Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. famously said, “nothing so common-place as to wish to be remarkable.” The men profiled in our 2018 Remarkable Men feature are distinguished in a variety of ways. They are businessmen, athletes, entrepreneurs, explorers, and activists. They are men of character and integrity who want to make their neighborhoods and communities better. They are fathers, friends, partners, and husbands who aim to be the best people they can be. Our world needs them.
WHEN REALITY EXCEEDS DREAMS
To say that Manny Khoshbin is living the American dream is underselling it a bit. After arriving in the US at the age of 14, Manny was determined to live the very best version of himself possible. Through hard work, diligence, discipline, and a never-say-die spirit, he has built several companies, amongst them, the very successful Koshbin Company.
What are 3 qualities an entrepreneur must have?
Vision, Plan, and Confidence to follow through with the plan.
How do you balance a busy professional life with family?
This is truly the hardest challenge. For one I don’t go to work on weekends—I made that change when my kids were born. I don’t set meetings past 5:00 p.m., and I delegate tasks rather than micromanage.
What is your best advice for anyone wanting to start a business?
Take your time and do your research first. Better yet, go to work for your competition and learn it in and out, then work hard save and go out and execute with experience and knowledge at hand.
If we were to ask your wife something funny about you, what would she say?
I don’t dress for the right season. In winter I sometimes wear a t-shirt, and in summer, I wear a jacket and a beanie LOL. Fact is, I don’t want to think that hard about what to wear, as I am so busy running around.
IT’S ABOUT GETTING BACK UP!
This is the story of a driven man. “Nothing unusual,” some might say. However, there is nothing usual about Andre Huseman. Driven by integrity, loyalty (both to his friends and his craft), and the burning desire to leave his mark, his journey has been made of peaks and valleys.
BoxHaus is a very different concept; tell us a bit more about it.
My partners and I wanted to introduce a new way to work out. Since boxing is our collective passion, we found a way to cater to a specific group of workout aficionados without compromising the integrity of the sport.
You speak a lot about conquering obstacles.
The road I took was influential in fostering my career and helping me to understand the intricacies of entrepreneurship. It provided
me with the right skill set. I was challenged to push myself and do things I didn’t necessarily know I was capable of.
You also speak about the importance of mentorship.
I was awestruck that the incredible athletes, I was privileged to know achieved a high level of success because of the mentors they had. My mentors were instrumental in equipping me with the proper knowledge and wisdom necessary for long-term success.
What is a NOBLEMAN?
It’s someone who shows up! He can be counted on; he is the proverbial friend who will show up at 3:00 a.m. if you ever get in trouble!
AN UNENDING LEGACY
The grandson of famed explorer Jacques Yves Cousteau, and as committed as his famed relative to the conservation of our planet and the overall exploration of our oceans, Philippe is also keen on creating his own legacy.
The name Cousteau evokes a lot of emotions! What does the name Cousteau still mean today?
I think that, ultimately, my family’s legacy is one of problem-solving. My grandfather solved problems. His and my father’s legacy is one of hope and adventure. I certainly subscribe to both!
You and your wife Ashlan just finished filming the second season of Caribbean Pirate Treasure on the Travel Channel. (Season 2 is premiering on June 13th) How is it to work closely with her?
Working together is an essential part of who we are. We decided a long time ago that we are in this marriage to actually be married!
We’ve worked really hard to find projects that we could develop together.
Some might say that our biggest challenges are those facing the environment. What is your take on this?
Let’s face it: we have some big issues in front of us, between the rainforest shrinking, polar ice caps melting, and others—we have our work cut out for us. But I am encouraged that, for the first time in a long time, people are committed to the task and are up to the challenge.
AN ENTREPRENEUR MAKES HIS MARK
The CEO of Carbonadi Premium Vodka since 2013 (the brand has been on the shelves in California and Nevada since April of 2017), Ricky’s mission is nothing short of ambitious: elevate the vodka category in the realm of luxury.
Carbonadi sure seems like a great success story—what was the journey?
This has been an ongoing project that started in 2013, and we’ve only just begun on that road. I’ve always loved beverage marketing, and I felt that there was something missing in the vodka category.
You seem to be in a lot of places promoting the brand; how do you do it all?
