My life would have never been possible without the support of my frends and family. As someone who has grown up with a different approach to learning, I've always lived by the rule that you are who you walk with. There is always more to learn, and so it's important to surround yourself with people that want to see you reach your true potential. Here are just a few of my many role models and what I have learned from them along the way.
Sue Izzo is my agent, frend, and mentor, and has been by far one of the biggest influences on my life and career today. In 2007, she took both my brother Luke and I under her wing and from that day on we were welcomed into the tight-knit family she started as the founder of Mosaic Sports Management. From business to personal life, Sue was a second mom to Luke and I through and through. In snowboarding, one of the most important things you can do is to align yourself with someone who has your back, and wants you to succeed. Sue is a powerful entrepreneur and woman, and if you mistreat one of her cubs, you'll have hell to pay. Lastly, she is known for her love of her Peruvian Inca Orchid dog, Inca, and if you haven't seen one of these hairless creatures then please do yourself the favor and watch this video.
Life is better when shared together is and was the motto of the frends crew.
There is no doubt that life is better with a group of frends that push you to be better in all aspects of life whether it be snowboarding, business, or a better person overall. Love the frends that I have rode alongside with in my life and I wouldn't be here without each and everyone of their support and influence.
Jake Burton has been an inspirational figure in my life since I was old enough to ride a snowboard. As a cancer survivor, company founder, and mentor to all of the Burton athletes throughout the years, Jake has proven his lifelong dedication to the progression of snowboarding as sport (and a community). No matter how successful he's gotten, I respect most that he remains humble and generous through and through. Today, Jake still runs Burton Snowboards, and the company has grown into one of the world's largest snowboard and snowboarding-equipment manufacturers in the world. Check out one of the first interviews that Jake ever did at a snowboarding contest.
Photo Credit: Jeff Curtes
It all started with the book Practical Genius. At about 20 pages in, I read the quote, "I quit my comfy corporate job as a global marketer to become 'a free-spirited but fiercely focused mistress of my own destiny.'" Instantly I knew that Gina was someone I had something to learn from. As a serial entrepreuer, I needed someone who could help me find focus and congruency between projects. Gina advises me on everything from health, wealth, to relationships and exactly what I admired her for from the beginning; to become a free-spirited but fiercely focused master of my own destiny. To learn more watch Gina on stage at TED.
Dave has always been the guy at Burton Snowboards that believed in me. He was the one that pushed for me to join the Burton team in 2007, and shortly after put my face on that back of a tour bus which kickstarted my pro-career and adventures with Burton. Dave has taught me that there's much more to being a professional snowboarder than just the snowboarding -- always showing up with a positive attitude, remaining loyal to your sponsors, and giving back to the community that helped build you. Dave is currently the Global Team Manager at Burton Snowboards and was the genius that helped us take the "I" out of frends. Thanks for printing those t-shirts, stickers and face masks for X Games...look where it took us.
Luke, Liza, Mom, I love you.