Episode 01 - Building a Dream Career with Fox 8's Kevin Salyer
Welcome to Wealth & Life, where host and Certified Financial Planner Tony D’Amico shares insights, interviews, and a behind-the-scenes look into wealth management. In this opening episode, Tony sits down with the former VP of marketing and programming and the executive producer of local programming of Fox 8, Kevin Salyer, to discuss how he achieved his dream career, the challenges he faced, and the lessons he learned through it all. You will get an inside look at Kevin’s unique path and what it takes to build a career, team, and life that matters.
From the age of fifteen, Kevin started working his way up from sports writing to radio and finally television. He shares the stepping stones that helped him move up in his career, as well important nuggets of truth, from the importance of being willing to start small and work hard to the joy of being able to share your blessings with those around you. Listen in to get a glimpse of the passion he had for the local area and how he incorporated that into the way he worked and planned programming.
What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode:
- How Kevin worked his way up to his dream job.
- The benefits of success and the joy of sharing it with others.
- Why he started the show New Day Cleveland.
- The biggest challenges he faced in his career.
- The importance of paying attention to who you work with.
- That special thing that Cleveland has and how he has brought focus to it.
- What he hopes to leave behind for Fox 8.
- Kevin’s plan for moving forward and what’s next for him.
Ideas Worth Sharing:
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I’m all about the adage that you’re only as good as the people around you, and the people around me were so important to me. I always preach that we spend more time with each other than we do our families in a workday, especially in our situation because we worked more than eight hour days. It was really important to me for everybody to get along, to treat each other well, to take care of each other, have each other’s back, and just look out for each other.
Welcome to Wealth and Life where you’ll learn with financial planner, consultant, speaker, and business owner Tony D’Amico. You’ll hear stories from successful business owners and individuals about how they navigated the inevitable challenges that arose as they achieved each new level of success. And you’ll get insights and strategies from leading wealth planning professionals on how to achieve your next level of success. Now here’s your host, Tony D’Amico.
Tony: Kevin, welcome to the Wealth and Life Podcast. Really happy to have you as a guest today.
Kevin: My pleasure. I’m honored that you asked me. This will be fun. I will tell you this: it’s my first one. I’ve never listened to one, but now I’m going to be on one. It’s like when I was in high school. My first play was the first one I ever saw was the first one I was ever in. There you go. Same thing on the podcast.
Tony: Cool. I’m going to introduce Kevin Salyr, who was the vice president of marketing and programming and the executive producer of local programming at Fox 8 up until the end of the year.
Kevin: Yep. 12/31 out the door.
Tony: Out the door. Tell us about yourself and how you got your start at Channel 8 many years ago. Almost 40 years ago.
Kevin: This is a true story. When I was 15 years old, I remember sitting at home and watching TV with my folks. I looked up and I said, “Someday I want to work at Channel 8. Not just in television. Not just anywhere. Specifically at Channel 8.” That was 15. At 18, I was fortunate enough to get a job at the Lorain Journal, which at the time was a thriving newspaper in Ohio’s 10th largest city. I was a sports writer there at 15. Everything leads to everything else. It’s a stepping stone. The sports writing at 15 got me my first radio job at 18, and my first radio job helped me get in at Channel 8 at the age of 20 while I was a junior in college. Of course, I had to flip all my classes to night side after I got that job and I had to go one extra semester.
Kevin: I started working at Channel 8 at the age of 20, but get this. You talk about foot-in-the-door beginning job and all that. I was hired as a full-time tour guide. The station was new at the time and the general manager was all about having the public come in and see. So I did four tours a day, Monday through Friday. I think because of that I’ve spoken to every Elks Club, elementary school… When I see a school bus, I break out. By doing so, you obviously learn every job. People in television… You have the people who are in front of the camera and the people who run the camera. Well, there’s hundreds of other jobs. Because of this job of tour guiding around, I had to learn what everybody did. Of course, all the egos there: everybody wants to tell you how important their job is. So I learned everything and got a real sense for that.
Kevin: Like a lot of guys, I wanted to get into sports. That was my whole thing. I was doing play-by-play sports. I went to the University of Akron. I was on the radio there and another station at Akron. I did all the play-by-play with the Akron Zips and the basketball team, football team, and all of that stuff. Again, it’s that stepping stone thing. I got that foot in the door job and then I basically did every job. Every person I hired after that I could honestly tell them, “I’ve done everything I’m going to ask you to do.” They say that when you buy a McDonald’s you have to do every job. You’ve got to work the drive through, do the frying. I did that going up and in turn I had every job going from PR director to producer to this, and years later I ended up hanging around and becoming the vice president in charge of all the marketing and programming.
