How to do … anything
Collected by Darrick Meneken | Photography by Emilio Huertas
Want to try something new? Chances are all you need to do is find the right WAC member to ask. Whether it’s flying a plane, writing a song, or swimming the open seas, WAC members have expertise to share by the boatload. We recently asked a few to let us in on their know-how.
How to look your best
It’s a powerful feeling when you feel and look your best. It shows up in a positive internal energy that radiates to those around you. The best trend to follow is your own personal style. Designing clothing that serves human beings physically and emotionally is my purpose. Great design inspires us to become the best version of ourselves. It’s important to set ourselves up for our best day. So much of that has to do with what we wear. I always want to wear something that has an element of design to it—that helps me perform, fully show up mentally, and elevates my creativity. My best advice is to be intentional and thoughtful in the way you dress and live.
—WAC member Luly Yang (2018), pictured in center, recently released her new Luleisure line. Her studio is located two blocks from the WAC at the corner of 4th and University. She designed the new Inn at the WAC uniforms introduced in 2020. Learn more at lulyyang.com.
How to live in a floating home
When I moved onto Lake Union in February of last year, I quickly but happily learned there are three key rules for living well on the water.
- Go with the flow. All puns aside, dock life includes its share of unique domestic quirks. You may find yourself watching helplessly as the local beaver slinks off with half of your favorite plant or discover that your furniture arrangement upstairs impacts your home’s trim, causing pencils downstairs to roll dramatically from desk to floor. While the little inconveniences of life here may take some getting used to, they’re well worth it. And don’t worry, it’s not just the rosé making your steps unsteady—the rocking of the lake under your feet will occasionally make you stumble, but it’s all part of the experience!
- Share the summer. Hosting friends and family for standup paddleboard-versus-kayak races, rooftop picnics, and heatwave escapes makes life here even sweeter. Be prepared for guests by keeping plenty of refreshments, inflatable water toys, sunscreen, towels, and life vests on hand. It’s also a great idea to learn basic water safety skills, or even complete the American Red Cross lifeguarding course like I did.
- Stay active at the WAC. Seattle summers are fleeting, so it’s important to also have plenty of land-based options for socializing and exercising. Lucky for us, all of that and more is available at the WAC! Be sure to keep your body fit and social bonds strong at the WAC year-round so you can take advantage of all the magic lake life has to offer.
—WAC member Dena Frei (2018) left her South Lake Union apartment for the charm and outdoor opportunities of a floating home in 2021. She is a member of the WAC Golf Club, the WAC Wine Club, Women of the WAC, and the WAC 20s/30s Committee.
How to curate a wine cellar
It doesn’t take a “mega-cellar” or a six-figure budget to curate a nice wine collection at home. I have some basic suggestions and recommendations that anyone can use to keep their home collection impressively stocked. Storage and provenance are key! Invest in a temperature-controlled wine refrigerator. These come in a variety of bottle capacities. The best ones offer zones for sparkling, white, and red wines. After you have a good place to store your wine, purchase your chosen vintages from good retailers. It’s also a good idea to join your favorite winery clubs as well as reputable online outlets and auction sites. Know what you like to drink, but also strive for diversification. Even if you drink mostly red, it’s great to keep some whites on hand for certain meals or warm days. I’m a huge fan of sparkling wines, and I strongly suggest keeping bubbles handy. You never know when the occasion will arise!
Here are some general notes on wine styles and regions that I recommend:
- Sauvignon Blanc: Focus on Bordeaux and Napa Valley. Drink within five years from vintage. A cold bottle from New Zealand is also perfect for a hot day.
- Chardonnay: I love Sonoma and its subregions for early to mid-term drinking as well as Burgundy, which I tend to drink at least five years from vintage.
- Pinot Noir: Choose Santa Barbara and Sonoma labels as well as Burgundy. Patience in maturing will pay off.
