September 16, 2019

Job Interview Coming Up? Here Are Some Helpful Tips

It’s a tough job market out there, as you probably already know. Too many people looking and not enough positions to go around, meaning you have to bring your best game when an interview does come up. Everyone knows the obvious stuff – be confident, rested, well-groomed, alert, polite – but there’s more to it than just that. Think you’re a veteran of job interviews? Read on.

  • Do your homework – Learn a little about the company you’re about to interview with. What kind of path are they on? What’s their history? How have the last few quarters been for them? Who are their competitors? What’s their mission statement? Think about what strengths there are in your resumé that might have given them the impetus to call you in for an interview, and possibly role-play an interview scenario with a friend beforehand.
  • Watch the Details – Don’t overdress (a suit isn’t necessary for a non-office job), but be neat and well-groomed. Come in ten to fifteen minutes earlier than your interview time, and duck into a restroom quickly to check your appearance one last time. Depending on the position you’re applying for , you might want to bring charts, reports or other infographics on any projects you have worked on and you think may come up in the interview.
  • Be aware of first impressions – Remember that first impressions go very far, and are hard to change. Be aware of things like body language – don’t fold your arms, cover your mouth, scratch your ear or nose, or look away; these things come across as evasive and/or defensive. Smile often and show a sense of humor, but don’t tell a joke; you want to be warm and relaxed, but not flippant or goofy. Do NOT talk about politics or current events, and if your interviewer brings up any such issues, don’t take the bait. Sit up straight and don’t slouch (although it’s okay to lean forward a little as you tune in on what the interviewer is saying). If you get the idea you’re talking too much, you probably are. Err on the side of your own better judgment.
  • Stay Positive – Do not go in and complain about your last job or your last boss. It seems pretty obvious, but this is a pretty common mistake at interviews. Nobody wants to hear it (do you want to date someone who complains about their ex constantly?) and nobody wants to hire a disgruntled worker. On the other hand, don’t oversell yourself either, because potential employers can see right through that.
  • Be Ready for the Usual Questions – They are an interviewer’s way of not only sizing you up for the job, but also to build a profile of you as a person. Remember to keep answers succinct and to the point; interviewers don’t want to hear your life story. What do you consider your strengths? What do you consider your weaknesses? Why do you want to work here? These are all routine questions at practically any interview. Think about them in advance and think about how you’re going to respond, but don’t come across as arrogant or boastful.
  • Be Honest – Lying or fudging at a job interview might work, or it might not. But even if it does and you get the job, you can easily find yourself in over your head. With some skills and some jobs, you can “fake it ‘til you make it,” but others you most definitely cannot.
  • Ask Questions – That’s where the homework you’ve done before the interview comes into play. Find out about the challenges of the job and the specifics of your responsibilities. Where can the job take you? What will you need to advance? What are your department’s goals? Asking the right questions shows that you’re engaged and committed and genuinely interested in the job.

With this information in hand, you’ll be prepared well the next time you’re called to come in for an interview.

Interviewing Experts Staff Post: How to Manage Facebook Privacy Settings

Over the holidays Facebook changed their privacy settings, and in an unfortunate habit – they did it without allowing users to “opt in.” That means that whether Facebook members want the new privacy controls or not, they were automatically changed. And although they are a tiny bit easier to navigate, it still takes some work to reset everything. So, the staff of Interviewing Experts wants to help Facebook users to control what the world sees in their time line.

A Facebook time line is where member activity shows up. For instance any new status update, photos, photos that members have been tagged in, posts that members have been tagged in or Spotify listens show up there. Those settings can be accessed from the Facebook privacy setting page, allowing members to keep unwanted updates from showing up on their time line.

One of the questions that users often have is, “Who can see what I post?” The way to determine that is by clicking on “Public,” “Friends” or a custom network. However, in our opinion, that setting really isn’t as powerful as it should be. The best way to manage privacy settings is to click on the one next to the comment box for each item. But beware if the “Public” option is clicked on for a status update, it will default to that in the future. If something is of a personal nature, make sure to manually click it to “Friends.”

