In our view, values and principles are the foundation upon which our lives, careers and relationships are built. So, we asked folks we admire to open up to us about the values and principles that matter most to them.

Moira Cue: painter / problem solver

Integrity matters more than anything. Success is great–but as a painter, for example, you don’t really know if you’re successful until 100 years after you’re dead. So if you bring integrity to the artistic process; you’re not influenced by the cognitive frame of your own time period so much as you are aware of it, you may be undervalued while you are making art or in the early or middle stages of your career, at best. But if you maintain that integrity your work will not only have longevity, it will have a positive impact on the consciousness of the future. Read more>>

Josh Wilson: President & Cofounder

Integrity and Responsiveness are at the core of who we are and what we do. We tell all of our coworkers that the most important thing is the “right product/service for the right customer” regardless of price or profit. We back that up by making sure we are responsive, often times our customers come to us with an urgent need and they are concerned and scared. It’s crucial that we answer the first time they call and dispatch a team to alleviate their concerns as quickly as possible. Read more>>

Aubre Hill: Dance Artist & Event Producer

Community is at the heart of everything I do as an artist, educator, and event producer. We are social creatures by design, and I have always been fascinated by connection, communication, and how we build relationships. What makes something profound or inspiring is often based in some aspect of seeing ourselves or being seen. And it is through that experience we can heal. After so much political upheaval and global pandemic, we are in need of much healing, reconnecting, and rebuilding. Over the past few years, my core concept of community has expanded from simple social connections to nurturing opportunities to celebrate our strength as a community through our diversity. To find new ways for people of different backgrounds, experiences, and identities to share stories through art. This creates opportunities for us to build bridges of understanding outside of news coverage or our own cultural-socio-economic identities and develop the compassion we need to move forward together. Read more>>

Donna Mikayla Mundy: Creative – Artist/Writer/ Novice Engineer

The value that matters the most to me is truth. Both personal truth and what we know and further seek collectively, as objectively as possible. I feel fortunate to have been somehow born with a compass, ultimately, dead set on it. Not that it has been an easy or straightforward path, because it hasn’t, but any time I’ve wavered I’ve come back around to it. Any time I’ve needed help finding it, help has come. The pursuit of truth encompasses many values and includes navigating darkness, some would rather not acknowledge or face. There is so much to be gained from shadow work that shouldn’t be left out and without it, there is no becoming whole. It brings peace and real, healthy bonding between people and all things. If your end goal is finding your personal truth, you ultimately can’t go wrong and will find fulfillment in the journey itself. Mistakes are simply lessons and failure, the impetus for success. Every experience, even the most painful ones, feel more acceptable and worthwhile. Read more>>

Jenae Douglas: Chandler or Candle Maker

The value that matters most to me when it comes to my business is thoughtfulness. From an early age I was able to witness my mother demonstrate thoughtfulness in all of her friendships and familial relationships. I very quickly understood the positive impact that thoughtfulness has on others and yourself. I would be with my mom in the store and she’d see something that reminded her of one of her friends and say, “Oh, ______ would love that! That looks just like her, I’m gonna get this for her.” My mother never hesitated to call and let someone know she was thinking of them or send them a card as a, “Just because” gesture. I have always admired the way she was always thinking of others and how she could make them feel special and appreciated. As I’ve developed my own relationships and friendships, I found myself holding tight to that same sort of thoughtfulness. Thoughtfulness isn’t always about gifting, but I pride myself on being a thoughtful gift giver. Read more>>

Intuitive Tara Thaler: Clairvoyant, Medium, Spiritual Counselor, Numerologist & Animal communicator

I would have to say love, loyalty, consciousness, and compassion. I know it can sound cliche these days. So many people say this but don’t always live by it and the value of its meaning gets diminished. There is a huge difference between meaningless words and meaningful actions behind the words. A lot of people hear, but they don’t always really listen. Somebody can say they understand or get someone, but they don’t always take a moment to imagine what it would be like to walk in their shoes or show genuine true compassion. People tell people all the time,”it’s going to be okay, don’t worry.” It’s so easy for one to say, but not always easy for another to do without knowing how. A few words of encouragement and support go a long way. Sometimes it’s not so much about what we say, but how we say it or the little meaningful things we do. People feel the honesty and integrity behind the words when it’s sincere and coming from the heart. Read more>>

