Dr. Louis Santini

I recently had an opportunity to speak with the handsome and athletic Dr. Louis Santini.

By: Joshua Conner

Dr. Louis Santini is a dentist, from Iron Mountain, Michigan, and currently living in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Santini inspires me personally and professionally. Professionally, I am inspired by how Dr. Santini reinvented himself. Personally, I am inspired by Dr. Santini’s passion for cooking, how he is a marathon runner, style, physique and the brand ambassador for one of my favorite men’s underwear lines Richard Dayhoff.

What would be the title of Dr. Santini’s life story and who would play him in a movie?

“Let’s see, I’m going to go with Take it easy, kind of like the song by The Eagles. I would say Bradley Cooper would play me because people have told me that I look like him before,” said Dr. Santini.

If Dr. Santini’s mantra was a hashtag, it would be live with purpose.

“Let’s go with live with purpose. That’s just you know, particular with me because I think life is kind of dull and boring if you don’t have a purpose,” said Dr. Santini.

What was Dr. Santini’s most memorable year?

“My most memorable year, you know it was a couple of them. I would probably say, I’ll give you two options, either moving to Chicago because I come from a really small town in northern Michigan. So, I’m a small town guy and moving to a big city was a pretty big step. I would say getting into dental school, was my other memorable year, that’s another story. I kind of took a break from school and was working in business in Chicago, when I first moved here, and I wasn’t that happy. The dream of getting into dental school seemed unattainable, but you know somehow with persistence, I was able to get that,” said Dr. Santini.

What does Dr. Santini enjoy about being a dentist?

“What do I like about being a dentist, well number one, I like being able to help people. It’s very rewarding, being able to help people. I like to work with my hands and be creative, so dentistry allows me to do that. You know, whether you are getting someone out of pain, or you are making someone’s smile more aesthetic, you know being comfortable smiling again. I like that my hours are pretty much set, where I don’t have to work on weekends or late at night. I mean unless someone calls with an emergency, that’s the benefit of it.

I would say those things, you know, really being able to help people, being able to be creative, having a major impact on someone’s health, sometimes we can catch diseases that the primary care physician can’t catch, like cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure, that kind of stuff,” said Dr. Santini.

“I would say ethical care, with a passion for excellence,” said Dr. Santini, when asked how he would describe the quality of his care.

What was Dr. Santini’s most memorable marathon to run?

“It would have to be my first one. That was in 2017, that was the one I did with Lawrence Dunning. I had never run a marathon before that, and you know Ryan Chiaverini, his mom passed away from cancer. So he gathered a group of us through Imerman Angels, as a team to run it that year. Unfortunately, Ryan got an injury, so he couldn’t do it. Nate had an injury, he couldn’t do it. So really, it just came down to Lawrence and I, as the last two guys on the team. It was really neat because I played athletics my whole life, but that was a challenge, I respect anyone that has ever run a marathon because it’s really stressful and tough. It was awesome to run with a friend like Lawrence. The whole way through, we cheered each other on, and it was definitely a fun time,” said Dr. Santini.

What is Dr. Santini’s underwear preference?

“Well, I think you know, I’m close friends with Richard Dayhoff, the famous Chicago designer. I wear his trunks, so I’m a big fan of his underwear, it’s what I’m wearing now, kind of like to give him a plug,” said Dr. Santini.

You can follow Dr. Santini on Instagram @louiesantini

Extra content: I asked Dr. Santini if he could throw a dinner party for any three people died or alive, who would it be and what would he serve them? You can follow me on Facebook and Instagram @mrjoshuaconner to find out

Michael Villani

I recently had an opportunity to speak with one of Chicago’s handsome personal trainers from the land down under, Michael Villani.

By: Joshua Conner

Michael Villani is a personal trainer at HiFi Fitness, based in Chicago, Illinois and from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Villani inspires me professionally and personally. Villani inspires me professionally, because of how he was able to reinvent himself and how he trains and manages at one Chicago’s top-notch gyms. Villani inspires me personally because of his authenticity, humor, physique, and passion.

What is a day in the life of Villani like?

