JULY FEATURED FEW
Name: Sam Switzer
Organization and Title: Events and Brand Manager at United Way of Central Minnesota
Length of time as a FEW Member: 6 months
Hometown: Escanaba, Mich.
Family: Husband and two fur babies (a German Shepherd and a Beagle mix, who we thought was a shepherd...false advertising!)
What do you actually do at work? I plan and manage all of United Way's large events—from coordinating a few hundred diners, hosts and chefs for Progressive Dinner to blowing the air horn to signal the start of our Bus Pull. I do a little of everything. I also manage our internal marketing, social media and graphic design.
Do you have or are you a mentor? I'm lucky enough to work for my mentor, Jessica Houle. She's been a friend, coworker and supervisor for 12 years. I love her dedication, problem solving and caring nature she carries with her.
Favorite vacation spot? I love to travel and experience new places, so it's hard to pick a favorite. I love Grand Velas in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, when I want a relaxing beach and NYC when I want to be active.
If you could eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Mexican cuisine—burritos, tacos, chips and salsa, margaritas, I love it all!
Who had the biggest impact on the person you have become? It's not a "who," it's a "what." Seven years ago, my husband and I spent six weeks in France, Italy and Greece. At that time, we didn't embrace all the phone apps that are available now, so we did it without a language translator, without Google Maps, and without much help other than a car GPS that only spoke French (which we do not!). It was a HUGE learning experience both personally and in our relationship. I learned that situations are never as bad as they feel in the moment, there is always time to stop and appreciate exactly where you are, being comfortable is a good thing—it means you're growing. And calories in gelato never count after 9 p.m.!
What do you do for fun? I love to cook and learn new cuisines, read outdoors while soaking in a little sun, go geocaching and explore new areas and traveling.
What is your favorite way to waste time? Recently, I discovered the Bravo show "Below Deck," a reality series that follows the crew of a luxury charter yacht. I can easily lose a couple hours to that show. On a side note, I also think I missed my calling and would make a great chief stewardess!
What is something you're obsessed with? OrangeTheory Fitness! I've been a member for over three years and pre-pandemic, I would go four mornings a week. It's the only thing that can get me out of bed at 5 a.m. I love the coaches, owners and other members, but more than that, I love the feeling of accomplishment when I do something I didn't think I could.If you opened a business, what type of business would it be? I actually already have! For four years, I ran the mini-dessert company Bite Size. I sold in various farmers markets and catered weddings and other events.