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Category: Interview (page 2 of 12)

Luke Persichetti

Luke Persichetti was born and raised near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, in 2018, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics.  Luke has relocated to Manhattan to pursue a career in the financial industry. While at Yale, he had the opportunity to work in fixed income trading.  Luke Persichetti hopes to become a knowledgeable and respected investor.  His long-term goal is to open his own business within the industry.

Luke’s hobbies include weight-lifting to keep physically fit, and while he was in school, he participated in track and field as a shot-putter. He also volunteered his time as a coach. He enjoys movies and watching T.V., but his biggest pleasure comes from reading various genres. You would either find Luke Persichetti studying the markets and the financial industry or engrossed in a classic novel of his choice.  Overall, Luke immerses himself in the literary arts, films, and T.V. dramas. He considers the parallels in these artistic presentations and enjoys the comparison of and interactions between these different forms of discourse.

What are your hobbies?

I was a shot-putter in track and field at Yale University.  As a thrower, I would model much of my strength training after that of Olympic weightlifters. I enjoy training this way today to keep strong and physically fit. Currently, my favorite pastime is reading. I am most interested in historical reading and books about the American economy, the financial system, political strategy, and public policy. I also enjoy watching movies and television shows that revolve around significant moments in American history.

How did you get started reading such a wide range of genres?

I took an economics course in high school that was very challenging. I also found it to be extremely interesting. It compelled me to explore the possibility of majoring in economics at Yale. It was not until after college, however, that I became deeply interested in connecting the principals and the underlying logic of economics to other subjects. I began reading about behavioral economics, geopolitics from a macro perspectives, and many other academically intersectional topics. My reading interests largely stemmed from studying economics, which also led me to the financial industry. Working on wall street further stoked my interest in reading the works of the most influential figures in finance and investing.

Can you share what you love most about reading?

Again, its use in my education and professional background plays a big part. I also simply like having a variety of subjects on which I am knowledgeable. I find that if nothing else, it makes you more conversational.  It becomes much easier to express your thoughts and expand on any type of discussion.  I also think reading virtually anything can help improve analytical and reasoning skills.  Finally, reading a diversity of viewpoints and opinions allows for a thorough approach to forming one’s own ideas.

Are there any reading groups or events that you attend regularly?

I have found great success having open discussions with colleagues on a regular basis. I haven’t found any other discussion groups thus far, but I am open to expanding my horizon in this regard.

Can you share some of the books that you’ve purchased?

I just finished reading A Man for all Markets by Edward O. Thorp. Thorp began as a math professor at MIT. He later came up with systems to beat a number of casino games. He developed card-counting systems to beat blackjack and baccarat as well as a wearable computer to beat roulette.  After that, he took his talents to wall street and opened up a hedge fund centered around the then-novel idea of statistical arbitrage. I greatly enjoyed the book. I have just begun reading a Stephen King novel called Misery. Every sixth book I read is fictional and I really enjoyed the last novel I read of his. I think there is a reason that so many of his works are made into films.

What are your favorite all-time books?

A nonfiction book that I like a lot is Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. Another is called The Most Important Thing by Howard Marks. As far as fiction goes, my favorite novel is probably One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. At risk of sounding cliché, I also love J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye.

Where do you buy most of your books?

I buy most of my books on Amazon.

Why do you rely on Amazon for all of your books?

I rely on Amazon because I have a Prime account and they make it incredibly easy to order books. It allows me to speed up the process screening new books to read and to save options for later.

If someone wanted to start reading to develop it into a hobby what kind of reading would you suggest?

I would say to find the thing that most interests you. Think of your hobbies, as well as one person, event, or idea that you have a cursory knowledge of from school but would like to know more about. You can also focus on topics that you think will most benefit you in your chosen career. One of the best ways to ease into reading daily is to start with a wide array of newspapers and editorials.  Beginning with shorter, fresher pieces can help you train yourself to read consistently.

How has reading changed your life?

It definitely has. It has made me curious and knowledgeable about far more topics than I otherwise would be.  A mental library can be extremely beneficial in conversations, debates, and all kinds of other human interactions. Reading is also a great way to relax and lower anxiety. There are few things better than sitting on the beach with great book and I’ve found it very helpful during the most stressful times of my life.

