You have so much energy! You are always in touch with the community! How do you manage to combine everything and keep up everywhere? What is your secret?
I’m not sure if I can say the I keep up everywhere these days
but I try my best to stay in the know with what’s going on throughout our community. As our community has grown and with the various different challenges, activities, and contests it’s definitely become more difficult to follow everything. Thankfully I can rely on our community members to keep me updated if I’ve missed something! I am genuinely inspired by our community and how creative, coordinated, collaborative, and determined we are. This fuels me to keep up with our community as best I can.
Surely you, like everyone else, had a profession of dream in your childhood. Who did you want to become when you grow up, and how do these dreams coincide with reality now?
As a kid I had dreams of being a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger. I was obsessed with the TV show and thought it would be so cool to play a Power Ranger on TV. I was extremely fortunate to be living in a city where the most famous Power Ranger—Jason David Frank who played the character Tommy in the Power Rangers—opened a karate studio in my hometown named Rising Sun Karate. The studio was new and they were providing free karate lessons. I attended my first karate lesson as a 4 year old where I was trained by Jason David Frank. I immediately fell in love with the practice. I ended up studying Toso Kune Do—the style of karate taught at Rising Sun—for over 15 years. I spent much of my adolescent and teenage years playing a variety of different sports, but focused mainly on karate. I never did pursue becoming a real life Power Ranger, but because of my exposure to karate and playing different sports as a kid I followed the path of becoming a Physical Education teacher. Currently, I teach Physical Education at an Elementary school with my Eco responsibilities currently being part time—but we’ll get into more of Eco responsibilities later!
Many people know that you like to run and often publish the results of your races.
It’s so cool! You always on connection with the community and inspire others! Why did you choose running and how long have you had this hobby?
It’s actually a funny story about my recent obsession with running. You would think as a Physical Education teacher that I would be this phenomenal runner and love running. Truth be told I absolutely hate running and I am not great at it
. I’ve always loved staying active, but running was always something I dreaded, unless it was somehow disguised by playing a game/sport. I became more focused and engaged as a runner during the Pandemic when the world essentially shut down. I didn’t have access to my local gymnasiums where I’d usually just weight train. After a few months of inactivity I decided to start improving my relationship with distance running. So I decided to train to run a marathon on my own. I’d never run one and thought it would be cool to use the time the pandemic gave me to focus on training for a marathon. I trained for months and eventually woke up one day and went out and ran a marathon on my own. It was extremely rewarding. My relationship with running has definitely changed since then and I enjoy it more now—I still consider myself an average runner at best. I was inspired by the healthy ecolytes channel to start posting run distances/times to encourage other eco community members to get out and run!
I know that many Eco Community members have met good friends in the community. Some have started joint partnership work. Eco has become something more for active participants than just another project expected on the market. Are there people in the project that you can call friends?
I’ve had some incredibly meaningful and fun conversations/interactions with a lot of the Eco community members and although I haven’t met most of them face to face, I consider them friends! I was also incredibly lucky to have a best friend IRL, Josh, who had an interest in finance/crypto so we both joined the Eco server around the same time. Eco has provided me the opportunity to connect with people all over the world to curate various different experiences for our community. I would have never been able to connect with someone like yulston, мария, or Ildar (to name a few) to create different experiences for our community. So for that, I’m forever grateful for Eco.
Sometimes, due to accidents, our whole life can change overnight. How random was your first meeting with Eco project, and if there was no Eco, which project would you take part in?
I found out about Eco by scrolling Twitter! I’ll get back to that in a moment though.
When I graduated college in 2015 and moved back to my parent’s house, I was working part time as a substitute teacher—so I had a good amount of free time. Having been exposed to and interested in crypto in my college days, I decided to start paying closer attention to the development of different crypto projects. I curated a twitter page where I solely followed crypto projects or people in the space. I was obsessed with finding the next big thing. I spent a lot of time researching and casually investing in projects for the next few years. I eventually lost my passion for the space—like many others did—during the bear market years of 18-19. I just stopped paying attention. Then COVID happened. The pandemic recked the markets, which lead me to start paying attention to crypto again. I actively started spending more time on twitter and catching up with what was happening in the crypto space. Then one day in March of 2021, I saw a tweet from ICO Drops—a page that I followed intently during the ICO craze to research new projects—about a company called Eco. I found my way to Eco’s website and filled out the survey which then landed me in their discord server. I thought the speakeasy vibe of the onboarding flow was so cool and unique that I wanted to get involved with the project.
If there wasn’t an Eco, I’m not sure if I would be involved in any other projects (aside from being a casual investor) like I am with Eco. Eco was so unique with what was happening in the Discord server that I felt compelled to contribute! I didn’t have that feeling with any other server that I was casually lurking in. Although now that I think about it, I have become really interested in what is happening in the GitCoin community so I’d probably be contributing in that community if I hadn’t found Eco.
There were many different contests in our community. Are there any of them in which you would like to take part, but did not decide for some reasons?
Tell us a little about the works of the participants in Eco Challenges that you remembered and loved?
Since becoming a part of the official Eco Team I’ve become an observer as opposed to a participant in the contests to avoid any conflict of interests. Some memorable works that come to mind are the Ecolution Adventure Challenge by @sofochain @amahodler @one2fckU @gazebushka, MewTwo’s Dune Dashboard of the Eco NFT Trading Cards, Stefan’s 20k Discord Member Mosaic, and Voshod getting an eco tattoo on his tooth
You often have to evaluate other people’s work, and I noticed that you always give out rewards very generously, trying not to offend anyone. How hard is judging competitions for you?
It’s always difficult to judge other people’s work when you know that they have taken time and effort out of their day to produce for our contests. We have some incredibly talented members who are talented in a variety of different ways. Some contests allow for objective judging which are the easier ones, but the subjective contests are always the hardest. I try to use best judgement when I can, but also rely on our community to help influence my judgement. Often, when work is submitted for a contest you can gauge the communities reaction to the work based on how they interact with the submission of a post. The communities interactions with submissions are a huge help in influencing my judgement of work.
We all know that you take part in the evaluation of Eco-Idol works and actively follow how meditation and yoga are going. What connects you with music and these spiritual and religious practices? Do you get carried away with this in your life?
Stevie Wonder eloquently sings in Sir Duke
“Music is a world within itself
With a language we all understand
With an equal opportunity
For all to sing, dance and clap their hands”
I absolutely love music. I’ve attended countless festivals and concerts in my lifetime because of my love for music. Music is an incredibly powerful world that connects human beings in a variety of different ways. Many of my closest friends are those I’ve connected with through our similar music interests. I also DJ as a hobby because of my love for music!
In regards to Yoga and Meditation, I believe both are a powerful healing tool for the mind and body. Admittedly I do not practice Yoga as often as I’d like to, but I do meditate daily. Meditation has been a great exercise for me to stay focused and grounded throughout the day. We live in a world with so many distractions, so I find peace and solace when I take time out of my date to meditate.
I am sure you have often thought about the question: “What will the Eco community be like in time to come?” How do you see it in the future?
I see the Eco community continuing to grow, evolve and iterate. I foresee continued collaboration and creation within our community. I’m positive that there will be some amazing products that surface from within the Ecommunity. Ultimately the community will become whatever it decides to become and I’m excited to see the progress!
I would like you to finally say something important and valuable to everyone who reads this interview.
“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members” -Coretta Scott King