Shun Lee Fong: Writer, Producer & Creative Principal

That’s such a great question—and one not easily narrowed down to just a single answer, since any one virtue exercised in a vacuum, apart from the other virtues, typically ends up being counter-productive, and even destructive. But a principle that comes readily to mind—and one I’ve seen played out time and again—is that creativity, at its greatest, is a collaborative exercise. I’ve found that, in order for a person’s ideas—in art, in business, in reasoning, in politics, or in any other practice—to reach full potential, it almost always will happen in the context of community. Ideas become complete in the collaborative process. Which means that great creativity forces us into friendships with others, it forces us into relationships that sharpen our ideas, maybe even uncomfortably challenge our ideas. And that feels dangerous. You have to intentionally make room for that. It requires a great deal of humor, humility, and grace in the process, which isn’t always convenient—but then again, grace is never convenient, is it? It’s in the collaborative environment that our creativity becomes dangerously good. Read more>>

Lindsey Davidson: Creator

Work ethic means everything to me. You don’t have to be the best, but if you are willing to put in the time to learn you’re good in my book. Nothing is more attractive than ambition, whether it be a potential employee, co-worker, mentor, friend or partner. If a person is driven to be the best they can be everything else will work itself out!. Read more>>

Erica Tamposi: Host/ Personality

When I sit down and really think about what the most important principle matters most to me, I first think about honesty, virtue and hard work. However, I think that those all can be folded into something else that might be even more significant: Fun. If I’m not being honest, I’m not having fun. If I’m not being true to myself or working hard, then I’m not having fun. If I can find a way to create fun moments in every day tasks, my work is going to shine even brighter. It’s so easy to get hung up on the trivial nonsense of day to day life. We only have one – make it fun and the rest will follow. Read more>>

Sarah McGough: Founder of Positive Change Project

The principle of kindness is definitely one that matters the most to me. Kindness is amazing because it’s so powerful. I can’t tell you the number of situations that I’ve been in where being kind changed the course of someone’s day or life. My love for the principle of kindness is something that is at the center of the organization that I founded called the Positive Change Project. This project focuses on random acts of kindness that can make someone’s day. It also works with other organizations to send handmade positive bookmarks to people in need of a smile. I started this project a little over a year ago and I am constantly seeing the impact that being kind to others has on a daily basis. Kindness is truly magical. Read more>>

Mika Boorem: Actress and Filmmaker

Team work makes the dream work! As cheesy as it may sound, I think in any given space team work is the leading aspect to success whether that be in a community or work space. I value great team work above anything else.
With my job as a filmmaker I rely on great team work everyday. A film is a collaboration of many artist all coming together to make a singular vision. I’ve found that the trajectory of a project when there is reliable and great team work involved exceeds anything one can do singularly in this field.
The ebb and flow of listening and leading involved with team work can be a challenge. Ultimately worth the extra work of meshing personalities when you have a great team assembled that compliments each others strengths and weaknesses. There’s something very health and refreshing about hearing opinions from a person different than you. A great team includes diversity in all directions. Read more>>

Alex Ledford: Writer / Artist

Subversion. I want to challenge the way people think about things. I’m always looking for something to push up against, something to undermine. When you do that, it makes people uncomfortable, and I want to make people uncomfortable. It’s human nature to constantly try to define and categorize and make sense of the world. But I’m attracted to things that prove we don’t actually know anything. If everyone else is taking themselves very seriously, I try to find a way to remind us we are, in fact, ridiculous. I get bored of beautiful things and beautiful people and so I try to celebrate the ugly and the wrong. By telling stories about alienation, estrangement and insecurity, it makes me feel less alone. I can relate to people who can’t relate to people. Read more>>

Kat Gopez: Kombucha Brewer, Founder of Kombucha Kat

Having integrity with one’s work is a principle I highly value. As a kombucha drinker/brewer since 2012, I’ve seen the industry grow so much through the years, and with its growth to popularity various types of kombucha beverages have emerged. Larger companies have taken advantage of its rising popularity and have taken the product, rendered it from its true form, and call it “Kombucha” for the sole purpose of commercialization. Kombucha is a traditionally fermented probiotic, a slightly effervescent beverage, and very difficult to mass produce. Scaling up and keeping the product true to its form is quite challenging. I am learning a lot, and as I navigate through all this, and as I learn, I keep hold of the integrity of my craft. A small kombucha company like us exists for the love of our craft, and because the community deserves to have the option of choosing quality over mass produced. Read more>>

Jasmine Banks: Educator and a self-proclaimed encourager and thought partner.