If a Facebook member has any older posts that were set to “Friends of Friends” or “Public” those can be changed from the status update box as well to “Friends” for higher privacy.

If a user wants to see what they have been tagged in, he or she should go to the Activity Log. There they can see what’s been updated to their profile and/or what they’ve been tagged in. From there, users can decide what they want on the time line and also who can see his or her individual updates.

Finally, Facebook will occasionally use members’ information as advertisements to their friends. For instance, if someone has “liked” a business or product, friends can see the user’s name under the advertisement. To change that, edit the “Third Party Sites” as well as “Ads and Friends” settings to “no one.”

Facebook is a great tool for keeping touch with friends and family, but it’s important to maintain as much privacy control over the account as a person wants.

Kavin Austin Blake Discusses Exotic Locales with Interviewing Experts

Kavin Austin Blake

Kavin Austin Blake

Kavin Austin Blake is passionate about fishing, but that also means traveling to the places where the big fish are. Today, the staff at Interviewing Experts talks to Kavin Austin Blake about some of his favorite destinations.

Interviewing Experts: We’ve heard you like traveling to the Caribbean for fishing. What are some of your favorite spots?

Kavin Austin Blake: San Juan, Puerto Rico has always been a favorite of mine…

Interviewing Experts: What do you like to do in San Juan?

Kavin Austin Blake: There’s lots of golf, surfing and exploring there, as well as some phenomenal restaurants and casinos.

Interviewing Experts: I’ve always wanted to visit Jamaica…

Kavin Austin Blake: I’d encourage you to go. There’s so much more to Jamaica than what you see in the commercials. Great horseback riding, island tours, great food, really friendly people.

Interviewing Experts: Have you ever been to Nassau?

Kavin Austin Blake: Yes, another of my favorites. Excellent snorkeling and scuba diving, as well as terrific fishing. I’ve been there several times.

Interviewing Experts: And what about the Dominican Republic?

Kavin Austin Blake: Yes, that’s a great vacation destination too. I’ve been to Punta Cana, which is off the beaten track. It’s especially great in the off-season, really peaceful and relaxed.

Interviewing Experts: Do you have a favorite, though?

Kavin Austin Blake: Well, if I had to pick a “favorite,” it would probably be Aruba. There is so much to do there…rock climbing, Harley-Davidson tours, coastline exploration, great casino and hotels. It’s great for a wedding destination, a family vacation – anything, really!

Interviewing Experts: What is it that makes you passionate about travel?

Kavin Austin Blake: I feel a little sorry for the people who don’t or can’t get out and travel. It’s so enlightening and broadens your view so much to see the world and experience other cultures.

Interviewing Experts: Why the Caribbean in particular, though?

Kavin Austin Blake: Well, there’s the fishing… (laughs) But it’s much more than that. The Caribbean is just a great, affordable destination for honeymooners or vacationers or anybody who wants to get away. Very welcoming and inviting culture, great food, great people.

Interviewing Experts: It’s a break from the mundane.

Kavin Austin Blake: Absolutely. It gives you a chance to get away from the work/home routine and do something exotic, but still in your safety zone.

Interviewing Experts: It sounds like you can find about anything you want to do there…

Kavin Austin Blake: Yes, all the cities and islands are unique, but there’s a huge range of stuff you can avail yourself of there.

Interviewing Experts: Are there some other destinations in the Caribbean you still want to go to?

Kavin Austin Blake: Yes, I haven’t been to Tobago or Guadeloupe yet…

Interviewing Experts: Well, thanks for meeting with us today!

Kavin Austin Blake: Absolutely, I’d be happy to anytime.

Rich Von – Distressed Property FAQ

Rich Von

Rich Von

Rich Von has a talent for turning around homes that are in disrepair, sometimes revitalizing entire areas. Below, Rich Von shares some of his knowledge, gained from years of experience.

Q: What is a distressed property?

Rich Von: The term distressed property refers to a home that is on the market at a reduced price due to foreclosure or short sale.

