Tag Archives: character

The Hokey Pokey

18 Apr

Van Gresham claims that he does not do the hokey-pokey during Virginia Tech football games. For a proud Hokie that invests considerable sums of time, energy and money into pre-game tailgating festivities, this is a little hard to believe. They play the hokey-pokey at Virginia Tech because you can dance without having to speak with an actual female. At an engineering school this is a big deal. All that talk of differential y and differential x doesn’t leave much room for actual sex. Given the odds stacked against him in this department, let’s just say that Van “got lucky.” I am sure that his wife, Chesley, will agree.

Born and schooled in Virginia and living in North Carolina, the boy knows how to cook a pig. I have enjoyed the product of this particular skill. He may have gotten a little above his raisin’ in the beverage department as he pairs his grilled pork tenderloin with fine California cabernets. Not what you would expect from a pedigreed hillbilly.

In addition to his culinary and rhythmic abilities, he has dedicated himself to raising money for brain cancer research as a participant in “Angels Among Us” which supports the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at (take a deep breath and look past the ACC rivalry) Duke University. Family is apparently more important than football.

I have enjoyed watching Van grow as a professional and develop into a trusted advisor to his clients at Kalypso. Not only do they count on him to get things done, they seem to like him quite a bit as well. His greatest strength is his character. It shows up day to day in his client service work. You can learn more about him here.

The Chipster

23 Mar

When the history of Kalypso is written, there will be a chapter devoted to Chip Perry. He bought his first crappy sports coat after watching “The Paper Chase” in 1973 and he hasn’t taken it off since. Seriously, you can ask his wife. Chip is the central character of so many of the most memorable moments of our Firm’s young life that it is difficult to limit the scope of my comments. Here a few of my favorites.

In September 2010 we held KARMA, our annual gathering, in New Orleans and a very good time was had by all. There were about 75 people in a hotel conference room during one of our general session meetings and the professorial Mr. Perry was comfortably leaning back in his chair against a wall reading the New York Times (Krugman, no doubt). Next to him was seated the ever-attentive and quite lovely Ms. Emily Adams. Apparently Chip’s seat was a little too comfortable because he fell asleep during a presentation (that I was giving), fell and grasped and groped on the nearest stable object on his way down. Poor Miss Emily. Gentleman that he is Chip simply pretended that nothing unusual had happened.

Chip loves his GPS device and it never fails – to get him lost. Twice in a single month he picked me up at the airport in Minneapolis for important client meetings and then relied on his GPS to drive us to the wrong building in the wrong part of town. We were very late both times. On another occasion several of us watched Chip drive to within 200 feet of the entrance to the parking lot at a Firm event, pull over, and call us to say that he was hopelessly lost. We didn’t have the heart to seize the opportunity to truly mess with him. But we were tempted.

Ask him about his old Volvo, his Las Vegas experience, his natural ability with firearms, or his English degree (“you do the math”). He may be a little scatterbrained and he may wear corduroy jackets with leather elbow patches, but he is also universally loved and admired. Read more about one of our favorite characters with character here. Chip makes the heart of Kalypso beat strong. In many ways he is the heart of Kalypso. He is our friend. I would go to war with him. I just wouldn’t let him drive.

Mike Versus the Mountain

6 Mar

“Was I deceiv’d, or did a sable cloud turn forth her silver lining on the night?” – Milton

It is always sunny in Mike Friedman’s world – even on a cloudy day.

My relationship with him has come full circle. Mike’s extended interview with Kalypso was a three-day ski trip in Beaver Creek. And now, five years later, we set out to conquer the Canadian Rockies on an epic heli-ski trip. Mike is an intrepid skier, but it turns out that his hamstring is no match for waist-deep powder and tree-filled 75-degree slopes. He spent the final few days in the lodge curled up with his email inbox and good(?) Canadian wine. If you expect that after three years of planning this would cause him to show some disappointment, then you do not know Mike. If “silver lining” is a metaphor for optimism and positivism, the lining of Mike’s clouds must be made of gold.

I am proud to call Mike my partner. He is the keeper of the Kalypso flame and sets the bar for what it means to be a partner. We have the great privilege of working with our closest friends every day and building lifelong relationships with our colleagues. Mike’s ski injury just means that we have to go back and do it again next year. I intend to introduce him to Vitamin I.

Read his Character with Character profile by clicking here.

Megan & the Mavs

10 Feb

Megan Creason is a Mavericks fan.

I have come to accept this minor flaw and am convinced that continued therapy will exercise all things Dallas from her being. While she claims that she was never completely infected with that form of afluenza known as the Metroplex Complex, you can’t be too careful with these things. While science searches for a cure, she has renounced her citizenship and dedicated herself to “keepin’ it weird” in Austin. Signs of hope.

She is an inspiration to recovering Dallas girls everywhere. Megan spent the Christmas break hiking the Inca Trail with a single change of clothes and a pocketful of single-ply toilet paper. She flies in coach and buys her designer handbags on sale. It has been reported that she was recently seen drinking a domestic beer right out of the bottle. Real princesses don’t do that.

I am very proud of her and have enjoyed watching her grow. Ms Megan was pressed into emergency duty as Kalypso’s recruiter over a year ago and mastered the role in weeks. She is always on the lookout for quirky characters to join our growing team. I can’t think of a better job for her. After all, it takes one to know one. Learn more about her particular peculiarities here.

On Getting Hit by a Bus

3 Feb

Rich Gaby will do anything to avoid working with me.

Two days into a new project, and several hours away from home, he went to the hospital with a sore calf and didn’t leave that building for the next six weeks. What followed were several more months of fighting leukemia that taught us a lot about Rich, his friends and family, our firm, and ourselves. Rich is an extraordinary human being with a story that keeps getting more interesting.

Those first tense weeks of his out-of-town hospital stay brought friends in from all over the United States. We all think we have friends, but how many of our friends would put their lives on hold to fly across the country to sit in a depressing hospital room for days on end…just so you wouldn’t be alone? Rich has real friends with staying power.

We anxiously awaited the daily and weekly “how’s Rich” updates from the many folks at Kalypso that made the trek to visit him. And we were thrilled when he attended his first firm event seven months after his diagnosis. I am often asked how the firm can maintain a collegial and family-like culture as we grow. Isn’t it as easy as hiring people that genuinely care about each other? We get to work with our closest friends every day and create life-long relationships with our colleagues. What a fantastic privilege!

Rich is now back and as strong as ever. He is helping his clients deliver on the promise of innovation. There is no question that Mr. Gaby is a Kalypso character with character. Here is what he says makes him unique. Rich Gaby’s CWC Profile.

%d bloggers like this: