About Us

Team Stories

We all learn through experience and there is no success, without failure. To get to know our team, we’ve provided vignettes of our personal experiences, like bite-size stories. These stories highlight some of our successes, failures and defining moments. It’s through story that we see the stuff we’re made of. What we end up making is merely a reflection of that stuff.

Don't hold on too tightly. Possessions come and go, but experiences last a lifetime.

- Dan Hendrickson

From the ashes

I lost everything in a house fire. All my possessions toast. I had to pivot, changing my entire life direction. To this day, hanging from my rear view mirror, is a necklace that survived the fire. A reminder of that day; what was lost and what was gained.

Things can get lost in translation. To get what you want, you need to know how to ask for it.

- Charlie Graham

Escargo Soup

I was alone, lost and starving in the Korean countryside with enough money for one meal. I found the only restaurant for miles, and asked for vegetable soup. I could barely speak the language. To my surprise, there were no vegetables. Only snails, boiled alive. Jal moke get sum nida!

Some things don't make sense until they do. So keep it moving and follow your excitement.

- Luis Almonte

Can’t Tell Me Nothing

"Write as though you are speaking to someone." Mr. Flowers told me. At that moment, 12 years of failed teaching made sense. I was excited and quickly excelled at writing. So much so, that my next professor accused me of plagiarism and I had to go before the Department. I proved them all wrong.

Share your gifts with the world, even if you have to break the rules once in a while.

- Luis Almonte

Stay Curious

It was my first time. We arrived undercover at night and slipped through a hole in the gate. It was dangerous and I was terrified, but I couldn't resist my friend's invite to explore the abandoned prison. With thousands of followers on my instagram now, snapping shots of abandoned buildings is my thing.  

Fail early and often. Each failure will lead you closer to the success that was meant for you.

- Jason Labuda

Live in Your World

I wanted to work at Playstation. I loved the product, but their marketing sucked. I knew I could do better. I felt the first thing I would need, was a marketing degree, but my last round at college didn't work out so well. I only went because I thought I was supposed to. This time would be different. I knew what I wanted and was determined to earn a degree.    

Don't blindly follow. Be yourself and use your imagination. That's what you're here for.

- Jason Labuda

Master of Puppets

As a kid, I liked to play zombie a lot. I’d follow our family cat around the house and "eat" him every chance I got. Other times, I'd smash and terrorize my toy cars and buildings like Godzilla. As a teen I connected with Hideo Kojima's philosophy that nothing is as it seems. You're either free to dream and play pretend, or you're a puppet on a string.

If it isn't working, don't force it. Step away, breathe and return with a fresh perspective.

- Dan Hendrickson

Dominican Horseback

I was badly overworked so I took a break; my first self earned trip. While exploring the forests of the Dominican Republic on horseback, we came across a beautiful mountain through the brush. In awe, I surrendered to the moment. For the first time, I knew peace and the importance of time away.

Revolution starts from within. Freedom comes from staying true to oneself.

- Joseph Frederick

Viva la Revolucion!

Hard times in London, facing personal loss and upheaval. Only a job remained, working for a man who reveled in making employees cry. A new hire arrived from Argentina; his great-uncle was Che Guevara. "We'll start a revolution here, Joe." he told me. When he was fired for making a stand, I did the same, and walked out the door behind him.

Trust the process and respect authenticity. Every outcome relies heavily on these two things.

- Michael Smith

North of Bangkok

I sat hunched on the floor in front of a Monk. Aside from the basket of food and toiletries I had offered, trust and respect were our primary exchange. He repeatedly thrusted a needle, more than three feet long, into my back. After 5,400 endless seconds, his ancient tradition was a part of me for life.

Own the choices you make. Either learn from them, or be happy with them.

- Daniele Mucilli

The Choice is Yours

Instead of going to college, I chose to learn English and be devoted to my faith. My choices led me away from friends, family and my native Italy, to a new life with my wife in the States. Everyday I adapt to change and grow professionally and personally. For me, this is success; to be happy with my choices.

Every opportunity has a cost. Don't always say yes. Make a decision that is right for you.

- Michael Smith

Value-Added Services

Mom made me a tray of brownies to sell at my lemonade stand. Eventually, someone came by and offered me fifteen dollars for the entire tray. It was more than I’d have made if I sold the brownies individually, but I knew I’d sell more lemonade if I kept brownies there, so I turned down the offer.

The outside world does not determine inner peace.

- Joseph Frederick

The Cliffs of Capri

I stood atop the cliffs of Capri, with Mount Vesuvius in the distance. The Mediterranean flashed periwinkle blue as the Arco Naturale raised its limestone head from the waters. But even here in this beautiful place, I fretted and stressed about things in my life. I closed my eyes, breathed, and found peace again.