Hobby Jam

What People Do For Fun

Menu Close

Category: Interview (page 1 of 4)

Jason Vander Griendt

Jason Vander Griendt is the owner of J – CAD Inc., which offers 3D CAD design services, prototyping, and 3D printing. After experiencing much success for several years, he established a branch called Render 3D Quickly. The services they provide include 3D architecture, animations, and virtual reality real estate walkthroughs. His work has established business relationships with clients spanning architects, designers, architects, homeowners, contractors, buildings, and real estate companies looking for real estate VR. His clients are based in all parts of the world such as the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and China. Jason Vander Griendt has become a prominent figure in the industry.

What is your hobby?

My hobby is traveling around the world. I do not have too many other hobbies. I am trying to teach myself how to play the guitar at the moment. It has been hard to find time to practice.

How did you get started?

I did not travel much aside from family vacations during my childhood. Those were always within the United States. It was not until I was working for a company in Boston, Massachusetts where I was offered the opportunity to work at their sister branch in Italy. This is going back 10 years ago. I traveled to Milan, and my perspective of the world immediately expanded.

Tell us what you love about it.

There is so much to love about traveling. I find it to be a very humbling experience for one. Prior to traveling outside the country, I would consider myself quite ethnocentric. It really is an eye opening experience to see cultures different from the one I am so accustomed to. There are certainly aspects I would never be able to acclimate to, but for the most part I find myself able to adjust.

Another part I greatly enjoy is meeting different people. Whether it is reuniting with old friends or making new ones, there is a piece of them that implants itself into me that makes me grow more as a person. Due to the nature of my job, a good chunk of my traveling is also due to work. I like to meet the people I have done business with online. It becomes a very personal interaction that online relationships just can not replicate.

There is one time of the year I try to always attend in Milan. Right around the beginning of December, there is an event called Oh bej! Oh bej!. It is basically a Christmas fair. There are a massive amount of Christmas decorations on display. Food stalls are left and right. A lot of Christmas shopping can be done there while keeping your stomach full. The event runs for a week, so there is plenty of chances to drop in for the fun.

What types of things/equipment have you spent money on for your hobby?

Luggage and bags are definitely an investment. As I travel so frequently, I require spacious bags to fit all my needs. Durability is also an important factor. Going through various airports definitely takes a toll of the luggage. I remember one time, I had one luggage where the backing had a hard plastic sheet for support. I opened it up after returning home from a trip, and the plastic sheet was completely shattered due to being tossed around by handlers.

What are some of your favorite places to shop for your hobby?

I buy most of the basic supplies locally from places like Walgreens. I have also done online shopping for other traveling supplies. Sites like TravelSmith and Amazon are good places to search through.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Admittedly, I have not read any books pertaining to traveling. I am sure there are many out there that may assist beginners.

How has your hobby changed your life?

Traveling has changed my life immensely. As I mentioned earlier, my view of the world was very limited when I was younger. I would hear global news and have trouble understanding why their problems existed when they could just follow how Americans conduct themselves. I find myself very open minded now. I love exploring differences from country to country.


What advice do you have for others just starting out?

I would advise others to make a list of places they want to visit. Most will keep it in their head, but once it is on a list, it becomes much more manageable and something to work through. It is also important to set a budget for each trip and consider to set aside an amount for unexpected emergencies.

Mike Munter

Mike Munter was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. He graduated high school in 1983 and attended University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) for a couple years before attending trade school.

Later, he got his first full-time job as a PC repair technician and in 1988 became a network technician.

After getting laid off in 1992, he chose a new career and worked for 12 years in minor league baseball for the Bowie Baysox.

He moved to Portland in 2004 and after leaving corporate America for good a few years later, he launched an internet marketing business in 2010. In his spare time, he loves to play chess, spend time with friends, hike, and go to the dog park.

Mike writes for his self-help blog when he has something he feels can help others.

What is your hobby?