“Well, life has changed dramatically for me, because of the birth of my son, almost 5 months ago. I get up at 5 am every day, walking the dog, being as quiet as I can, not waking the baby, then getting my butt to hifi, then starting work. Being a personal trainer, it’s always early morning and late evenings. So, I try to live what I preach. I start the day bright and early, eating healthy, and working out. Even if I’m not feeling good, I at least try to get a 30-minute workout in a day. Days when I am feeling good,  I’ll go for an hour and a half. I make sure that I use the energy that I have got, to the best of my ability. Even the days, I am not feeling as good, I always have those low days, I am always trying to do something.
Even, if it’s just a rubbish workout, I would have to do something. Just to get the body moving, because a healthy body leads to a healthy mind.
Most of my day is spent personally training clients, managing the gym at HiFi Fitness and trying to help as many people as I can. I try my best, every day not just to live for myself, but for others. Every day, I am looking for an opportunity, where I can help someone in the simplest way possible,” said Villani.

What would be the title of Villani’s life story and who would play him in a movie?

“I would like to say Hugh Jackman could do a good job of playing me in a movie, just being another boy from down under. Mainly, just because, I always wanted to see myself as a good-looking Australian, and he is probably one of the best looking Australians around, ha-ha.
The title of my movie would be shit happens, that’s probably been the theme of my life. Of all the bad things that have happened to me, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. So, everything that has gone on in my life, you know back in Australia. I was married, got divorced, I worked hard, had a nice car, and everything. I gave it all up, I had to get rid of it after the divorce. Obviously, that lead me to where I am in Chicago, of all the bad things that happened to me in life, I probably wouldn’t change a thing. So shit happens, and shit got good again,” said Villani.

If Villani’s mantra was a hashtag it would be #cutthebullshit.

“Well, going along with the same theme, I would say #cutthebullshit, ha-ha. I am a straight shooter, so you know I sort of think that cutting away the bullshit.  I don’t like to live in a false reality, I like to live and confront my reality. I don’t try to hide away from anything. If I have a flaw, I try to identify my flaws as best as I can. I have open and honest conversations with myself, you know, to try to cut the bullshit out of my own life. So, basically, a lot of people today, just have their heads in the clouds, I think you need to accept reality.
So, the first thing I do with myself is cut away the bullshit and face reality. If I have a problem, deal with it, don’t just hide it. Don’t think your insecurities are a bad thing. Look at your insecurities, identify them and work on them. Everyone is trying to put on a facade, especially with social media. You want to show realness, you want to show your weakness. I find you can have strength in your weaknesses, you can accomplish anything,” said Villani.

What are Villani’s underwear preferences?

“I am a boxer briefs kind of guy. I like the firm boxers, they hold everything a bit more comfortably. My favorite brand is called Bonds, it’s actually an Australian company. I’ve only been wearing bonds for as long as I can remember. So, I get my underwear imported, it’s an Australian brand, but it comes from China,” said Villani.

What is the story behind Villani’s first tattoo?

“Well,  I got my first tattoo, way back in 2011. It was a tribal pattern on my arm. Tribal, was a big thing, way back in the late 90s and early 2000s, especially because of a movie called Blade with Wesley Snipes. So in Blade 2, Wesley Snipes, came out covered in these tribal tattoos, on both arms, leading up to the chest and all up his back. I was like,  I want that. So, I got my left arm and left shoulder done in tribal tattoos. Then, I am thinking, I’m not Wesley Snipes, I’m not a 6’2, good-looking black dude. I just came out poor out of Australia, so that was the first tattoo I got.
Then, I got 2 more tattoos. I got one of St. Michael on my forearm. St. Michael is the archangel and defender of heaven. Even, though I am not religious, I thought it was a cool story. Then, I got the four horsemen of the apocalypse above that. So, I love the stories of the Bible, but I am not religious. The four horsemen represent conquest, war, famine, and death,” said Villani.

What does Villani enjoy most about training at HiFi Fitness?

“Well, the reason I am still in Chicago is because of HiFi Fitness. So, when I came to Chicago in 2014, I came here on a whim, I was chasing a girl and it didn’t really work out. I was planning to go travel the world, I brought my snowboard with me. I was going to Austria and Switzerland, work as a ski lift operator out there and then I would end up back in Australia. Meeting the guys at HiFi Fitness Gregg and Drew, those were the ones, that sort of enticed me and befriended me to stay. It’s the people who I love most HiFi Fitness. HiFi Fitness is probably like its own little soap opera, we can have a reality show about all the drama that happens, but I love it, I really do, that’s what keeps me here,” said Villani.

If Villani could have a conversation with anyone died or alive, it would be with Bruce Lee.

“Bruce Lee, Bruce Lee, is my mentor. Obviously, I’ve never met the guy, he died 50 years before I born. Bruce Lee has always been my idol and the archetype that I am always tried to model myself on. Obviously, I am light years away, being anywhere near what Bruce Lee would have been. He is probably one of the greatest and phenomenal minds of the 20th century. I always try to apply his teachings to my everyday life. I just try to work as hard as he did, he was one of the hardest working people of his time. From what he achieved, coming from an immigrant family and making it huge in a very latent time in America. He was able to rise above all of that and solidify who he was, Bruce Lee is my number one,” said Villani.

Extra Content: What was Michael Villani’s most memorable year? Follow me on Facebook and Instagram @MrJoshuaConner to find out.

You can follow Michael Villani on Instagram @therealaussiemike & HiFi Fitness @hififitness and www.hififitness.com

Lior Ofir

I recently had an opportunity to speak with security professional and BJJ brown belt Lior Ofir.

By: Joshua Conner

Lior Ofir is a defensive tactics specialist & vice president of Embassy Security Group, based in Chicago, Illinois. Ofir inspires me professionally and personally. Professionally, I am inspired because of how he successfully co-manages a security company. Personally, I am inspired by his physique, motivational speaking, and dedication to BJJ.

What is a day in the life of Ofir like?

“Actually every day is different, but it starts with me waking up really early in the morning, sometime around 6. I always start the day with my normal routine, which is drinking a glass of water, brushing my teeth, and going to the gym, normally at the start of my day. Then, I have meetings and I explore more opportunities with my security company and teaching self-defense concepts. Then, I come back home, and with my new baby and my wife, just sit, eat dinner and watch Netflix,” said Ofir.

Gladiator would be the title of Ofir’s life story and he would play himself in a movie.

If Ofir could leave his child one quality it would be grit.

“Grit would be one quality because life is full of ups and downs and there are always surprises, nothing is easy. So, we just need to prepare for and hope for the best case scenario instead of the worst case scenario, come with the right attitude, smile and understand that difficulties are apart of the experience. We are fortunate to be here, so we need to appreciate every day. If it’s not hard, or challenging, then it’s not really an accomplishment. You have to accept it and enjoy the ride, no matter how hard it is,” said Ofir.

What was Ofir’s most memorable year?

“Probably last year, because I had so many new things going on. I was involved in a competition on the jiu-jitsu field, and it went well, although I was injured. I opened up my new business, I was looking forward to that. I have a new baby, so I definitely think last year was amazing for me,” said Ofir.

How would Ofir describe his security company?

“I would say, first of all, our mission is to help different communities. The way we do it is not trying to push people to exceed their budget, but we are trying to find the most cost-effective way to increase the security level, by educating and teaching people how to do it. Most security companies are just pushing for security officers and technologies. We are doing that, but we are also trying to push people to really understand the protocols and procedures in everything we are doing. There was a quote by Benjamin Franklin, that I live my life by, ‘tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.’ I really like it, because at the end of the day, especially in security, but I think in everything in life,  every company, the more you involve the team, the members and the guests even, the better one organized unit it becomes,” said Ofir.

Extra content: what is the greatest lesson BJJ has taught Lior Ofir? You can find out by following me on Facebook and Instagram @MrJoshuaConner

You can follow Lior Ofir on Instagram @lolo.bjj & check out his websites www.LiorOfirUSA.com & www.embassysecurity.net

Flavio Gama

I recently had an opportunity to speak with a hunky fitness professional Flavio Gama.

By: Joshua Conner


Flavio Gama is an NSCA-CPT, NASM-Fitness Nutrition Specialist, USAW-Sports Performance Coach, and Crossfit/Kettlebell Concepts and TRX Certified based in Chicago, Illinois and from Brasilia, Brasil. I am inspired by Gama personally and professionally. Personally, I am inspired by Gama’s passion for the sea and his incredible physique. Professionally, I am inspired by his accreditations in the fitness industry.

What is a day in the life of Gama like?

“I usually wake up around 4:30 or 5 am, and then I go to the gym and personally train clients. Then, whenever I have a break in the morning, I would do my own workouts or swim. Then, my wife goes to work, and I watch our baby for the rest of the day. If it’s summer, I take her to go sailing and off to the beach. During winter, we just do stuff indoors. Then, I food prep for most of the day in the afternoon. Then, I put the baby to sleep around 6 or 7, then I go to sleep myself,” said Gama on a typical day.

What would be the title of Gama’s life story and who would play him in a movie?

“The title would be ocean lover and I would say Brad Pitt,” said Gama.

If Gama could leave his daughter with one quality what would it be?

“I would like her to have hard work ethics. You have to work hard to get what you want in life. If you have perseverance and work hard, you can eventually accomplish your goals. I think with that, she will be whatever, she wants to become,” said Gama.

What are Gama’s underwear preferences?

“Briefs, Diesel,” said Gama.

Which boat most matches Gama’s personality?

“I would say the captain lima 400,” said Gama.

What was Gama’s most memorable year?

“My most memorable year, I think it’s probably 1997. That’s when I did my first season at Club Med in Brazil, on a beautiful island. It changed my perspective of life and I meet a bunch of amazing people, whom I am still friends with to this day. It put my life in a whole new perspective. I had a bunch of memorable years, but I would say probably 1997,” said Gama.

What’s the story behind Gama’s first tattoo?

“My first tattoo, I was only 16 years old. Since I was a little boy, I always loved tattoos. I lived in a very conservative and traditional family. I kept telling my dad when I grow up, I am going to get a tattoo. When I was 16 years old, I went to the shop, a friend took me. I did a dragon on the inside of my arm, which represents a song from the 80s, from Brasil, about a guy that I really admired. So the guy talks about the dragon tattoo. I did a dragon on the inside of my arm, hoping my dad would never see, but he saw right away. He was mad, but years later, a lot of people have tattoos, so it’s no big deal. I did it to show to chase and follow your dreams,” said Gama.

Extra content: If Flavio Gama’s mantra was a hashtag, what would it be? Follow me on Facebook and Instagram @MrJoshuaConner to find out.

You can follow Flavio Gama on Instagram @FlavioGamafit.
 



 

Nate Forse

I recently had an opportunity to speak with Nate Forse, a California coach, helping his clientele reach optimum performance.

By: Joshua Conner

Nate Forse is the owner of Forse Lifestyle Coaching based in Marina del Rey, California. Forse inspires me personally and professionally. Personally, I am inspired by his faith, how he reinvented himself, his great physique, journaling, and inspirational Instagram posts. Professionally, I am inspired by Forse’s entrepreneurial spirit.

What is a day in the life of Forse like?

“It varies, but I try to wake up early. I usually wake up between 6 or 7 am, depending on how late, I was the night before. I try to get eight hours of sleep. I wake up and do my morning routine, which involves: first of all, reading my bible, then prayer, then I do my morning coffee. I take vitamins, and I drink at least 2 glasses of water, then I do my journaling. I use a journal called the best self journal, which helps me set up my day, I get that organized. I do some reading, and some journaling, then I text out three things that I am grateful for to my best friend and team. Then, I write down 1 thing that I am letting go of and 1 thing that I am plugging into. So, what I unplug to and what I am plugging into. That’s my morning and I do that every single day before my day gets started,” said Forse.

What would be the title of Forse life story and who would play him in a movie?

“The title of my life story would be momentum. Who would play me, I would say Mel Gibson or Bruce Willis, back in their prime, because I really love those guys, but I guess I would like to go with Brad Pitt to play me in a movie,” said Forse.

What are Forse’s underwear preferences?

“I am a boxer briefs kind of guy, and I have to say Lululemon, they’re going to be my favorite,” said Forse.

What was Forse’s most memorable year?

“My most memorable year, well, there is a couple that sticks out. Really thinking about it, I would have to say 2013, because that was the year football ended for me. I moved to Chicago, Illinois, so I was in a new city. I got cut from the team, I was playing for and a lot of things changed for me. I changed cities, I changed careers, football was no longer the main focus of my life. I found my city, and I also found my career, which was in the fitness and wellness industry,” said Forse.

What is one sentence would Forse like people to use to describe his coaching?

“I help people become: high achievers, uncover their true purpose, maximize their life and master their bodies,” he says.

What does Forse enjoy most about coaching?

“What I enjoy most is seeing people truly change their lives and change the way they think. They start to get in better shape, and they start to feel better about themselves. They might have asked that person out, because they don’t feel insecure about how they look any more or started a business that, they were scared for starting for so long or they’ve lost 10 pounds and they’re finally able to communicate with their significant other better. Those are the things that really get me going because fitness is just a means to an end,” said Forse.

If Forse could travel anywhere with anyone died or alive, who would it be and where would he travel to?

“I would have to go back to Israel and visit Jesus, back in the day, when he was alive,” said Forse.

Extra content: If Forse’s mantra was a hashtag, what would it be? Follow me on Facebook and Instagram @MrJoshuaConner to find out.

You can like Nate Forse on Facebook, check out his website  https://www.forselifestyle.com and follow him on Instagram @NateForse

Lawrence Dunning

I recently had an opportunity to speak with Lawrence Dunning, MBA, one of Chicago’s premier real estate brokers, skillful jiu-jitsu black belt & handsome renaissance man.

By: Joshua Conner

Lawrence Dunning is: owner at Dunning Real Estate and Real Estate/Broker at Main Street Real Estate Group, from London, United Kingdom & based in Chicago, Illinois. Dunning, inspires me personally & professionally. Professionally, Dunning was named: top producer from Main Street Real Estate Group in 2017 and 2018, top producer for Chicago Association of Realtors in 2017, & Who’s Who Chicago Agent magazine in 2017. Personally, I admire Dunning’s dedication to jiu-jitsu, physique, charming accent & how he manages a successful business with his best friend.

What is a day in the life of Dunning like?

“I think everyday is a good day, if I get some kind of physical exercise or workout in and I’m productive. Whether that can mean a full day of work when I’m productive or by the same token, if I’m on vacation or some real relaxation then, being present with whatever I’m doing. So, that can change, based on where I am at. Then, just some downtime.

If you work really hard, and you get some exercise in, your exhausted, and at the end of the day, you can put your feet up for an hour. I think it feels like a great big reward, because you earned it. So a typical day: I try to get some exercise, I think that’s really important, I try to be productive with whatever I’m doing, and I try to have my downtime at the end of the day, but only when I feel like I deserve it,” said Dunning.

If Dunning’s mantra was a hashtag, what would it be?

“I think it would be #dreambig. The simple reason is, because when I was young, I was very shy & introverted. Then, I achieved things, that I am, very proud of for myself, but it wasn’t easy, it wasn’t the most natural thing. I kept dreaming bigger & dreaming bigger, and every time, I got a little something accomplished, I think about the next big step and next big step. Eventually, over years and years, that can really grow into big things, but you have to have a dream to even start. If you don’t have the dream, then nothing else matters. So, I think everything starts with a dream, so I think dream big, would probably be the answer,” said Dunning.

How does Dunning like his coffee?

“Honestly, I just like straight up coffee, with a little bit of cream and MCT oil,” said Dunning.

What is Dunning’s underwear preference?

“Let’s see, you know my wife, just brought me some Reebok trunks,” said Dunning.

What was Dunning’s most memorable year?

“I think, I would have to say last year, because I got married. I think that’s the biggest step, that you can take. So, I think last year, I moved, I adopted a puppy, and got married. That, pretty much says, it all about my memorable year,” said Dunning.

The greatest lesson jiu-jitsu has taught Dunning is that the learning never stops.

“That’s a great question; I think the greatest lesson, I have learned doing jiu-jitsu, for nearly 20 years, and I think that it can be applied to almost anything in life is that, learning never stops. So, I think I’m pretty good at jiu-jitsu & I learn something every week. I think, it can be very frustrating, because sometimes, mostly you just want to figure something out, and be done with it. On the plus side, on things in life, like relationships with: a child, or father, or wife, or husband, it’s a constant working process.

You can never, just say that I am done with this relationship, you always have to put effort in, learn & grow. I think the same goes with business. If your business isn’t growing, it’s not going to stay the same, it’s probably going to get worse, lose money & decay. I think it’s the same thing with jiu-jitsu, you always gotta keep learning, and you can never rest on your morals. That can be applied to business, relationships, and all of the important things in life. Your never done, it’s always a work in progress,” said Dunning.

