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Darren Lisiten

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Who’s your greatest professional inspiration? What makes them so amazing?

I am ultimately inspired by business and creative genius.  I am ever amazed when people create brands that have sustainable and lasting impact, almost as if igniting a tribe.  When I think about who has done that today, I find myself consistently and blown away by what Steven Jobs did with his career and Apple as a brand.  The same goes for Ralph Lauren.  Both men are brilliant and were able to own their customer.  Each has ignited global trends and loyalty.  I find it awe inspiring to see what people are capable of when creativity meets with focused execution.  I also find it enlightening to see how, despite how each of these business leaders created their empire, there was a great deal of distance between where it started and where it is now.  Each had ups and downs and yet both remain among the worlds greatest business icons to have ever lived.

What gets you going outside of work?

I really love to travel.  I spent a great deal of my life traveling to many parts of the world, and find it truly rewarding.  It is always great to see other places of real beauty and sample food from new and distant cultures as well as engage with local trends and people.  When I turned 40 Heidi took me to Italy for my birthday and it was amazing.  It’s like candy for the soul. Travel gives me a sense of reality that’s somehow bigger than life but at the same time grounding.

What do you do to stay healthy?

I spend a great deal of time and focus on health in general.  I workout for about an hour almost daily and I pay careful attention to what I eat.  Over the years, I’ve gained a passion for eating healthy and more so learning about what it means to be healthy.  Clearly there’s not some easy to find general consensus on the topic of personal health but there seems to be some overall trends.  I have opted to refrain from eating most forms of meat for nearly 20 years and make it a point to consume a considerable amount of organic vegetables and limit my consumption of grain based carbs and most carbs in general.

How do you know a great brand when you see one?

Great brands to be seem to have a deep emotional connection with their “customers”. There’s an almost unreal kind of loyalty there.  Great brands seemingly create an emotional need.

Where is best place on earth?

Based on the places I’ve been, I have to say Hawaii. (Maui more specifically).  There are tons of nice places but I find Maui to be about as close to heaven on earth as I’ve seen.  Although I’ve never been to Greece and I hear that it’s a pretty damn nice place too so once I go I may need to revisit this answer.

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When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

According to my mother, she tells me for the longest time I wanted to be a “cement mixer”.  Apparently she told me that was a truck not a profession but I did not care.  It was all the same to me!

What is the first information you consume in the morning?

Since my son Caden has turned 2, its hands down Sesame Street.  Happens that the show goes on just about after he wakes and next to his Mommy and Daddy I believe Elmo is about his favorite creature on earth!