Well, I have more than one, but gardening is probably the big one. I have a huge space with three 30′ raised beds and four 45′ raised beds.

I built most of it myself and enjoy all of the work that goes into it. I started gardening big time in 2009.

How did you get started?

I had a small bed next to my house and in 2008 I planted some kale and broccoli and they grew great.

I wanted to grow more food, but didn’t have the space. I had a strong urge to expand, so I told my neighbor in passing and he said, “I know just the place.”

There’s an undeveloped lot adjacent to his house that gets full sun. Technically, it’s city property, but my neighbor was the one who had to mow it and maintain it.

He suggested I garden there, so we made a simple deal: He’d supply the water and I’d handle everything else.

In 2009, we tilled up the 15′ x 30′ area which became the first three beds. Then each year after that, I’d dig a little more and by 2012, I’d built 4 more 45′ beds.

We’ve got a compost area a local landscaper tops off with grass. I’ve had people give me starts or swap seeds and most of the neighbors who walk by pause to say, “Nice garden.”

In 2016, I put in an irrigation system. There’s always something to do in the garden.

Tell us what you love about it.

I like digging in the dirt. I love putting a seed in the ground and having faith it will grow. I like weeding because I like getting to the root cause of things. I like the planning and strategy of “What will I plant this year and where?”

I love the cycle of composting all the spent plants, combined with grass clippings, and leaves my neighbor’s kids toss into the pile each Fall.

I love knowing where my food comes from and it feels good to know a seed I planted in March is providing food for me, my neighbors, and friends.

Above all else, I love to can and preserve what I grow. Having fresh tomato sauce or salsa, jellies, sauerkraut, pickles, and pumpkin on hand is special to me. I grow a lot of hot peppers and can hot sauce I eat every day with breakfast. Friends have said my tomatillo salsa could be sold in stores. A few years ago, I toyed with getting certified to sell “Mike’s Pumpkin Butter.”

I feel a deep sense of connectedness to nature through every step in this process.

What types of things/equipment have you spent money on for your hobby?

Compost, wood, irrigation equipment and seeds.

I used to save seed, but it’s just too much work and takes too long – except for fava beans.

What are some of your favorite places to shop for your hobby?

There’s a place called City Farm near my house in Portland. For a small place, they have everything you need.

I’ve also bought wood, supplies, and seeds at Fred Meyer, Lowe’s, and Home Depot.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Believe it or not, most of what I’ve done has been trial and error. Most things grow with little effort in the Northwest.

One book I still own is Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades, by Steve Solomon.

How has your hobby changed your life?

Every vegetable I hated as a kid, I now love. I’m healthier in both mind and body thanks to gardening.

In the summer, my almost every morning ritual is to walk the garden with my first cup of coffee. I love when friends ask for a tour. I’ve met neighbors I never would’ve known.

It makes me feel good.

What advice do you have for others just starting out?

A lot of people say, “I’d love to have a garden, but I don’t have the space or I don’t have a green thumb.”

Just figure it out. I’ve literally thrown seeds down in early spring and let them go. They grow fine. You can grow in pots if you don’t have room and you can grow plenty of herbs inside your kitchen with little sun.

I encourage people to dismiss the belief, “I don’t have a green thumb,” because I think anyone can grow. It just takes faith – and some fertile soil 🙂

Matthew David Parker

Matthew David Parker is a talented photographer who operates his business from Las Vegas, Nevada. He’s the co-founder of Matthew David Parker Photography. The company offers on-site and studio photography services. Mr. Parker was once the chief executive officer of Krystal Perkins Media Group, which is based in Chicago, Illinois. While serving at Krystal Perkins, he gained experience that enabled him to establish his photography company.

 

In 2016, Matthew took more than 250,000 pictures. He’s widely recognized for his photography prowess as well as his eye for capturing excellent shots. David Parker grew up in New York and attended San Diego State University.

What is your hobby?

I love taking pictures. As a matter of fact, I can take pictures all day without getting bored. To me photography is everything, and I think I was born to do it.

