Thanks Pat for the mention in your BIF post but I should point out that I was better at throwing a curve than hitting one! I think the Blog it Forward Challenge is a great way to get some insights on our fellow community members and see what motivates them, as well as what their hobbies are. Those of you, who are not familiar with the “Blog It Forward Challenge”, please read Moshe Naveh’s blog.
I’m originally from the Chicago area but currently live in Foster City, Ca. I graduated from Upper Iowa University where I majored in Mass Communications and Journalism and did play baseball. I’m married, no kids but we have two cats. After college I worked for an insurance lead generation company in Sacramento called InsWeb as a web content copywriter. My career progressed into learning about SEO and website usability best practices and driving organic traffic to our sites.
From there I moved on to Gate58 Marketing, a small lead generation company in the business software segment that is located in San Mateo, Ca. While I was there I continued to create websites and optimize them to bring in as much organic traffic as possible. After my time there I moved on to my current position here at SAP as a community editor. Quite a change from my last company that had a total of 20 employees!
Now for the fun facts. As I mentioned, I played baseball since I was old enough to walk and was fortunate enough to play through my college years. Nowadays I stay active by cycling, running and golfing. I also keep compiling hobbies which include building furniture (from scratch, not just assembling Ikea items 🙂 ), woodcarving, building and flying RC airplanes and helicopters and contemplating getting my private pilot’s license. I’ve only had two lessons so far but will hopefully schedule more classes soon. In my second lesson I completed a successful takeoff and flew around the coast by Bodega Bay, a really beautiful place to see from 2,500 feet!
I am also an avid reader and enjoy reading books on U.S history, politics and science. I’m currently reading The White House Years by Henry Kissinger and just finished reading The Genesis of Science by James Hannam. Some other great books I have read are The Creation of the Media by Paul Starr and Optimize by Lee Odden.
Now to the questions Pat asked me:
If you had to go without one thing that you do, eat, drink, or say every day, what would it be?
This is a tough one but I think I could go without my iPhone. I figured this would satisfy all the criteria since I use it to talk to friends and family and to find places to eat and drink. I would probably go through withdrawals after giving it up but I could always resort to using a phonebook to find restaurants. Phonebooks are still published right?
Who was your favorite teacher, and why?
While I have had many good teachers over the years, I would have to say my favorite one is Melle Starsen, a communications professor I had while I was at Upper Iowa University. She was a great teacher who was able to tie her lessons into real-world scenarios and also helped me during my internship at the UIU MarComm department.
Who is your hero (besides me)?
Hmm, my hero besides Pat? Then I guess I would have to go with my father. Aside from teaching me how to play baseball, shoot a basketball or hold a hockey stick (I played a lot of sports in my youth), he also taught me the value of getting a good education and persevering to reach your goals. He’s the type of man that once he makes a decision to do something, he does whatever is necessary to reach his goal. Whether it was completing law school or competing in triathlons, his dedication and work ethic really inspired me to work hard at everything I do.
So now I would like to invite Talila Baron and Catherine LaCroix to the party. I think people would like to know:
1) What motivated you to choose the career you have chosen?
2) If you could meet anyone, alive or deceased, who would it be?
3) What is your favorite vacation spot or dream vacation location?