the ones I like the best, I’ll purchase two so I can build one with my family and collect the other one.

What is your favourite thing about your hobby?

The best part now is that I get to enjoy building and collecting them with my kids.  They get to experience a lot of the things that I loved growing up, and you can spend hours building Legos together.  It’s a great activity that helps them learn to follow instructions, have attention to detail and have the satisfaction of completing a really difficult project.  And you get to play with what you’ve finished!  It’s just a great family activity.  On the collecting side, it’s nice to see things that you’ve stored and saved over time go up in value as a personal investment.  As a collector, you’re always trying to think about what both kids and adults will want in the future so that you can maximize the value of your collection.  There’s so much that goes into making a Lego set valuable, including the number of pieces in a set, the number of unique pieces, the number of minifigures (people) and even the colors of the pieces themselves.  Finally, there’s the “popular culture” aspect of many collections.  Is a set something that people will want 5, 10, 15 years from now?  Lego has created a lot of sets that seemed nice at the time, but really didn’t register with collectors because adults didn’t look back with fond memories on that TV series, movie or whatever else the set was modeled after.

How would you say your hobby has changed your life?

The biggest impact building and playing with Legos has had on my life is allowing me to be myself and explore my creativity and imagination.  The sheer volume of sets that Lego has created over time means that there are sets and collections that can appeal to almost anyone – people that like building cities (Lego City), monsters and goblins (Monster Fighters), medieval times (Knights) and so much more.

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

Unfortunately, there aren’t too many groups in my area that meet on a regular basis.  However, that’s the beauty of Lego – you can build and enjoy them even if you’re by yourself.  As an only child with both parents who worked, I often had to entertain myself, and Lego is great for that!

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

Start small.  There’s a huge selection of Legos that you can collect and build.   If you’re a builder, think about sets that you can interconnect over time to create an entire environment that works well together and can open itself up for ongoing exploring and experimentation.  As a collector, understanding your goals and your budget are key.  You’re not going to get the entire Star Wars line when you start out.  Pick the pieces that you think will hold their value over time and save up for those.  Don’t try to get every single set.  There are lots of web sites and blogs that can help you understand what collectors are going after and why.  At the end of the day, it’s about what makes you happy!

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I’m also an avid board game player and collector, specifically games from the 60’s and 70’s.  But that’s for another conversation!

Find Scott Hall on LinkedIn

Martin Kuuskne

Martin Kuuskne is an Emergency Room Doctor who works at Brampton Civic Hospital. As soon as he starts speaking about his job, it’s easy to hear the passion he has for his profession and helping others in his voice. But it wasn’t always about science and medicine. When choosing what to study in university, he had to decide between performance piano or the sciences. While it is difficult to think of a more drastic dichotomy, it is clear that his artistic and scientific sides both influence and complement each other. Eventually, Martin made the decision to pursue his studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, where he completed a Bachelor of Health Sciences. Ever the keener, he was accepted to the Michael G. Degroote School of Medicine at McMaster University in his third undergraduate year and entered medical school as one of the youngest in his cohort. He then completed his residency at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, in Emergency medicine. During his residency he completed a fellowship in Medical Education and Simulation.

Working at one of the busiest emergency departments in Canada, Martin truly values his time outside of the hospital and puts a special emphasis on self-care, hobbies, and other interests outside of medicine. After a fast-paced, adrenaline filled day at work, you will hear anything from Bach fugues to modern jazz emanating from his piano room. He also uses his medical skills outside of the hospital where he works as a ringside physician for professional boxing matches in Ontario though the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

Tell us about a few of your hobbies. 