How do your other hobbies influence your reading?

I am very interested in television and film. Many of the shows and movies I watch tend to be analogous to what I read. For example, love the first season HBO’s True Detective partly because of the many Lovecraftian influences it draws upon. If you are well-read, you can find a lot more to tap into and think about when watching and interacting with other forms of art and discourse.

You can learn more about Luke Persichetti at:

Ryan Phillips

Bio:

Ryan Phillips is the Owner of Ty Ty Nursery in Ty Ty, Georgia.

Since he was a young man, Ryan Philips know that he wanted to work with plants in his career; they’ve always been his passion. As a teenager, Ryan ran a landscaping business in his local community and was soon after hired at a plant nursery when he was 15. After completing high school, Ryan attended Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College in Tifton, Georgia. Looking to expand his education further, Ryan went on to attend the University of Georgia, where he became a member of Pi Alpha Xi, a horticulture honor society.

During his studies, Ryan got a job at Ty Ty Nursery, a plant nursery located in Ty Ty, Georgia. Ryan has been at Ty Ty Nursery for more than 10 years now and recently purchased the business, becoming the Owner. Ryan hopes to pass Ty Ty Nursery off to his children one day.

 

What is your hobby?

Although I spend all day working with plants, I would still consider gardening to be a hobby of mine. When I’m not at Ty Ty Nursery working with plants, I’m at home tending to the family garden.

 

What do you love about your hobby?

It’s hard to say exactly what I love so much about plants and gardening. There’s something calming about working with soil and nurturing the plants as they grow. Not only is it therapeutic just looking after these plants, but it really brightens up your yard. You can create a garden entirely unique and can plant a wide variety of bushes, trees, flowers, and more.

 

When did you really become interested in gardening?

My interest in plants and gardening really became apparent during my teen years when I was in high school. I began a landscaping business because I had a passion and a talent for yard work and gardening. It was a good first experience and I soon after found myself working at a plant nursery. This was my first real experience working at a plant nursery and I loved it so much I eventually bought one!

 

How would you say your hobby has changed your life?

Well, it’s essentially given me a career, which helps me provide for my family. When I’m gardening outside of work, I find it very calming as well. Days can be hectic and busy at Ty Ty Nursery and, although I love what I do, it’s nice to have my own private garden to tend to at home. Not only that, but gardening and doing yard work is something that can be done as a family or with friends. It’s a great bonding experience.

 

What advice would you give someone looking to get into gardening?

Just do it! Go and get your hands dirty and start planting. Do some research first to find out when you should be planting and what will work best for your garden and your climate conditions. You’ll need to invest in some gardening tools as well. Go and pick up a tough pair of gloves, gardening sheers, and a trowel. There’s more stuff you’ll need as your garden evolves but those things are a good start.

 

What is a recent purchase you’ve made that’s helped with your hobby?

I recently picked up a pair of knee pads. If you spend long hours out in the garden, you’re probably spending a lot of time on your knees, which can get painful. I’d recommend some knee pads to those who are serious gardeners or if you’ve got bad joints.

 

To learn more about Ryan Phillips and Ty Ty Nursery, please check out these links: 

https://patch.com/georgia/atlanta/tyty-nursery-how-grow-atlanta-s-iconic-blueberries

Ty Ty Nursery’s Tips on How to Approach the Spring Gardening Season

Ty Ty Nursery

https://ideamensch.com/ryan-phillips/

 

Taber Sullivan

Taber Sullivan was born in Gainesville, Florida in 1969 at Shands Hospital on the campus of the University of Florida. He moved to Venice Florida when he was three-years-old. He attended school in Charlotte, Florida. After graduating high school in 1997, Mr. Sullivan attended the University of Southern Florida. He graduated in December of 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. After college, Mr. Sullivan moved to Caracas, Venezuela to teach English to employees of Venezuela’s largest oil company. He taught over the next six months and returned to his home in Florida. He began a new career with the Hyatt Hotel Corporation. Over the next 10 years with this corporation, he cross-trained in every department earning promotion after promotion, leading him to a position in management.

