1. How would you describe the year 2016?
Balanced.  What I mean by that is that we still did some growing, while at the same time achieved normalcy in most of the new roles, like Cloud.  We worked hard for our clients, and at the same time pushed to keep OKIN safe in that hard work.
2. What are the plans for the year 2017?
OKIN Cultural Spirit:  where we are working hard to return a bit more of a familial feel to the company.  This is intended to be accomplished by engaging with a new Community Responsibility Group, with various activities meant to focus on bringing our people together in common interests, improving communication through all levels of our business, and working on our leadership development.
3. What are you looking forward to in 2017?
This year Roman Pavera, Director of Operations, will fully move in to take over all operational teams from my shoulders directly.  I am looking forward to the new thinking and views Roman will bring to the table.  I am looking forward to the potential new client engagements, relationship building and diversification of OKIN’s portfolio, and I am looking forward to the many bursts of magic that we will bring once again from within.
4. How long have you been in Czech Republic, and what caused you to come here?
My wife and I, with the kids, are looking at 6 full years as of March.  It has been a really cool and great adventure for us to be here.  My wife is, of course, Czech, so there is the tie of culture that my kids were missing in the U.S.  Case in point, prior to living here, the kids couldn’t have good and meaningful conversations with their babička a děda here.  We determined correctly that I can teach the kids to be American anywhere in the world, but could only really teach them to be Czech here.  There are also some reasons such as my career in the U.S., reaching a determination on my part that change was needed.  Banking was a cool ride for a time, but after seeing the operations I held through the crisis created by those same institutions, I could no longer see myself in any position within banking where I felt comfortable with the impact of my work. This part is a rather longer story, which I am happy to share openly with anyone that may ask, as long as there is time to impart the fullness of it all.  In examining what other opportunities I could explore with my career I was amazed to see what opportunities there were here for someone with my experiences and knowledge to engage here in Czech.  So long story short, here we are.
5. What is your personal life goal (or credo)?
I believe so much in the three taglines I give my children every morning as we are walking out the door:  work hard, learn something, and have fun.  There is of course a fourth: I tell them how much I love them.
6. What place in the world would you like to visit the most?
There are honestly way too many to list…so many cool places and things, societies and cultures I have yet to see. I could list hundreds.  Top of this list though for the moment are Patagonia, China, and anywhere with a beach.
7. What is your favourite film or music?
Film comes and goes for me, I see something I like, then music on the other hand has always been there.  I recall REM, U2, heavy metal and other genres of my youth (yes the 80s), moving to grunge and the return of strong guitars in rock.  The bubblegum stuff I have usually stayed away from (top 40) and still try to, but now with teenagers in my house, ugh….  Then laid over this, I have a sincere love of classical music (Beethoven, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, and more modern like the music of Star Wars), but country and bluegrass isn’t lost on me either, and how they impact the Blues…. then, ah, the blues.  In other words, I love music.
8. What is the best way for you to relax?
Funny, it’s the quiet of my garden.  I love planting, caring for, and harvesting.  The satisfaction of seeing these annual rituals through to completion renews something primordial in me, and I find solace.  Additionally, any good history, and of course the loving embrace of my wife and kids.

June 15, 2017