Tony: That’s awesome.
Kevin: Very blessed. Very fortunate.
Tony: Looking back at your career, what would you say are some of your top accomplishments?
Kevin: I’d have to answer that two-fold in the sense that the things that I’m proud of and the things that may be on somebody on the outside looking in. The things I’m proud of is that I hit 821 on the station softball team and only made six outs in an entire season. Then I was a Big Chuck and Little John all star for 20 years. I was on that. Other people would look at… I won seven Emmy Awards. I was the youngest department head in the history of the station. I was employee of the year somewhere in there growing up. Things like that. A lot of awards. A lot of opportunities. Very fortunate.
Tony: What a great career that you had. Congrats on all those accomplishments.
Tony: What did you like most about your career?
Kevin: I’m not going to lie: there’s some great perks being in television. There’s not a concert, play, or sporting event or anything that you could think of that I didn’t get to see. As I said, I love sports, theater, politics. For example, I remember I was covering the most recent Republican National Convention, so I had all these credentials. On the night of President Trump’s big speech, I decided that I was going to sneak into the Ohio delegation. I think I took Governor DeWine’s seat, actually. I sat down and watched that from there.
Kevin: People think it’s cool… as did I… to meet celebrities and the biggest names in entertainment, sports, politics. That was cool. But my real thing was… and I mean sincerely… the fact that I could share the perks of the opportunity that I was blessed with and I could hook up people with tickets of give them that first shot or that foot-in-the-door job like somebody did for me. In all candor, that was the biggest thrill for me: to be to share… I think today they call it pay it forward… those opportunities, which I did. That brought me great personal gratification because it was cool to help others like somebody did for me.
Tony: That’s awesome. I know learning about you and talking to you off-camera that you’re big on sharing your success with others, especially with your team at Fox 8. Also an advocate for northeast Ohio, whether it’s businesses or schools or other events that are happening: that advocacy that’s innate within you of…
Kevin: It’s important. Towards the latter part of my career back in 2007 I created a show called New Day Cleveland. It was super important to me to make sure that we took care of local. I wanted to forward local entrepreneurs, businesses, and people who were taking that shot that’s one-in-a-million, but help them and get their word out. That was really important to me and it worked. It was very popular. It was a win-win because people like to watch those types of things. I would feature a lot of restaurants and businesses. I decided early that one of the keys to the show was that everybody eats, so we’re going to have a lot of food and a lot of cooking. Consequently, we profiled a lot of restaurants. Again, I wanted them to be local-yokel type places. I’d like to think that we helped a lot of people sustain their business and grow their local roots with these different restaurants and miscellaneous businesses, too.
Tony: That’s awesome. When you look back on your career, what were some of the biggest challenges that you faced?
Kevin: The television industry… the one constant is change. You have to be able to roll with things. Quite frankly, I was an anomaly because I worked at one place… at Channel 8… those 39 years, but during that time… A lot of people would say, “You’ve been at the same place the whole time.” I go, “Yeah, but I’ve had 10 different ownerships over those 39 years and nine general managers.” Think of them in sports terms. In sports terms…
Tony: It’s like the Cleveland Browns.
Kevin: Sure. A new GM comes in. They blow out everybody. The Browns do it every 15 minutes, but for other people that’s… In the television industry, to sustain through nine general managers and 10 ownerships says a lot. What it really says is that I knew how to adapt and change, because every GM is different. Every corporation… I went from the beginning when we were owned by a family outside of Toledo, and then at one point we were victims of a corporate raidership type thing. Suddenly you were being flipped and all that and they didn’t care about the station or the people. You were just an investment that they were going to flip to make money. We were bought a few times like that, except one of the times we were bought the economy just went… So they ended up holding onto us because they couldn’t sell us, so they weren’t interested in putting money into it, so you had to do…
Kevin: This is the answer to your question: you had to do a lot with a little. I went from having a substantially big budget and department and then it was knocked down to me and two other people doing the same amount of work and putting out the same amount of content. Just that ability to change and roll with it and do more with little was probably the biggest things that got me through those years.