Q: Are these properties typically in bad condition?

Rich Von: Some of the properties are in really bad condition and others are near perfect—there’s a wide spectrum. Distressed properties have unjustly been given a bad rep due to the fact that, in some cases, homeowners vandalize properties before moving out.

Q: So it’s a misconception that all homeowners vandalize properties?

Rich Von: Yes. The vast majority of homeowners simply move their items out and let the lender take over from there.

Q: What can I expect if I purchase a distressed property?

Rich Von: A distressed property probably won’t have the niceties found in a home that has been put up for sale for a profit.

Q: Such as…?

Rich Von: The carpets may need to be cleaned or replaced. The walls normally aren’t freshly painted and there may be some light fixtures or cabinet knobs missing.  And you should expect to have to do a lot of due diligence so you know exactly what you’re purchasing—this means title searches and very thorough testing to insure appliances are working, plumbing is satisfactory, roof and foundations are ok, etc.  A lot of times you’re purchasing the property as is, so it’s important to bring in professionals to get a true and accurate assessment of what you’re buying.

Q: Can someone get a bargain on a distressed property?

Rich Von: Normally homebuyers can get a much nicer home for the money if they’ll consider a distressed property. However, distressed properties can fall into a bidding war, so it’s important for a buyer to be well-educated in the value of a home and the cost of any repairs to avoid overpaying.  Just because it’s a distressed property doesn’t mean it’s a deal.  I’ve seen a lot of people pay way above retail and think they were getting a deal just because they bought at auction.

Q: If I want to buy a distressed property, will I need an agent?

Rich Von: You won’t need an agent, but I highly recommend it, especially for inexperienced buyers. Distressed properties can sometimes come with extra paperwork and legalities that can be a nightmare for someone who is new to real estate.

Q: Can I make money flipping distressed properties?

Rich Von: Buying and fixing up distressed properties for resale is something that takes experience. Someone can easily lose money if they don’t know what they’re doing.  There are all kinds of traps—liens and title issues; construction issues; I could go on for hours.

Q: What do I need to know?

Rich Von: First, it’s important to become thoroughly educated about an area and be familiar with trends. If a neighborhood is on the downslide, for instance, a house may not fetch what it would in a neighborhood that is trendy and popular at the time.

Q: Will I have trouble selling a distressed property once I’ve rebuilt it?

Rich Von: It’s possible to have trouble reselling, yes. A seller can easily run into trouble trying to sell a distressed property, primarily with buyers getting loan money from banks. A bank will often question whether a home is worth what the seller is asking, especially if the area has gone downhill in recent years.

Q: How do I find distressed properties?

Rich Von: Often banks will hold auctions for a property where buyers can get a great deal. A real estate agent can also help a less experienced buyer find great deals on properties.

Rich Von is a co-founder of Von Vesting, Inc., a company that specializes in distressed properties. The company has found great success in recent years, thanks to Rich Von’s knowledge of local housing markets.

Michael Courouleau – Fire Suppression Q and A

Michael Courouleau is an environmental and safety professional with extensive experience in industrial safety.

Q: Dust explosions in grain silos are still a huge danger. What’s the most effective fire suppression method for inside the silo?

Michael Courouleau: A simple sprinkler setup and complete saturation of vessels or silos is still the best firefighting method.

Q: What about dust collector tanks?

Michael Courouleau: They should have systems in place that will isolate hazards, as well as equipment to deploy water or gaseous agents, and explosion venting.

Q: Should there be a different apparatus for motor control centers?

Michael Courouleau: Yes, a Class C electrical fire as you would find in a motor control center should use dry chemical agents for fire control.

Q: Are Halon fire control systems still in use?

Michael Courouleau: No, almost all Halon systems have been replaced by environmentally-friendly fire extinguishing agents.

Q: What has taken its place?

Michael Courouleau: FM 200 has superseded Halon technology, but it carries its own risks; it’s important that MSDS sheets should be on site so that personnel know the hazards of FM 200.

Q: What are the regulations for fire control?

