As the editor for the club's website, we try to provide a forum to allow our readers to get to know the
individuals who serve in leadership roles in our club. So, each person that serves as president sits
down with our club's website editor for a basic interview. Although we all know these people, we wanted
to create a record as a way of allowing new club members a chance to get to know current and past
Interview with Michael Nessler: EHS 2021 President
Interview with Max Beck: EHS 2020 President
I want to welcome Max Beck to our EHS interview platform for our website. It's a pleasure to sit
down with you to interview you today. I've known you for some time in my capacity working with
club and so most of the questions I'm going to ask you I know the answers to because of my
relationship with you. However, we are doing this mainly to have an archive for any new members
may join to get to know current past leadership.
Well, thank you for this opportunity. Being involved in this club has been such a blessing to
The times we've had with this close group of guys and the adventures we've had and the trips
taken in the sporting undertakings that we've had our memories that will last a lifetime.
To get started, one of the common themes that runs through the lives of every member of our club
that all of us have been successful in the business world or the professions or in something and
these financial successes have really allowed us to look for deeper meaning in life and
ourselves in ways that we couldn't find simply operating our businesses or our professions. So
must have been some early interest in your life that made you even gravitate towards the type of
adventure sports that we embrace here at the club. Tell us a little bit about your sporting
Well, for a lot of people I suppose my sporting history started with high school sports. The
school swim team. I was an avid swimmer through high school and even swam at the collegiate
had some success competitively. After college and graduate school I slowly began incorporating
running and cycling and eventually started doing triathlons.
Did you come from a sporting family? Tell us about your family?
My mother was not into any sports at all. I came from a very traditional family and my mother
busy as a housekeeper and homemaker and I suppose she got enough exercise just being on her feet
day. My father was actually a wrestler in high school and during the years when I was growing
father had a regular program of jogging and an occasional workout in the garage with a barbell
So it was really my father who continued to encourage my brothers and sister and I in our
pursuits. So I guess you could say we had a relatively modest sporting history as a family and
sports were valued especially by my father. My parents also valued academics and pushed us in
regard as well.
Is there any particularly interesting trivia about your family that you'd like to share?
I can't say there's anything interesting in terms of trivia, but my sister was a very
cyclist and still rides in Colorado where she lives.
So let's talk a little bit about your business history. Because the two main things that tie all
us together in this club is our successes in business or the professions and our simultaneous
devotion to adventure, sport, and living life to the maximum. Tell us about your philosophy
I guess the best way to describe my approach to business is organizational health. I know this
talked about a lot in the popular business press but I have long held this philosophy. I know a
of you guys and I know pretty much everybody in our club here and we have some very successful
entrepreneurs, businessmen, lawyers, and doctors. With the exception of I think Lenny, I think I
be the only guy in our group who's in the manufacturing business. Of course with this type of
business a lot of the rank and file employees are not professionals or people with business
from the business schools. And so I have always made it a point to treating my employees like
and creating a sense of trust in the organization. My objective is to create a safe place and to
treat any employment problems as coaching moments. Although I don't have the ability to have
interaction with the employees on the manufacturing floor, I teach this to my top directors and
managers and it has been very successful for us. I have to emphasize that this approach cannot
feigned approach; one must genuinely care for his or her employees. That type of position can
occur from a perspective of true character and so my philosophy in business is really rooted in
integrity and making that genuine. Too many business leaders or organizational coaches
lack integrity even though they teach it. Theirs is a feigned integrity; but success can only
from a position of true character, which means absolute honesty at all times even if goes
your personal interests.
And how does our adventure club play into your business strategy and philosophy?
On its face one would think that our club is just a place for a bunch of affluent men to get
together to do fun things. But it really is more than that. It's these moments of intentional
relaxation and diversion where I sometimes come up with my most creative ideas for business.
never forget the one trip we had to Denali and lying there in the tents at night and coming up
such brilliant ideas that I would implement as soon as I got back to the office. But our club
adventures and gets involved and good causes, like all the orphanage work that we've done, these
experiences help me to realize that life is more hen just acquiring even more wealth. It helps
ground me in the things that are really important in life. For me personally, we've done so many
things that have pushed the outer limits of human endurance and strength that it has made me a
better person in business.
Do you have any special plans for our little group this year?
I would love to find an extreme adventure that nobody has tried before, but that is becoming
and harder to do. Further, some of the really extreme stuff requires 6 months to a year of being
away from the office. I would love for us to do more stuff in Antarctica and South Georgia. I
it as one of the most extreme places on earth and it is where we can push ourselves to our
Well, thank you, Max, for sitting down with us. I am really looking forward to this next year.
Interview with Eric A. Gang, Esq.: EHS 2019 President
Welcome, Eric, to this platform. You have been a long-time fixture around here and I'm glad you
agreed to taking on the presidency for this year. We've known each other for a long time. We've
had a lot of great adventures together over the years and a lot of great things over the years.
I know all these trips and adventures like the back of my hand as we've walked this road
together, but I want to give you a chance to share some of this with our readers.
I appreciate it. It's an honor that my fellow clubmen have selected me to be their leader for
this year. This is an awesome organization. It gives me an outlet for things that I cannot
otherwise do with more average people. This really is a mastermind group of guys who are
interested in pushing the outer limits of human success not only in business, their personal
lives, put in the realm of physical endurance and human achievement.