Tony: That’s awesome. And handling all those ownership changes and GM changes, were there other skills that you feel like you had to rely upon to get you through those times?
Kevin: I’m all about the adage that you’re only as good as the people around you, and the people around me were so important to me. I always preach that we spend more time with each other than we do our families in a workday, especially in our situation because we worked more than eight hour days. It was really important to me for everybody to get along, to treat each other well, to take care of each other, have each other’s back, and just look out for each other. You’re only as good as the people around you, so if hire… I didn’t want people that were yes men and just tell me what I want to hear. That doesn’t help me. “Tell me where I’m wrong. Tell me where you think we’re not doing enough or what other ideas you have.”
Kevin: I love to tap into other people’s strengths. I know mine. I know my strengths and more importantly I know my weaknesses. I would bring in people who could prop up my weaknesses with their thoughts and ideas. You couple that with the idea that I do like to forward people… Again, it goes back to that somebody gave me a shot, so I’m always forwarding them. I said that I won seven Emmys. Well, I haven’t entered an Emmy since the late ’90s because I just stopped. That was fine. You only need so many bookends. I was just trying to get other people to enter and forward their careers and such. The people around is to me what it’s all about and what I cherished and quite frankly what I miss right now… having been retired… the most.
Tony: We’ve talked off camera quite a bit and I know how special your team is and how important the people are there to you. Kevin: It’s important not only to value them but respect them and listen to them and be not just open to ideas but excited to hear, “How do you see this?” I never pretended to have all the answers and I love when somebody else… I would always say, “Please give me your idea. Let’s not always just use mine.” When you get that… to me, that was always exciting and gratifying.
Tony: That’s awesome. Kevin, I really believe successful people like yourself might be… They do certain things that are successful. I think success leaves clues. You’re talking about a couple of things that I think are really important. You’re as good as the people that you’re around. The viewers are your ultimate customer or client, but if…
Kevin: And report card.
Tony: And report card. They’ll let you know one way or anything. But you almost have to put your team ahead of them, because without the team you can’t deliver to them, so that importance of… Another thing that I know about you is putting others before yourself. How can you make them successful? How can you help them get an award rather than you try to get another one? It’s important: that camaraderie and that family feel is awesome.
Kevin: It’s interesting. Some of my general managers along the way criticized that leadership technique.
Tony: But they probably weren’t a good cultural fit. Not to interrupt you.
Kevin: No, they weren’t. I like to think that in the end I had the last laugh. There were some that I would have… in my reviews… things like, “You’re too nice. You’re too easy going.” One actually said, “If your people are that happy and that content and that excited to go to work maybe they’re not working hard enough.” I have vehemently disagree with that point. People look at things differently, but if you’re going to fault me for being nice to people and forwarding your people and taking care of your people… As loyal as I was to them, they were loyal to me in return. I always said, “When you’re going to war, you want that person who will run through a wall for you.” When times would get tough in our industry, that’s who you want to go to battle with. They were with me as much as I was with them. That’s that family thing. When times get tough, families unite.
Tony: Families stick together.
Kevin: That’s what we did and that’s how we were able to continue to win. I’m pretty proud of the fact that this station… going back to the days when we were CBS and then in ’94 when we flipped to Fox and all that and we went from one of the top five CBS stations in the country… lost 70% of our audience overnight at the time of the Fox flip… but our news continued to be number one. A lot of that is thanks to Dick Goddard. It even goes beyond that. I took that same thing about forwarding and trying to nurture loyalty even to the viewers. That’s where the whole Cleveland’s Own campaign that I’m kind of known for… But that’s just about local and being proud of the market and being proud of our city and where we come from. Anybody knows that Clevelanders have taken our lumps nationally and all that. I just wanted people to be proud of their city and proud to say, “I’m from Cleveland.” I always said it’s fine for us to pick on the city because we live here, but nobody from outside the family… Don’t you mess with us.
Tony: There’s nothing that irks me… I’ll go to different cities for different conferences. I remember I was in San Francisco for a great conference but the people at dinner were like, “You’re from Cleveland? I’m so glad that you guys have won the NBA championship finally.” It’s fine. People like that, it’s like I don’t want to even share with them how special Cleveland is. They can stay there.
