I live in the Ross neighborhood of the city, just a block from where George Ross had his "Summer home." We moved here recently from the West End on the other side of the city. I am the owner of Inkling Media, a digital/internet marketing and communications company. In addition to working with small businesses and non-profits, I also teach as an adjunct at PCA&D and Messiah College. With my business, I work with small businesses and nonprofits (mostly local) to help them build and manage a strong digital presence. I take a very holistic and integrational that is effective and sustainable.
I was born and raised in the suburbs of Philly, received my degree in broadcasting from Geneva College and a Master's in Mass Communications from Penn State. My background is in radio. I worked in radio in Western Pennsylvania and then, in the mid-80's, here in Lancaster at WLPA/WNCE (now The Rose) when they were located just off Penn Square, doing news and sports. I eventually ended up in New York for 13 years as the Radio Curator at the Museum of Television & Radio (now the Paley Center for Media). I returned to the area in 2003 and lived in Elizabethtown to work at a local non-profit. I went with WXPN-FM in Philly as their Central PA marketing guy when they expanded their signal to this area, after which I started Inkling Media. We moved to the city in 2009. I've been married 28 years to my wife, Becky. We have three kids: Elizabeth – 23, Jeremy – 21, and Eric 18. We homeschooled our kids all the way through, and with Eric graduating this year, we are now done!
Three people now living I would like to have lunch with:
Bono – I've been a big fan of U2 since day one, having played their earliest work on college radio when they were new, but I also love his concern for the poor around the world. He uses his platform to help give a voice to those who might not have the ability to speak for themselves, and does so in a unifying, not divisive, way. I met him once, but never had the chance to share a meal with him or really chat beyond basic pleasantries. I love what he has done with the One Campaign.
Pope Francis – I'm not Roman Catholic, but am very interested in how the new Pope has lived his life. He is in a position of great power, and has so far exhibited great humility. I love that. The way he conducts himself, and leads the Catholic Church could have a great impact on our world.
Guy Fieri of the Food Network and Adam Richman of the Travel Channel – I'm gonna cheat and do a two for one on this. I love food, and I love watching food programs. These guys know where all of the great food joints are and I'd love to have them show me around and tell me what to eat.
The cause I most believe in is: Kind of broad, but helping those in need, particularly those who are living in extreme poverty or victims of human trafficking. If you look at most of the situations that people are in, their poverty is very solvable. Simple things like access to clean water, having shoes on their feet, etc, can make a huge difference in their lives. If we can tackle those issues, we can make a lot of headway. I think this comes out of the fact that I have a strong sense of community, and a rather broad definition of what community is.
Name three things on your bucket list. I actually wrote a blog post about this a few years ago, so I'll pick three from that.
See a baseball game in every Major League ballpark – Baseball is my favorite sport so I'd love to travel and see all the parks. I think I've only been to three of the current stadiums, with a fourth on the list for later this year.
Get my own TV show – My family is pretty darn funny, but I don't think they'd agree to be on camera. They often follow their funny statements with "Don't tweet that!", so I'm pretty sure they won't approve of a family reality show. Perhaps a series from the porch, complete with visits from my wacky neighbors and even wackier friends. Can't be any worse than 95% of the garbage that people watch these days. I would also love a Food Network or Travel Channel show where I get paid to travel and eat. I could do that! Or, I'd even be happy to get paid to sit on my porch and eat all sorts of food. Hmmm. I need an agent.
Get out of the country – My kids have been to England, Jamaica, Haiti, Poland, Germany, the Ukraine, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and more. Me? Canada. That's it. I'd love to at least visit Germany and England, and perhaps Australia.
What did you want to be when you grew up? As a kid I jumped from librarian to zoologist to baker. But for most of the time, I was interested in police work and went to college thinking I would end up as an FBI agent. Somewhere along the line I discovered the college radio station and things changed.
My greatest accomplishment is... This may sound trite, but my kids. All three of them have turned out really well, in spite of all my mistakes. I know they are still young and have a long way to go, but I couldn't be prouder of how they have turned out.
My unfulfilled ambition is... This would've been on my bucket list, but I decided to put it here: write a book. Either fiction or nonfiction. I've started a few times, but never made it, but I do have a few good ideas for non-fiction now that I'm pretty sure will end up getting published somehow.
Three words to describe me are...Man, I hate these kinds of questions. So to get some help I crowdsourced a bit and put it out to my friends on Facebook. I got a lot of great answers.
Affable – I like to think I'm a pretty likeable, easy to talk to guy.