I currently find it really important to ground myself in my hobbies and interests because it was tough for me to do so during my residency. The time constraints, busy schedule and studying medical texts made it difficult to keep up some of this things I enjoyed doing on my off time before I started residency, but I always made time to travel. Seeing a different part of the world and experiencing different cultures always excited me and motivated me to plan my next vacation when I had time. I also continued to play the piano; something that I learned when I was very young. I always found myself drawn to the piano after shifts and I continue to play and learn new songs, pieces and styles of music. After finishing my residency, I picked up a few new hobbies. My father gifted me a camera for my graduation and, with a little help from internet courses and a lot of trial and error, I have taking a keen liking to landscape photography. The manipulation of light and how small changes in settings can have a major impact on how the photograph is perceived amazes me and I’m always in search for the ‘perfect’ shot. Lastly, with travel still being an important part of my life, I slowly started to incorporate scuba diving in some of my trips. Now I plan full trips just based on diving to explore amazing reefs all around the world. Lastly, now that I am renovating my house, I guess you can say home construction and renovation is one of my new hobbies; it’s amazing what you can learn and apply from YouTube!

How did you get started in classical piano? What Inspired you? 

I come from a very strong musical background; my paternal grandmother was an Opera singer in Estonia in the 1940s and my maternal grandfather was also a performance singer. My father studied jazz saxophone in university, so our road-trips to the family farm always had John Coltrane or Oscar Peterson along with us for the ride on the radio. I started taking piano lessons at age 3 with the same piano teacher that my father had when he was a child, Aino Kurg, of Estonian heritage. At first, playing the piano was just something I did, but when I started attending St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto, Ontario, I developed a true love of music. Our normal school day was scheduled around daily choir rehearsals and piano lessons. I also studied the theory of music, harmony and counterpoint which laid the technical groundwork for me composing some of my own songs.

What is your favourite thing about music? 

Music transports me to my own place. I become absorbed in the notes, chord progressions, lyrics and rhythm. It allows me to clear my head and focus intently on something that brings me joy. I love how you can infuse your personality or even your current mood into what you play. It is an emotional outlet and allows for self-expression. It also brings people together. I recently attended the 150th Estonian Song Festival in Tallinn, Estonia where songs representing the freedom of the nation bring together 35,000 singers with 60,000 spectators from around the country, and the world, in a single venue. It was an amazing spectacle to witness.

Do you write your own music? How does that process come to you?

When I was younger, one morning I was looking through our garage and I stumbled upon my father’s old jazz standard notes from his studies at the University of North Texas. It was the first time I saw a major seventh chord written in shorthand. I picked up a hastily transcribed version of a little song called “Giant Steps” and proceeded to stumble through some of the most interesting sounds I’ve heard from my piano and I was hooked.

I actually have written a few solo piano pieces; I usually get inspired by a feeling or situation and I come to a melody representing that in my head. I usually have to use my phone to record it quickly otherwise I may lose it! I then take that melody to the piano and see how I can mature the melody into different sections or even movements. My courses in theory, harmony and counterpoint help with some of the more technical aspects of chord progressions and accompaniment. However, what I find liberating is improvisation. Being classically trained all my life, the idea of not having notes or sheet music to fall back on is a bit daunting but I try my best to improvise over some jazz piano chords and standards.

How would you say music has had an impact on your life? 

Music grounds me in humanity and art. It is so easy to be distracted and pulled in 10 different directions at one time in our current modern world, but music has always allowed me to be present in the moment. I have realized that the periods in my life where I was not playing the piano were usually associated with difficult times. Music allows me to have an outlet to focus on myself and, if I am stuck trying to find a solution, a break with music allows me to approach problems with a fresh perspective. I also use music to share special moments, whether it was singing at an Estonian Song Festival in front of thousands or playing Christmas music for my family.

Who are some of your favourite composers? 

I have always found myself drawn to Bach. I think that his music speaks to my mathematical, scientific and technical side. I spent months working through his Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1. His wonderful preludes are like small appetizers before his technically astounding fugues, where he can have up to 5 different ‘voices’ speaking to each other in counterpoint. For me, learning and playing these fugues was akin to solving a very difficult mathematical proof and when I would play the last chord of a particularly difficult fugue, it felt like Bach’s “quod erat demonstrandum”. I eventually became comfortable enough with the fugues to add a bit of personal expression to some phrases. On the other side of the spectrum, Chopin’s etudes allow me to fully display the romantic and expressive side of the solo piano piece. I am currently polishing up my “Fanatasie-Impromptu” as well as working through his “Ocean” etude (Opus 25, Number 12). These are Chopin masterpieces that I always wanted to play when I was younger and to be able to play them now is a dream come true. I still have a lot of work to do first though!

You mentioned that you’re also getting more involved in scuba diving. What drew you in to that hobby? 

I’ve always really enjoyed snorkeling and observing marine life. One of the chapters of my emergency medicine textbook was all about diving emergencies and we had to study it in-depth for our final exam but I had never been scuba diving before. I was encouraged by some of my colleagues to try it and I’m glad I took their advice. I think the wildlife, the precious reefs, the control one must have on breathing and the astute awareness that you must have at all times drew me to diving, and now I’m hooked. You get to explore a whole other environment of our earth!

Do you remember your first dive? Tell me about that experience. 

My first dive was in Ko Tao island in Thailand and it was the most incredible island that I had seen. I actually remember reading that chapter on diving emergencies on the ferry on the way to the island! I didn’t need it though, our instructors were so amazing and attentive and I felt very safe going under water with my scuba gear for the first time. My first breath underwater was surreal but I quickly got used to it. We took a lot of time to practice safety procedures with our buddy and I got comfortable removing my goggles 10m underwater. Then it was off to discover; the reef was extremely beautiful and the water was clear, crystal blue. Among the amazing fish and unique creatures, we saw a 2m wide Lion’s Mane Jellyfish on our first dive; I was awestruck. It was also Whale Shark spotting season when I was there but I didn’t get to see one, so I’ll have to go back!

Where have your diving excursions taken you? 

I have completed dives around the islands of Thailand and Jamaica, the Gulf of Mexico, Cuba, the Bahamas and Belize.

How would our readers get involved with scuba diving?

Are there certain courses you You need to take an introduction course; I’d recommend the open water certification with either Scuba Schools International (SSI) or the Professional Association of Diving instructors (PADI). If you complete the advanced open water course for each of those associations, you can be licensed to dive pretty much anywhere in the world down to 30 metres. There are further courses you can take to become more specialized, but the open water certification is a great start.

What’s next on your list of dream diving destinations?

I’d love to dive in the Egyptian Red Sea and will have to see the Great Barrier Reef off of Australia. Cape Kri in Indonesia is also on my bucket list.

 

For more information, please visit http://martinkuuskne.com/

 

Teresa Wolande

For over 30 years Teresa Wolande worked as a high-level executive in the insurance industry. She traveled internationally for business with fortune 500 companies. Currently, in her retirement, she is working on projects that are more philanthropic, as her desire is to give back. Her focus is on a networking forum to collaborate with other benevolent executive-level women who have eased into retirement and struggle to find a direction for a new sense of purpose. The forum is a safe place to go to discuss business issues with an aligned peer-group. The group aims to rethink life as a retiree, going forward in a meaningful way.

The networking forum is designed for high powered women to regain a sense of purpose. It provides a feeling of contributing by engaging with their community in a very altruistic way.

The group meets once a month and they have gone on retreats. The retreats allow women to interact with other women across the country who are part of this forum group. They also discuss new ideas to increase their network. It is a very structured organization. They invest in the right tools and books and provide guest speakers to address a variety of relevant topics.

Where are you from?

I am from Chicago. My husband also grew up in Chicago. I think coming from the Midwest I was fortunate enough in my business life to spend a lot of time abroad as well as spending time in different areas of the country. I think it gives you a very good perspective of the world. I had the opportunity to see how other cultures view the world.

How did you start your business forum?

When I was in business, I was a part of the young presidents’ organization. A big part of that organization is belonging to a forum. It is a group of about 8-10 people. From a business standpoint, it is a safe place to go once a month to discuss business issues with your peer-group. Most of us were either presidents or CEO’s of our companies. You had a group where you could push ideas to and get some objective feedback. They were not a part of your business but knew enough about business to give you good advice.