Well, the key is I don’t do it all! I have a great team, starting with my partner, Nancy Choi, who is the left brain to my right-brain explosion! She has an extensive background in banking, which makes her the ideal person to wrap some formality around my ever-expanding ideas.
What makes a NOBLEMAN?
It’s very simple. A nobleman is first and foremost a gentleman. He has a high level of respect for the people he meets, and he aims to elevate his actions to befit his reputation.
If we were to ask your partner something funny about you, what would she say?
[Laughing] She would say that behind the imposing facade lies a big teddy bear! I am very sensitive and emotional, and, dare I say, I am not a stranger to shedding a few tears. Somehow, she finds this endlessly funny!
AN ADVISOR WITH A PURPOSE
We were fortunate that Chad Shaw was able to tear himself away from his busy career as a financial advisor—and his next tee time—to spend a few minutes with us. Chad has built a thriving firm guiding businesses and individuals to financial security with a thoughtful approach to creating wealth and prosperity… with a purpose.
What is your work philosophy? Or is there just one?
I certainly don’t preach that I have all the answers, but I am honest with people, and ultimately, it builds a relationship based on trust.
I heard through the grapevine that you are from Buffalo, NY. Anything you want to share about your sports teams?
What we (currently) lack in wins, we make up for in heart!! But, true fans are loyal! I’ll stay a Buffalo Sabres, and Buffalo Bills fan to the end!
What is your take on life/work balance?
I work a lot, but I also am very careful to spend time with my loved ones. It’s all about making it a priority.
You are a voracious reader; what’s on your nightstand right now?
The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy
If you were to play golf at only one course for the rest of your life, which would it be?
Augusta National (I mean… come on!)
What is a NOBLEMAN?
A nobleman is a man who takes 100% ownership of his destiny and always favors the right way over the easy way, no matter how challenging it may be.
INTEGRITY, CONSISTENCY, EXCELLENCE
Prominent Escrow is a family business, isn’t it?
Yes, my brother founded it. We are a family-owned independent escrow company that has grown to 80 people and 7 branches serving over 10 states in the western US. My responsibilities include sales management and the supervision of a team of 11 account executives for the Southern California region.
Are there any downfalls to working for/with family?
No, not at all. If anything, it helps, because our family values are at the core of what the business is. We conduct ourselves the way we expect to be treated, and it extends to all our clients.
What is your philosophy on work/life balance?
My wife and I (we have three young children, 1, 3, and 9 years old) work tremendously hard to ensure that our kids know that mom and dad are present in their lives. We plan our goals together, so we have our foundation at home to excel in all areas of life.
5 years from now, Prominent Escrow will be…
More successful than ever! While we see some bumps in the real estate market on the horizon, we will continue to advise our clients to prepare their investments today for what may happen tomorrow.
Last thing? I am a fitness aficionado and a life-long fan of the Golden State Warriors — not one of those bandwagon fans!
A CRAFTSMAN WITH THE SOUL OF A HISTORIAN
Joshua Evans is a joiner. For those of us not quite familiar with the term, a “joiner” is an “artisan who builds things by joining pieces of wood, particularly lighter and more ornamental work than that done by a carpenter.”
Where are you from?
Ilfracombe, a quaint little fishing town in the south-west of England.
You went to school in England as well?
Yes, the City and Guilds of London Institute, where I’ve achieved a Level 3 diploma (the equivalent of a BA here in the states) followed by an apprenticeship to hone my skills.
How did you end up in the US?
Love! I met my wife in England, but lo and behold, she was a Southern California girl…. I had to follow her! This was 2013, and after a brief stint working for a large company, I decided to follow my own path and Evans Joinery was born.
What do you specialize in?
We create one-of-a-kind furniture that has a real place in our clients’ homes. There is a true organic process we follow that allows us to introduce pieces that have historical context with a modern edge. This process can be seen in our latest collection, The Waterloo.
What is a NOBLEMAN?
The NOBLEMAN is a gentleman who values more than his appearance. He acts in a manner that uses his positive influence and brings his best to make in difference in our society.
OF CIGARS, MICE, AND MEN
Pierre, alongside a partner, founded PuroTrader, which is best described as the “eBay” of the cigar world. In this ever-expanding platform, cigar connoisseurs and novices alike can share, buy, and trade cigars in the privacy of their living rooms.