- Syrah/Shiraz: I always have fun popping a big and juicy Aussie Shiraz as well as laying down some bold options from Paso Robles. Labels from France’s Rhône Valley require patience.
- Cabernet Sauvignon: Entry-level and mid-range Napa Valley vintages are great for steak. Stock fine Bordeaux and higher-end Napa Valley options for future enjoyment.
- Champagne: Keep nonvintage selections plentiful for casual drinking. Go with vintage picks for special occasions.
—WAC member Peter Mastrogiovanni (2021) is a wine sales specialist and sales manager for Treveri Cellars sparkling wine house.
How to hire top talent
When recruiting employees, especially in a tight job market, it’s critical to establish your organization’s values and to hire prospects who fit your company culture. In addition to having discussions around current market conditions and pulling relevant salary data to ensure you’re offering competitive pay, it’s critical to have a strong candidate engagement strategy. This includes current and past employees and others who actively promote your company and refer candidates, dynamic job postings, and social media messaging that hooks ideal candidates.
It’s also important to remove unnecessary steps that lengthen the hiring process. With the speed of today’s market, employers who make decisions quickly will secure top talent. Is your online application long and labor intensive? Are there steps in the hiring process that can be eliminated or condensed, especially when it comes to interviews? Can the number of decision makers be reduced? All these factors have a huge impact. Look critically at your process and make it as smooth as possible.
Finally, once a hire is made, look at how employees are incentivized and rewarded. Consider if a promotion or pay re-evaluation should happen sooner than your typical timeline. When top candidates become top performers, make sure they feel valued and loyal.
—WAC member Lindsay Lundberg (2012) is senior vice president at Parker Staffing. She advises clients on attracting, hiring, and retaining top talent with a focus on matching company and candidate values.
How to shoot a 3-pointer
When shooting a 3-pointer in basketball, or any shot for that matter, the shooter should be mindful of these things.
- The shooter’s starting posture should be squared toward the rim, adopting a low, athletic stance, with their rear back and their chest forward.
- When loading up to release the shot, the shooter’s shooting elbow should create a 90-degree angle and be in line with their
- The shooter’s wrist should be loaded, like a waiter carrying a tray, with just enough space between the shooter’s palm and the ball to maintain control with their fingertips.
- When releasing the basketball, the non-shooting “guide” hand should have all fingers pointed upward and act as a golf tee would for a golf ball.
- The ball should be released off of the “peace fingers” for accuracy and touch, with a straight-line shooting arm—up and out of the phone booth.
- As for the shooting hand, a firm follow-through comes after the flick of the wrist, as if reaching into a cookie jar on a shelf out of reach.
- The follow-through should be held for the entire duration of the shot until the ball completes its full journey—make or miss.
—WAC member Michael Knight (2011) is a player development specialist and sports marketing consultant who finished his collegiate basketball career at Seattle University in 2008 before playing professionally in Europe, Asia, and several American leagues.
How to run more
It’s irritatingly simple: Run more, enjoy running more. But it can be hard to get into a running groove when work, other commitments, and, let’s be honest, the couch, are competing for your time. I got into running in my 30s and have since participated in countless organized runs, including several half-marathons. I also run regularly on my own and with my running club. Here are some tips for keeping up a running routine and logging more miles.
- Schedule a run like you would a meeting or any other activity you can’t easily avoid. If you tend to procrastinate, plan morning runs—and don’t ignore your alarm! Also, set your running gear out ahead of time.
- Keep track of your runs with a running app. I use Runkeeper. Running apps notify you of your time, speed, and distance during runs. They also keep track of your past outings.
- Stay motivated by signing up for races and fun runs. There are many local races to choose from, including the Orca Running series and Evergreen Trails series.
- Cross-train to avoid burnout and keep things interesting. I switch things up with hikes, biking, kayaking, and group fitness classes at the WAC.
- A reliable running buddy can be a good way to stay accountable. Another option is to participate in group runs. Try the WAC’s Wednesday morning run with coach Yon Yilma. Running clubs are a great way to meet other runners. They also make running safer, particularly in low-light conditions.