Kevin: The people that are so critical, I always ask them one question: “Ever been there?” “No.” Ask anybody who has and they’ve found out what we know. There’s something about us because we’ve been beaten up over the decades that we have such a need to be liked. I work in the comedy world a lot and Nashville comedians will come in and say, “One thing about you guys: you’re really needy. They come up after the show and say, ‘Were we your best audience?'” We just have that need to be liked and well thought of. The city has had some great moments, so I like we’ve earned some of those.
Tony: It sure has. I’m obviously biased towards Cleveland, but the downtown area is doing extremely well. Several great sports franchises. A lot going on here with medicine.
Kevin: Incredible. The cultural arts… I’m doing some freelance work right now with Playhouse Square. People have no clue what’s going on. They have 48,000 season subscription holders. 48,000, that’s more than any other theater conglomerate in North America. Who knew?
Tony: We’re spoiled. We really are with some of the things that we have: the Cleveland orchestra, the arts, the…
Kevin: We have more professional theater seats in the country second only to New York City and Broadway.
Tony: We’re spoiled. We can just continue to keep it a secret.
Kevin: Even in Cleveland’s darkest days, I think the suburbs and the schools and the cost of living were still there for us, but the city has taken a black eye with all the cliches and stuff. Hopefully we’re rising above that.
Tony: You just talked about the importance of local northeast Ohio. My earliest memory of Channel 8 was that I was a little kid and Channel 8 came to our house because my father was born in Italy and I believe it was Virgil Dominic that was at our house highlighting some of the unique Italian-American traditions that my parents had. That really stuck with me as a little kid. I’m in my mid-40s, but growing up my dad and I watched Big Chuck and Little John. Channel 8 is just in the fabric of northeast Ohio life. It’s fun. My son and I today watch reruns of Big Chuck and Little John and he loves it. It’s perfect for our family because both my parents are born in Italy and my wife is 100% Polish. It’s perfect to watch.
Kevin: As Big Chuck calls it, “It’s a certain ethnic humor.”
Tony: Sometimes when we’re watching the show my wife doesn’t think it’s funny. I’m like, “Honey, it’s just a joke.” But she enjoys it as well. There’s been that long tradition and there’s no doubt that that focus that you brought over the past 40 years has been entrenched in the community and the station.
Kevin: I wanted to keep it consistent, because it was a really good message and I know it worked. Sometimes some consultants would come in and say, “You’ve got to switch it,” or a new general manager… “We’ve got to change our message.” I fought hard not too because I think it works. It sustains. It defines. It’s everything branding is about. You can’t mess with success.
Tony: Knowing what you want to accomplish, knowing what you stand for, and then being consistent with that.
Tony: What do you hope that you leave behind at Fox 8 now that you’re retired?
Kevin: Part of it is that I hope that they continue with that branding, because if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I think it continues to do well. I think the station is strategically in position to continue. Very astutely locked up all of our major person… Cleveland is a very personality market. You go to other markets; they don’t know who does the weather or sports. It’s a very personality market, so I always promoted heavily to the people and told their story and let them share things, so that’s important because the market eats that up. I’ve had people come in that… That’s one of the things I’m proud of. I’ve brought a lot of the talent to the station that I’ve found in small towns and other places.
Tony: Who are some of the people that you brought?
Kevin: Oh, I found Kenny Crumpton in Fresno, California. I found Christie Caple in Scranton, Pennsylvania. I found Natalie Herbick, who I think is incredible. I brought her in to do New Day Cleveland. I found her in Steubenville, Ohio. That’s just knowing what Cleveland likes and watching tape and looking at them and saying, “Cleveland is going to love this person. They’re going to eat them up.” There’s others that are wonderful people but they just don’t have that Cleveland element. That’s why I had to change… Cleveland’s Own thing was born here, raised here, plan to grow old here. Not all of them were born or raised here, that’s why I came up with the or plan to stay or plan to grow old here.
Kevin: I think you’ve seen that we don’t have a revolving door there. You watch some of the other stations… and I’m not here to knock… but it’s like who’s on there today? Our place is consistent and there’s strategy behind that and the fact that once they get here… There’s been a lot of people we’ve brought in that were like stepping stone to that market or this market, but then they get here… this goes back to discovering Cleveland… they suddenly find their mate, they’re putting down roots, they’re raising a family, they’re living in one of those great suburbs and they’re not going anywhere. That’s happened countless times.
Tony: That’s awesome. They’re taken by surprise.
Kevin: They get here and it’s comfortable. Instead of staying for a two or three year deal and then going and moving up the ladder to some bigger market they just stay because it’s home, which is a compliment to this area.