Witty – I think I have a pretty good sense of humor, and find it fairly easy to make people laugh and loosen up.
Compassionate – I'm a very empathetic person. I'm very bothered by the injustice I see around me, and want to fix things.
Tell us something about you that most people don't know. I have a real passion for radio and history. Put the two together, and I get all geeky. Radio history, communications theory, the sociology and cultural implications of radio as a form of communications, and more. I especially love studying and talking about the role that radio played during World War II. I spent 13 years as the Radio Curator at the Museum of Television & Radio in NYC and got to learn so much and meet so many interesting people. If you ever see me on the street, ask me to tell you a story or two from my time at the Museum. Lots of great stories.
What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning? Where's the coffee?
What's the farthest-away place you've been? I haven't traveled much, so in terms of miles, California. Only been out of the country a few times, and that was to Canada, both Toronto and Montreal. Yeah, gotta do something about that...
What do you think Lancaster will be like in ten years? So hard to tell but I hope it is much the same only more economically stable. I love the neighborhoods and how walkable it is. I think there are some things going on now, that if nurtured and cultivated, will really give the city a much stronger profile.
What do you consider to be Lancaster City's greatest asset? The culture. And maybe even the diversity of culture. I love how the city and county are very different, yet complement each other. The city has a culture all its own, made up of a blending of so many different cultures. So many great restaurants of every variety, great music, great art, and a great small business culture. I think the residents genuinely love this city and one another. I think there is beauty in the tension of so many different types of people living so closely together.
Grabbing a bite in Lancaster with - $5, $10, $30 - Where (and what):
$5 – Square One coffee, more for the coffee than the bite.
$10 – Caribbean Chez Nous – new Haitian restaurant around the corner on N. Plum. Junior Justin is one of the nicest guys I've met, and his food is incredible. I love different types of food and love the goat, oxtail, fried plantains, and more. This is the real thing.
$30 – Character's Pub – Full disclosure, they are a client of mine, but I absolutely love their food. Chef/Owner Meghan Young has an incredible way with food and I not only love eating there, but learning from her about food. I've never had even a mediocre meal there, but love anything she makes with skirt steak.
What are the best aspects of your job? I love that I have the independence of working from home, or anywhere I can take my laptop, but ultimately it's the people. With every good client, there is that "Aha" moment when you're working with them and educating them and you see that look on their face when they get it. At that moment, things change and begin to happen. They've moved from thinking about their digital presence as merely a set of tools, to having a mindset that can truly transform their business culture.
Would you describe yourself as introverted or extroverted? This will surprise people, but I'd have to say introverted. Many know me through my online presence, where I happen to be rather...active. Verbose. But in person, I think I'm more of an introvert. In new situations, I stay back and don't interact with others. Once people engage with me, I'll open up pretty fast.
What is your coffee shop drink of choice? Regular ol' coffee, with some cream and sugar. Preferably from Square One. I don't like iced coffee, or any of those fancy concoctions with funny names. I've tried them, just don't like them. Straight up cup o' Joe, light and sweet, thank you.
What music are you listening to now? I have a pretty wide variety of tastes. Right now loving music from Damien Jurado, Trent Dabbs, Sugar & the Hi Lows, Matt Pond, The Civil Wars, Cold War Kids, the Lone Bellow, Al Lewis, and always some U2 in the mix. I also love the local music scene and listening lately to the Ben Roth Band, Toy Soldiers, Matt Wheeler, Jake Lewis & the Clergy, and The Districts.
Best advice from your parents... Oh boy, wow. The value of working hard for those things about which you are passionate. I'm not sure it's necessarily anything they articulated verbally; more like something they have modeled in the way they have lived their lives. They have worked hard for everything they have, and yet they have enjoyed life. This year they will be celebrating their 60th anniversary. That's pretty rare and getting more rare every day.
What should they have taught you in school but didn't? Not sure if I can think of any particular thing, but I do wish I had paid attention more, both in high school and college. I kind of coasted through and now have a keen interest in a lot of the things I tried to avoid at the time. So perhaps I wish they had taught me to pay attention more!
If there is one thing life has taught me it is... Nothing is predictable, and enjoy the moment. If you had asked me thirty years ago, shoot, even ten years ago, what I'd be doing now, where I'd be living, the situation I'd be in, I'd say you were nuts. I don't have regrets, and I see every job I've ever had, every situation I've ever been in, as part of the process of making me who I am. While I'm goal oriented at times, I'm not the type of person who wants to focus on the end result at the expense of the journey. I think too many people focus on the goals or milestones, and they miss out on the joy of day to day life.