Orlando; four years in the industry
Where did you grow up, and what was it like there?
I grew up in Pensacola, Florida. It's a smaller beach city with a lot of history. I loved growing up there actually because it's the kind of place that the friends you make kind of stick with you. You can always see people you know everywhere, so I mean it's a good thing and a bad thing in a way. For the most part though, it's comforting. You always feel like you're home wherever you are there.
Favorite childhood memory?
Ah man, that's tough. As cheesy and sad as it is, seeing Disney for for first time with my parents. It was the last vacation we went on as a family and it will always be a strong and important memory for me.
Where do you work & what do you there?
I currently work at the Courtesy Bar in downtown Orlando as a bartender. The awesome staff and I come up with some really incredible menu options and have helped to create a great bar in a great city. I am also the production manager for Lush Life productions. I handle photo and video stuff for all of the awesome events we do throughout the year.
What is the most rewarding part of your career?
I would have to say: opening guests up to new experiences, as far as drinks are concerned. A lot of people come in with an idea that they hate gin or they hate whiskey. I love being able to show them that maybe they don't hate it? Maybe they've just had it in a way where their palate didn't understand or appreciate it. I love being able to create something that will hopefully change and open their mind. I also just love meeting new people and connecting over a drink and talking about experiences. This is one of the coolest industries in the world and I'm happy to be a part of it.
What is your favorite bartending moment?
I would say competing in World Class Nationals in 2016. Just getting to Regionals was huge, but being able to represent the city of Orlando in Washington, DC was such an incredible feeling. It was one of those moments where you knew, no matter what happens, you're making your city proud.
What do you do to relax outside of work?
I take photos and listen to music. I also go to Disney World a lot.
Tell us about your dream vacation.
Maybe Ireland? Scotland? Somewhere cool and beautiful where they make whisky?
"We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone." ~Orson Welles
Advice you could offer to others:
Slow down. Take a moment to look around and take in everything. Don't feel the need to Snapchat and video or take a photo of everything. A lot of the best moments are lost that way I think.
Who do you look up to and why?
I have quite a bit of people on this list and all for different reasons. My mom for showing me what hard work can do for you, and my dad for showing me that being persistent is a key to success. Patrick Bolster for showing me the ins and outs of the industry and being patient with me. Jeff Knott for showing me the true value of friendship, and all of the amazing women and men in this industry. My team at Lush Life, especially Lindsey Johnson, for giving me a chance and believing in my work enough and trusting me with her vision.
Tell us something unusual or unique about yourself that we might not know.
I love to karaoke and play sad songs on the piano.
What does the future hold for you?
Not sure. Hopefully something awesome?
What's your favorite part of usbg.org?
The family aspect of it. You can move to a new city and go to a meeting and not know a single person and leave with 20-50 new friends in an hours time. It's a pretty tight knit thing but it's not closed off. It's awesome to me to see that be such a constant across the country.
What is your favorite joke?
Too many to pick.
What is your favorite word?
What turns you on?
Good bourbon and good eyebrows?
What other profession would you like to attempt?
Stand-up [comic] or marine biologist.
What other profession would you never try?
Anything medical. Weak stomach.
What personal attribute of yours do you most appreciate?
Sense of humor
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
"No way, man."