Tony: That’s great. Is there a behind the scenes story that you’re comfortable sharing? Something that might be interesting that our listeners might like hearing about? Something about Fox 8? Maybe somebody that you met or…
Kevin: I have countless stories. We can’t be here long enough for that. Part of it is you do get to meet… People love celebrities and you get to meet a lot of celebrities, a lot of sports stars. In my early sports days at the station I did all the post-game interviews with the Calves, Browns, and Indians for years. Working for Fox… when we were actually owned by Fox… Spent a lot of time in LA with a lot of celebs and behind the scenes of American Idol. I spent a week at the Jerry Springer show on set at the height of its craziness and just the stories from that could have me put in prison. I actually hired him to come in and host our local Emmys. It was so good it was boycotted by many people beforehand. Let’s just say I took the stodgy upper air of that award show by having Jerry Springer come in and do that.
Kevin: I’ll just share one meaningful, funny one. On Dick Goddard’s last day… and Mr. Goddard was the best of the best and still is. He just had a birthday recently. He’s 89. He’s down in Florida. It was his last telecast: his last show.
Tony: I remember watching that.
Kevin: He and I were sitting together off to the side just hanging out and waiting for his time. Being there and watching him all my life and being all the years, I knew the moment that it was and what it meant not only to the viewers but to him and certainly myself. Here I was, just the two of us chatting. I just said, “Mr. Goddard, this is it. This is your last one. You’ve been on the air since the ’60s. I don’t know how many hundreds… What are you going to say?” He goes, “I don’t know. I can’t wait to hear it myself.” It just shows you that he didn’t even know. He goes, “I can’t wait to hear what I’m going to say.” But he was great.
Kevin: There’s a lot of them. Some really funny ones, some sentimental ones.
Tony: That’s great. Looking back at your career, is there anything that you wish you would’ve known at a certain point in time or anything that you look back and say, “Geez, I wish I maybe wish that I knew something or handled something differently,” or anything like that that comes to mind that could be of help to other people that have the type of influence that you do over your teams?
Kevin: I pondered that one. It should be pretty easy to list mistakes and all that, but I honestly can’t think of anything that I regret or that “Boy, I was dead wrong about that.” I’ll just continue on the positive and say that I think it’s about your people and continuing to foster their goals and their wishes ahead of your own. In turn, you will be more fulfilled and it will be gratifying knowing that you were able to help them.
Kevin: Speaking of hiring, I kind of built a reputation. I was always proud of my hiring skills. But forget just the on-air people, I took a lot of chances. A lot of people said, “You’re hiring somebody without a college degree? You’re hiring an art director that’s never worked in the business?” I loved taking that challenge or pushing that envelope not haphazardly, because in my mind I wasn’t taking a chance at all. Obviously I vetted them and talked to them and got to know them, and everybody else was like, “You’re taking a chance here.” I didn’t feel that way at all. Yet I’m sure somebody said that when somebody decided to make me the youngest department head: “What are you doing,” and all that. I was really proud of that record because I can’t think of any hires where I’m going, “Swing and a miss.” I didn’t worry about where they went to school or what their grades were or what they do. I always just said, “Give me somebody who gets it and is a nice person and I’ll teach them the rest.”
Tony: That’s awesome.
Kevin: I actually stated that many times, because that really was my philosophy: “Just be a good person and get it in general, and then I’ll teach you the ropes.” It served me well.
Tony: You’ve mentioned the importance of your people and taking care of them and that family atmosphere that you brought there and that’s still there no doubt. Just knowing you for the past couple of years, I really got to learn more about you when you had me on New Day Cleveland.
Kevin: A couple of times.
Tony: A couple of times, that’s right.
Kevin: You were really good. I’m just saying that. You were really good.
Tony: I’m honored to hear that from you. Just meeting people like David Moss and Natalie Herbick and how they talked about you and how special you are to them, I have to say I learned a lot about you that day: a whole other side of you. Another thing that clicks, too… You gave me a tour of the entire facility, so now I know why you did such a good job. That was you first job there.
Kevin: I just have to walk you around before you leave. That’s just in my DNA as far as the station goes.
Tony: I’ve been the benefactor of you caring about the community and caring about others. I want to thank you for that personally.