After retirement, I was at a crossroads. Everything had changed I was questioning, where to go and where my next journey would lead. I was in my sixties but still felt as though I still had a lot to contribute. I was in retirement mode with my husband. That relationship had changed. The relationship with my children had changed when they became parents. I sensed that there was a real need for women to go to discuss their changing roles. I felt as though I was in the fourth quarter of my life. I recognized that I still wanted to contribute, but now it would be in a different way.

I spoke to my friend in Colorado who had started a group with a lot of success. She has chapters throughout the country. I suggested to her that we do the same in Naples, where I spend half the year. I thought it was really good because a lot of women just get lost. After you retire you don’t know what to do. Basically, what you do is the same thing every day. You don’t feel as though you’re contributing. It’s important to interact with other women across the country who are part of this forum group, especially if you’ve worked all your life. That is how I came up with the conclusion that this network was good to do.

My friend has a very structured approach to her network. She has workbooks and a way for the women to interact. We looked at legacy issues and questioned how to take steps towards the process. We and how to deal with a retired husband. It is not easy dealing with a guy who used to run an entire company and now is not doing anything. There are a lot of women falling into this category. We have gotten a lot of good feedback.

What do you love most about the network?

The thing that I love most about it is that it gives me a sense of purpose. When you retire you have to rethink your life going forward. You interact differently with your children and your grandchildren who are going ahead with their lives. This just gives you a tremendous sense of purpose. It makes you want to get up in the morning and make something happen with this. At the end of the day, you see these women engaging with the community in a very positive way. They mentor needy children at school and other services along those lines. They serve the community directly. That is so much better than black-tie dinners and writing a check. Women can do this on their own time and it immediately feels like you’re contributing. You’re not just writing a check; you are contributing yourself.

Are there any groups that you are a part of or any events that you attend?

We have our own group meetings that we attend once a month. We also go on retreats that are designed to interact with other women across the country who are part of this forum group. We all have the same mission and the same objectives around what they are doing. The retreats help you come up with new ideas and increase your network. Even in your fourth quarter, you want to be networking. It gives our women a sense of really doing something. So much of your identity is caught up in your work. This gives women another chance for a sense of doing something meaningful. It might be very different than it was before, but it is more like leaving a legacy and contributing to the community.

Have you made any investments or funding towards this?

You have to have funding. You want to get everything in place. It is not a lot of funding. The women pay to be a part of this network. We want to invest in just the right tools or books or guest speakers. It gives our forums a little bit more meaning. It is not just another group of women who get together just to complain or talk about stuff that doesn’t matter. We have a lot of structure in our group, so it requires an investment. You invest in being a part of the bigger picture in the forum groups that are countrywide.

Overall, how has this changed your life?

It all comes back to having a good sense of purpose. When you were working you had objectives and goals that you needed to do. As your children are growing you have objectives and goals for them. But as they become adults and you become into that “fourth quarter,” it is more important for you to start thinking about legacy issues and what you want to do. It has given me a really strong feeling about what I want to do. This is what I want to accomplish in the years that I have left. The reality is that when your sixty you have about twenty-five more good years. You want to take those twenty-five years and make it a good second career for yourself.

What advice would you have for someone else starting out with this hobby?

I would tell anyone wanting to do this to get out there and do it. Don’t be afraid to reach out. I think what has held a lot of women back is contemplating what a project will involve. They also wonder what it will entail. They wonder if it is giving to much of themselves. I think you just have to put yourself out there and say, I think it is something that is important, and we should do it as a group. As we find our way, we are going to find the right balance of time. Spending that time on yourself and spending that time on the greater good for the community gives you a much stronger sense of self. That is why you just have to get out there and do it.

Do you have any other hobbies that you can share?

I am an avid golfer. When I had my back-fusion, it put a kibosh on that, for now, but I think that it will make me a better golfer. It has been a long recovery, but it will be good for me. I also read a lot. I am trying to get into social media. I believe it is harder for us to engage in that because we were never raised with social media. I also love to exercise, and I stay fit. I think that keeps me very positive in my life.

