When Eric Sikola’s company, ExpenseCloud, moved to its new Santa Monica office last year, he instituted the most Santa Monica-appropriate worker perk possible: surfing lessons.
Sikola, who first began surfing at 5, hired a private instructor, bought three surfboards for the office and brought in two of his own for everyone to share.
Sikola, 40, said that since the office is just one block from the beach, it seemed like an ideal way to help make work more enjoyable and healthy.
“If you’re not having fun at the office, it’s going to be hard to come back the next morning,” he said.
Of course, the unusual perk brings an equally unusual workplace hazard: One employee was stung by a stingray. (Don’t worry, he’s OK.)
“It just goes to show these things can happen to you,” Sikola said.
Not easily dissuaded, some of the workers have taken up skim boarding on their breaks.
“We live in such a killer place,” said Sikola, who has surfed in places such as Fiji and Mexico’s Cabo San Lucas. “It’s great to be able to take advantage of that.”
All Beer Goal
Can all work and no play make you a dull boy, even if you split your working hours between beer and horse racing?
Ask Andrew Luthi, 24, owner of downtown L.A. brewery Ohana Brewing Co.
He’s still investing in the brewery, buying more kegs and brewing equipment, so he doesn’t take a paycheck. For income, he works almost full time at the Hollywood Park and Santa Anita Park horse-racing tracks, where he fixes self-serve machines that sell betting slips to gamblers.
“I do that four days a week, maybe eight- or nine-hour shifts,” Luthi said. “Then I’m at the brewery Monday through Wednesday, brewing and making deliveries. I’m working pretty much every day.”
Luthi used to skateboard, but between the brewery and his day job, there hasn’t been much down time lately. Luthi said he doesn’t mind, though he hopes Ohana will soon be successful enough that he can quit the racetrack job.
“It’s been pretty crazy the last six months, since we started brewing,” he said. “Now I’m just trying to focus and go full time with beer.”
Finally, a Bride
PR honcho Carl Terzian is known for hosting hundreds of gatherings each year. Local business and non-profit leaders meet and hear about each other’s work. And the woman who’s coordinated all those meetings for the last 25 years has been Karon McKinney.
“I depend on her,” said Terzian of Terzian Associates in West Los Angeles. “I mean, I really depend on her.”
Of course, amid all that networking, romance can get started. After Terzian counted more than a couple dozen marriages that resulted from meetings at his events, McKinney secretly hoped that she’d meet someone special at one of the get-togethers and become marriage No. 30. But alas, No. 30 came and went, and so did Nos. 31, 32 and 33.
Finally, she met Jake Jacobs, 64, a partner at the Encino accounting firm of Rose Snyder & Jacobs. They hit it off.
“I began to get fearful,” cracked Terzian.
Last week, McKinney, 55, announced that she and Jacobs will become marriage No. 34.
“Can you believe it?” she gushed.
And yes, she will be leaving Terzian’s firm.
“There are more tragic things happening in the world today,” Terzian deadpanned. “But for me, this is the worst.”
Staff reporters Ryan Faughnder and James Rufus Koren contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by editor Charles Crumpley. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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