What is one sentence would Dunning like to use to describe his real estate?

“Good question, there’s a lot of brokers in Chicago, and there’s a lot of brokers that don’t know really what their doing. So I would say one sentence would be exceeds because we know what we’re doing and customer service. I am all about long term relationships with clients, and just in business in general. I think that’s the key to a successful business and almost anything is building good long term relationships with people. So I would use excellence and customer service,” said Dunning.

What does Dunning enjoy most about working at Dunning Real Estate?

“I think I am very fortunate that I can work with a good friend of mine. So, I think the key thing is, it can always be challenging, but if we are working with people that, we enjoy being around it makes work a lot more pleasurable. So, I think that the best thing about working there, is that my partner is also a good friend of mine. On the flip side, when you mix friendship with business, it can be challenging, but I think it’s definitely worth the challenges, to be forced to spend more time with good friends in business, so it’s a tradeoff. I really enjoy working with a good friend of mine,” said Dunning.

Extra content, I asked Lawrence Dunning what would be the title of his life story and who would play him in a movie. He gives a very American Bond answer. Find out what he said by following me on Instagram & Facebook @MrJoshuaConner.

You can follow Lawrence Dunning on Instagram @lawrencedunning and check out his website www.dunningrealestate.com 

Zachary Koran

I recently had an opportunity to speak with entrepreneur, coach & family man Zachary Koran.

By: Joshua Conner

Zachary Koran, is the lead broker & founder of Zach Koran Real Estate/The Zach Koran Group, entrepreneur, coach, father and Illinois Realtor at Compass based in Chicago. I am really inspired by how Koran utilizes various mediums including social media to give clients the best service.

What is a day in the life of Koran like?

“Well, I typically get up, have some coffee and take my vitamins, then I pray, mediate & do a couple of spiritual readings. Then I take a shower, get dressed and walk the dog. I have my son part-time, so sometimes, I’ll take him to school, like I did this morning. Then sometimes, I head to the office, where I make phone calls, do the prospecting part of my real estate business. In the afternoon,  I show properties, and 3 or 4 days a week, I hit the gym in the morning, before I start the day as well. At night-time, I either hang out with friends, or I show property listings or I have my son,” said Koran.

What would be the title of Koran’s life story and who would play him in a movie?

“Title of my life story, good question, it would be humility drives success. Who would play me in a movie, how about, I’m going through my mental Rolodex of actors, I don’t know Hugh Jackman,” said Koran.

If Koran could leave his son one quality it would be loyalty and honesty.

“Leave my son one quality, what would it be & why, that’s a good one, I was actually thinking about this the other day. You know probably, that’s tough, I would say loyalty and honesty. I know that’s two, but loyalty and honesty go together for me,” said Koran.

What was it like for Koran modeling for the Men of Chicago Real Estate calendar?

“It was great, I know a lot of those guys, that were on the calendar, because we’re all in the real estate business. I know probably half of them. We had a lot of fun doing it, I’m not really a model by trade. Doing that was fun for me, it’s always fun getting your picture taken. So, I got to meet some new people, which was great, and get a chance to be part of a fundraiser. The money raised from the calendar sales, went to a non-profit,” said Koran.

How did Koran get his first tattoo?

My first tattoo, I got it at Lake Geneva, when I was 18 years old. I got my first one on my shoulder, it was my initials in Old English writings. It is now covered up, by other art, that I wanted to bring to life, you know, kind of cover it up, but that was my first one 23 years ago,” said Koran.

What are Koran’s favorite brand of boxer briefs?

“ I probably go with Calvin Klein,” he says.

What is one sentence, would Koran like people to use when describing his business Zach Koran Real Estate?

“That’s a great question, I would like people to say, he goes extremely beyond the limits to provide good service,” said Koran.

Extra Content: What was Zachary Koran’s most memorable year? Like me on Facebook and follow me on Instagram @MrJoshuaConner.

You can follow Zachary Koran on Instagram @zachkoranrealestate & @zachkorangroup, like him on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/zachkorangroup/ in addition to his website www.zachkoranrealestate.com & www.compass.com/agents/chicago/zach-koran