How old are your kids and how long have you lived in Westport? My family and I have lived in Westport for 3 years. Our daughter Olivia turns 13 this month – she was born on Father’s Day 😉, and our son Lucas turned 11 in April.
How did you end up where you are now in terms of your job, or whatever passion project it is you might be doing? Wow! That’s a long story and quite a journey. I’ve been blessed to have opportunities to help people my entire career as a healthcare entrepreneur. In 2014, my wife, Anna-Karin, and I started Progressive Diagnostics, and now own three companies (including Progressive Institute and Progressive Health Dynamics) – all focused on the mental health, addiction and diagnostic testing markets. I am the CEO and A-K is our COO and General Counsel. I love to innovate – see things that others do not – and am touched everyday by how people achieve higher levels than they believe they can – whether they are our patients or one of our 70 employees.
If you were not doing what you are today, what do you think you might be doing? I would have answered this differently 10 years ago, but I’ve come to understand that I’m on a journey – we’re all on a journey. I love what I do, my family and everyone I work with and get to meet. Even if the results might not be what I’m looking for every time, I’ll continue to dream and live in the moment and see how it all unfolds.
What was the silver lining of the last year and more time at home? And what are you most looking forward to as the world begins opening up? 2020 was quite challenging. Because we are in healthcare, A-K and I worked 7 days a week around the clock, as did most of our employees. And as people stayed home our lab business dropped by 80% and our treatment center struggled – but we knew that we had to stay healthy and help as many people as possible. Through some big sacrifices, risk taking and an amazing team of fearless employees, we were able to help keep people safe by providing same day PCR COVID-19 results and became the only mental health and addiction provider willing to treat individuals in person (and via telehealth). The sacrifices were enormous, but the support of the community simply kept us going. We formed new relationships with the leadership of Westport (Jim Marpe, Sara Harris and Marc Hartog in particular), we formed partnerships with the Diocese of Bridgeport (a huge thank you to Deacon Pat Toole and Bishop Frank Caggiano), private schools and countless others. One of our proudest and most humbling experiences was receiving the Community Partner of the Year Award from Leigh Goodman, Chief of Trumbull EMS.
The other silver lining is that we have been making contributions to the community since 2014. Because of our COVID-19 testing, we will be able to contribute over $50,000 to local mental health and addiction treatment programs this year. We thank Westport for supporting our testing center at the Saugatuck train station and for enabling us to help so many people with these contributions during the pandemic!
What was your most memorable family vacation and why? Any and every time we go to Sweden. My wife is Swedish, our kids are fluent in Swedish and the family joke is that when I met A-K I started to try to learn Swedish but I stopped taking Swedish lessons once I convinced her to marry me! We have not been to Sweden as a family for over two years, so we are all super excited to get back to Sweden this summer and see all of our family in person!!!
What is your proudest daddy moment? There are so many individual moments that you only get to experience as a parent – they just move you like you never knew you could be. Without a doubt, the proudest daddy moments for me are when either of my children achieve a goal that they set their mind to. It could be scoring a goal in sports, finishing a book, posting a Tik Tok or anything that is important to them. Seeing the growth in the moment is everything.
What’s your favorite sport to play and/or watch (who do you root for?) Football – Tom Brady – because he’s good and getting old! And F1 Racing Daniel Ricciardo – because he’s full of life! But one of my absolute favorite sports and forms of exercise is to play soccer with my daughter and basketball with my son at Compo Beach park.
What’s your favorite restaurant in town for a family dinner? Friends? Our kids #1 restaurant is The Spotted Horse (Kevin McHugh – one of the owners is a class act!) tied for #2 Parker Mansion (manager Kevin Conte challenged my son to an eating contest two years ago – we still talk about it!) and Bar Taco. With Friends – well, we just like to cook ourselves in our backyard or get sushi from Little Kitchen and eat on Compo Beach.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you? It would spoil the surprise if I told you…
If you had 24 hours to do whatever you wanted – what would you do? Whatever my wife told me to do 😊
What’s your drink of choice? Water
What is the one thing your spouse does that you are eternally grateful for? =) Besides moving from Sweden and making my life wonderful, pretty much everything else she does.
What do you wish you could tell your younger self about being a father? Sometimes you just be there and listen.
QUICK THIS OR THAT:
Golf or Beach day? Beach
Play sports or watch sports? Definitely play soccer, lacrosse, football and basketball with my kids.
College football or NFL? NFL
Beer pong or ping pong? Ping Pong – responsible dad answer 😉
Hot wings or Mild Wings? Hot
Comedy or Drama? Comedy
Motorcycle or Mountain Bike? Fast car