Michael Courouleau: The National Electric Code’s NFPA 70 regulations require that ignition-proof components be used in areas where combustible dusts might be found. Electrical components need to be labeled as Class 2, Division 1 or 2.

Q: What about static electricity?

Michael Courouleau: Yes, natural fiber clothing should be worn so that static electricity won’t be a danger.

Q: Where are dust hazards greatest in this environment?

Michael Courouleau: We see the greatest dust hazards at loading or unloading points, or transfer areas. Plant design and engineering controls can help in minimizing the number of transfer points, and adding liquid mist or sprinklers to help keep dust down.

Q: What is coke dust?

Michael Courouleau: Coke dust can be produced from coal or petroleum processing.

Q: What kinds of safety precautions are used for coke dust?

Michael Courouleau: Devices like slow downs, rub blocks, and pressure systems can help prevent heat or spark sources.

Q: Is coke dust combustible?

Michael Courouleau: The jury is still out on that. Studies have been underway for years to determine the combustibility of coke dust. At present, we’re presuming that it is.

Q: Do plants have a monitoring system for coke dust?

Michael Courouleau: Yes, particulate monitors are used.

Q: How do they work?

Michael Courouleau: They send a signal that triggers a water mist system at belts, motors and other transfer points.

Q: What’s the purpose of the water mist?

Michael Courouleau: Water mist reduces the concentration of airborne dust, eliminating the fuel source.

Q: Are there other options?

Michael Courouleau: Yes, the device can be interlocked with existing equipment to automatically shut down the machinery if the airborne concentration is exceeded, letting the dust settle again. Ventilation is also crucial in these situations.

Haute Chefs Founder Jeffrey Nimer on Preparing Perfect Prime Rib

Jeffrey Nimer

Jeffrey Nimer

Whether a holiday gathering or sit-down dinner, Jeffrey Nimer says a good piece of meat makes the meal. Here, Haute Chefs’ Executive Chef Jeffrey Nimer details the Dos and the Don’ts of prime rib preparation.

Interviewing Experts: Jeffrey, thank you for taking time out to chat with us today.

Jeffrey Nimer: It’s my pleasure; I’ll always talk about food!

Interviewing Experts: What’s your favorite cut of meat when cooking for a crowd?

Jeffrey Nimer: I love standing rib roasts and really any prime rib in general.

Interviewing Experts: Prime… that’s the grade of the meat, right?

Jeffrey Nimer: It can be, but typically beef graded as Prime is reserved for fine steakhouses and butcher shops. Grocery store prime rib is most likely a Choice cut.

Interviewing Experts: How are these cuts graded? What makes one better than the other?

Jeffrey Nimer: It’s the marbling, which is the little veins of fat that run through the meat. More visible marbling means the meat with cook into a more tender and flavorful dish.

Interviewing Experts: I’ve heard that you are an expert in Standing Rib Roasts… Can you tell our readers exactly what that means?

Jeffrey Nimer: A standing roast is just one that has the bones intact and can literally stand up without assistance.

Interviewing Experts: It sounds like a large piece of meat. Isn’t that difficult?

Jeffrey Nimer: Not really if you get ready ahead of time.

Interviewing Experts: By…?

Jeffrey Nimer: First, let the meat come to room temperate before subjecting it to high heat. It will cook unevenly if the center temperature is very different from the outside. Also, make sure to tie the entire roast. If it is allowed to pull away from the bone, it will lose flavor.

Interviewing Experts: What about the fat on the outside of the meat?

Jeffrey Nimer: You want to trim it down to less than one inch thick; this will make the roast much better than if it did not have any fat basting it.

Interviewing Experts: What sort of temperature should it be cooked at?

Jeffrey Nimer: I’ve said it a million times and I’ll repeat it now: Low and Slow. Low and Slow. The oven temp should be no more than 160 degrees – and that’s for a well-done prime.

Interviewing Experts: Any last tips for the novice rib roaster?

Jeffrey Nimer: Don’t cut the roast with a dull knife…and, try serving with Yorkshire Pudding.

Jeffrey Nimer’s passion for food dates back to his childhood, where his grandfather let him wander around the kitchen of the family’s café. Today, Chef Nimer uses his skills and inherent love of food to craft the perfect combination of local and fresh produce and meats with dazzling presentations.

To contact Jeffrey Nimer visit or check out his profile on Social Culinaire, a food-lovers networking site at



Rich von Alvensleben – Von Vesting Q & A

Rich Von Alvensleben

Rich Von Alvensleben

Rich Von Alvensleben is the Operations Manager for Von Vesting Inc., a professional real estate redevelopment company operating in Northern California. Under Rich Von Alvensleben’s leadership, Von Vesting has established a great track record for investors and their own company as well. Here, Rich Von Alvensleben answers a few questions about Von Vesting.

Q: How many properties has Von Vesting sold in the past decade?

Rich Von Alvensleben: In the last twelve years, we’ve bought and sold approximately 1700 properties, leveraging our experience to take the chance and guesswork out of the process for investors. We’ve returned investors over 12% cash-on-cash every year, and over 20% cash on cash in 10 of the 12 years.

Q: What’s your investment strategy?

Rich Von Alvensleben: We buy smart—which means a low price with high resell potential and manageable construction needs, taking distressed properties off the REO lists of lenders at wholesale rates, rehabing them with new amenities, and then offering them for sale at sub-market rates.

Q: What’s your typical return?

Rich Von Alvensleben: We shoot for a minimum return of 15% per property—but the key is velocity.  When we do what we’re supposed to, we can use the same money to buy and sell three properties in one year.  So that 15% per property translates into 45% for the year.

Q: That has to be a good strategy for investors…

Rich Von Alvensleben: Absolutely! We split profits 50-50 with investors—it’s fair for both sides.

Q: Can you expand on that a little?

Rich Von Alvensleben: We make sure to do our homework on liens, titles, zip codes and comps when we buy, and are careful to stay away from properties that need serious structural work that would cut into the return. The key is our track record and experience—after approximately 1700 flips, there is not much that we haven’t seen.

Q: Doesn’t it get tricky in a down market, though?

Rich Von Alvensleben: Yes, getting an accurate fix on a sales price can be really tough if you don’t know the ropes.   But at the end of the day, a down market requires more skill—you have to be tighter with your budgets and quicker with your construction work and more accurate on your projected sales price.  We like it, because it weeds out competitors—easy to lose money in a down market if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Q: What are your guidelines?

Rich Von Alvensleben: We want a property to sell quickly after improvements are completed. We get a fix on sale price, then work backwards from there, factoring in disposition, improvements, acquisition & carry costs, etc.   The key is knowing what you’re going to sell a property at quickly.  This is more then just comps—it’s construction and days on market too.

Q: How long do properties typically sit on the market?

Rich Von Alvensleben: We shoot for a 90-day turnaround on each property from date of purchase to close of escrow.  The customers buying our product on MLS generally want 30 day escrows, so that means we have to have properties fixed up and listed in 2-3 weeks max so that we have 2-3 wks to list and get them into escrow.  90 days can fly by pretty quickly.

Q: How is Von Vesting structured?

Rich Von Alvensleben: Von Vesting is a California Limited Liability Company that is contracted by the Limited Partnerships that have the investment dollars.  Von Vesting finds the property, hires the general contractor and the real estate broker—manages the entire process—on behalf of the Limited Partnership that holds the investment dollars.

Q: Who are your principals?

Rich Von Alvensleben: Von Vesting is owned and operated by my wife and I with a lot of help by our Chief Operating Officer (J. Kale Flagg) and our Chief Financial Officer (Mike Harman, CPA). The Limited Partnership, which we call the Fund, is owned pro-rata by all of the investors.

Q: What is your target market?

Rich Von Alvensleben: We operate mainly in the San Francisco South Bay area and greater Sacramento.   We have also done flips in Arizona and Nevada—wherever we can find good product that we can turn quickly in markets we know and understand.

Q: Do you have local experience?

