WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?
When I was in high school I worked in the women’s shoe department at Macy’s in San Francisco. It is the largest—and most chaotic—shoe floor west of the Mississippi, and seriously grueling. But being 16-years-old and spending my time talking to loads of women and making about as much as I did as an AAE had its upside!
WHAT LED YOU ON THE PATH YOU’RE ON TODAY?
Being a born-and-bred Californian, I knew that I had always wanted to live in the New York at some point. Prior to Saatchi I was working at Macy’s in San Francisco (again), but this time as a Merchandise Planner for their West Coast Swimwear division. I found the business side interesting, but it lacked the creative environment I was looking for. The natural choice for a career change was advertising—the convergence of tangible business and strategic objectives with creative and breakthrough ways to get there. Soon after getting the job at Saatchi I landed at JFK, by myself, with two suitcases in hand. It was my first time in New York.
IF YOU WEREN’T IN ADVERTISING, WHAT CAREER WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO TRY?
I’d be a food critic or one of those people who travel the world and review hotels. You get to eat and travel for a living. Come on, that’s awesome.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE YOUTUBE VIDEO?
Right now it’s the new “Party Rock” video from LMFAO. I must learn how to do this dance:
TELL US SOMETHING SURPRISING ABOUT YOURSELF:
Two years ago during Advertising Week I dressed up as Sprout (see above photo) and paraded around the office with Erin Lyons high-fiving and taking photos with everyone. Nobody knew it was me. Surprise!
WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE STORY?
My Uncle Fred wanted to become a San Francisco police officer ever since he was young. When the time finally came to apply to the academy, he was rejected—the height requirement at the time left him short of reaching his dream. He applied again, but was rejected, again. And again. Refusing to give up, he spent weeks stretching and performing all manner of old-wives-remedies to gain that pivotal centimeter. When it finally came time for the next evaluation, his not-gonna-give-up attitude still intact, he was carried by his friends to be measured so that gravity couldn’t stifle his chances on the way there.
A traffic cop at first, he eventually worked his way up to become the first Asian American to ever hold the title of Chief of Police. He changed the height requirement the first day of his new job.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CREATIVE PURSUIT?
I took a photography class last summer, and loved it, but haven’t touched my camera since. I’ve vowed to dust it off once it finally gets warmer!
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN?
I love food, and New York City is the Mecca for it. Any chance I get, I’m out exploring the city and trying new and weird things. Last I had were the beef tongue tacos at La Esquina. They were delicious.
WHAT WAS THE LAST SONG YOU PLAYED ON YOUR IPOD?
Rebecca Black’s “Friday.”
I’m kidding, kind of. BUT, that song is annoyingly catchy.
BOOK THAT YOU’RE CURRENTLY READING?
“Never Eat Alone” a book about networking. Ironically, the only time I can find to read it is after work when I’m stopping on my way home to grab a quick bite.
A GUILTY PLEASURE FOR ME IS:
The Black Label Burger at Minetta Tavern.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE GREATEST INVENTION IS IN YOUR LIFETIME AND WHY?
Hate to be cliché, but, the internet.
HAVE YOU EVER WON A TROPHY?
I think the last was for “best attitude” while on my 1st grade soccer team, Kick-o-Sauras. I was never very athletic. There may also be a spelling bee one in there too.
WHAT’S THE LAST GREAT TRIP YOU WENT ON?
Hong Kong last Summer with my younger brother, Griffin. We had such a great time that we decided to institute an annual trip to somewhere new.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ARTIST/MUSICIAN/DESIGNER?
I’d have to say The Beatles. My dad didn’t know any bedtime songs when my brother and I were little, so he sang us them instead.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE QUOTATION?
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein