We had the good fortune of connecting with Vipe Desai and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Vipe, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
Over the course of my career I’ve learned the importance of the word “trust” not just how it works in a professional setting but also at home. I believe we don’t put enough emphasis behind what it means to create an environment where trust is a sign of mutual respect and that value has to come from the top. When a member of my team operates in a manner where they know that they have my complete trust, we have better results and are more prepared for any challenges that we may face. The same can be said about using trust at home. My 9 y/o has my trust and I see it in his actions everyday. It allows him to make decisions on his own and I know he makes them knowing that he never wants to let me down and he respects our collective trust. So put simply, trust is a sign of mutual respect. 

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My work nowadays spans several different sectors but mostly in the form serving on Boards. Currently I’m serving on 4 Boards assisting several startups, growth stage brands and multinational brands that are in the midst of a pivot. I’m most proud of the work that is being done at Ocean Institute, Skateistan and AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles. Incredible groups working on efforts that will make our communities better. Finding my way on to Board roles was accidental but when I realized it was an opportunity to use my vast experience in a way that would help others, it just became a really exciting direction. 

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There are so many exciting things to do in the area but I’m very simple and mostly a home-body. I would say that taking in all that Southern Çalifornia has to offer without over-programming the week would include the following: snorkeling at La Jolla Cove, surfing anywhere in Orange County, visiting the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, grabbing dinner and drinks at Glasspar in Dana Point, lunch at Ola’s in Huntington Beach, hiking and dining in Lake Arrowhead, quick overnight in Santa Barbara, and wrapping up with a BBQ at my house. I’m a pretty simple person and for me its more about getting quality time with friends while enjoying the outdoors or filling up on great eats and outdoor experiences.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to give a few shoutouts. People – Chuck Allen, Dick Baker and Bob McKnight have been incredible friends and mentors. Chuck and Dick passed away years ago but they both had a tremendous impact on me personally and professionally and what it means to be responsible for the most important title I will ever hold as that of Dad. Organization wise I would say Surfrider Foundation, Skateistan and Ocean Institute. These groups taught me what it means to be a leader in the boardroom and my community. I read all the time and a couple of books really left a mark on me – The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success taught me the importance of empathy and Sun Tzu’s The Art of War about strategy. To be a leader in the modern age your strategy has to embrace empathy. 

Website: vipedesai.com
Instagram: Instagram.com/vipedesai
Linkedin: Linkedin.com/in/vipedesai
Twitter: Twitter.com/vipedesai
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMoimK5NfiOZdNp6JZcWsKA

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