Rich Von Alvensleben: Yes, one partner and I grew up in South Bay, so we have a certain amount of home-field advantage.

Q: That has to be a big help!

Rich Von Alvensleben: Immeasurably so. We know how to figure comps with our knowledge of the area, helping to move the properties more quickly on the back end.

Q: That must make it attractive for investors.

Rich Von Alvensleben: It does. Our business relies on velocity, and the fact that we’re so familiar with streets and neighborhoods is a huge advantage for us.

The career path of Rich Von Alvensleben has taken him in diverse directions. Rich Von Alvensleben ’s first passion was marine biology, taking him to a stint as a commercial diver for the United States Antarctic Research Program. Rich Von Alvensleben was also co-owner and founder of Associated Drilling, a California-based construction company; and was co-founder of World Concepts LLC, a nationwide marketing and sales company that generated large profits for many years. Rich Von Alvensleben went on to serve as Construction Manager at Eldorado Holding Company, Inc., a springboard into the arena of real estate investment with Von Vesting. Rich Von Alvensleben lives in the greater Sacramento area; when not at work, Rich Von Alvensleben volunteers with his community and spends quality time with his family.


Jay P. Clark Discusses the Power of Camelina as a Biofuel

Jay P. Clark

Jay P. Clark

Jay P. Clark has headed up operations at Clark’s Crystal Springs Ranch in Idaho for nearly five years, providing hunting opportunities and harvesting crops on the land. In addition to corn, oats, and hay, Jay P. Clark will soon be planting camelina, a flowering plant that is currently being used in the development of alternative fuel sources. The fast-growing plant is ideal for replacing expensive oil in powering jets. Recently, Jay P. Clark spoke with Interviewing Experts about this exciting new source of alternative fuel.

Interviewing Experts: Thank you for speaking with us today, Mr. Clark. Could you first explain how this plant is harvested for use in fuel?

Jay P. Clark: Sure. Camelina contains small seeds that are heavy with omega oils. These oils can be extracted for use in food, with the cloudier, granier-looking oils from camelina being used for fuels.

Interviewing Experts: Are these fuels used to power cars we see on the road every day?

Jay P. Clark: Not yet. The biofuels from camelina oils are primarily being put to use in planes and jets at the current time.

Interviewing Experts: Is this oil being used in American jets and planes right now?

Jay P. Clark: This is something that is still in trial here in the States. The USDA only recently began issuing insurance to farmers interested in growing camelina crop.

Interviewing Experts: So then these camelina-growing operations aren’t only good for the environment…it sounds like they’re also good for the economy.

Jay P. Clark: I absolutely believe that! Jobs will be created out of all of this, not just for harvesting the crop, but also for extracting the oil and transporting it.

Interviewing Experts: Does camelina seed have other uses?

Jay P. Clark: Camelina seed makes great feed for livestock, which could lead to healthier livestock, providing an added benefit to the consumer food market.

Interviewing Experts: I’ve also heard the oil from camelina can be used in the place of vegetable oil.

Jay P. Clark: Yes. It cannot only be used as a vegetable oil substitute, but it can also be used in cosmetics.

Interviewing Experts: When will your ranch begin growing camelina?

Jay P. Clark: In the spring, Clark’s Crystal Springs Ranch plans to begin growing camelina for harvest.

Jay P. Clark’s Crystal Spring Ranch occupies thousands of acres of land in an area of Idaho close to Boise. He holds degrees in social sciences and natural sciences from Northwest Nazarene University.

Interviewing Experts – Tips For Safer Online Shopping

This holiday season there was a 193% percent jump in people shopping with their mobile devices on Black Friday. But as useful as it is to be able to shop anywhere without having to stand in line at a retailer, there are simple precautions that consumers should take to make sure that they’re not divulging personal information to a third party. With that in mind, Interviewing Experts has some tips for consumers who are finishing up their holiday shopping.

Not all sites and web pages are equally secure. Remember to make sure that the checkout page reads “HTTPS” in the browser bar. The “S” at the end differentiates secure sites from non-secure sites. Never enter personal or financial information on a site that simply reads “HTTP.”