I always ask the same questions of pretty much everybody that's in your position when they sit
down to do this feature for our website. I asked about everybody's sporting or adventure
history. Because as you know, the stuff we do as a group of guys certainly sits outside the
realm of what the average person is doing. I mean we're doing adventure races, mountaineering
expeditions, ultramarathons, and from outside observers we probably look like a bunch of guys
who just enjoy torturing themselves. So tell us about your sporting history and how got you to
the point in life where you're involved in a group like ours.
Well, I have a very mixed and varied sporting history as you'll see. My first introduction to
competitive sports was actually motorcycle racing and I know this is not the typical type of
sport that you would think of that requires superhuman levels of strength and endurance. It does
require more than you realize. But from there, it spread out to competitive running, then
competitive weightlifting, and then triathlons and other ultra-endurance and adventure races.
During the years that I was in Europe, I was doing a lot of skiing and that's also where my
mountaineering skills really took off. So I was training not only for mountaineering expeditions
but also for competitive events. Cycling is very popular in Europe and the transition to
triathlons was also natural.
You mentioned mountaineering. Was your involvement with mountaineering something that happened
later in life or when did this passion begin?
I guess mountaineering was probably a sport that attracted me earlier than motorcycle racing
come to think of it. I was fascinated with mountains since I was 10 years old. I read all the
books on all the major peaks in the world and I knew all the major accomplishments in
mountaineering. I dreamed of pursuing the highest peaks in the world, and our club is really
enabled the pursuit of many of these dreams. I'm very grateful to the American Alpine Institute
out in the Pacific Northwest because they are an invaluable source of training and knowledge. So
a lot of my training was focused on developing the strength endurance to function at high
altitudes carrying heavy loads. So then the training that I did for mountaineering actually
afforded me many opportunities to compete in other sports along the way. I ran, cycled, I lifted
weights, and I also did improvised training methodologies that really enhanced my performance.
So tell me about your family and it's sporting history
Ok. Well, my father, and his family are from Germany. My father's cousins own a farm in southern
Germany and also his other cousins run a hotel that caters to tourism in that very beautiful
part of Germany. In fact, you guys know this because you stayed at their place after one of our
trips to the Alps. My father was a competitive runner and even now in his advanced years, he
still runs. With my family being from southern Germany I came from a Roman Catholic family and
so, needless to say, we have a large family. I even have a cousin with the same name as me. That
naturally made us very competitive amongst ourselves. Some of my cousins were competitive
triathletes, one is an ultra-marathoner, one is an endurance swimmer. One brother is the
proverbial black sheep because his sporting history involved surfing. I can forgive him because
he honed is surfing skills while living on a little atoll in the South Pacific for many years.
So, yes, we were an avid sporting family.
Mountaineering certainly carries a high degree of risk and I know everybody in our group has
embraced this sport and many of our adventures involved trying to conquer some of the most
difficult mountains in the world. So how has putting your life on the line some of these extreme
conditions changed your life?
These experiences do change your life. You know my story. One fateful day on the Eiger can turn
you into a widower. So, one lesson is never to climb very technical and dangerous terrain with
your significant other. Being a single father had its challenges. You know what happened. I
don't need to get into all that.
I wasn't necessarily going to get into all those deeper issues regarding your circumstances, but
I appreciate you sharing that with us anyway.
So, tell me about your professional life and how or club features in your professional
As you know, I'm a very busy lawyer running a national law firm. We've dedicated our practice to
working with military veterans. Although I have a select few high net worth clients, my passion
in practice is for the veteran population and community. The handful of clients I have are
primarily carryovers from that time I was affiliated with Global Asset Strategies. Those were
challenging years because I was having to spend a lot of time in Switzerland and then jetting
back and forth between there and the US to manage the law firm. My passion is for veterans and
that is our singular focus. So how does our club feature into my professional life? I think that
for most of us in this group we feel like we've achieved so much professionally but yet we still
feel a hunger to test the outer reaches of our capabilities. We also want to live life more
intentionally and experience the outer thresholds of pain and human endurance. We feel happiest
when we're pushing ourselves and testing our capabilities. It gives me a drive and a focus that
does carry over into practice. It gives me a distinct advantage. It allows me to know that I'm
capable of accomplishing and doing almost anything. Whether it's attempting a summit of Everest
or going for the win in a legal case, the focus and drive have to be there. Our adventures keep
me focused at a high level and it allows me to outperform virtually all other lawyers that I
Of course you being involved with Mensa doesn't hurt either.
That's an interesting group and I do enjoy it when I get to go to the gatherings, but frankly I
prefer our outings. My most memorable times are with the guys in our group hunkered down in a
blinding Blizzard or pushing ourselves on an ultra-endurance event. Those are the times I feel
Any special emphasis that you'd like to have for your time at the helm of our club for the next
year or so?
I do want to keep to the tradition of doing these big expeditions, but I also want to start
doing more local competitive sport events that will involve the public. When I look around I see
so many Americans that are so out of shape and unhealthy that the more we can do to convey the
message that you can practice your profession or operate business at a high level and still be
healthy and fit at the same time the better.
We will look forward to what you have planned. Eric, thank you for taking the time.