I have a set of core values that truly drive my decisions and center my thoughts. These core values are community, honesty, growth, and humor. With any thing or person that I engage with, I reflect on how I lead with these values and when for any reason these values are compromised. I would say the value that matters to me the most is community. This value applies to my personal and professional life. For instance, I have a pretty small biological family. I am the only child, all of my grandparents have passed and my extended family is quite small. Since I was a young child, I built bonds with people that developed into a mighty, yet thriving village for myself and truly showed me the power of collective support and action. To this day, I am extremely grateful for the people in my life and take great pride in evolving our love, communication, and support of one another. In a professional setting, I seek and embrace opportunities that enable me to serve my community; in particular BIPOC. I chose education as the means to which I can create positive change for my community. Read more>>

Rat Queen Theatre Company: Devised Theatre Company

Our core value as a company is collaboration over competition. This is what drives the work that we make and the way that we make that work. Rat Queen makes historically-based devised theatre that is ambitious in its subject matter and method of creation. We believe that the most widely taught historical narratives are neglectful of the truth and, honestly — boring. We use history to question everyone’s assumptions (including our own) about our society’s origins. Utilizing the unabashedly loud, queer, and ostentatious, we set out to disassemble our country’s legacy of capitalism and individualism. To do this, we make non-hierarchical and collaborative work, creating plays and musicals through a long-form devising process that centralizes each artist’s voice, identity, and autonomy. Read more>>

El Ogorodova: Motion Artist

Being the best person I can be with everyone I work with. By reacting positively to a situation, I can guide myself into a healthier state of mind. This produces higher quality work and healthier professional relationships. It makes my life easier.Jumping to a quick conclusion is tempting. We experience a temporary feeling of self-righteousness when we let ourselvesmbe irritated with a client, or judge a coworker to be incompetent. It’s a momentary high, which does not serve us beyond a quick relief. With time, we learn that almost every situation we are presented with has been evolving behind the scenes, making our conclusion often incorrect and unfounded. It pays to hold off on judgment and control temperament. Learning how to maintain a positive attitude has in its turn evolved into me favoring an optimistic outlook. This approach to my professional life has helped me gain repeat clients, recommendations and referrals. Read more>>

MIDRA: Musician, Composer and Music Producer

Like every artist, the most important thing that we have is our art, our creation. It is more important than personal image, social media, likes, views, streams, and other metrics that seem to define an artist and his work nowadays. As an artist (singer, composer, musician), I work every single day to create an arsenal of music with the hope that it will be recognized and appreciated. My dream is my music echoing for generations, impacting new moments in the future or being in the affective memory. The legacy is what we build during life, and that even when we are no longer in this world, it will continue to speak for us. In this construction, you put your heart, feelings, ideology, social criticism, etc., which will make a difference in other lives. This is the purpose, have my art being part of a moment in the lives or history eternalized in memory. My legacy is my art. Read more>>

Edgar Herrera: College Student & Small Business Owner

I want to be remembered as someone who refused to have a boss, so I became my own boss. I want people to remember that I didn’t have any knowledge about running or starting a business. Not having previous knowledge didn’t stop, I took a leap of faith and worked towards the future that I dreamt of. Read more>>

Art Dixie: Professional Music Curator/Producer/Songwriter/Musician

I would love to have a legacy that leaves an indelible mark on how the music industry evolves and operates. With the HTI Music Collaborative we are bringing in the best and the brightest talent that we can vet in hopes of incubating a very diverse and highly curated group of music professionals that will be making great songs/sounds for years to come. These wonderfully talented folks will foster a fraternity of brotherhood/sisterhood that will last a lifetime once they are “in” the HTI camp. I’d like to see HTI Music Collaboratives all over the world coming together and continuing to teach, mentor, and collaborate with each other long after myself and our founding partners have passed on. Read more>>

Vaughn Page: Veteran & Actor

When I was in the military and deployed to Qatar and stationed in Okinawa, I always went out of my way to make people laugh and entertain everyone around me. There have been obstacles in my life and after my enlistment, I decided to take a chance on myself and pursue my dreams. I did the leg work and have put myself in a position to make my dreams a reality. It started with believing in myself and reaching for more than the status quo. This led me to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. I want to leave a legacy that inspires others to take risks, challenge, and believe in themselves. I want to be remembered as someone who has positively impacted those around me and pursued my dreams and passions while staying true to myself and navigating any situation or scenario with determination and a smile on my face. Read more>>

Taylor Rae Almonte: Actor, Athlete and Activist

This Barack Obama quote, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change we seek.” — has had a profound effect on how I approach my career, my family, my life overall. I want people to remember me as someone who took action. I want people to remember me as a leader. But most importantly, I want people to remember me as someone who didn’t wait for others to give me permission to be who I was always meant to be. Read more>>

Charlene Adams: American Bolivian Artist

I would like to be remembered for reclaiming heritage through art and craftsmanship. By understanding and studying my personal histories, acknowledging the profound richness of my own cross-culturalism, and reflecting on that, I create. I believe in creating something accessible for everyone, for the visibility and preservation of culture. Read more>>