 

For more information, please visit teresawolande.com/

 

Isbert Bermudez

As a Regional Sales Manager, Isbert Bermudez travels between the United States and Latin America. He works with the automotive industry for an integrated technology company. Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, he now lives in Orange County, California.

Bermudez completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Carabobo in Valencia, Venezuela. He then decided to continue his education and moved to Spain where he earned his Master’s degree in International Business in 2009.

In his current position, Isbert Bermudez is responsible for every aspects of sales for his company in all of Latin America. He promotes sales alongside his partner channels and works with end users including fortune 500 companies such as General Motors, Chrysler, Walmart, and Volkswagen. His provides all necessary support to ensure his business partners are successful in their sales goals. Regardless of current economic circumstances or political climate of the day, Bermudez has been able to be successful in the Latin American market.

Tell us a bit about what you do.

My position is with an Integrated Technology company. I am the Regional Sales Manager for all of Latin America, from Mexico all the way down to Chile and Argentina. I have one or two partners in each country and provide solutions for them to be successful in promoting our products to end users. Some of the companies carrying our products are Chrysler, Volkswagen, Walmart, and GM. I provide them with any help or support that they require. I visit clients, I go to trade shows, I support our partners with distribution, I answer all product questions and do sales presentations. I work with government accounts which requires a lot of specific data and also help create marketing campaigns. The bottom line is that I provide all the tools and any assistance required to help our partners close a deal.

What gave you the idea to have a career in International Business? How did it start?

My inspiration to go into sales was the diverse experiences that I could have in international sales, working with a variety of different cultures and people. With my current company, I have the opportunity to travel to every Latin American country where we are doing business. I am living the life that I chose for myself and I feel very fortunate; I really enjoy what I do.

What is the best thing that you love about your job?

The best thing that I love about my job is the people. I am constantly talking to people. Sometimes it is a challenge because everyone is so different. You really have to be a “people person.” Not only are there differences in personalities, but I have to be adept and astute in understanding cultural differences as well. Everyone has their own way of doing business and it can be really challenging to maintain a good relationship. But the diversity is what I really enjoy about my position.

What keys to being productive can you share with us?

What makes me most productive is my time management skills and my ability to stay focused on my priorities each day. I am very organized. When I am in my office or traveling for work, I don’t waste time. When I do something, I make sure it is done right the first time so that it does not have to be repeated or corrected. I feel very responsible for the time that I spend during work hours.

Tell us one long-term goal in your career.

Right now, I am very content to do what I am doing. I hadn’t really thought about leaving the thing that makes me happy. Perhaps someday I would think of being an entrepreneur with my own products to sell on an international basis. That would be nice. Right now, I live well. In your own business, if you have a bad product, it could be a very bad experience. It is a process.
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What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the course of your career?

The most valuable lesson that I have learned throughout my career is to learn good communication skills. Beyond even that, you have to keep everyone that you are dealing with informed of whatever is happening during any given transaction or exchange. Even if it is just to reply or keep them informed. Communication is critical to doing good business and keeping good relationships. It is very important to communicate everything that is going on. Everyone I work with knows that I know how to react to any problem or any challenge that I might face. But communication is the most valuable lesson and skill to learn.

What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed in your field?

I would tell others who are aspiring to be in this field is to work hard and be organized. Create a plan. Ask yourself many questions, such as, what are you looking for? What would be the best way to promote your products? What niche market would serve you? These questions should be answered so that you don’t waste your time or money in places where you’re not going to be successful.

What are your favorite things to do outside of work?

I like to play sports outside of work. I play tennis, golf, and soccer, and I played baseball when I was growing up. I like being outdoors and recently started practicing yoga as well. When I am not traveling or in the office, I am usually doing some kind of physical activity.

Name a few influential books you’ve read and/or websites you keep up with that you’d recommend to readers.

I really don’t have the luxury of many reading books, but I am usually on the news websites from the US and Latin America. When you are an international company it is important to stay informed with what is going on with the political situation around the world. You must know what the political situation is in each country. The Economist is one of the English-speaking news sites I’m on frequently and the others are based in Latin American countries.

