Updated Feb 2010
I've decided to keep my photographs accessible and avaialble, becasue the collection tells a story as well as any words. Here is a link to my site
Since at least 2004, maybe longer I’ve studied Portuguese. For my wife this fact presents a significant quandary, because she has yet to hear me hold a conversation in Portuguese, despite many opportunities. I can imagine her asking herself several questions, “Is he not studying?” “Is he not smart enough?” or “Is language just not his thing?” And in one of the clearest examples of couples being opposites, I see no quandary. In my mind, studying Portuguese is a never ending journey. There simply is no end date. I just figure I’ll be studying forever. Now my skills have progressed, the Portuguese language section of this Web site is one example, I just figure I’m on my on pace in this journey. Daily I read something in Portuguese, I instant message with my friends in a mixture of English and Portuguese. But when I’m interacting with someone, it feels natural that we should be as efficient as possible in our communication.
When I first understood that people could give someone money and get more back in return, I’ve thought investing was the greatest concept ever created. In hindsight, I should have followed closer this sentiment earlier in my career choices. There was a period in my career with Mars, where I consciously took my time away from investing to dedicate more time toward work. What a mistake. There were many benefits from working at Mars Incorporated, but trading off personal for work time was not a net benefit. Thus one of the great lessons of life that I share with others—the scarce resource in your life is time, your challenge is wise use.
So now I’m happiest when I identify an investment opportunity, evaluate its worth, decide its proper role in our portfolio, compare my results to a fairly constructed benchmark, and learn from the experience. Performed well, the process generates new investment ideas. This circle of life is the investment process. I enjoy it and have proven very good at managing the process.
My wife and I have five godchildren and no children of our own. While we have been at the baptism of several of these children, we have not for all. Which begs the question--Why call them godchildren? As I’ve thought about the term, it fits best the commitment I have to the parents and the child to support their growth and development, throughout their lives. As the commitment is mutual, my wife and I have adopted the term godchildren as applicable not only to the commitment affirmed at a baptism ceremony, but also the commitment dedicated to supporting other's as they address life’s challenges over extended lengths of time.
As a basketball fan, it has been particular fun watching my oldest godson grow as a basketball player. He has recently ended his basketball recruiting process by signing a national letter of intent. I used my strengths to help him organize his college selection criteria. It was a joyful experience, for me, to help him define his purpose—a difficult task for adults, no less a teenage male.
My oldest goddaughter is completing her first full year of college. A year ago I was able to support her discovery of own desires, wants and goals. While the process with my godson was different, there was a similar aspect of discovering purpose as my goddaughter dealt with challenges to her self-esteem. It is with a great sense of fulfillment that I talk with her now and hear the self-confidence and the happiness. Watching her mature into a productive member of society—Breathtaking.
The three younger god children, ages eleven to fifteen, are moving ahead in school and life, discovering their interest, and keeping me thoroughly engaged.
Health & Well-Being
I track and follow intently, the latest in health and well-being science and public policy. This interest exploded during my time working for Mars, Incorporated in External Affairs. Because I became directly involved in many issues related to food public policy, I created a fascination of sorts with how a society best feeds itself. And because the latest research appears to support a hypothesis that physical activity can make up for many nutrition sins, health and well-being public policy is anything but settled.
Growth & Development
I’m a big believer that the brain can learn and grow in all life’s stages. Learning excites me, and the recent research on the brain and its implications on many avenues of public policy are intriguing. The latest research challenges many of my assumptions on education, mental health, aging, self-esteem and the differences between ethnic groups and even men and women.