Rafael Vasck: Artist and Musician

I definitely want to help people. I realized that some years ago. I think with my music and with my business I can do it, so thats one of the things that keeps me fighting to achieve my goals. I want people to remember as a man who its great doing his profession and someone who cares about people and the world. Read more>>

Sugarmill Slim Del Taco Buck and Under Menu: Blues musician and the long lost son of Andre Leon Talley and Anna Wintour

I heard someone talk recently (ok so it was on on TikTok) about radical self-acceptance. I suppose I’d like to be remembered for radical self-acceptance.
For not caring what anyone thinks about me because I know that with all my flaws and neurosis, I’m still fabulous and I’ll be dead in the ground buried in a rhinestone-coffin before I let anyone convince me otherwise. I’d also like to be remembered for never being underdressed even if it’s going to the store to buy groceries or stand in line at the DMV. Read more>>

Alex Barone: Actor

“Real life Ninja Turtle….The Nightcrawler…An Alien, E.T.” I’m Alex Barone and I was born with three fingers on each hands like any of those characters named above. I want my legacy to be as notable as any of those characters listed above. people can refer to me and my hands by any of those names and I’m totally cool with that, as long as they remember that I turned my unique difference into a burning desire to inspire others who are also a little different. As an adult with a limb difference chasing a tough industry like Acting, I want to be remembered as the first to do it. I want people to remember me as the guy who overcame forty three surgeries in his life, but just kept going and going and letting nothing stop him from chasing his dream.I hope to pave the path for others who have similar limb differences, especially all the kids out there that want to chase the same dream. I’ve always wanted to be the role model that I wish I had growing up. Now, I am making waves in TV and Film and find myself doing just that:). Read more>>

Valerie Aguinaga: Small Business Owner/Entrepreneur

I think the deciding factor through my life choices and career was leaving a legacy. I want my legacy to be that “You can and will be anything you want in life.” I want people to remember me for being the woman who took chances. The one who didn’t always know what the outcome of my choices would be but my faith was stronger. A lot of times people are fearful in life and are scared to bet on themselves. I always bet on Valerie and knew with passion and determination I could and would be anything I wanted. Read more>>

Tina Meier: Founder and Executive Director

I would like my legacy to be the continuance and growth of the Megan Meier Foundation. I want our foundation to continue the work of bullying, cyberbullying, and suicide prevention well past my own lifetime. While Megan’s Story is an integral part of what we do here at the foundation, I want our work to be so much more; including the stories of all the thousands of people we interact with and touch through our work. Read more>>

Kimi Wakamoto: Owner + Creative of The Kimi Collective – a calligraphy + design studio

At the heart of absolutely everything I do, I believe in leading with kindness, expressing gratitude every step of the way and doing everything with my whole heart. If my heart isn’t in it, it’s just not for me. I want to be remembered as someone that has always included everyone and made them feel at home and comfortable — no matter the situation. Someone that genuinely cares for others and believes that everyone’s dreams mean something. Someone that wholeheartedly believes that there is room for everyone to thrive and grow. I like to see the good in everyone and everything and I hope that shines through every interaction, every piece I create and throughout everything that I do. Read more>>

Merrill Davis: Comedian/Writer/Actor & Mental Health Advocate

First, that I made people feel good, supported, and was kind to them. It’s so important to me that I make everyone feel good. There’s no better feeling than to make someone laugh or smile or just connect with them on a human level. We are all always going through something in life. Life is really hard (not news!) and every little moment makes a difference in someone’s life. Oh, and I don’t always succeed at this but I do my best. As they say, “you can’t please everyone!” I don’t know who “they” are that said that but it makes me want to try! I also love helping others. It feels so good! Secondly, and along those lines, I am passionate about making a difference in terms of justice. I have always been an advocate for justice. Even as a little girl in my family. I would often say, “That’s not fair!!!” because it wasn’t! And I am all about fairness. Not eye for an eye but like a good for a good. Read more>>

John Borack: Author/Music Journalist/Drummer

I would like my legacy to be my children, because no matter how many books I write, gigs I play or songs I record, my children will always be my greatest achievement in life. If people do remember me, I would like them to remember me as a good, decent person with a passion for music, people and life. Read more>>

Lydia Mouton: Vocal and Life Coach & Author

Integrity, honesty, truthfulness, sensitivity, being positive and loyalty are principles that matter most to me. Because I believe these principles help to identify who you are in shaping and molding your character. Read more>>

Jesus Arambula Aka “Peewee”: Street Soccer Pioneer

I think the legacy I want to leave is simple! First that a ball can change the world , second that always trust God and the process and lastly that if I can do it ! You can as well , all you need is to take that leap of faith and follow your dreams what ever that may be. Read more>>