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

I started taking pictures when I was eight years old. However, I took my first professional pictures in my early 20s. I helped one of my friends to take headshots for her modeling portfolio. She got a modeling gig and referred her friends to me. That’s when I began charging for my services. Now, I charge more due to the increase in demand, but I still love photography.

Tell us what you love about it.

Well, there are lots of things I love about photography. It’s my primary source of inspiration and enthusiasm. The thing I love most about taking pictures is the freedom to create new things. Photography also takes me to places I’ve never been. Additionally, it gives me an opportunity to work with different kinds of people and capture emotions and moments.

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

I’m not a member of any photography group yet. However, I often attend events held by photographers in New York and Las Vegas. On May 1st, I hosted an event dubbed “DIY Photography.” The main aim of the event was to bring together passionate photographers from different areas so that they can share ideas. I’m glad the event was a success. I intend to join some photography groups soon.

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

Yes, I have. Photography is just like any other business. You need to invest in good equipment to create high-quality products. I have bought different types of lights for our studio, and this has improved the quality of our pictures. Recently I purchased a wide angle lens from Nikon. The lens will allow my team and I to take pictures of groups and maintain crisp images.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I get my cameras and equipment from Nikon. They have some of the best cameras out there. I also get some of the equipment from Canon. Both companies offer me value for my money, which is important for every business.

Are there any good books for beginners?

I’d recommend Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now.” It’s a great eye-opener. I love how Eckhart talks about self-discovery and self-healing. Another book I’d recommend is “Principle Centered Leadership” by Steven Covey. This book is ideal for those who intend to turn their hobby into a successful business. It will help them understand the different leadership styles and the best qualities of leadership.

How has this changed your life?

Photography has actually changed a lot of things in my life. It has enabled me to look at things from different perspective. Consequently, I can make better decisions than before. My hobby has given me the chance to meet new people and share ideas. Also, it’s made me appreciate the creative process. I feel good when my clients are happy with their pictures. This gives me a sense of fulfillment.

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

It’s not easy to start something. But with perseverance and focus, they can make it. They need to understand that it takes some time to perfect the art if taking pictures. So, it’s important to exercise patience and learn from mistakes. What’s more, they shouldn’t think so much about the money they can make from their new found hobby. One needs to create value first.

Keith Bansemer of My Patriot Supply

Keith Bansemer is the vice president of marketing at My Patriot Supply, where the longtime expert in advertising, digital strategy, and eCommerce is responsible for directing the marketing efforts of multiple brands across more than two-dozen individual websites. Keith, a resident of northern Idaho who enjoys spending time off the grid near Upper Priest Lake in Idaho, has long been fond of the outdoors and spends a great deal of his time away from work hiking, gardening, and reading. Keith’s peers have praised the former radio talk show host for his natural leadership skills, tremendous foresight, and his consistent willingness to provide exceptional mentoring or guidance to anyone who happens to ask.

What is your hobby?

I enjoy anything involving the outdoors, especially hiking and gardening. That includes through the winter with an herbal garden in my kitchen window.

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

My family always kept a garden wherever we lived. We’ve canned different foods each fall. I learned so much about nature and the environment just from tending to the garden during each season that I couldn’t help feeling inspired to maintain a garden ever since.

Tell us what you love about it.

Gardening keeps me closely connected to the environment in which I live while also reminding me to appreciate all the time and energy that goes into providing nourishment — something too many of us take for granted. It’s a skill we all need to learn.

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

There are several community gardens in or around the area, so I like to help out whenever I am able.

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

Gardening is such a great hobby for the simple fact that, when done right, the expense to create and maintain a garden is minimal. I add homemade compost to provide the beds with nutrients during the growing season, and rarely do I need anything other than a bucket and a garden spade.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

There’s an organic market in town that sells fish emulsion and liquid kelp, which is useful for a quick foliar feeding.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Most people cite a lack of space as a reason why they don’t garden, so I often recommend that beginners find a copy of the original “Square Foot Gardening” (or the updated version, “All New Square Foot Gardening”) by Mel Bartholomew.

How has this changed your life?

Gardening reminds me of the limitless value associated with self-reliance. It also makes me that much more appreciative of our natural environment and all the vital resources we have available to us. Plus, it cuts my spending at the grocery store.

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

Focus on learning which crops perform best in your individual climate zone and begin with those first. Some crops can be especially challenging in certain regions, and this might discourage a beginner from developing a lifelong love of gardening.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

In addition to my passion for gardening, I always look forward to going on long hikes and enjoy reading as well.

Rocco Basile

Rocco Basile is one of the most recent talents to rise in the photography field. Born and raised in New York, his life has been permeated with the diverse sights of the city. Having lived in almost all of the boroughs, Rocco Basile is no stranger to the most iconic scenes the city has to offer. He has utilized his knowledge to produce some of the best skyline and candid photos in America. However, the subject of his camera lens lies most notably on the rare and beautiful instances that evoke a story. As such, Rocco Basile can be more accurately seen as a story teller first and a photographer second.

What is your hobby?

My main hobby is photography. Specifically, I am perhaps most well known for my photojournalism. Although, I do other types of photography as well such as landscape, fine art, wildlife, and portrait photography.

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

 I think it is mostly thanks to my mom that I took up photography. Living in New York City, she always encouraged me to go out and immerse myself with my surroundings. I was especially drawn to walking into art galleries and museums. I began documenting my trips with my family’s camera because I wanted to share with my mom the daily adventures I had.

Tell us what you love about it.

What I love most about photography is the ability to capture the overlooked moments and see the influence it has on people. It really is a case of a picture being worth a thousand words. There is so much story and emotion packed into just the right shot.

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

Before I started my own studio, I used to quite frequently participate in film and photography festivals. I mostly attended the ones situated in New York and California. However, I have also received exposure abroad in festivals based in Asia.

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

I have definitely had to invest in equipment for photography. People often think all I need is a camera, but there is a slew of gear that comes with it. I have bought countless batteries, tripods, and extremely pricey lenses. Beyond actual camera equipment is the need for editing software such as Adobe Photoshop.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

Honestly, I find it more convenient these days to order online from stores such as B&H Photo Video. Back in my early years, I would purchase my required gear from stores locally. It is probably acquiring a sense of familiarity with the store owner and employees that I miss the most now.

Are there any good books for beginners?

It is difficult to recall them as I have read so many photography books. I would probably recommend Mastering Digital SLR Photography by David D. Busch for beginners. It contains some advanced material but nothing too daunting. If you want just the bare essentials starting from zero, I would say try Digital SLR Photography For Dummies.

How has this changed your life?

Photography has quite literally opened my eyes to the world for me, which has greatly changed my life. I have been fortunate enough to have my skills take me to places all over the world. My stay in Japan was a definite culture shock, but it is probably my favorite country I have been to.

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

I would advise beginners to not get caught up in the technical side of photography. It is way too overwhelming and it may even suck the satisfaction out of it. The one thing they should focus on is expressing themselves through photography. That is something I still carry on to this day. It is beneficial to apply this perspective as not only do they express who they are, they also learn more about their inner self.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I do have a few other hobbies on the side that I enjoy. I do not consider myself a master at it, but I try to make time to continue landscape painting. The passion for it sort of carried over from my own landscape photographs. It started out as an attempt to see how the expression of myself can vary between two different mediums with the same subject matter. I also enjoy being outdoors to stay physically active such as biking and hiking. Though I believe it has become more of a lifestyle than a hobby.

Narin Charan – CEO of Capital Alliance

Born and raised in sunny California, Narin Charan is the CEO of Capital Alliance, a tech-enabled direct lender dedicated to providing simple, transparent solutions for small businesses to obtain capital.

After 10 years of service as CEO for Capital Alliance,  Narin Charan carries the same enthusiasm and passion for his work as the early days starting the company out of a 150 square foot office in Orange County, California. To date, Capital Alliance has deployed over $500 million to thousands of small businesses across the United States.

Outside of his work, Narin Charan is an avid Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner and competitor.

 

What is your hobby?

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

 

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

Since a kid, I have always been intrigued with the idea of Bushido, or the Way of the Warrior. The ‘way’ emphasizes samurai values like mastery, honor and loyalty. Our co-founder introduced me to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu back during our cold calling days. What started as a hobby became a lifestyle.

 

Tell us what you love about it.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a game of submitting your opponent utilizing strategic positioning and leverage. Sounds uncannily similar to the business game, right? There are many parallels between combat and business – strategy, positioning, leverage, timing – the list goes on. The game unfolds at different cadences, but they are very similar.

 

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

The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community in general is like no other. We typically promote healthy lifestyle, humility, and constant self-development. I have met some amazing people on the mat. There are also the inevitable bonds formed from sharing years of blood and sweat with your training partners.

 

Are there any good books for beginners?

A Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy by Miyamoto Musashi is an excellent book for anyone interested in martial arts or business strategy. Musashi believed martial arts involved a mastery of the mind rather than simply developing technical prowess.

 

How has this changed your life?

“There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.”

“Do not sleep under a roof. Carry no money or food. Go alone to places frightening to the common brand of men. Become a criminal of purpose. Be put in jail, and extricate yourself by your own wisdom.”

“There is timing in the whole life of the warrior, in his thriving and declining, in his harmony and discord. Similarly, there is timing in the Way of the merchant, in the rise and fall of capital. All things entail rising and falling timing. You must be able to discern this.”

 

Enough said.

 

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

Accept the fact that you will be dominated and beaten regularly during the beginning stages of your training. Embrace this as part of the process. Be patient and enjoy the journey.

 

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I love to experience nature with my kids. I also enjoy running, the Arts, and reading about Philosophy.

Rachel Kugel – Founder, The Kugel Law Firm

Rachel Kugel is a lawyer, entrepreneur, and mom living and working in NYC. She runs her own criminal defense law practice while raising two little girls. Originally from Las Vegas, Nevada Rachel headed back to the east coast for college and law school and settled in uptown Manhattan with her family.

What is your hobby?

Lately, my new hobby has been making videos and creating content for my websites, youtube, and media outlets that deliver information about the law that can help people when they need it most.

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

I am always looking for new ways to reach out to potential clients and people who need me as well as to comment on the legal stories in the news that people care about and that effect the lives of my clients.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love being able to connect directly with people and share my knowledge I also love the opportunity to have cool life experiences that arise from assisting the media and meet really interesting people in my field as well as outside of it.

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

I am active in many associations of criminal defense and DWI lawyers as well as lots of groups of working women in general who support each other and share experiences.

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

Most of the videos I do myself I shoot with an iPhone I have invested in a Diva Ring Light because everyone was loving it online.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

Online.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Youtube Video Marketing 2 (2016): A Beginners Guide To Video Marketing Domination – How To Create Your Videos for Maximum Effectiveness

How has this changed your life?

I had to really step out of my comfort zone and put myself out there which initially caused me a tremendous amount of fear. By busting through that boundary I’ve been able to increase my business, increase my confidence, and deliver valuable information to people who need it.

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

Your biggest hurdle will be your own fear of being seen and what others will think of you, when you bust through it you will be able to do anything!

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I am very active in my community particularly in our local school where I spend a lot of time involved with raising money and running a mock trial program for the 8th graders. In terms of entertainment, I am a big Howard Stern show fan.

You can follow Rachel via Facebook, BlogspotLinkedIn

Founder Of The Goldilocks Foundation – Dr. Barry Friedberg, MD

Originally from southeastern Pennsylvania, Dr. Barry Friedberg has worked in freestanding surgery centers between 1986 and 1991. Since then, he has been a pioneering force in office-based anesthesia which began to take increasing importance in the early 1990s, especially for elective cosmetic surgery.

