I am originally from Tucson, AZ, came to UCLA and have stayed in Los Angeles ever since. I love ‘almost’ everything there is about Southern California. I graduated from UCLA in 2004 with a degree in business-economics. I started with Del01tte right after school and have been there ever since, going on 8 years. I am currently a Vice-President in the Corporate Restructur1ng Group at Del01tte F1nancial Advis0ry Serv1ces. While many have jumped from job-to-job, I feel lucky to have been part of the same company for my whole career. Some would view that as utterly boring, maybe even counter-productive. If you sit at the same desk and do the same things every day, it most certainly is. However, I’ve had the opportunity to reinvent myself several times at the Firm and there is not a year that goes by when I don’t find myself in situations that are uncomfortable strictly because they are new. The people who will be most successful in life are not the smartest, but the ones who are able to adapt to change, and in a sense, be a part of change.
I love fitness, cycling, the Lakers, Hawaii (frequent 3x per year), fine timepieces, cars, red wine and coffee (to name a few things). I am allergic to any dairy products derived from whey (not lactose intolerant, but actually allergic) and therefore, have never tasted pizza, cheese, ice cream or many of their other “treasures” that I hear so much about. I live on the most simple diet of anybody you’ll ever meet and could literally survive on oatmeal raisin granola bars, egg whites, coffee, water, and beef jerky for months-on-end. However, I do like sushi and steak. I can definitely tell the difference between good and bad sushi. Can you? If you’re ever in Oahu, Hawaii, check out Sushi Sasabune – it’s omakase style and pricey – but you will not be disappointed. The very last course is ridiculously good – and I never rave about food.
I fear wasting potential more than anything else in life. I view wasted potential more tragic than everything, including death – because death is a natural part of life. However, when you think about people like Len Bias, River Phoenix, and Lawrence Phillips – that is truly sad because they had the talent to be legendary. And while I have referenced entertainers (actors and athletes), the same can happen to any of us, no matter who we are or what we do. It’s very easy for any one of us to slip and throw potential away for something stupid or even easier, just settle for being average. That is the fear that I live with every single day.
My parents have had a profound influence on my life. All the good I have gotten from them and as for the bad, well, I probably picked that up on my own somewhere. Outside of my family, much of my own influence comes from business leaders such as Steve Jobs and Howard Schultz – self-made individuals who have created business empires that stand for something. The term visionary is often abused and applied to anybody with a new idea, but Jobs and Schultz were visionaries who dared to look into the future and what they found were incredible concepts that have very much defined the commercial landscape of our world. As a risk-averse person, I very much admire people who went “all-in” and created these amazing companies. It is very much this mentality that I hope to slowly integrate into my own life – the idea of “swinging for the fences” and following intuition rather than just always carefully making decisions based on listing out the “pros and cons” of the situation. I cherish the relationships that challenge me to be a better person. It’s a constant struggle to balance the tremendous negative temptations that engulf our lives and I am lucky to be surrounded by many people who provide great examples of “doing the right thing” and “living the right way”. And while my personal life has drastically lagged my professional one, I am confident that it will all come together when it’s the right time for me, when I’m committed and ready to make it a priority. I am trying to make faith a bigger part of my life and like most significant things that you try to live by, it is difficult – but if it wasn’t difficult, it wouldn’t be worth doing. Like anybody else, my life is a work-in-process and I am patient about becoming the person that I want to be.
I don’t believe in “life plans”. I think life plans are incredibly restrictive to the flow that makes life worth living. Inherently, life plans are built on the fundamentals of destinations and milestones. But, destinations and milestones, in-and-of-themselves, are anti-climatic. It’s the time, the process, the journey, and perhaps even the detours, it takes to reach those destinations that makes life interesting. “But even if you can’t plan, you can prepare.” You have to prepare yourself so that when that moment comes, when that one door you’ve been waiting for opens, you are, in fact, prepared. You have to engage in things where the outcome and benefit isn’t known. Some of the greatest, most productive learning experiences in my life started out as “destination-less” journeys. However, now looking back, the destinations are obvious – the dots connect. If you’re always looking for “destinations”, you’ll never truly understand the concept of “faith”, which is doing things without knowing the outcome. A life with no faith is a life with no risk.