You love motorcycles. How did that start and what does it have to do with a guy from south London?
When I was a sophomore in College, I got pretty sick one week and was bed ridden for a few days. I started to watch these videos and I stumbled across some from a guy on YouTube that were pretty funny. His name is Baron Von Grumble, and he would post these videos where he would commute into London from wherever he lived (somewhere outside of London) with just hysterical commentary on random subjects and happenings. I really enjoyed it and started to watch all his videos while I was sick, and I soon realized that I was also super entranced by the actual riding of the motorcycle, too. I loved the rhythm, the sound, the motion of it all, and how it just seemed like such an amazing way to experience the world around you (side note, it really is).
Pretty soon, I started looking up more and more people who did these types of “Moto-Vlogs” in the first-person perspective, and I just got hooked. I would literally watch these videos at night and my girlfriend would question my sanity. 6 years later (after college and traveling for work), I was able to purchase my own motorcycle and I’ve never enjoyed an activity in my life as much as I enjoy riding the bike. PS, my girlfriend also now has her own motorcycle, and she kinda gets the obsession, too.
Tell us a story from when you were a kid. It can be funny, stupid, warm and fuzzy, whatever. Just make it a good one.
When I was really little, my godfather got my brother and I adult-sized, red, white, and blue boxing gloves. He always got us obnoxious and cool gifts, but I’m not sure what he was thinking with this one…
Well I don’t have many memories with these gloves because (I’m told) he told us to go after each other and I socked my brother right in the face. Probably a lot harder than he and my dad thought a 5- or 6-year-old was capable of.
Needless to say, my mom didn’t find it as funny as my dad and godfather did, and the boxing gloves were, “sent back to Santa.” I think that was the same year that he bought us a crash test dummy. Yes, you read that right. A crash test dummy. That man knew how to pick gifts for small children.
Which core value do you identify with most? Why?
The core value that has always stood out to me the most is Family First. It’s so simple, and yet so important to make sure we are doing right by both our internal and external talent, ensuring that they have the tools, resources, and (I think most importantly) trust in their leadership to know that at the end of the day, we have their back, period. Life has a way of being unpredictable and knowing that you work for a company that truly wants you to prioritize and take care of whatever life throws at you is wonderful. I’ve seen it first hand and know that Prolink will always stand behind you to support you when times are both good and bad.
What’s the last random internet…thing…you saw that made you laugh out loud to yourself?
I couldn’t pick one, so I picked 4…
- Dog’s new toy: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FuraQCCsKgE
- Mr. Bubz: https://youtu.be/xc917wPX1x8
- Dog getting haircut to Duck Tunes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZY4ovo5hjM
- Baby air-raid siren: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5N9KyCfBbEQ
You studied in Neuroscience, Psychology and Creative Writing at Allegheny College. That’s an…odd…mix. What drew you to those subjects? Did Allegheny have any influence to guide you in that direction?
Well, my school’s trademark is literally “Unusual Combinations,” but I promise I didn’t set out to just fulfill that. I had always wanted to work to help people fix a problem in their life – that is something that has never changed for me. When figuring out what I wanted to do in school, I knew I wanted to work towards something that would allow me to accomplish this, but I honestly didn’t know exactly what avenue that was. I started with just Psychology and French (which might be even odder to be honest), and eventually I changed out French for Creative Writing. I’ll get to that in a moment, but after sophomore year I realized that what I really wanted to do was focus on Neuroscience classes and work to understand those with the most severe mental disabilities and afflictions.
My goal through all of this was to find a pathway to working exclusively with those who had severe eating disorders (both the obese and the skinny) to work through the mental obstacles they faced daily, as well as work to better their lives through fitness/exercise and healthy living. In the end, I decided that I honestly didn’t want to endure 5-6 more years of schooling to become a Psychiatrist, but I’m glad I took the classes I ultimately did.
Regarding creative writing, Allegheny definitely helped guide me in that direction because that was something I simply enjoyed (writing) and something that was possible due to how they structured your education. It was honestly a “why not?” and I loved every moment of it.
Tell us about Dale. What does he allow you to do that wouldn't otherwise?
You know what’s funny is Dale is something I’ve never really spoken publicly about! Dale is this… character I created about 6 years ago or so while still in college. My friends and I play online video games, and back then we played a lot more than we do now. When we would play online, I started playing this character that we started calling “Dale.” Dale is a guy from Arkansas who has a distinct accent, a wife (Darlene), who finished high school (barely - it took him three tries), never finished college, and while intelligent (perhaps that is a stretch), he says things that are sometimes dumb, sometimes unconventional, and sometimes just plain weird. He comes up with ways to say things that I honestly can’t tell you where it comes from (I guess that Creative Writing major was good for something after all…) but manages to come off as inspirational to our online team mates, opponents, or spectators. Always, though, Dale makes people laugh, and that is my ultimate goal with Dale, to make people laugh.
I honestly don’t know where Dale originated from at this point, but what I do know is that Dale allows me (a complete, online stranger) to say things to others that would otherwise just be forgotten quickly and make it impactful, even if it’s forgotten after our game. I’m not sure what it is about a “guy” who has a distinct accent and who comes off as kind of an idiot, but I think he makes people hear him and hear his words better than just normal conversation between two strangers. People hear him, and they laugh, they make fun of him, and they rally behind him. At the end of the day, if they’re laughing, I just hope it’s making their day a little bit better. You never know what is going on in someone’s life, and my ultimate hope is that Dale can help them forget about that for just a few seconds. It certainly helps me.
Tell us about your first job out of college and the cross-country trip you took during that time. What was the biggest effect that period had on your life?
For my first job out of college, I worked for my fraternity to recruit undergraduate males and start up new chapters of the Fraternity. It was a lot of fun and I got to meet so many amazing people from so many backgrounds and lifestyles.
My first trip was from here (Cincinnati, Ohio) to Boise, Idaho, but the route we took was a little unconventional. We drove straight across the country to Colorado, stayed for a whole day in Colorado to enjoy that, went up to Salt Lake City and spent a day there, and then finished our journey by arriving in Boise. I think all in all it took 6 days? Perhaps 5.
This trip was the most amazing thing in the world to me. I had hardly ever left North-East Ohio, let alone gone into the Mid-West or the West. I remember stopping at a random Kansas “truck stop town” with my partner (we always traveled in pairs) for the evening; this town was literally two hotels on either side of the highway, two gas stations, and one diner. He and I stopped at a diner and got to talk briefly with our server. She was a college student at a college not far away that I had never heard of in my life. She played softball and worked at the diner to pay for school. We spoke for a while as we were the only people in the diner, and I remember realizing then that we truly were in a different part of the “world.” Her outlook and perspective on life was so much different than mine, and the further we drove, the more and more true this became with everyone we interacted with. I loved that, and I loved meeting these people and talking with them; it really cemented a desire in me to meet and see any and every culture I could and learn from it.
Seeing the mountains growing as we drove inside of Colorado was truly a life changing experience, and every journey after that was equally impactful, but that first drive over however many days was truly lifechanging.
What is something you get unreasonably excited about?
My cats greeting me at the door when I get home from work. Gets me every time.