- Music makes a run go by much faster. Keep a few of your favorite songs available offline in case you end up away from cell service.
- Purchase the right equipment. Other than quality shoes, consider buying a headlamp for low-light runs, a hydration vest for long runs, and running gloves.
—WAC member Allison Peryea (2015) is a shareholder attorney in a downtown Seattle law firm that serves community associations. She is a member of the WAC Membership & Marketing and 20s/30s committees. She is a longtime resident of the Eastlake neighborhood. Her go-to running route is the loop around Lake Union.
How to write a memorable song
You’ve got to be able to hum it. It’s called the “Old Gray Whistle Test.” As legend goes, back in the day in the record factories, the guys on the floor pressing the physical records wore gray smocks. The head office would play unreleased music over the PA system and wait to see which ones the Grays would whistle, thus deciding the next single.
A strong tune can stand alone. It could be accompanied by an 80-piece orchestra or played around the campfire by a single guitar. You’ll recognize the tune and be able to sing along. Strength is in the melody, not how you dress it. That said, the easier to sing along, the better.
Lyrics are where it gets personal. There are aspects of the human condition that are universal. The listener gets to decide what the tune is about. If you can speak to the way millions of people feel, you’re on the right track.
Stir the soul. Déjà vu in a can. The secret sauce. This is the beautiful mix of poetry and musical notes that turns a song into part of the musical canon. It’s often intangible—and only the best songwriters can do it time after time. Yes, it makes you hum and sing. But it also makes you dance or maybe cry. And if it’s done just right, someday your song will drive someone crazy when they can’t get it out of their head.
—WAC member Tim McCormick (2019) is an artist and producer with Hit Happens Music.
How to start open-water swimming
I’m 77 and started open-water swimming two years ago. It’s fun, challenging, and great for your body and mind. It can also be dangerous. Many swimmers are comfortable in a pool but feel immediately unnerved in open water.
Before you take up the sport, check with your health practitioner to make sure that the activity is consistent with your overall health. Second, make an honest assessment of your swimming ability and comfort zone. If you’re just getting back into swimming, start in the WAC pool.
When you’re ready to jump into the open water, put safety first. Find a swimming buddy or group and invest in a swim buoy, which gives you something to hold onto if you need a break (or worse, in an emergency) and also allows boaters to see you. It’s also a good idea to swim in popular spots. In Seattle, Magnuson Park, Green Lake, Alki Beach, and Madison Park are good choices.
You’ll also want to invest in goggles and a wetsuit. Earplugs and booties are also a good idea along with a bright swim cap. The amount of neoprene in your wetsuit and cap will depend on the water temperature and the duration of your swim. Too much neoprene can interfere with good swim technique. Too little can find you shivering.
For your first few swims, parallel the shore. At many local beaches, you can get in a good workout without venturing into deep water. This will add an extra feeling of safety and allow you a quick exit if you get too cold. When swimming in saltwater, it’s also a good idea to invest in a tide chart and plan your workouts around slack tides.
Once you’re in the water and swimming, pay careful attention to your breathing and where you are. Focus on technique and staying afloat. If you feel yourself getting tired or cold, exit. It may take many swims to get comfortable in open water. For those who take up the sport, however, the mental and physical benefits cannot be overstated.
—WAC member Jim Falconer (1972) lives and swims on Lopez Island. His open-water swimming routine was featured in The Wall Street Journal’s “What’s Your Workout” section.
How to fly
Growing up, my father flew military refueling planes. My mom’s dad was also a pilot and flew small private planes. With both sides of my family exposing me to flight, it’s no wonder I chose to fly. It wasn’t until after September 11, however, that I finally made the leap. On the first day that private aircraft were allowed to return to the sky, I went to my local fixed-base operator (FBO) and signed up for lessons. My first unofficial lesson took place at Harvey Airfield in Snohomish and included a demonstration flight. It was amazing!