Kevin: Back at you, because I note that in you. On my show over the years, we’ve had a lot of financial experts come through and all that, but I love that your passion is teaching and educating people about… Let’s face it: none of the rest of us are financial wizards or understand that, but it’s all too easy to have the financial guy that says, “Just give me your money and back off and I’ll take care of it. Don’t worry about it and don’t ask any questions.” You’re the anthesis of that because you want to educate and not only have people comfortable with what you’re doing but have them understand why you’re doing and what you’re doing and all that. Trust me, if you can make me understand it, you’re a wizard.
Tony: Thanks. I have a bit of a surprise for you. I have a couple of messages here that I want to play for you, because one of the things about you is how much you care for your team and put them ahead of you. I’m going to play a couple of messages here.
Kevin: This is fun. This is like, “This is your life.”
David: Hey Tony. Just hearing the name Kevin Salyer brings back so many memories and so many different kinds of emotions and feelings. We started in the business about the same time. We didn’t know each other that much, but he came straight out of college to Channel 8. It wasn’t Fox 8 in those days, but it was Channel 8. He started there as an intern and used to guide people around the station. He stayed there a whole bunch of years and recently retired… as you know… before this conversation. I’ll tell you what: this guy is missed. He’s the guy who used to show people around as an intern and when he left he was the guy to show the interns around, turn people’s careers, helping interns into being anchors and going onto national jobs.
David: He always used that term, “Cleveland’s own,” which is a phrase he had a lot to do with when it comes to coining a great phrase. He truly represents one of Cleveland’s own. Fox 8 has a lot of success for a reason, and I think one of those reasons is Kevin Salyer and is one of those guys that just pours his heart into it and really represented what northeast Ohio and Clevelanders are all about. Today, big corporations take over these broadcasting companies and you lose the personality of the region or of the city. He refused to let that happen. He poured his heart and soul into everything that Fox 8 represented as he began to retire.
David: It’s more than just that, too. He was one of those guys that was a great. Since he was there for 40 years… Just think about it: 40 years. He was the guy who when people didn’t know which way to look or turn… whether it was a personal problem or a professional problem… for some reason, somehow, people always floated down to Kevin Salyer’s office and he was the sounding board. He was the heart and soul. He was the guy that really laid it out there. He helps other people keep their lives in order and do their best to succeed. He’s missed and continues to be missed. We’ll always love him. He’s a great guy.
Tony: I wanted to share that with you from David. Kevin: I’ve always called David the pro’s pro. He’s the ultimate renaissance man. He’s the perfect TV personality. He’s great with people. He knows everything. He’s a wine connoisseur, a cigar aficionado, a master chef. He’s the guy. I could not have picked a better host for the show to do what he does. He’s Cleveland’s own. He’s from here, born and raised. Just a great guy. That was very meaningful and kind.
Tony: I’ve got one more message to share with you.
Natalie: Hi Tony and Kevin. Tony, congratulations on the podcast. This is Natalie Herbick from Fox 8. Kevin Salyer for sure is the reason that I moved to this wonderful city. He’s one of the kindest, most genuine, loyal people that I’ve ever met. He’s the kind of person that when you know him you feel like you’ve known him your whole life. He was the glue at Fox 8 for so long: the glue that kept our Cleveland show together, the glue that kept the team together. He was such a big component of local and Fox 8 own, and Cleveland’s own. To know him is to know a friend you will have for the rest of your life.
Natalie: I’m so glad to have him in my life and hate knowing that he’s not going to be at the station every day anymore and that he’s retiring, but with his retirement comes new and wonderful and exciting opportunities. You guys have a wonderful show. Kev, you’re the best.
Tony: I think those were two special…
Kevin: Two of my closest friends in the world, professionally, personally. Proud of them. Natalie was doing news in Steubenville, Ohio. She’s from Pittsburgh.
Tony: We won’t hold that against her.
Kevin: You talk about somebody who has adopted Cleveland as their own: she is hook, line, and sinker a Clevelander now.
Tony: You see that with everyone at this station. Cleveland is home. There’s no doubt about that authenticity.
Kevin: That was very thoughtful and kind. Thank you.
Tony: You’re a very special person and you’ve achieved a ton. Like I mentioned, that success leaves clues. Success sometimes isn’t a complicated path. Just some of the clues that you leave behind about how you treat others and using your success to make other people successful and just truly caring. Like David said, just having that authentic pouring your heart in every day. Those are things that we think are wonderful and I think are going to help our listeners, too, because I’m sure there’s other people that have busy careers like you that… Sometimes these simple reminders help us stay on the right path.
