December 22, 2015

Chuck Katis: Human (& Swimmer) Extraordinaire!

Once my boys were no longer toddlers, we became a “swim team” family. I’m not a good swimmer & didn’t grow up in an environment that facilitated that. But my wife did – and she brought that incredible experience into our lives. As my boys grew into men, they learned how to mentor kids of all ages – and both genders – from an early age. It was invaluable as a teaching tool – and a lot of fun. Swimming is a popular sport in the DC area – and a lot of our country’s top swimmers hail from here (egs. Michael Phelps & Katie Ledecky).

One of the major swim family benefits was meeting a slew of swimmers who are simply amazing. They put in endless work to achieve their goals (often getting up at 4:30 am to swim before school) – and don’t have the egos that you sometimes see in other sports. They are humble, funny and smart. And the best of them all is Chuck Katis. Chuck was on our swim team and broke a national breaststroke record (& a number of state records. He went on to swim for Harvard – and then transferred to Cal-Berkeley, helping to lead that team to win the NCAAs in his senior year (including setting an American relay record in the process). It was a joy to watch Chuck grow and see his hard work pay off.

Chuck graduated last year and is spending this year training in the hopes of making the Olympic team next year. Not an easy task as only two swimmers in each event earn the right to go to Rio. To help support himself, he’s getting creative with funding by putting on a series of magic shows in the San Fran area – half of the money raised will go to the homeless (a status that he flirted with growing up). Or you can just donate without going to a show. Please help Chuck – learn more.

As Chuck says: “Think these shows are a unique way to allow myself to give back and change some lives in the process of accomplishing my own goals. Will make me that much stronger in the water.”

Anyways, this short video of our local team gives you an idea of the swim family experience:

E-Holiday Cards: Do You Look At Them?

I’ll admit I didn’t open any of the numerous holiday cards I received by email – until I tweeted a question on Friday asking if anybody does. Then I happened to look and I’m glad I did. My favorite was one from Falls Communications that asked you to submit a note of gratitude to display on this wall. Display your own gratitude now!

All of them looked good, but they all do different things. Some firms sent animated cards that display in HD. For example, check out this groovy 1-minute one from FTI Consulting. They are all quite distinct – Dix & Eaton’s & Pearl Meyers are simple (which I like), Davis Polk has one that is like a puzzle (sort of), Morris Nichols has a pretty winter scene of Wilmington, and Haynes and Boone has a very elaborate flight through a traditional winter wonderland…thanks to WilmerHale’s Tom White & BrooksPierce’s David Smyth for the inspiration to follow-through on this blog…

Broc Romanek