I travel to many different Latin American countries and had I learned different languages, I would have the ability to work in other countries as well. I would tell my younger self to learn as many different languages as possible. It can only enrich your life. Also, make sure to take time to enjoy the things that you love to do outside of work.

 

 

Caitlin Craig Lawrence

Yellows and Greens are not often colors associated with a generation obsessed with the very notion of Black and White; colors that have been redefined radically as a movement and a culture. Caitlin Craig Lawrence, like generations before her, introduces a new wave of artists. Renaissance men and women redefining fashion as a means, presenting themselves as makers; revolutionaries to a system of ideals.

Caitlin is a woman of big ideas and a gentle manner, a pioneer of many worlds through fashion. Lawrence’s pieces are reminiscent of her journeys sojourning the world as a child, moving from one place to the other; her collections reveal her innate desires and the words she hardly speaks out. Caitlin Craig Lawrence developed a flair for fashion as a young child who was always enveloped in her mother’s magazines. She spent her hours designing and creating a lot of iconic pieces. When she wasn’t designing, she was a volunteer at an animal shelter. She furthered her passion by attending the prestigious Bauder College, where she was able to turn her hobby into a career. Caitlin transformed her struggles as a child into a portal for others like her younger self to find freedom and home.

What is your definition of fashion design?

When you walk into someone’s home or room, you’re most likely walking into an external expression of the person’s soul. The colors the person wants to be welcomed by every day of their lives, the flowers they will be happy to water, music that makes their hearts giddy, it’s an insight into one’s soul. That’s an easy way of explaining fashion design – splaying your innate thoughts and desires all over fabrics. It gets more interesting that you’re solving a problem by absolutely revealing yourself naked to the world. It’s an irony; you’re exposing your nakedness to cover someone else’s own.

In a world of minimalism, why does your work seem to involve a lot of yellow and green?

Minimalism is a way of diverting attention to the things that matter, focusing on less. Those two colors are the colors I think depict the things that matter. Yellow, for me, represents positivity and expansion, and Green represents Life and being grounded. The result of these two colors is the culmination of a full and satisfying life for all individuals. These two colors play a significant role in our psyche; I want you to wear my pieces, and feel a sense of calm, feel alive. The world won’t happen to you; it’ll be the opposite.

When did you get your big break?

My big break came for me almost immediately after college, I had just moved back to Topeka, Kansas, and I was trying to navigate the industry there, when this enormous opportunity came to me. They were holding the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and I was asked to dress the local celebrities attending the event. It was such a surreal experience. I was this newbie who had just completed college being trusted with that magnitude of work. It was a lot of work, but the experience and the opportunities that came as a result of that one project are innumerable.

What is your hobby?

Growing up in Kansas, there wasn’t an awful lot to do. If I wasn’t knee deep in some new design or with my godmother learning new mechanics of bringing these designs to life, I was at the animal shelter; and that’s something I’m still very passionate about. I love animals. Dogs are just so welcoming, and they demand nothing but a little attention, so when I do have time, I volunteer at animal shelters. This is one of the things that inspired a new project I’ve been working on: an exclusive line called “Caitlin Craig Lawrence for Canines,” it’s a line of clothing and accessories designed to make your dog look and feel incredible.

What inspired you to get started with fashion?

I found fashion on the covers of magazines my mom had put away; I would pick these magazines up looking at every outfit, analyzing some, critiquing some and redesigning others. When we finally settled in Kansas, I started working with my godmother, who was a seamstress. Fashion is a way of life for me, an expression, and I want to be able to make people feel alive through my pieces.

Tell us what you love about it.

At first, it was just something I did for fun, but I’ve come to realize that those are the areas where we excel. I might start a design and realize I’m going about it all wrong, but the courage to begin again never frustrates me, because I see every piece as a new item creating a story for someone.

Dr. Jim Gray

Doctor Jim Gray is a native of Meridian, Mississippi. He is one of the leading Diagnostic Radiologists in the country. Years after graduation from Northeastern Ohio University he continues to be a member of the American Board of Radiology.

