20 Questions

lg_forpaper_01abOur local newspaper Daily Herald Tribune did a “20 Questions” interview with me.  It was fun to do and it gave me  an opportunity to think about a few things in life.   I paste the story below.

20 Questions with Kevin Hilgers

Jan and I have lived in Grande Prairie for 25 years, arriving to work at what was then CFGP radio (now Rock 97 FM.) I left broadcasting 20 years ago and have since been solely an entrepreneur. GP has allowed us to positively raise a family that includes Jasper and Catherine. I have a marketing firm called Wave Media that assists business with their marketing and operates various projects. One of my larger projects is professionally managing the Rotary Dream Home Lottery, now 7 years. I handle the Gaming application aspect, sales, marketing, sponsorships, operations, ticket processing, floor mopping, all of it. It’s a year-round job. Watching it grow in success has been very gratifying. Twenty years ago I joined the Rotary Club of Grande Prairie, and it’s a big part of my life. I was President and went on to be District Governor in 2012/13. Rotary has taught me a lot. It’s given us the gifts of travel, friendships and fun. It has enhanced my leadership skills and helped me grow my business.

1. It’s Sunday morning, what are you having for breakfast?

I have porridge with berries almost every day for breakfast. Fast, healthy, easy.

2. If you didn’t do what you do for a living, what would you be?

I admire those who work at funeral homes. These are people who assist when people need it most. Some may think that business may be depressing – but you are a vital part of people’s lives when they desperately need you. They lean on you for support and guidance and expertise.That must be immensely rewarding.

3. What person has influenced your life the most?

I can’t think of any one person however I would have to say that collectively – “Rotarians” have had the most impact on my life. When you join an organization like Rotary International – you surround yourself with successful people. Often they are outside your generation and your regular circle of associates. Rotarians locally and internationally have provided invaluable guidance and inspiration and yes, “constructive criticism” when needed.

4. What is the reason you first became involved with Rotary?

Lawyer Lyle Carlstrom asked me and at the time I wasn’t sure what it was all about. I liked the idea of community service and networking. Maybe networking my young business was #1 priority at the time. But the longer I stayed the more I realized I received far more than just networking. And for that I stay.

5. Favourite movie of all time?

Naked Gun. Second fav: Naked Gun 2 ½. Guess what my third fav movie is?

6. Pet peeve?

Cigarette butt litter and profanity in inappropriate settings.

7. What’s your most embarrassing moment?

I always felt life is too short to be embarrassed, so nothing stands out. Giving it some thought though, I have had plenty of instances where my personal actions have created “learning experiences”. Like most of us, I try and learn from these lessons and not repeat them.

8. What’s your favourite TV show?

Since the kids were born we haven’t bothered with commercial television at home. We did get Netflix though and have watched The 70’s Show and really enjoyed The Crown.

9. Best thing about this year’s Rotary Dream Home?

That’s a loaded question as there are so many aspects that make it special. The staircase, the loft, the master bedroom. I would say the best thing about the 2017 Dream Home is the fact it’s built by an extraordinary builder who makes it seem easy to pull off a stunning home on time and on budget – Stonebuilt Homes and team. The sponsors are a huge help in that regard. I have a lot of pride in managing this project but the community, including Rotary members – is what makes it what it is today. OK, if I had to pick one thing – I love technology that enhances our lives. The thumb print pad to unlock the door, the garage doors that open via the cell phone, the security system I can watch on my Blackberry.

10. What’s the one thing you haven’t done that you would love to do?

I have been fortunate to travel a lot. You know those vacation ads of people swimming in crystal clear, warm ocean waters? I have yet to do that. It’s been a dream of mine to snorkel or scuba dive in a place like that.

11. Last book you couldn’t put down?

After watching The Crown I enjoyed a book on Queen Elizabeth II. My entire life I have lived in a country with one consistent leader. Amazing. And she is an inspiration. Someday soon we will lose her. And that will be very, very sad.

12. If we’re buying, you’re having…?

Well, Jan and I do not eat a lot of meat, but every now and then you just can’t beat a great steak. If you’re buying I’d ask to meet at The Keg.

13. Who was your childhood celebrity crush?

Nobody really jumps out at me to be honest.

14. Who would you love to dine with, dead or alive?

Johnny Carson. In my early days of broadcasting I studied him intensely. Not only was he an entertainer but also an astute business person, at one time responsible for 20% of the income of the NBC network. I admire how he handled his guests young and old, famous and “next door neighbour”. He understood the science of comedy and made it work for him and his audience. When he left the Tonight Show he did it “his way”, while he was still at the top. He faded out of the limelight and lived quietly in his retirement until his passing.

15. What is the best thing about the Grande Prairie area?

It’s certainly not the climate but GP has many attributes that make up for that. I think the business community is open to new ideas. It’s a nice size to raise a family. It takes minutes to cross town. After 25 years I also enjoy the connections I’ve made. If I need assistance or advice or direction I know where to turn.Rotary has been a big part of that.

16. What are you currently listening to on your iPod?

I power walk every day at Eastlink Centre and love it. I listen to Spotify on my Android Blackberry to be exact. ’70s and ’80s pop music.

17. What is your favourite sports team?

I don’t have much interest in team sports.

18. What do you do to relax?

Kindle. Coffee shops.

19. If you could go anywhere in the world on a holiday, where would you go?

I just went with Jan and my Ma to Ukraine – her heritage, that was very special. One place I’ve never been is Greece. See above for my dream of “crystal clear, warm waters”.

20. What are your words to live by?

I recently did a Ted Talk and included a quote from Ghandi. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”. By serving others you learn much about yourself. When you go to bed at night the knowledge you helped others, even after a bad day – allows you to close your eyes and smile.

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