How did you become involved with the Chamber?
Im from the area. I grew up in Astoria, and during the summertimes when I was in college, I worked for the city of Cannon Beach. I was one of those parking officers who rode around downtown on a bike and gave parking tickets, and also helped out the tourists with information.
During that time frame, I got to know a bunch of the business owners, a bunch of locals. After I graduated with my masters in business of course, Id known Sharon (Visser) for a while I heard that the executive director position had opened up, so I applied for it and got the position.
Hard work and some networking got me to where I am now. And a little bit of luck, too.
When you were a parking enforcement officer, what irked you the most?
One thing that would always bother me is people blocking a crosswalk ... because there would be kids crossing the street, and people dont understand that when you park and you block a crosswalk in the yellow zone, youre blocking the view of that little kid that could be walking across the street. A car could just come and that would be it.
That was one of those jobs (where) you kind of have to keep your cool the whole time, because if you got irked, things can really turn sour. They had us in clothing that was very authoritative. We essentially looked like police officers on bikes. And when you look authoritative and act authoritative, different people respond in different ways to it. Some people cower, some people get really flustered.
If you allow yourself to get frustrated in that type of position, things can get pretty dicey. So one of the key things that I learned ... is that you have to be professional, and you have to keep your cool the whole time. And that really transcends any position. If you just keep a cool head and dont let things bother you, you can make better, more informed decisions.
Whats a significant lesson youve learned in your position with the Chamber?
What Ive learned is that theres a lot of ball juggling. (In) this job, you have to be extremely organized, and you have to be able to multi-task to a fault. And if you cant do that, then this job is not for you. So I learned very quickly that I have to multitask, put lots of post-it notes on my desk ... and just be able to keep the balls juggling. And thats really been a key to my success here ... being organized and making sure that things get done, and making sure that the members are happy, that the boards happy, and really just driving more business into town, especially in the off-season.
Youre a pretty snappy dresser. Who are some of your favorite designers?
Well, you know, I own a lot of stuff from Banana Republic, and one of my favorite brands is Original Penguin, which is owned by Perry Ellis. Ben Sherman I like wearing them.
I just kind of pride myself on my style. And clothes make the man thats something that I learned from my grandfather. If you dress sharp and look the part, people are going to respect you and take you more seriously.
For me, its always been a struggle because I have a youthful appearance; I look really young for my age, and so I have to try extra hard. So thats one of the things Ive used (to counter that), is to dress professionally.
Do you surf at all?
No, no. Im not a surfer; Im a runner. I run on the beach all the time thats my passion. Thats what Im really about.
What kind of music are you into?
Ive got the new MGMT album. Ive got the new Arctic Monkeys album thats really good. Capital Cities is really good.
I like jazz, rock country not so much. I like the old country music. I like Johnny Cash and Buck Henry and stuff like that. A little bit of everything.
Im a very open-minded person, so when it comes to hobbies, like movies and music and video games. I like to try new things. Im the guy who goes to a restaurant and likes to try something new and different all the time, just because thats the way that I am. I like the excitement.
Are you a gamer?
Yeah! Im going to get GTA 5. It just came out yesterday, so I think Im going to go up to Freddys tonight and get it, and probably spend some hardcore hours on that. Im stoked.