In 2009, Taber Sullivan began a new career with Group Travel Planners, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Group Travel Planners specializes in coordinating travel plans for high school Bands, Choirs and Orchestras on performance trips around the world. If a music ensemble wants to perform at Carnegie Hall or march in the Saint Patrick day parade in Dublin Ireland, our company provides that opportunity for them.

Mr. Sullivan has worked for Group Travel Planners for the past 10 years. He is the number one sales employee for the company. He works from his home office in Venice, Florida.  Taber Sullivan is the proud father of five children, two boys, and three girls. His oldest daughter attends Liberty College in Virginia. His oldest son attends Venice High in Venice, Florida. The three youngest children attend school in Venice Florida.

What is your hobby?

My hobby is working out at the gym and taking care of my body.

In what do you participate?

I participate in athletic events such as spartan and savage races.

How did you get started with your hobby?

I started with my hobby over three-years ago when I was a bit overweight. I realized that I needed to make some changes. I have three young children and wanted to give myself the best chance I could to make sure I can watch them grow up. Once I started to see changes, I was motivated to continue on the path that I was on. I made it a lifestyle change for the long-term.

Tell us what you do to work-out.

I work out at my local fitness facility. I love all of the people there. I work out every day. The people there have become my second family. Each of us has become a great support system for one another. We all have different goals. We all started our journey’s at different levels, but we are all in it together. It is always easier to push yourself when you are working out with someone else, rather than by yourself.

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

I participate in spartan and savage races with the members of my gym. The races consist of obstacles placed on muddy tracks ranging from three to fifteen miles of track. We run as a team and help one another over walls and different obstacles.

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

Everything that is needed to run the race is provided at the gym. I have purchased the proper clothing to be able to run. I purchased special shoes I needed to run in the muddier races. I also purchased multi-vitamins that I purchased at GNC.

Where do you get most of your supplies?

I buy my vitamins at GNC, and I buy my clothes online.

Are there any books you would recommend for beginners?

Men’s Fitness Exercise Bible is a great book for beginners. They teach you how to work out with or without equipment, and without everything becoming routine. It is for all ages from elite athletes to beginners. It shows you what you can accomplish in eight minutes, that others cannot accomplish in eight hours. It is an effective and efficient workout routine.

How has this changed your life?

Just beginning my workout, I have more energy and more self-confidence. I am a happier person with a healthier lifestyle.

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

I would let a new person just starting out know that it is very difficult when you first start. It is easy to join a gym and attend for a month then quit. My advice to people would be to join a gym that has classes. It is easier when you can be with other people on your fitness journey. You will be consistent. After three months, instead of avoiding going to the gym, you will have changed your lifestyle and you will need it in your routine.

Are there any other hobbies that you have?

I love to coach my children’s sports teams. I coached my older son’s in football and I couch my daughter’s cross-country team.

 

To learn more about Taber Sullivan, you can follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Shabbir Evershine

Shabbir Evershine is a foodie and travel gnome at heart. Born and raised in Karachi (Pakistan), he immigrated to USA when he was 18 and since then, worked for three Fortune 500 companies and five startups. He is an avid book reader, loves to discover new places, new people, and new food cuisines and fusions. He is a certified project manager and has worked in an executive capacity running global Project Management Offices (PMO) for tech and finance companies. Shabbir Evershine currently lives in Toronto where he is the Founder of RocketPMO, a boutique consulting firm that specializes in the setup, implementation and maturity of Project Management Offices for small and large organizations.

What is your hobby?

I love riding horses. While most (or almost all) equestrians will insist that it is a sport, I don’t ride horses as if I am participating in a competitive sport. I treat it as a hobby where I can relax and ride horses.

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

When I was seven years old, my father would take me horse-riding near a beach in Karachi. I would ride for several hours in a week and loved every bit of it. He was an avid rider himself and loved to train my younger brother and I in the fine art of horse-riding.

Tell us what you love about it.