Jim Gray MD Mississippi has his bachelor’s degrees from Mississippi State University and Southeast Mississippi State. He attended medical school at Northeastern Ohio University. He completed his residency at the University of Mississippi and his fellowship at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

From school, Jim Gray MD Mississippi began working as a diagnostic radiologist. It didn’t take long before he joined a small team that enabled him to work in multiple aspects of radiology. As a diagnostic specialist, he is able to operate and read PET scans, fMRI, CT, and X-ray scans. As a team, they strive to make a greater impact on the community around them.

His free time is spent on the water. He takes his family boating on local lakes and at times visiting elsewhere to share in new experiences. For Jim Gray MD Mississippi, boating is only second to spending time with his family.

What is your hobby?

Boating is the single outdoor item I enjoy the most. We really enjoy being outdoors whenever possible anyway, but boating is my favorite. I love being out on the lake. Getting out on the water is like getting away from everything.

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

Being outdoors was something my family has always done since I was young. It’s such a pleasure to know that you’re free to enjoy the moment with no pressure from daily life. That and each lake has a personality of its own. Something you get to learn and enjoy while you’re out there. Being the captain of your own boat, small or otherwise, is like holding destiny in your hands.

Tell us what you love about it.

Like I said, I love being out on the lake because of the freedom of the time spent. I also love the family time and experience we get to share. It’s irreplaceable. Time is fleeting, but it feels like it is standing still when you’re on the water. There is nothing like it.

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

You know, I haven’t really gotten involved with any groups or events. It was recently suggested that I do. There are some small town boating events that organize trips around lakes, or on calmer rivers which would be enjoyable. I’m considering looking into one of those and learning what is involved therewith.

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

You always have to invest in your boat. That’s often the biggest single cost item you invest in, however, there’s always upkeep, the trailer to move it, and docking fees. All of that is before taxes and licenses. Both of which can vary but altogether it typically doesn’t cost more than 8 thousand dollars annually.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I talk to dealers when I’m looking for a boat. I do some research online, but I prefer to find a privately owned location and talk to the salespeople. They can ensure I’m getting the boat I’m looking for while also allowing me to purchase upgrades prior to delivery.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Very good question. I really didn’t read a book for beginners. If I had to suggest something though, I always suggest safety manuals. Also, now that I’m thinking about it, I believe one of my children read Boating for Dummies in the ‘for Dummies’ series of books. It was a good resource for asking many of the right questions while on the lake.

How has this changed your life?

It has been a part of my family for so many years it really hasn’t changed me. It has been a constant companion and part of my search for personal peace and happiness. It is also one of my favorite ways to share new experiences with my family.

My children have all spent time learning to drive the boat and share in the opportunity to learn new things. It’s wonderful.

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

First things first, find out everything you need to know about legally driving a boat in your state and county. That could include contacting the local DMV to inquire about getting a boating license. Around us, you go through the Wildlife Fisheries and Parks Department. You’ll have to complete a boating safety course and get approval through them before you can legally drive your boat.

That’s the case in many states these days, but not all of them. Once you know what laws your states have mandated you should look into local costs, such as where you’ll likely dock the boat or where you plan to store it. Find out how taxes are handled for boats in your locality as well.

If you do all of this before you begin your boating ownership, you’ll be better equipped both fiscally and otherwise to not only own your boat but enjoy it as well.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

In truth, beyond the time we make to go out on the lake together, we are usually pretty busy. We travel the competitive sports circuit with our children. That may have us in any part of the state on a given night depending on the sports season. That being the case, additional hobbies would be very difficult to pursue or develop.

I guess you can say my other hobbies are my children and everything they enjoy doing. I certainly invest enough in gear, time, entry fees and the like for all three of them. I love it. I really wouldn’t change a thing. I spend my days helping people, my nights helping my family, and my weekends enjoying time with them all. There is nothing as amazing as the life I enjoy today. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

For more information about Dr. Jim Grey, please go to:

drjimgray.com

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