Kevin Korenthal never shies away from a challenge.

In his day job, Korenthal, a Santa Clarita resident, battles powerful unions as executive director of the Associated Builders and Contractors California Compliance Committee, which represents nonunion construction contractors.

But Korenthal, 39, is also an amputee. Just weeks before graduating high school, he was in a serious auto accident that severely damaged his left leg. He battled for 13 years to save it, but as nerve damage worsened, he finally decided on amputation in 2004.

Since then, Korenthal has taken up the cause of disabled athletes, volunteering for the Challenged Athletes Foundation and participating in several bicycling events. Among his most significant milestones: completing the 65-mile “metric century” event in the Santa Ynez Valley and a “challenged athlete” bike race held in conjunction with the Amgen Tour de California.

Korenthal is now preparing for the bicycling segment of the San Diego triathlon for physically impaired athletes, which will take place Oct. 23. The bicycle route traces a 44-mile path in the hills surrounding San Diego and La Jolla; Korenthal is training with twice-weekly rides of up to 50 miles.

“Someday, I would like to be a full triathlete and complete full triathlons,” Korenthal said. “Special prosthetic equipment would be required along with substantial additional training that my schedule simply won’t allow for this year.”

Dialed Into Nader

If radio journalist Frank Mottek sounded like he had a good rapport with Ralph Nader when he interviewed the consumer advocate on his “Business Hour” show on KNX-AM (1070) last week, there’s a good reason.

After 30 years covering business news for radio stations across the country, Mottek figures he has interviewed Nader a dozen times.

“We just kind of stayed in touch over the years,” he said. “We’re very fortunate to have a very good connection with people of that caliber.”

Indeed, Nader’s not the only big name on Mottek’s speed dial. He has repeatedly interviewed Pimco Chief Executive Mohamed El-Erian, banker Ed Wedbush and celebrity Ben Stein, among others.

Mottek said business personalities such as Nader appreciate that he covers issues in depth on the radio, which is rare these days.

But while he and Nader may go way back, has Mottek ever voted for the sometimes presidential candidate?

“I have not, quite honestly,” said Mottek, laughing. “But the show has nothing to do with politics.”

Staff Reporters Howard Fine and Richard Clough contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by Editor Charles Crumpley. He can be reached at ccrumpley@labusinessjournal.com.

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