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Fast Five: Russell Mann

by Devin Weeks Staff Writer
| April 5, 2019 1:00 AM

With Russell Mann, what you see is what you get. He's an entrepreneur who recently turned 40 and is getting reacquainted with his youthful pursuits of cycling and backpacking with his beautiful wife and two sons.

Generation: Born in 1979, demographers classify me in the micro-generation of Xennials. I relate to the skepticism and individuality of Gen X and love the optimism and teamwork of millennials.

Career and community involvement: Entrepreneurial startup teams in information technology and alcohol. I love the power of doing good business to make people's lives better. I've really enjoyed coaching founders in their startups, and have entered roles ranging from coaching to marketing to coding.

I'm part of a great team at Bombastic Brewing with partners Phil Hottenstein and Matt Skillicorn, pushing innovation in beer and the brewery business model. We have a collaboration beer with Lake City Bakers coming out soon that is brewed with double chocolate chocolate chip muffins, and we just brewed a beer with a couple dozen boxes of Chocolatey Berry Captain Crunch.

I'm super excited to be working with a great team on a local startup nonprofit called Wired2Learn Foundation, making cutting-edge neuroeducation accessible to students with learning disabilities. We just launched a matching funds campaign that you can see at w2lfoundation.com.

Parental status: Two sons, who continue to teach and impress me.

1. Why do you enjoy the beer and brewing culture?

It's all about community. Beer brings us together. Shout out to Beer d'Alene, the most fun beer community anywhere!

2. What is your favorite beer and which one makes you wrinkle your nose?

My taste is for quality in any style, but I am partial to well-made, barrel-aged English barleywines and super fresh Kolsch. I don't like it when a beer being served to the public exhibits brewing faults.

3. Where is your favorite getaway?

I enjoy exploring new places, cities and nature. We took the kids to Vancouver for Chinese New Year this year, and I'm looking forward to backpacking in Glacier Park this summer.

4. What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?

I'm not athletic or into sports, but I love baseball. My father and I bonded over the Dodgers and my sons and I bonded over Little League. I've been privileged to umpire youth baseball, because I don't mind conflict and want to do my best to ensure the kids get a fair shake. I love that it is a sport where coaches aren't merely interested in talent, but in teaching skills for life.

5. What is the philosophy you live by?

Philosophy is where I spend a lot of energy iterating, because the results one gets in life ultimately stem from one's beliefs. A friend who is a philosopher tells me my philosophy is stoicism, but I'm afraid that using a label limits the iterative process. I believe every single individual has something special to contribute to the community, and by pursuing that, they can find their freedom, which is why I coach entrepreneurs. When there is a breakdown in a business or personal relationship, I think the most likely cause is someone lacking skills, and the least likely cause is malice or bad intentions, which is why I coach to build skills in entrepreneurs. I think we all need grace and forgiveness, because we hurt when we don't have the skills we need to take care of each other. It boils down to love and contribution. Let's grab a beer and talk about it!

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Devin Weeks can be reached by email: dweeks@cdapress.com

Follow her on Twitter: @DevinCDAPress