The connection you feel with the horse is amazing. It feels like man and horse has become one. You feel the slight impulse, the muscle and gallop in its feet, the responsiveness of a well-trained horse, and the excitement between stimuli and response.

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

There are a plenty of clubs and training institutes that offer horse-riding classes. Personally, I am not part of any groups or events currently. I do want to pursue this competitively in the future though.

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

Normally, I go to the local clubs and horse ranches to do occasional horse-riding. Breed of horses does matter. Training and upbringing is also evident as soon as one rides the horse for a while.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I rent horse-riding gear from the farm or ranch I go to. My sons own their own equipment though. They regularly do their horse-riding.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Tons actually. In addition, YouTube is a great place to learn more about horse-riding.

How has this changed your life?

Horse riding is connecting with nature. It strengthens the body, especially the core. It has made me more mindful. It builds coordination of mind and body. Working in a barn and taking care of a horse strengthens muscles and increases cardiovascular capacity.

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

Take it slowly. Learn the basics and horse care before riding. Understand the horse, and develop a wavelength. It will make the activity much more enjoyable.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

Stamp collecting, reading books, and travelling are all close to my heart.

Please be sure to include a picture of yourself, preferably doing your hobby, which can be emailed to your account manager.

To learn more about Shabbir Evershine, you can follow him on Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

Shawn Grzybowski

Shawn Grzybowski is an experienced logistics officer and New York native. Having attended St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, he graduated with a double major in government and English literature.  After completing his post-secondary education, he was commissioned as a logistics officer in the United States Marine Corps. He attained the rank of lieutenant colonel, and despite his initial plan to remain in service for only several years he has now completed 22 years of active duty. With his extensive military experience behind him, Shawn Grzybowski’s immediate plan is to retire to Oahu Hawaii, a place where he describes as feeling like home.

What is your hobby?   

My primary hobby is mountain biking as I enjoy navigating various types of terrain. It requires a certain skill level and the trails present a significant challenge both mentally and physically. Mountain biking differs from other sports as it requires an extensive amount of commitment and superior dedication. From purchasing the appropriate gear to understanding proper safety techniques, the past time is not for the faint of heart.

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

My buddy Jason had bought a bike and talked constantly of his time spent on the trails. I was intrigued to say the least, so, when I finally moved to Southern California, I decided to purchase a bike and give it a try. It is not as easy as you think it is (I learned this the hard way). There is much skill and knowledge required to become proficient without the risk of injury.

Mountain biking also comes with countless physical benefits, and I am someone who strives to remain active on a daily basis. The exercise is rigorous, but the cardiovascular workout strengthens your immunity and has many long-term health advantages. I have seen a significant improvement in my overall balance and coordination, and because biking is not a weight-bearing sport, there is less risk of a joint injury. Ultimately, cycling is an extremely dynamic exercise and I hit the trails whenever I find the extra time.

What is your favourite thing about your hobby? 

Mountain biking is an adventurous sport and requires a sense of exploration and risk-taking, I get a major adrenaline rush every time I complete a trail for the first time. By the time I finish a course, I am left feeling both renewed and accomplished.  I recommend mountain biking to anyone who loves the great outdoors and is not afraid of a little danger.

How would you say your hobby has changed your life?  

It gives me something to look forward to on the weekends or with any free time I may have.  I have a deeper sense of gratitude for the natural world, and a different perspective on life. Once you develop your skills, cycling can be highly meditative.

I am constantly pushing personal boundaries and looking forward to new challenges. The sport has strengthened my belief that anything worth doing is most likely challenging and you should never give up.

To learn more visit these links:

https://twitter.com/shawngrzybowsk1, 

http://inspirery.com/shawn-grzybowski/

Shawn Grzybowski’s Daily Life as a Logistics Officer

 

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian was born in Brooklyn, New York. He grew up in The Bronx and attended Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan. A graduate of the State University of New York at Albany, he founded 5WPR in 2003 as a one-man office. Today, the firm employs more than 175 communications professionals in the company’s headquarters in the iconic Helmsley Building in Manhattan. The name, 5WPR – stands for the 5W’s of marketing – who, what, when, where, and why.