Friedberg created the non-profit Goldilocks Anesthesia Foundation to help create the force for change to get brain monitoring for major surgery under anesthesia as a standard of care. He also wrote ‘Getting Over Going Under, 5 things you must know before anesthesia’ to help patients ensure the use of the best available technology to avoid the rare death but all too common post-op brain fog.

What Is Your Hobby?

Trying to make other patients anesthesia experience better than the two dreadful ones I had prior to medical school. At 4, I had a tonsillectomy with open drop ether. It was like being smothered into unconsciousness with a pillow on one’s face. At 19, I had badly impacted third molars (so-called wisdom teeth) with a muscle relaxant that left me unable to breathe in the recovery room. That breathless sensation is not easily forgotten either.

Tell Us What You Love About It

Seeing the face of gratitude and amazement on my patients’ faces when they wake up realizing everything I told them preoperatively was true; namely, 1) you will not be over or under medicated and awaken mostly clear-headed and 2) we will not hurt you on the operating table. Today will not be the greatest day of pain from surgery. In about 12-24 hours your brain will realize it has been tricked during surgery but in that interval healing takes place.

Are There Any Groups You’re A Part Of Or Events That You Attend Related To Your Hobby?

I primarily go where my anesthesia teaching is more valued than by my anesthesia colleagues. That place would be the surgical meetings.

Have You Had To Invest In Equipment? If So, Please Share Some Of The Things You’ve Bought.

In 1978, I bought a Dinamap and separate printer. The DInamap was the tradename for the first commercially available automated blood pressure device. Those two devices provided me real time information during surgery wherein I was spending time pumping blood and fluids into patients whose clinical condition warranted that therapy to survive.

In 1998, I bought an Aspect Medical System bispectral (BIS) index brain monitor to measure patient response to propofol doses to protect patients from ketamine hallucinations. Ketamine allows the patient’s brain to be tricked by denying the brain the input of noxious painful signals like local anesthetic injection or skin incision.

Where Do You Buy Most Of Your Supplies?

I am very fortunate. My anesthesia supplies are purchased by the offices at which I provide anesthesia.

Are There Any Good Books For Beginners?

Beginners will profit by reading ‘Getting Over Going Under, 5 things you must know before anesthesia,’ available as a free download from www.goldilocksfoundation.org

How Has This Changed Your Life?

As a student of history, I have aspired to become a significant part of anesthesia history. With acknowledgments to both Virchow’s & Cushing’s Triads, I have advanced Friedberg’s Triad:

  • Measure the brain
  • Preempt the pain
  • Emetic drugs abstain

as an answer to the persistent anesthesia problems of over medication, postop pain, and postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV).

More than changing my life, this triad has changed my patients’ lives and the lives of other surgeons’ patients who I will never know. The change that I advocate for anesthesia care is like throwing a pebble into a pond. One never knows where the ripples will carry. Thanks to email, the internet & social media, I’ve already learned about some of those ripples that have reached around the world.

What Advice Do You Have For Others Starting Out With This Hobby?

Know that change is medicine is glacial. All people resist change. Physicians are notoriously resistant to change and anesthesiologists as a subset of physicians, are almost impossible to change. The hope I have for change is the public becoming aware of what the risks of major surgery under anesthesia WITHOUT a brain monitor are (i.e. 30% more drugs than needed with post opp brain fog, and rarely, even death) and knowing what to say when their anesthesiologist responds with ‘we don’t need a brain monitor.’ Prospective patients should answer. ‘With all due respect, it is not your needs I am concerned with. I have to live with the long-term consequences of your short-term anesthetic care.’ I liken this critical need for my anesthesia colleagues to change to that force for change which got fathers into delivery rooms to participate in the births of their children: public knowledge leading to public demand!

