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The Waldorf Astoria’s Spruce is the perfect spot for an aprés-ski cocktail
Photo by Ed McCulloch

Getting to Know...

Third-Prize Winner:
Mel Hilderbrand (the company president) President, Endevco Corporation

Aliso Viejo, California

Mel, what was your worst job ever?
In my younger years, I was a fry cook at Long John Silver’s. I smelled like grease and fish for a month after I left that job.

Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met?
I’ve shaken hands with George H. W. Bush (when he was vice president) and Jimmy Carter (after his presidency). But I actually met and talked for a while with Mike Ditka.

If you could meet anyone (dead or alive), who would it be and why?
Warren Buffett. He is brilliant when it comes to business and economics, and despite being one of the richest men in the world, he is very humble and gracious. I would like to thank him for his philanthropy and for being the role model that I wish more famous Americans would emulate.

My favorite meal is: Veal scallopini with lemon and capers at Pulcino Ristorante in Zurich.

If I could vacation anywhere in the world, it’d be: Doesn’t matter, as long as my Mary is with me!

The best Admirals Club, hands down, is: Terminal 3, London Heathrow.

Electronic reading device or book? Love both.

The last song I heard was: “I Love This Bar” by Toby Keith.

I’ve never: Danced the tango.

The last thing I purchased was: An anniversary card.

When I need inspiration, I: Run.

But if I want to unwind, I: Run.

Mad Men — “Love it!”, “Hate it!” or “What the heck is it?”: Friends love it … I’ve never seen it.

CNN, MSNBC or Fox News? BBC.

Sound Bites:
• I’ve logged every flight I have ever taken (now over 1,000).
• I make the bed every morning (even in hotels).
• When I was 8 years old, I smacked my own thumb to get out of piano lessons.
• My first car was a 1964 Rambler station wagon.
• I’ve never beaten my father-in-law at cribbage.
• I’ve been to 32 foreign countries.
• Ginger or Mary Ann? Definitely Mary Ann.