Torossian is one of the most well respected Public Relations professionals in America. He is on the board of numerous charities, including his family foundation, The Ronn Torossian Foundation. He lives with his kids on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

What is your hobby?

Charity Work.

How did you get started with this hobby?

I’ve been involved with helping people since my childhood. In my home, giving back to your community was basically a requirement. From a very young age, I have known the importance of giving. As for what inspired me, my mother, Penny Waga. She’s my hero.

I would not be who I am today without her, and that includes my belief that giving back is necessary to be successful.

Tell us what you love about your hobby.

Helping people is awesome and amazing and great.

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

This is a bit harder to answer, as so much of charity is seated in not buying anything for myself, but instead giving that money to those in need.

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

Practically everything; it’s a hard hobby to dislike. I get to help people in several different ways, whether it’s with education or helping them connect with their community and heritage, or even donating to cancer research, I feel great about all of it.

Are there any good books for beginners?

I quite enjoy “A Path Appears” by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. It goes into the importance of accountability as well as some of the neuroscience involved in philanthropy. I re-read it annually as it inspires me to give more and ensure more goes to the intended receipients of charity.

How has your hobby changed your life?

Giving to charity and being involved with charities has made my whole life better. It’s our obligation as people to leave the world a better place and I genuinely think giving to charity has made every aspect of my life better. As Winston Churchill famously said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

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

Find a cause that speaks to you, don’t pick a charity at random. Really connecting with people is the single greatest way to enhance the aspect of giving, which is something I think we all take for granted every day.

Vito Glazers

Vito Glazers is a California based media entrepreneur originally from Chicago, Illinois. He is considered an expert in media and publicity especially as it pertains to digital marketing. He attended Prospect High School in Mount Prospect, Illinois where he graduated with honors when he was 16 years old. After high school, he attended Columbia College and DePaul University, but quit school at 19 to become an entrepreneur. Vito has been appearing on television since 2009 and has collaborated with celebrities and shared stages and the silver screen with celebrities like Dennis Rodman, Gorbachev, Mancow, President George W. Bush, Kevin Harrington and is now producing a biography about Ron Jeremy.

What is your hobby?

Traveling

How did you get started with this hobby?

I have been a life long traveler ever since I was a child. My mother was originally born in Guatemala and we would frequently our relatives there. By the time I was 5 years old I had learned to speak Spanish fluently. I had always loved traveling and traveled as much as I could, but for a long period, I did not have many opportunities to travel internationally because I was so busy running different companies. My love for travel was reawakened by my friend Tim Burd who had been traveling the world coaching and lecturing about digital marketing. He invited me to join him on a few trips and my travel addition was reawakened.

Tell us what you love about your hobby.

Traveling is great for putting things into perspective. I love not just the fun and excitement of planning a trip, but the best part is landing in a completely new place and experiencing a completely new and different culture. I love comparing the similarities and exploring the differences between different countries and regions. But what I love most about traveling is trying the food!

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

My biggest investment in equipment for traveling has probably been investing in some good quality luggage. It can get very expensive but good luggage will last a long time.

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

Amex Travel is probably my favorite place to shop and explore trips. AirBNB has also become a great place to book lodging for travel if you are looking to experience a more immersive travel experience.

Are there any good books for beginners?

I probably should read more about traveling but one book I read that taught me a lot about how employees of airlines view you, is Diary of a Pissed Off Flight Attendant. After reading that book I definitely have a new appreciation for the work done by stewards, stewardesses, pilots and all other flight support.

How has your hobby changed your life?

Traveling has changed my life in many ways. It has allowed me to have a broader, global perspective. It has helped me appreciate different cultures, and accept and appreciate different ways of living and doing business. I take something home to America with me from every country I visit. A lot of times my friends and I will come back from a trip and a word from another country will permanently slip into our vocabulary. For example, after a group of us went to England, we all came back saying “Cheerio” – it’s just a great expression.

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

I would advise people to travel a lot when they have some resources saved up. Traveling in style is so much more fun than budget traveling. I would also advise spending some time truly immersed in a country’s culture, and not just do the tourist activities. It sounds cliche, but traveling is the only thing that you spend money on that makes you richer! Take lots of photos, but also live in the moment. There is no wrong way to explore the world.

