13 QUESTIONS WITH MCALLEN CHAMBER BOARD MEMBER – STEPHAN WINGERT

Stephan Wingert
Regional Vice-president, Publisher
The Monitor

1) What is your favorite book? My favorite book is by David Allen and it’s called Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. I have a lot of tasks that pile up for me to do. I’m always looking for that philosophy or tool that’s going to help me keep up. His philosophy is that if you can get these things into a system which relieves them from being piled up in your head, then you’re more relaxed, you get to sleep at night.

2) What is your favorite movie? I’m a fan of the Star Wars movies. I love every one of them. I don’t even have a favorite. My favorite thing was when my son was old enough to share that with him. I remember sitting in the theatre with my mom when the first one came out and being so impressed by it, thinking it was the coolest thing I ever saw.

3) What was your favorite vacation spot? I’ve been to Italy and France, and the beach is fun but one of my favorite places is the Frio River in Concan, Texas. It has an average temperature of 68 degrees. When I was younger I enjoyed tubing in it, lying in it. Now I enjoy going there with relatives.

4) What is your life’s motto? Be prepared. That’s 100 percent Boy Scouts, but I think it’s a great motto, no matter what you face.

5) Where were you born? I was born in Brownsville, Texas.

6) What was a life-changing event in your life? There are a lot of things, obviously the birth of my son because now you’re a parent and you’ve got bigger responsibilities, but everybody could say that. What also was life changing for me was when we moved to California in 2004. I grew up in the Valley with my father, grandfather, and my wife’s family. You have a place wired when you’ve lived there all your life. Then you move some place where you don’t have all those connections and then you learn to build them, which is different. I’m still friends with people from high school but a new place with no connections is startling. We have some great friends in California now whom we still see every once in a while. It wasn’t scary but it was a wake-up call.

7) What makes you laugh? I see humor in everything. I have to be careful because in a roomful of people, I’m having all kinds of fun as I search the room. I look for humor in everything. I think humor and laughing are rejuvenating for me. Even if I feel everything’s against me, I can still laugh. That’s real important to me to find that fun, humorous part of life. I don’t say, ‘Good bye.’ I say, ‘Have fun!’

8) What is the happiest thing for you to think about? Personally, I’m never happier than when I’m standing in a river fly fishing. It’s the only time I don’t worry about anything. It’s like something gets unplugged and a switch turns off in my head. If there is one time when I’m as at peace as I’ll ever be, it’s when I’m fly fishing.

9) What time do you get up? 4:30 every morning.

10) What is the first thing you do each morning? I’ll first hit all the Yahoo pages. Then I’ll read items I’m interested in. Since I have a Boy Scout troop I might be researching a type of gear. This is the only time I have to myself so I enjoy it. Then I’ll play three games of Solitaire and that’s it.

11) What are any apps or other technology you use to get things done? My favorite app is an app called Things. It’s an Apple based product. I’m a beta-tester for it. My love was writing software. My degree is in Computer Information Systems. I’m a purist and I like the ecosystem my Apple phone gives me and I’m very particular about what I put on my phone. I use my computer and laptop.

12) What is the last thing you do before going to bed? I think about three things I’m grateful about for the day. I’ll think, ‘I’m glad for this because I learned something,” even though it might not have been easy. It’s about putting me into the right mode to go to sleep.

13) What time do you go to sleep? I’ll go to sleep around 11:00 to 11:30 p.m.