The next thing that shoppers should notice is the lock icon in the address bar. That lock indicates that the site is secured with an SSL (secure sockets layer) connection. It’s easier to see on a laptop than a cell phone, so it’s important to zoom in to the address bar to make sure the lock symbol is there. If it’s not, don’t shop there.

Another simple tip to remember is to use a password on your mobile device in case it’s  stolen. Studies have shown that only about half of mobile device users have a security password. Many smart phones contain personal banking information and credit card numbers. Even if certain apps have passwords, it’s easy enough to reset once a thief has their hands on your device. A password is a simple step to help ensure that your personal information stays personal.

Also, it’s always a good idea to shop online with a credit card instead of a debit card. Most credit cards have purchase protection in case the number is stolen or if there is an issue with the purchase. Although It’s difficult to keep up with everything during the holiday season, Interviewing Experts wants to remind consumers that it’s very important to double check bank and credit card statements to ensure that there hasn’t been any fraudulent activity on those accounts.

Donald Leon Farrow Discusses Assisting Animals

Donald Leon FarrowDonald Leon Farrow believes in giving back to the community. While his work as an architect keeps him busy, in his free time Donald Leon Farrow works as an animal rescue volunteer and animal welfare advocate.

In 2005, Donald Leon Farrow began contacting local animal welfare organizations to volunteer his services upon noticing many stray dogs in urban areas of Chicago, as he drove to his project sites. Donald Leon Farrow involved himself with both local and national animal welfare organizations and acknowledges that there are moments of jubilation, and moments of pain. Donald Leon Farrow also supports soup kitchens and food pantry’s financially, and has participated in urban garden projects. He hopes that through the efforts of many, the world will become more humanitarian. Donald Leon Farrow recently spoke with Interviewing Experts about the power of animals to change lives.

Interviewing Experts: Why did you choose this topic?

Donald Leon Farrow: I wanted to make sure the volunteer work I do is understood in the greater context of the enormous value that these animals bring to our lives.

Interviewing Experts: The organizations you support are at both local and national levels.

Donald Leon Farrow: That’s true. Some issues are simply too widespread to deal with solely on a local level, and there’s a difference. National causes such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or ASPCA, and the No Kill Advocacy Center for example; go beyond the welfare of individual animals to advocate for the rights of animals not to be abused, mistreated or tortured. Local animal rescue groups help individual animals in distress or those suffering from epidemic reasons say. Local and national groups are funded through contributions and volunteers.

Interviewing Experts: How have things changed in the time you’ve been working with these organizations?

Donald Leon Farrow: In recent years, economic disaster has instigated the number of neglected, abused and stray animals in the country. Volunteers and contributions make a difference in the work the organization has been able to do and allot more help is needed.

Interviewing Experts: How is this impacting organizations like the ASPCA and local shelters?

Donald Leon Farrow: With so many struggling just to survive after cuts in salary and job loss, people just don’t have as much money to give, so local and national organizations have had to expand their outreach for assistance.

Interviewing Experts: What do you to do address this?

Donald Leon Farrow: I always tell people that a contribution of as little as a dollar can make a difference, and their personal time as a volunteer would be a powerful resource.

Interviewing Experts: You’ve also served on several fundraising committees during your time.

Donald Leon Farrow: Yes, I participate in both volunteer and fundraising efforts.

Interviewing Experts: What would you say is the best part about volunteering with the local animal welfare organizations?

Donald Leon Farrow: The best part in volunteering is knowing that you are making a difference however small. There is jubilation and sorrow in this work – but it must be done from a humanitarian perspective. These animals give us so much acceptance and companionship, and they are absolutely helpless in this society. They cannot fend for themselves and there are virtually no effective laws to protect them.

Interviewing Experts: As you mark your eleventh year with these organizations, what are your future plans?

Donald Leon Farrow: I hope to continue this work for many years to come.

Donald Leon Farrow has built an impressive career of innovation and leadership in Architecture.