Gina Marta

Gina Marta is a Registered EEG Technologist who works at several hospitals in the Chicago area. Even after attending EEG school at the Medical Careers Institute and becoming board-registered, Gina still believes that there is plenty of room for growth and continued on-the-job education. Working as a Registered EEG Technologist gives Gina the opportunity to interact with a dedicated team of medical professionals, all workings towards the goal of helping patients feel better. While at work, Gina strives go above and beyond, not just completing the EEG exam but also making patients feel at ease and relaxed throughout the entire procedure.

Although Gina Marta very much enjoys her career as a Registered EEG Technologist, she believes that everyone needs activities to unwind and de-stress. Here are a few of her favorite hobbies:

What is your hobby?

I have several hobbies that I’m very passionate about. I enjoy Kriya Yoga and Meditation and reading, but I also very much enjoy cooking.

How did you get started with these hobbies? What inspired you?

With work comes stress. I think that everyone needs effective ways to de-stress so that their daily worries don’t overcome them. I can’t remember exactly when I discovered Kriya Yoga and Meditation but I’m thankful I did. It keeps me feeling Zen and helps me put things into perspective.

As for cooking, I’ve always been interested in food. My mother was always a great cook and I picked up a lot from her. When I travel or read about food from different countries, I like to try to re-create that food for my family and friends.

What do you love about cooking?

It’s a great way to bring people together and transport yourself to other places. Not everyone can afford to travel the world, but food can be a great way to explore. There are so many unique foods that come from so many far away places and most of the ingredients you’ll need can be found at a local grocery store.

Most recipes you can find online but there’s something special about receiving handwritten recipes from loved ones. Cooking by yourself is fun but I love cooking with other people as well. Food is a great way to bring people together.

Have you invested in any gear or equipment for your hobby? If so, what?

There is always new cooking equipment that I’m picking up. The basics like pots and pans but also items that are used more for exotic food items. I just recently picked up a tofu press, which gets all the water out of your tofu without having to use multiple paper towels, eliminating unnecessary waste.

I’m constantly finding new things that I want to buy for my kitchen and could spend ages in a cooking equipment store. I’ve accumulated quite a collection at this point but there is always room for more.

How would you say your hobbies have changed your life?

I would say that my hobbies have made my life much happier. Kriya Yoga and Meditation helps me relax and cooking is what I enjoy doing and sharing with my friends and family. Without my hobbies I think I would have a lot more stress and a lot less happiness.

Do you have any advice for others just getting into any of your hobbies?

For yoga, don’t be afraid to go to classes. It’s always intimidating trying something new, but I guarantee that everyone in the yoga studio or Kriya center is looking for the same thing you are: relaxation. For cooking, go outside of your comfort zone. There are a ton of good foods out there from all over the world. You won’t know if you like if you don’t try it!

 

To learn more about Gina’s career as a Registered EEG Technologist, visit this link:

https://medium.com/gina-marta

 

 

Jonah Engler

Jonah Engler is an intrepid philanthropist and business owner from Brooklyn, New York. He enjoys every aspect of the giving community from mentoring young kids to running his own charities. His background allows him to bring unique methods and ideas to the table as a business owner. Jonah has developed efficient and synergistic methods to deliver the best aspects of non-profits. However, Jonah is not always all about business; he enjoys seeking out new foods, the next best cup of coffee, and family time with his children. Jonah was first introduced to charity through his mother at a young age. He carries the tradition on through his children today. Jonah believes including his family in his endeavors creates a closer bond and develops values they can learn from. He wishes more organizations followed what they preach when it comes to charities. If more organizations followed the methods Jonah created, more can be accomplished, and the affects can carry into their mission productively.

What is your hobby?

It is difficult to just pick one, but I would say giving back. I really enjoy running and working with charities.

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

Charity was instilled in me when I was young, my mother works for United Federation of Teachers (UFT) where she showed me the inner-workings of a charity and all the good they can do.

Tell us what you love about it.

