To kick off 2015, we'll be featuring one member of the Floricane team on our blog each week, using a questionnaire that really asks the tough questions.
Today: John Sarvay! Floricane's founder and lead consultant, John was the very first, lone team member back in 2008. Now our team is made up of 6 people plus an occasional intern! John's definitely the storyteller of the team, so read through his Q&A and prepare to be entertained.
Do you want to rock n’ roll all night or party everyday?
I prefer to rock late at night with our four-month-old son, and roll into bed for an hour or two of sleep before work.
Which President would you most like to have a drink with, past or present?
I’m surprised that Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt top my list – I think they’d have the most interesting perspectives to share.
Pie or Cake or Neither?
Do you have a favorite Sharpie color?
I have no tolerance for yellow Sharpies, or Shar Peis.
Your favorite place for dinner?
These days, any place that tolerates small children. And serves good coffee.
What do you most value in your friends?
My closest friends stay close enough to be connected, but give me enough space to breath. I suppose what I value most are people who pay attention enough to intuit what I need from our relationship in the moment – and brave enough to provide it without asking.
What is your idea of happiness?
Movement. Ideas. Language. Color. When I allow myself the time and space to pay attention, these are the things I notice most in the world. Slowing down to appreciate the nuance – of a poem, the shape of a hand, a turn of a phrase, the reflection of the sun on a downtown wall – gives me a sense of calm and connection that makes me most happy.
Who are your favorite writers?
My favorite page of writing is the opening of M. Scott Momaday’s House Made of Dawn, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1969. I love the language and perspectives in American diplomat George Kennan’s “Sketches from a Life." Hemingway and Ryszard Kapuscinski were both reporters, war correspondents and writers a generation apart whose experiences and use of language makes me envious. My secret reading pleasure? Far too many science fiction and espionage thrillers, and comic books.
Excluding your work a Floricane, who was your best boss, and why?
My manager in the dairy department at Ukrop’s in Carytown during college was a great boss. Johnny Burton was fun, he worked hard, and he took time to get to know his team and give us the support we needed to do good work and enjoy our work. He loved Elvis Costello, which I thought was cool back in the day. I always wanted to do 110% for Johnny.
What is your go-to book, relative to the work you do with Floricane, and why?
“The Answer To How Is Yes” by Peter Block. It completely reshaped the way I thought about solving problems, taking me from a measurement mindset (How much? How long?) to commitment mindset (How committed am I?). I have used Peter’s book for more than 10 years as a prompt for my thinking and my work.
What are three things you love about Richmond?
Lately, I mostly love how hard it is trying to grow up and be better. Despite the periodic missteps, we seem to be doing a better job of dreaming big, acting on our dreams, and inviting more diverse voices to the discussion. As a parent, I really love the new energy and accountability I am seeing from the new school superintendent and School Board. I’m excited that people are still starting small businesses, and that locals still trump chains three times out of five. The architecture, the music, the geography also inspire me. I love Richmond’s modern history – especially the last 50 years or so.
And lastly, what are the things that excite you most about Floricane, its clients and the community in 2015?
I’m excited to try new things – new approaches with clients, new Floricane events and projects, and new partnerships in the community!