Are There Any Other Hobbies You Have?

Being the best husband and dad I can be as well as being the person my dog thinks I am.

River Cohen

River Cohen, a longtime resident of Northern California, is the CEO of River Cohen Giving, an endeavor that has allowed the revered entrepreneur and philanthropist to promote and support a variety of charitable efforts addressing societal issues of great importance. Based out of Scottsdale, Arizona, River Cohen Giving has been instrumental in drawing attention to issues affecting people all over the United States and beyond. River, an award-winning entrepreneur, has always taken great pride in the fact that his professional efforts have been deeply rooted in a socially conscious philosophy. As a resident of the Bay Area, River, along with his wife and two daughters, enjoy a multitude of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and swimming.

 

What is your hobby?

I’m interested in anything that encourages interaction with nature, so my family and I love to go for long hikes and bike rides whenever we are able.

 

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

Northern California is redolent with natural beauty, and it almost feels as though nature is quietly calling to you at all times.

 

Tell us what you love about it.

There is something uniquely satisfying about climbing to the highest peak possible and seeing how different everything appears from that particular perspective. The way back down, especially on a mountain bike, is also quite a rewarding experience.

 

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

I have to travel a lot, so my wife and kids are the core group I typically hike or bike with.

 

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

I enjoy tinkering with my mountain bike, so I’ve had the same frame for quite some time and have replaced most of the other components at one time or another. The most recent purchase was a new pair of shocks.

 

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

There is a great bike store near Mount Tamalpais, so I try to buy most of my supplies from there.

 

Are there any good books for beginners?

I’ve recommended “The Mountain Biker’s Training Bible” on several occasions.

 

How has this changed your life?

Hiking and biking are the perfect activities for those who wish to spend more time connecting with nature, although the pace of that interaction differs quite a bit between hiking and biking.

 

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

It’s important to recognize your limitations. Therefore, it is always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to the degree of difficulty associated with a hiking trail or mountain bike trail.

 

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I’ve always enjoyed swimming and have become even more interested in yoga recently.

Ian Filippini

Ian Filippini, Santa Barbara native, is the president of Filippini Wealth Management, an independent wealth management firm offering clients comprehensive financial planning services. The company, which is based out of Santa Barbara, California, specializes in services pertaining to real estate, insurance, tax planning, and estate planning — along with a host of other services designed to create a convenient full-service option for its clients.

Filippini, has served as the president of Filippini Wealth Management for many years. Outside of his professional responsibilities, Filippini spends time in and around Santa Barbara.

 

What is your hobby?

Although I don’t have the time for it as I once did, I enjoyed playing golf in my youth.

 

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

I learned to play at a very young age and was quite fortunate to live in such close proximity to Pebble Beach.

 

Tell us what you love about it.

I love the humility the game instills in you as well as the instant camaraderie that exists among all golfers regardless of skill level.

 

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

It’s not that often that I am able to play, but I competed in a few youth tournaments here and there back in the day.

 

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

A set of golf clubs is an obvious prerequisite, and I am quite pleased to report that the set of Miura blades I bought so many years ago still has plenty of life in it.

 

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I rarely need to stock up on golf balls and tees, and anything I might need before a round is typically available in the pro shop.

 

Are there any good books for beginners?

I highly recommend that all golfers — beginning and experienced players alike — read or re-read “Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf.” The illustrations are beautifully done and so many golfers can benefit from something as simple as adopting the proper grip.

 

How has this changed your life?

Since I played so often during my youth, I learned some critical life lessons that I continue to apply to this day. Golf repeatedly reinforces the importance of hard work, consistency, patience, and humility, among many other qualities that are beneficial in any endeavor.

 

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

Swing mechanics are important, but the mental side of the game is of equal importance and usually deserves greater attention from most golfers — especially beginners.

 

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I don’t have much time for my hobbies, but I do enjoy all the hiking trails that so perfectly showcase the natural beauty of the Santa Barbara region.