Category Archives: Life
In the latest episode of the podcast, I shared with the guest host a story about the time when I interviewed a former athlete who told me to “go Google that @#!#” in response to a question about a game in which his team won.
This reminds me of a recent incident when I expressed frustration in using a new system to a colleague. This was a fellow whom I respected — and, in fact, I had written two glowing recommendation letters for him for professional reference purposes recently — but what did he do?* No, he didn’t say “go Google that @#!#!”
He came close, though. He essentially told me off — in a condescending manner — commenting that the system was “pretty easy.” But the tone was definitely condescending. I was disappointed that he would react that way, especially since I had just written those letters for him. I guess you just never know.
*I even personally spoke to the two places about him, giving glowing verbal recommendations. Both places were extremely interested in his services, but he decided to brush them off — despite the fact he had asked me to get in touch with them in the first place. I’d even shared teaching resources with him umpteen times. Never again. But come to think of it, I should have known better. When I told him a couple of times about my podcast, he didn’t show any interest or give any words of congratulations or encouragement. His only response was succinct: “I only listen to Tim and Sid.” Okay, whatever.
The K.P. Wee Podcast, Episode 6: Profusa CEO Ben Hwang
Ben Hwang is a former Los Angeles Dodger batboy and for the past nine years has been the Chairman and CEO of Profusa, a biotech company based in Northern California.
His career in the science and technology space spans over 15 years, and has served a number of leadership positions such as Head of qPCR Platform and President of Asia Pacific at Life Technologies, and Vice President and General Manager of the Asia Pacific Region at Thermo Fisher Scientific.
From 1984 to 1990, he was the Marketing and Promotions Manager for the Dodgers.
Ben discusses his time in baseball and shares the lessons that he learned while in the Dodger organization as well as tips for those who would like to get into the game. He also discusses how the lessons learned in baseball are applicable to life outside of sport.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- [2:10] An introduction to Ben Hwang
- [6:28] Ben’s experience working for the Dodgers
- [11:53] Profusa’s mission
- [16:14] Three key lessons Ben learned in baseball that are applicable to life in general
- [22:07] Ben explains his motto: “Don’t be afraid to put your name in the hat.”
- [26:04] Ben on his attempted bid to purchase the Dodgers in 2012
Key Quotes by Ben:
- “Those years were so much fun that my biggest fear in my teens and late 20s was that my life would have peaked by then. How much greater could your life be as a baseball fan to actually be on the field playing catch with your heroes and putting on a Dodgers uniform?”
- “We are the sum of all our experiences, and I don’t think a day goes by without me being grateful for the experience that I had in baseball and at Dodger Stadium.”
- “Professional sports creates a work ethic that is second to none.”
- “The advice I would give to anybody who is considering a career in any industry, or any discipline, quite frankly, is: Don’t be afraid to raise your hand. The worst thing that could happen is that they say ‘no’. The best thing that could happen is that you get the chance to prove yourself. The most likely thing that would happen is, you just earned the opportunity to articulate your passion and your ambition to somebody who may not be able to help you immediately, but may help you in the future. So, yep, throw your name in the hat every chance you get.”
For more information about Profusa, please check out the company’s website: https://profusa.com/
If you enjoyed the intro music, please follow Roger Chong on Twitter/Instagram: @chongrong
For the book referenced in the podcast, Tim Madigan and Fred Claire’s “Extra Innings,” please visit https://www.tinyurl.com/FredClaireExtraInnings
Former NHL forward Stephan Lebeau joined the podcast in February, and we discussed his hockey career and the prospects of seeing the Montreal Canadiens win another Stanley Cup. In closing, we wished the Canadiens luck in the 2020-21 NHL season. At the time, they were 9-4-2 and were the second-place team in the division. Since the episode aired, they have won just once (losing six of seven, including five in a row) while dropping back-to-back games to the lowly Ottawa Senators. They have since fired their coach. What a turnaround… or did we jinx the Habs? (Similarly, when the Pittsburgh Steelers were 11-0, my guest Adrian Brijbassi talked about their chances of going undefeated. After that episode aired, Pittsburgh won only one game and was eliminated in the playoffs by…. Cleveland!! Ouch!)
The K.P. Wee Podcast, Episode 7: Former Dodger General Manager Fred Claire
Fred Claire is a former General Manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers, a role he held for 29 years from 1969 to 1998.
Following his time working in professional baseball, he started his own business management consultancy for professional sports and entertainment.
He is a founding partner at Scoutables.com, which offers daily scouting reports on every player in Major League Baseball based on recent performance.
Fred shares memories from his Dodger days and offers advice to students and other young people who want to get into sports.
He also talks mentorship and discusses his new book with Tim Madigan (which was released in July 2020) titled Extra Innings: Fred Claire’s Journey to City of Hope and Finding a World Championship Team.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- [2:52] Fred on his passion for mentorship
- [4:10] Getting started in the sports industry
- [6:58] Practical steps young people can take to find a mentor in the sports world
- [9:02] Fred’s encounter with a young Tony Robbins and his brother
- [13:44] Trading players as a General Manager
- [21:44] Fred on the Dodgers’ incredible attention to detail in every aspect of training
- [25:44] How Fred figured that the Dodgers would win the 1988 championship
- [28:10] Fred’s cancer journey at City of Hope—the story behind the book Extra Innings
- [34:35] Parting advice to students and other young people on chasing your dreams
Key Quotes by Fred:
- “Whatever I can do to help others, guide others, educate others, and inspire others—whatever it is—I get great satisfaction from that.”
- “I’ve always been struck by people, including professional baseball players, who simply had a determination that they were going to reach their goals, and may or may not reach it, but at the end of the day knew that they did the best that they could.”
- “Words themselves carry great meaning. It doesn’t have to be receiving something in return, because what I found in life is that, many times, those things come later.”
- “I think it’s a fair statement that the Dodgers have invested more money and more people in analytics than any team in baseball.”
- “Never, ever be afraid to get a second opinion. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to help a number of people get a second opinion at City of Hope. I just think that’s so important because one’s life can be at stake.”
Follow Fred Claire on Twitter @Fred_Claire / Connect with Fred on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/fred-claire-1605a01
For more information about the book Extra Innings, please visit https://www.tinyurl.com/FredClaireExtraInnings
If you enjoyed the intro music, please follow Roger Chong on Twitter/Instagram: @chongroger
As mentioned in the episode, I very rarely discuss sports with others because they simply don’t want to hear anything other than their own opinions. So, it was a good chance to talk about them with Jason Takefman. It is, after all, my own platform to voice my opinions.