What are some highlights from your Professional Career?
I guess my professional career actually includes three careers over four decades: consumer marketing, philanthropy, and snow sports. Is there a fourth…TBD?
My tenure in consumer marketing was the longest phase of my professional career lasting 28 years and provided me the opportunity to influence the consumer perception and growth of numerous household names: Folgers Coffee, Centrum Vitamins, Chapstick, Robitussin, Today Sponge Contraceptive, Preparation H and many more. Super fortunate to have been given the opportunity to guide the development and market launch of Advil in 1984 and build it over the subsequent years to a billion dollar global franchise.
After my first “retirement” in 2008 I entered the not for profit world, founding and endowing the Music Empowers Foundation in honor of my late wife Carol who had a compelling belief that education in all subjects must be easily accessible to all children. The Music Empowers Foundation awarded nearly $1 million in grants and helped bring music education to hundreds of thousands of children across the country during the 6 years it existed.
55 years of being a fanatical skier brought me to my third career at 60. For the last 5 years I have had the wonderful privilege of introducing the sport of skiing to new comers and guiding the skill development of those already hooked. Meeting a host of interesting new people, teaching what I love and doing both in one of the world’s most beautiful settings is truly a blessing.
Why are you on the Board of an organization that focuses on social impact entrepreneurship?
My experience establishing and guiding the Music Empowers Foundation demonstrated the power the individuals, groups, and organizations have to influence the trajectory of both individual lives and society at large. Music Empowers was merely a catalyst, but the organizations it helped fund both national and regional had an impact well beyond the dollars contributed by my Foundation. Ripple has the opportunity to create a generation of social entrepreneurs who will have the skill set and network to influence society throughout their lives.
Who is a mentor in your life that helped your career?
I have been fortunate to have many great mentors, from parents, to professors, and business leaders. However, my late wife Carol provided the example which I live by. She was a trail blazing professional woman who became one of the first female vice presidents at the then boys club called Metropolitan Life; she taught me what is possible. She had the ability to balance grit with warmth and compassion and family was paramount; I embraced that during my now 15 years of single parenthood. And she had a sense of justice and fairness that spawned her developing interest in education access and philanthropy; she was the inspiration for Music Empowers.
What is your favorite day of the week?
Thursday…far enough along to look back, if I am lucky, to take stock of what has been accomplished and not so far along that I don’t still have time to get my butt in gear.
What is your favorite TV show?
I will date myself, but it is The Twilight Zone. The episodes were/are full of irony and were a bizarre reflection of reality…perhaps more so today than ever.
What is your favorite food?
Hands down it is dark chocolate. The perfect food and the only one ( with wine as the beverage) that one needs on a desert island. It satisfies the mind, body, mood and libido…and it even has antioxidants…LOL!