A Discovery Channel genius, a professional beer taster, a meteorologist, an educator and a company president. When these five people met, they were, for all practical purposes, complete strangers. Yet one common bond united them: They were American Way Road Warriors. And an AW Road Warrior bond is unlike any other. It’s an instant connection, an instant understanding of all that a Road Warrior faces — the difficulty of being away from home for days, weeks or even months at a time; the trials and tribulations of dealing with last-minute or unexpected travel changes; the joy of discovering that one fantastic restaurant with the most delicious meal known to man that you can’t wait to share with family and friends; the satisfaction in making new friends around the world and creating a real-life social network that rivals any online version, because it’s a face-to-face connection. Most important of all to this bond, though, is the love that AW Road Warriors share for travel. And when this year’s 2010 AW Road Warrior winners came together as strangers back in January in Park City, Utah, to shoot the cover story for our Ninth Annual Road Warrior issue, it took all of five seconds (essentially the time it took to say, “Hi, my name is …”) before conversations began flowing freely. Stories were swapped (most unsuitable for printing here). Jokes were told (ditto). Debates were held on the best places to eat and drink in cities around the world. And friendships were cemented. Five days later, our five Road Warriors departed as confidantes, with promises of meeting up again whenever possible. And these were by no means empty promises — in fact, Roy has already treated Mel to a beer tasting in Newport Beach, Calif.; and Mel and his wife, Mary, just returned from Zurich, where they crossed paths with Adeline. Of course, this isn’t surprising in the least to us. After all, our Road Warriors managed to rack up more than half a million miles on American between them last year; we had no doubt that they would meet up again. And again, and again. Because they are Road Warriors. And that’s what Road Warriors do.
Adeline Cassin (the Discovery Channel genius)
Vice President/advertising sales, Discovery Communications Inc., Latin America Division
Adeline, what was your worst job ever?
When I was in junior high school, I volunteered as a camp counselor one summer. The camp had a charming Wheel of Fortune–style board on the wall of the dining hall. Instead of spinning the wheel for fabulous trips and new furniture, though, we spun it to find out what our chore for that evening would be. My spin led to the misfortune of scraping all the leftover food from the plates into the community compost pile, and my face cringed in anticipation of the noxious fumes all mixing together in one big, piling heap of gooey food.
What was a defining moment in your current career that proved to you that you had finally achieved what you had been working for? When we held a screening to unveil a groundbreaking new series, and I saw the look in the eyes of our clients, lit with excitement and emotion, I knew we had truly connected with them. And to this day, I am so honored to work for the Discovery Channel. If the stress of the day-to-day corporate world is weighing me down, I just walk by the TV monitor, and when the incredible images of this planet flash onscreen, my inspiration is instantly reignited.
My favorite meal is: Steamed mussels and house-made fontina ravioli drizzled with white-truffle oil from Quattro’s northern Italian cuisine, imported to Miami Beach.
If I could vacation anywhere in the world, it’d be: THE AMAZON! Being that close to the heart of nature is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you will never forget.
The one piece of technology I can’t live without: My iPod. Music is the universe’s gift to our ears. Electronic reading device or book? Book. I like to mark up all the pages.
The last thing I purchased was: Manitobah Mukluks. They’re handcrafted boots made in the tradition of the native nations of Canada. Their soles tell a story, and, ladies, they are one of the most comfortable things ever.
The last song I heard was: “Beauty in the World” by Macy Gray.
Mad Men — “Love it!”, “Hate it!” or “What the heck is it?”: Love it. Reminds me of what we have learned in the past 50 years.
CNN, MSNBC or Fox News?
BBC — hey, sometimes I like to know what’s happening on the other side of the pond.
Adeline is Wearing:
Bogstad Sweater» Dale of Norway»$349» www.dale.no/us
Legging Jeans» Gap» $70» www.gap.com
Top: Gingham Perfect Shirt» J. Crew» $70» www.jcrew.com
Nicole Boots» Piperlime» $50» www.piperlime.com
Her own vest
• I’ve flown in a Black Hawk helicopter with the door open at a 90-degree angle over a river — despite my apprehension of heights.
• If I sing in the shower, even the birds fly away.
• I missed qualifying for the Boston Marathon by 4 minutes and 10 seconds.
• When my sister and I were little, we would share a room when visiting my grandmother. I would wait until she fell asleep, then shine a big flashlight on her face and shout, “Smile, you’re on Candid Camera!” (I hope she doesn’t come after me for telling this story in a public forum.)
• The members of my family are the most incredible people I’ve ever met, and I should tell them that more often. Thank you for always being there for me.
• I think this gigantic hunk of rock hurtling through space at 66,700 miles per hour — while sustaining millions of species of plants, animals and people — is a really cool place to live. And we thought we had to multitask?!