Where did the idea for PuroTrader come from?
It was a fairly simple thought: it was born out of necessity. I was looking to replace a box of cigars, and the options seemed fairly limited. Little did I know that it would be growing at the pace that we’ve experienced.
What makes a great cigar?
So many things. But to be very frank, it has less to do with the cigar and more to do with the company. The wonderful thing about the cigar community is that it is a true brotherhood.
You travel a lot, and you always seem to be in the middle of ten things. How do you keep it all in perspective?
I have a great family and a great wife and partner who keeps me honest [laughing] and makes me appreciate the little things.
When is your perfect time to smoke?
While I love several times in the day to smoke, a great cigar paired with a great cup of coffee in the morning sets the tone for a fantastic day.
AN ICON REVISITED
For many of us football fans, Vince Ferragamo is the perfect capsule of a golden era for Los Angeles Rams football. As the star quarterback of the Los Angeles Rams in the mid-80s, football fans remember his accomplishments, and he has remained a fixture in the Southern California community ever since.
One of the things I remember the most about you was that elegant figure who made things look so easy on the football field. It couldn’t have been that simple, right?
[Chuckling] No…. The style of football that I came from was the relentless ground attack from the Tom Osborne [Nebraska University’s head coach] way of coaching, so while I loved throwing the ball, I was also used to “trench wars.”
You must be pleased to see the renaissance of Rams football. It is a lot of fun. It certainly looks like the team is poised for a lot of success.
As a broadcaster, I get to have a close look at the team, and we are headed in the right direction.
You have been involved in a lot of charitable work since leaving the spotlight. Talk to us a bit about that.
I’ve been very proud of my 30-year association with the Special Olympics. I was humbled and honored to be inducted into the Special Olympics Hall of Fame recently.
Between broadcasting, philanthropy, and real estate, you are a busy man. How do you balance it all?
Well, it’s all about family. We are a tight-knit Italian family. It is very important to me to be able to spend a lot of time together.
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS
One word comes to mind upon meeting Colin: “enthusiastic.” He is a relentlessly positive man with a contagious smile and genuine friendliness that is rooted in a philosophy that has enabled him to craft a career that has just now expanded to the US.
What best describes you? —A coach? A strategist? A public speaker?
I think that I am a combination of all of these. I want to be able to generate a conversation that will lead to profound changes for you or your business.
You’ve just recently moved here from Australia. How are you adapting to life here on the West Coast?
My wife Sarah and I had an ongoing dialogue about this being the next stage of our lives. We talked about the “rocking chair test”—the gist of it is that, if we were to grow old and gray, sitting in rocking chairs, would we regret not coming to the States? The answer was yes.
Tell us three things that one can do to improve public speaking?
1. Connection. Be present for the audience, not stuck in your own head 2. Practice out loud three times. 3. Slow down.
What is a NOBLEMAN?
A nobleman is someone who is willing to look at himself with a high level of self-awareness and integrity.
CALIFORNIA KID – GLOBAL WATERMAN
Griffin Colapinto is one of the leaders of the newest generation of surfing stars who have found their beginnings on the beaches of Orange County. Hailing from San Clemente, the recently turned pro Colapinto has quickly found his way among the best surfers in the world.
When did you start surfing?
I was about 3 years old, and my dad ran a surf camp in San Clemente. He taught me how to surf (and my little brother as well).
College vs Surfing Tour?
I think that the Tour has been my college. School was always a bit boring for me—I needed to be outside. I’ve come to really enjoy those experiences that being a professional surfer has brought me.
What can we do to preserve our beaches?
It’s a pretty simple problem to solve! If people would just pick up one or two pieces of trash when they go to the beach, it would go a long way to help the issue.
Favorite surf spot?
Easy: Pipeline in Hawai’i.
Least favorite spot?
Hmmm…. Can I say T-Street right up the street from my house?!
If you could surf one spot for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Kelly Slater’s wave pool! I could surf it all day long and never be bored. Everyone should try it!
10 years from now, where will we see you?
Still in the water, still surfing (of course), and a World Champion!
What is a NOBLEMAN?
A good friend!
Words by Yves Le Sieur
Photography by Frank Armstrong
Shot on location at Nieman Marcus Fashion Island
Styled by Martin Majon, Cheresse Pentella and Chiron Hart