Chief Creative Officer
Growing up in Chicago, I have to admit that I loved the fast pace, hustle & bustle of my Windy City. Catching the "L" to Loyola University for school, where I could grab some mm-mm Giordano's Pizza, then stroll down Michigan Avenue, past my favorite Shopping Mall, Water Tower Place, always with my camera around my neck, ready to capture some extraordinary moment, to finally sit by the lake and do some sketches, was how I grew up.
Sinatra said it best, “… Chicago is why I just grin like a clown – It’s my kind of town…”
Then just like in Green Acres, I married a country boy and was thrown into, a slower than molasses, country life in Bozeman, Montana "... goodbye, city life". My first job at the Simmental Cattle Association was a giant leap across to the other side of the moon. But thanks to my country training, I now know how to pick a good marbled steak and grill it just right; bloody rare mm-mm. Lots of skiing, hiking and just sitting around a campfire telling tall tales, was the norm. The most exciting thing in town was when Brad Pitt & Robert Redford came to shoot “A River Runs Through It” and everyone got to meet them but me. YEP never got to see them. NOT once.
I never thought that I would love rain and raw fish as much as I do until I moved to Seattle. It's true, it rains everyday and you can eat sushi even for breakfast. But for me the scenery was like eye candy and I forgot all about the rain. Everything was green and lush and I got to eat lunch outside with the bunnies, on the Eddie Bauer World Headquarters green campus. Also you just don't understand hiking until you have hiked an active volcano; Mount Rainier and yes it will erupt again someday. Of course for the many years that I lived there and the 100’s of Orca sightings, I never got to see one. YEP not one.
And just like that we hopped all the way across from the west coast to the east coast and into the smoldering heat of Baltimore, Maryland. I spent the first portion of my time working at the Discovery Channel with Steve Irwin; Crocodile Hunter and getting to know clients like Under Armour before they hit the big time. Then drove the opposite direction to the Capital, Washington DC designing for lots of political campaign affiliates. All in all I spent at least 3 hours a day driving, in bumper to bumper traffic, between DC & Baltimore which is approximately 75 hours a month for 2 years. I have to say that I don't miss that drive at all. NOT one bit.
Eventually I rejoined my Chicago clan in the Windy City but still I was lucky to travel for clients like Maui Jim in Hawaii and Anvil Knitwear in New York. Traveling to these wonderfully exotic places but always coming home to my sweet little town of Peoria was a blessing. Where there was no traffic and an actual person on the other end of the phone where ever I called in town. Eating authentic wood-fired pizza at Sugar Bistro and taking long walks with my Rotty at Detweiller Park (AKA Rottweiler Park).
Since I can't sit still for more than a minute I have returned to the Pacific Northwest, where I can go back to being a Coffee snob with a clear conscience. Now Silicon Valley watch out because we are not just coffee lovers but we are now the second tech hub in the country. Seattle, the "Emerald City" (so named because of all the green) actually has a ton of technology, sparkle and sounds of teen spirit. Wait I think I hear Kurt calling me:
"Come as you are, as you were, as I want you to be"