From there, I bought the books and officially signed up for lessons. In ground school we learned about airspace, flight rules, atmospheric sciences, mechanical systems, flight communication, and physics—specifically thrust, drag, lift, and gravity.
Going up with an instructor for the first time and sitting in the main pilot seat was amazing. Each practice flight has a specific purpose. One day after a quick loop around the airfield, my instructor had me land. He told me to do three more just like that, and then he got out. During that first solo takeoff, I heard all kinds of new sounds. My senses were heightened like never before. Eyes forward, aviate, navigate, communicate.
One … two … three loops. I landed and shut down the plane. My instructor was waiting on the runway with scissors to cut off my shirt and hang it on the wall. What a strange tradition! Since I was still in my work shirt, we settled on my tie.
Now that I could solo, I was in a new league. On Thanksgiving Day, I completed my long solo cross-country—more than 100 miles from your home base—and two weeks later passed my final exam.
If you’re interested in flying, work with your local FBO or a flying club. Figure out what it will cost to earn your license and the time commitment required. When you’re in the air, always have a plan and a backup plan and a backup for the backup. And remember what my grandmother used to tell me: There are old pilots, and there are bold pilots. But there are no old bold pilots.
—WAC member C. Jason Vein (2018) is an SVP, Investing
with Impact Director, Portfolio Management Director, and Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley. He flies a 2005 Mooney M20R fixed-wing single-engine plane.
How to produce a Broadway musical
A new musical can be original or sourced from other media. If an original idea, the story and music is written from the ground up. The librettist (book writer), lyricist, and composer work under the guidance of the producer, who owns the business, and the director.
If the project is derived from a book or movie, the producer would “option” the property from the owners before hiring the creative team to adapt. To help develop the story and music, readings and workshops with actors and musicians are arranged. An audience can be invited to provide some early feedback. Working with a nonprofit theater company, like Seattle Rep, can assist in this process.
Once ready, out-of-town tryouts or tours allow audiences and creatives to see the full production and fine-tune it before it hits Broadway. The last thing a producer wants is to introduce a show in New York if it’s not ready.
In my current project, Beau, by the new team of Lyons & Pakchar, the initial writing was through a nonprofit theater. My company optioned the project after seeing readings. The story and music are original. The most exciting challenge of producing is bringing a new story to market. Rewards can also be greater, given the opportunity for subsidiary and ancillary opportunities.
To develop an audience, we had a fully produced tryout, which exceeded our expectations. We partnered with Sony Music to produce an album that debuted at Joe’s Pub in New York. We were all set to move the show to a commercial venue when the pandemic hit. With theaters closed, we produced a film to offer to streaming services and film festivals and to build demand before Broadway.
—WAC member Richard K. Greene (2021) is founder and executive director of The StoryLine Project, based in New York. For more information, including about Beau, visit storylineproject.com.
How to tackle
If you want to succeed in the game of rugby, you need to know how to tackle, not only because that’s how you stop an opponent but also because one wrong tackle could cause a career-ending injury. A proper and strong tackle starts way before contact is made. Here are some key tips for putting a ballcarrier on their back.*
- Keep your eyes up. Look at the player you are going to tackle and track their movement.
- Maintain near-hip leverage and focus on being inside and in front of your target.
- Get your feet close enough to make the tackle.
- Prepare for contact. Keep your body strong, stable, and low.
- Position your head behind or to one side of the ballcarrier. Never position your head in front of the ballcarrier. Attempt to tackle below the waist and never above the shoulders (that’s illegal and can cause severe injury).
- Release the tackled player, get back to your feet, and contest for possession.
*Never attempt to tackle anyone without proper coaching and supervision.
—WAC member Shalom Suniula (2017), making tackle above, is a former member of Team USA and the Seattle Seawolves Major League Rugby team. Watch his Rugby 101 video for MLR at wac.net/rugby-101.