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Dad Life Chad Gauss

Lives: Baltimore County
Family: Spouse, Wendi; children,
Chad Jr., Zoey and Maisy
Occupation: Chef and Owner, Hoopla! Hospitality

Tell us about your work and  your start in the hospitality field.

I am chef and owner of Hoopla! Hospitality. This includes The Food Market, La Food Marketa, TigerStyle and Hoopla! Catering. I always wanted to be a chef. I started as a busboy when I was 14 years old and was in a work-study program. I just wanted to advance, advance, advance. I kept taking the highest-paying job I was qualified for until I became an owner, so I always wanted to do this. The quickest way to the heart is through the stomach, and I am a giver.

Do you have mentor or role model?

I have a lot of role models and mentors, I’ve always been the kind of guy that can identify the best that others tend to offer. I take these traits that I love and look up to others and make [those people] into role models and mentors. In other words, I can pull a slice of knowledge from from just about anyone I talk to. Anyone can be a mentor.

What advice can you give working parents?

To me “work” is a bad word. I view “work” as anything that I don’t want to do. But in another context of the word, I like to tell my kids that we are always together no matter what because we are in each other’s hearts. It’s so important that your kids know that you are always available and that they are more important than any work. Let them know that you are working hard to create opportunities for their educations, vacations and well-being and to create ever-lasting memories. Also, always keep a vacation on your calendar or a few blocks of days together with your family, so you have that to look forward to.

What is the best advice another parent gave you?

Help your kids stay young as long as possible. Once they are older in their minds, they are older forever.

How do you manage your career with your family life?

Simply, you always have to make time for what is most important to you. I made a promise to myself in life to always be in the most important place in the moment. Organization is the key to success.

How do you de-stress? Any hobbies or outside interests?

I am on the road a lot between all four businesses and I like to be 20 minutes from anywhere important to me. I use that alone time in my car for a few songs on the radio, a chatting phone call about nothing that matters or just using it as time to think things through before I arrive in a place that demands my full attention. I am also the man who is always bass fishing in local ponds. Any readers, please reach out to me if I can fish your pond. I promise to be a valuable friend in return.

What’s next for you?

Next is now! I’m going to keep moving at the speed of staff development to create new opportunities for myself as well as for those around me who have helped me to have the life that I am living.

About Adranisha Stephens

When Adranisha Stephens isn’t chasing down a story, she is traveling, blogging, photographing or spending time with family and friends. She has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Frostburg State University and a master’s degree in journalism/digital storytelling from American University.

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