Kevin: Tony, it’s not hard to be nice to people.
Tony: It isn’t.
Kevin: And respect them and appreciate what they bring to the table both professionally and personally and just utilize their skills and what makes them who they are. I just think that’s life 101.
Tony: Exactly. Kevin, as we wrap up, this podcast is about achieving success where wealth and life intersect, and success means different things to different people and wealth means different things to different people. In this stage of your life, you’ve obviously had a very successful career. When you think about life moving forward and that intersection of wealth and life, what does success look like for you?
Kevin: I want to be comfortable. I want to be secure. I want to be happy. These are life 101 things. Who doesn’t want those things? I feel like I’ve done what I was put here to do. I’m certainly not ready to curl up into a ball and whatever, but it’s time to let somebody else do their thing. I’m fulfilled. I’m happy. I’m content. I don’t miss my job, as much as I loved it. I miss the people. I can’t say that enough. I miss everything we’ve talked about this afternoon. It was about that.
Kevin: I see myself carrying over into my retirement an appreciation for people and an appreciation for being secure and happy and comfortable. I’m not a money person, and by that I mean I’m not about the car that I drive or the big whatever… and yet I want security. I want to know that the work that I did all these years has created that nest egg for me and that ability to be comfortable and enjoy the rest of my life.
Tony: You and Tina did the hard work by raising your family, being diligent, so …
Kevin: Tina gets all the credit for the family and the finances, because you can see where I spent all of my time. She gets all the props in that.
Tony: One thing that I’ve noticed about you is that as you head into this next phase of your life you have these accomplishments at the TV station but you also have a sense of purpose and some things too that you are looking forward to. Do you mind sharing what some of those things are?
Kevin: I have a real passion… if you will… for Christian music. I am a believer. I come from that guy that goes to church Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, Wednesday nights, since I was a kid. I love music. I love the entertainment field, but I specifically enjoy that. I’m working with some of the groups to hopefully get their message out and enhance their outreach and that’s important to me. Before it was kind of like a hobby because it had to be because I was working, but now to take some of my experience and connections and skills and funnel that into them… because they’re certainly doing wonderful worthy things. It’s going back to helping local… In this case, it goes a bit further than local, and just get that message out and help them do what they do. I would consider that an honor for myself and very fulfilling for me.
Tony: That’s awesome.
Kevin: So that’s the crux of that. That’s what I would love to do.
Tony: Good. Any other areas that you…
Kevin: We’ve kind of mentioned them. I’m a sports guy. I’m a comedy guy. I love the arts. I love live theater. I’m doing some things with Playhouse Square. You can see all my passions being tapped into there. I’m also a grandfather now. I have a grandson. That’s a big role and an important role. That’s a lot of fun, too.
Tony: That’s great. We were talking about success clues and this is another one of those, is that although you’re here retired, some people don’t even like the word retirement. And this is a success clue I see from multiple people, is that having that sense of purpose still as you head into that next chapter. It’s been great to listen to you talk about that and see you perk up about some of these things that you’re going to…
Kevin: Yeah. It’s time to shift gears and point all of those traits and experiences to help somebody else in a different field. That’s exciting.
Tony: That’s awesome. Well, Kevin, I’ve enjoyed you being a guest.
Kevin: It’s been fun.
Tony: I’m the benefactor here, so thank you so much. I’ve enjoyed it.
Kevin: Thank you. This has been awesome. My first podcast. The messages from David and Natalie, that just touches my heart. So, appreciate it very much.
Tony: Likewise, thanks Kevin.
Speaker 2: Do you want even more ideas, tools, and resources on how to achieve the next level of success in your wealth planning? Check out wealthandlife.com, where Tony will cover the latest trends and wealth planning best practices for successful business owners, families approaching retirement, and comprehensive wealth management. By subscribing to the Wealth and Life Podcast, keep up to date with future episodes. Get it all now at wealthandlife.com.
Wealth and Life is created and hosted by Tony D’Amico, founder and managing partner of Fidato Wealth LLC, a registered investment advisor. The opinions expressed in this program are for general informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations. To determine which strategies may be appropriate for you, please consult a financial planner prior to making any financial decisions. Any case examples discussed are hypothetical and any resemblance to a particular person or business is purely incidental. Please visit wealthandlife.com for other important disclosures.
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