The aspect of giving back and helping others is the absolute favorite part of what I do

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

There are many that deserve to be mentioned; however, that list would be exhaustive. The top charities I work with, aside from my own, are Children of Promise, National Breast Cancer Foundation, AIDS fund, and Robinhood Foundation.

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

I have not personally had to invest in much other than the typical laptop. However, we have acquired many recreational items and electronics to help others through our charities.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

We look to get equipment through local sources to support the community further.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Nonprofit Startup: A Simple Guide to Starting a Charity and Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits are both excellent books to help anyone interested in starting a charity.

How has this changed your life?

Charities have drastically changed the way I act and treat others. Not that I was a bad person before or anything (Chuckles), it’s more that I engage in conversation more, listen to what people have to say, show interest in what interests them, for starters. Growing up in a city where everyone is in a constant rush, it can completely change your outlook if you just take the extra time to converse with others.

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

If you want to start a charity for a cause you believe in, first make sure there isn’t already an existing one. Make sure you have the passion and legitimate means to put forth the effort in creating a startup. Starting a charity is not an easy task and it will take a lot to achieve, but if the cause is worth it, it is worth it to do.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

When I am not working with others you can find me eating food and drinking coffee. My passion for delicious food and coffee is more than enough to be considered a hobby.

Jacques Poujade

Jacques Poujade has spent his entire adult life in the working in different areas of the financial world. Currently, he is a managing partner at LendPlus, an alternative mortgage lender. Despite being in the mortgage business, he still has time for his favorite hobby, playing piano. Here is a closer look at what he loves outside of the office.

What is your hobby exactly?

Piano at first was looked at as something I was forced to do. I’m sure a lot of people have been forced to take lessons as a youngster. I soon realized though that it was very fun and enjoyable. I stepped away from it during my teenage years, but have been playing steadily since college.

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

My inspiration came from my family, as most everyone is able to play at least a little bit. It’s a fun way to learn a musical instrument, and I wanted to be like everyone else.

What do you love about it?

When I look at the piano, I look at it as a frustrating way to relax. Most might not think that frustrating and relaxing go together, but it is a fun type of frustration. I’m constantly trying to improve, learn new songs and more, but it’s enjoyable. Since it’s a hobby, I don’t stress out about it.

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

I’m not much of a performer, although I will play in front of family and friends. I kind of like that part about the piano. I can do it on my own time. So I don’t really participate in groups related to the piano or anything like that.

Have you invested in any gear or equipment for your hobby? If so, what?

In the beginning, I pretty much just played on older pianos that I received for free. It wasn’t until I was established in my career that I started to invest a little into my hobby.

Currently, I have one main piano, and then a digital keyboard that can be packed up and stored away. I like to play both of them. The main piano sounds a lot better, but it can’t be played late at night. With my digital piano, I am able to plug in headphones and play at all hours of the day. Not only that, but it also helps to take the piano on the road if I am going to visit family or friends.

In total, I’ve probably invested a few thousand dollars into piano. That might sound like a lot, but anyone who is familiar with really nice pianos know that this hobby can get super expensive.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I haven’t made a purchase for my piano playing in a while, so I don’t necessarily have a go-to supplier at the moment. For my hobby in particular, it is best to shop online for new and used. A lot of gently used pianos are out there on the market for people to consider. If you can end up saving 50% off the sticker price because someone used it a few hours, it’s worth it.

Are there any good books for beginners?

There are so many piano books out there that it would be impossible to count them all! However, I will say, I think YouTube is perfect for people who are trying to learn. Seeing the hand placement and everything can help out a lot more than reading music. It takes a pretty advanced piano player to read music properly.

How has this changes your life?

I think that piano has really helped me relax in my job. I don’t worry about things when I’m playing piano. I really do get lost in the music.

Any advice for those trying to learn piano?

Like anything, just stick with it. If it is something you enjoy, eventually it will click. There is a learning curve, but the breakthroughs are worth it.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I like to run and stay active when possible. My favorite sport is probably tennis. I also enjoy traveling when I can.

How can people connect with you?

I have my own website at www.jacquespoujade.com. I am also active on Facebook, Twitter, and Medium.