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Tell us a little bit about your background.

Well, I was born on the coast of the Black Sea in wonderful Ukraine. When I was six, my family moved to Cleveland and that’s where I’ve been ever since. I was a quiet child, my parents told everyone I was very shy. But I wasn’t shy at all, I just preferred to be quiet. One of my fondest memories as a child was running and hiding from Gypsies that apparently kidnapped children.

Three words to describe you:

Determined. Jumpy. Reserved.

427 Design isn’t the place for a jumpy intern. We have a thing for scaring the bejeezuz out of people. With air horns, for example. 

Favorite Quote:

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
– Oscar Wilde

What’s on your iPod?

A mixture of Folk Indie, sadly no techno or polka.

So, what brings you to 427 Design?

Justin Tokos

You really still showed up after you met Justin Tokos? 

What was your first impression of 427 Design?


What do you hope to have accomplished in five years? Ten?

In ten years I hope to move to Belgium.

Because beer… and waffles. We totally get it. 

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

The ability to have all superpowers.

That’s selfish, dontcha think. Save some superpowers for the rest of us. Sheesh. 

Favorite word?  

Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 9.40.21 AM


Uh, ok.

Least favorite word?  


What is something that no one would ever believe to be true about you?

When I was fifteen I went to Africa with a group of strangers for a month.  I was so terrified that I didn’t sleep for three days.

So that was more terrifying than working here? 

What inspires you, and why?

Everything, especially nature.

What fictional character do you most closely identify with?


“Yana, Yana, let down your hair, so that we may climb the golden stair”. This works out well since the elevator is basically a death trap. 



I resolve not to make New Years resolutions. I think it sets me up for failure from the start. I guess I just set my mind to want to make each year the best that I can. To try new things, to work hard, to spend quality time with the people that I love, to learn from all that has happened in the previous year and to grow in the new one. And I think as the years pass, I have done just that.


I made a New Years Resolution to never make NYE Resolutions again, and it’s worked out really well. 


Yes, I always want the New Year to be better than the last. This coming year I want to complete a sprint triathlon and do another death-defying backpack or climbing trip with my son.


I don’t believe I’ve ever made one. If I did…I’ve forgotten about it.


I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I tried once. It was to stop eating so much junk food, and well…yeah.


No, and so, no.


Never made a resolution I can remember. I’m too cynical. Always seemed like a dumb reason to do something I should already be doing. 





Joe. He shares in my love of craft beer. So maybe there’s a mix-a-six in my future.


I hope it was Joe, because I think he’d ask Allie what to do. 


Kevin…because he knows nothing about me.


Brad. It would probably be the least ridiculous and I could really use a kettle bell set at home.


I know whoever pulled my name will get me something I will love and cherish, so I can’t say it matters who actually did.


Either Paul or Andrea, because he probably knows me best, and she would get me some good beer.


Kevin, because it’s his last shot at redemption.


I hope Paul gets me a gift because we are besties and we are going to Dave & Busters after work to hang out and play games and drink beers. I feel so fortunate to have a great friend like him!!! He loves me. 




Elf has always been my favorite. Why? Well, I don’t really think this requires much of an explanation. Will Ferrell…in a giant elf costume. “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!” However, I have a three-year-old and have recently been introduced to the Polar Express. So I guess that snuggling on the couch with my little nugget has probably made that my new favorite Christmas movie.



I love the movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It’s always been a tradition between my sisters and I to watch that movie the night before Christmas.



It’s a Wonderful Life and Christmas Vacation.  It’s a Wonderful Life because it’s charming and Mr. Potter is a hero to us all.  Christmas Vacation because, well… “shitter’s full”. 


Love Christmas Vacation…especially the cat chewing on the lights scene! Most of those who are closest to me will understand why.


Die HardDie Hard is a Christmas classic.  They tried to recreate the magic in Die Hard 2: Die Harder, but it pales in comparison to the original.


Home Alone (and Home Alone 2). I don’t think I need to explain why.


I’ve got to go with the classic A Christmas Story, but I also have a soft spot for those stop motion Rankin/Bass films from the 60’s. Who doesn’t love “The Bumble”? 


I don’t like Christmas movies.




When I was about 8, my sisters and I opened a box that just had a key in it and were told to go look out back. When we went to check, there was a four-wheeler sitting on the deck!


Probably the Ghostbusters Fire House. It was like the crown jewel of playsets, and provided me countless years of action figure mayhem. I think that came out in ‘87, which makes me three years old at the time. It was probably just as tall as I was.




I guess the best Christmas gift has to be the only one I can remember right? I was 10. All my brothers and sisters had bikes of their own. I walked downstairs Christmas morning and BAM… Awesome Huffy 5-Speed bike with a speedometer and the gear shifter in the center of the handlebars. I still have it today actually.


Boy, that’s a tough one. So many great ones through the years. I’m going to have to say the one I haven’t received yet… My son Bryan, daughter Erin and wife Jamie are getting me hooked up with a really sweet Trek Domane 4 Series bike. It really pays to know people in high places (Bryan is an industrial designer for Trek.)


It was Christmas 1992. I was six and we spent Christmas morning in Ohio with my Grandma before driving nine hours home to New Jersey. Despite having already opened presents at Grandma’s, when we got home there were gifts aplenty under the tree. Highlights included the Crash Test Dummies Crash Test Center, which provided 101 ways to kill Crash Test Dummies, and a Creepy Crawlers machine. Probably the best Christmas ever.



When I was in sixth grade I wanted a Yo! MTV Raps leather jacket (don’t ask questions). I was certain it was my ticket to eternal, epic coolness. And sure enough, my parents totally bought it for me for Christmas. Then, tragedy struck. Before you could say “Downtown Julie Brown”, my aunt told my clueless, suburban, not-so-music-minded parents that Yo! MTV Raps was a rap/hip hop music show (evidently the name wasn’t telling) and they promptly returned it for something they deemed more “age appropriate”. Worst. Christmas. Ever.


BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT?!  Yeesh.  Hard one. I’ve been really lucky. So many people in my life have really paid attention the little things that make me… well, ME. so picking one gift out of so many awesome gestures is impossible.  From my mom and dad getting me my first set of tools which helped me with countless little projects… to my best friends giving me paintings they made, or drawings they created… to people giving me a really great song they think I might never have otherwise heard.  All of those things sort of just became a part of who I am. Those were, and I guess always will be, the best gifts I could ever get.  

NOW.  BEST GIFT GIVER?!  Man, that’s  Alexandra Charitan.  This is a person that I SWEAR thinks about Christmas ALL YEAR. And has to be, by far, the most endearing, thoughtful person at Christmas I’ve ever met. Every Christmas detail is always perfect and genuine. And I can’t not think about how awesome someone with that much heart makes christmas that much better.  Or. Worse, if you think of it as a competition, because you lose. 


Nacho cheese. Two years ago, my mom wrapped up little packs of nacho cheese because I didn’t have very many presents that year and she wanted to get me multiple things. So she found them and thought they were cute. And I don’t even really like nacho cheese, so it was pretty random. I told her this year not to wrap up any food items. Its always a disappointment to get food.