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Employee-Owner Spotlight: Alec Stringer

As an employee-owned agency, what moves one of us moves us all. So each month, we’re turning the spotlight on one of our many awesome owners to find out more about the unique personalities that shape GO2.

This month, we sit down with Front End Developer Alec Stringer to talk about visiting The Shire, eating grasshoppers and ushering in the technological singularity.

What are you most passionate about at work?

My favorite thing to do at work is problem solving. For me, that can be anything from writing a bit of weird code that makes a website work to solving problems in our corporate culture through our culture improvement committee, GO2 DNA. There is something satisfying about being presented with a challenge that doesn’t have an obvious answer and then working for a solution. “Here’s where we need to be. Here are the resources you have. Figure it out.” It forces you to think creatively and sometimes to learn an entirely new skill.

The projects I work on often aren’t as straightforward as they might seem, so I get to solve plenty of problems. Even something simple like an email is not really. It can take a lot of testing, trial and error to make that happen.

My second-favorite thing is getting everyone on board with silly names. We’re following up on our Comcast internal communication project, Nucleus. I’m going for “2cleus.”

What are you most passionate about outside of work?

I am a foodie. In fact, food is one of my favorite things to eat. I think there’s so much more to eating a good meal than sustenance — why just have lunch when you can have a culinary adventure? You can be experimental with unique flavor combinations, share a new experience with someone or get a taste of another culture. Also, we all eat about 76,650 meals in a lifetime, so I figure it might as well be fun.

Of course, being a foodie means I spend some time cooking. One of my favorite kinds of dishes to prepare is taking something that is generally considered a luxury food and making it more accessible. Like crème brûlée. That’s a dish that’s easy to make with just a few simple, cheap ingredients. But, it’s got a fancy presentation and a French name, so restaurants can charge 10 bucks for a few bites. I like to learn how to make that kind of thing for myself and let other people know that they can, too.

I also really enjoy traveling. I’m trying to catch up to Pete, but so far I’ve only been to two continents. I especially love visiting places with rugged natural beauty and friendly, welcoming people. That’s why my dream vacation would be a visit to Iceland. That’s also why I have a trip to New Zealand planned for the beginning of next year. During that vacation, the cruise ship will make a stop at The Shire so we can see one of the most iconic locations from the Lord of the Rings movies and, hopefully, spot some wild Hobbits.

What are some favorites you’d like to share?

My entertainment favorites are in continual flux, but there is one that has remained constant: The West Wing. It has been my favorite TV show since 1999. It’s well written, well acted, funny and educational. It also allows me to believe in an alternate universe where our government is run by people who genuinely want to make our country a better place.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

My recollections in order from earliest to latest: horse, He-Man, teenager, paleontologist, archaeologist, astrologer, astrophysicist, environmental scientist (this is when I realized you have to know math to do science), CIA agent, diplomat, special effects technician, computer animator. I currently want to be Batman when I grow up.

What is the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?

Chapulines in Oaxaca, Mexico. The taste is nothing fancy, but the crunch is what reminds you that you’re eating grasshoppers. Blech.

What would you like to be famous for?

I don’t want to be famous for anything; that sounds terrible. I would want to do something that contributes to humankind, but I wouldn’t want to be famous for it. I’d rather be the power behind the throne. I might like to promote a global agenda of tolerance or help the world’s homeless. I would definitely like to be involved with the advancement of a scientific revolution like practical long-term space travel or bringing about a transhuman or technological singularity.

Is there something people might be surprised to know about you?

Yes.

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