David B., but I know him as my dad. I’ve looked up to him as long as I can remember, because he’s the kind of father who’s done everything for his family. My sister, brother, and I were fortunate enough to grow up with parents who were invested in our lives, and when I went to university far away from home, my dad was the one who made me believe I could stick it out. Once the three of us had all grown up, Dad realized that he wanted to change his body, motivated by a desire to prevent bad health. Over the last couple of years, he’s lost around 100 pounds. This transformation is more than a simple “before and after”; to me, he’s tangible proof of what hard work can do. It’s not just about losing weight, but rather the notion that there is never a point in one’s life that is too late to achieve your goals. It may sound cheesy, but I’m so proud of my dad, and so happy that he’s finally done something for himself. 


UGG Australia for Men // The Lion, NYC

Last night UGG for Men hosted an event with an intimate group of influential men at The Lion in West Village to celebrate the launch of their Fall 2013 UGG for Men “For Gamechangers” campaign. 

In addition to showing off some really dope boots, they had a panel of guests who were deemed men of character; Sian-Pierre Regis of Swagger New York, Lawrence Cann, CEO of Street Soccer USA, Edward Song, founder of Korilla BBQ food trucks and John DeLucie, Chef & Proprietor of The Lion. There was a brief Q&A session and hearing what inspires these guys to be different was really cool. Very inspirational and motivating. 

As always, UGG threw another amazing event, with cool drinks and BOMB food. Thank you UGG for having me out last night. I skipped class for the event and it was totally worth it :)


There are few people on this planet that I can honestly say “if I hadn’t met this person, then I wouldn’t be where I am.” Conor O'Keefe is one of those people.

In 2007 I walked by his bar - The Emerald Loop in Chicago - and it started to rain. Taking cover, we ended up talking, and he offered me a job on the spot. Every Saturday night I played music at the bar, using my laptop or CDs, during which he and I would have long, alcohol-imbibing conversations about “what it all means.” It remains one of my favorite jobs, if only for those conversations. 

It was during one of these conversations I said “I’m interested in writing for magazines.” He said: “500 words on this bar by the end of the night,” and walked away. He checked back every hour to see how my little article was progressing. At the end of the night, handing me my usual $150, he handed me an extra $50. “There,” he said, “You got paid for an article." 

The next week, we talked more about it, and he read over pitch emails I was sending out to magazines for internships. He sat there and helped me arrange the words, making sure they came across as serious and truthful without sparing my voice. 

Two weeks later, I get an internship at a magazine in Los Angeles back in my home state of California, largely in part thanks to Conor taking the time to help and believe in me, and helping me shape the initial emails that got the ball rolling. Now I do this for a living. 

Conor is a spectacular mentor and an exceptional man. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him. Truly. I owe a lot to that crazy-brilliant Irish bastard. :)

Name: Matt A.

Matthew Allard is an author, a freelance copywriter, and a bit of an Internet geek. If it’s not creative, he doesn’t really want to do it. That’s why he created his own small agency, Wrd Lab, which focuses on unique collaborations and crafting content. A perfect day is anywhere he’s got a coffee in hand and a good book in his bag.

B. Heath

Ben left his high-paying corporate job in San Francisco this summer in order to follow his passion for photography. Since creativity isn’t always rewarded financially—regardless of talent or drive—he understands abandoning his old life for a career one-eighty is a huge risk that may or not may pay off. And still he’s willing to gamble. He has to. That’s what I admire about, Ben. That’s how he inspires me. Not only is he a true nice guy, thoughtful and sensitive and artistically wise; but he’s also brave enough make hard decisions and follow his heart. For Ben, it’s not about making money. It’s about capturing a moment and making art.

Ronnie K.

Ronnie K. has been working on creating a grassroots movement that would aim to celebrate our diversity, but more importantly it would focus on the things we all share in common. Ronnie teamed up with Elliot L. had who had been interviewing youth on what it is like to grow up and their experience of being bullied. Together they collaborated to create the Friend Movement ( Friend is a hybrid of a feature film and photo-campaign grass roots movement.  This grass-root effort inspires people to prevent bullying by enabling them to be a better friend; providing entertaining and educational resources, cultivating global partnerships, and leveraging the latest social media technology. Friend Movement was created to help show positive anti-bully images through art and media. Images of people of all ages, race, gender, sexuality, and spirituality that invoke inspiration & conversation. Friend movement inspires people to prevent bullying by enabling them to be a better friend. As part of this movement, Ronnie and his team have begun a 921-mile walk from Chicago to NYC. At each mile a purple ribbon is being tied in memory of someone lost too soon to bullying. Today on spirit day this nomination carries even greater meaning. This walk will culminate on Nov 10, 2013 on that bridge where Tyler C. left us as result of bullying. Ronnie is a supermodel, actor/director & an activist. He is truly deserving of this award and I am very proud to nominate him. 

Lasse L.

Meet Mr. Exceptional. His name is Lasse and his mission is simple; help empower as many people as he can through his passion for conscious living. His dedication to this mission is evident through his program called My Vegan Journey, a 90 day experience that leads newbies through the rigors and triumphs of a plant based diet and self discovery. He gifts three lucky souls with scholarships each session and is a coach, mentor, and friend all wrapped up in one. His program is unique and combines the mind, body, and spirit to create lasting change. He is the founder of his non profit called The Sexiest Non Profit ever whose aim is to introduce the idea that healthy is the truest form of sexy by operating a buy one, give one model to end food deserts. He is set to hit the road next spring with Caravan of Change a group of artists and advocates who will be visiting farmers markets, festivals, and street corners to educate and share knowledge on healthy living, again free of charge. As you can see his passion, dedication, and talent are what truly make him a shining example of what is possible when you lead with your heart.

Iner L.

This is my dad; a wonderful father of 28 years and a dedicated and loving husband of 30 years. My father was raised to work before going to school and with that frame of mind, my father was money and education motivated at a very young age. After college, my dad went overseas to Saudi Arabia as well as other East Asian countries to earn money. All of the money he made from hard labor, he sent to his family in the Philippines to put his younger siblings through school and provided for them to attend classes and graduate high school and college. When my mother and father met and got married, my dad worked hard to earn enough money to buy a home for a future family. My dad was well known in our neighborhood as a much disciplined, very loyal, very talented, and very hard working man. At the age of 5, we moved to Guam for a better future and then moved to the United States. My dad was determined to move across the world just to provide a better life and education for his wife and children. My dad has always put his family before himself and that is what makes him so lovable yet very charismatic. Even now, my dad has dedicated his life to make sure we can afford what we need as well as earn enough money to send to the Philippines to put my cousins through high school and college. Even through recession, my dad managed to always keep a positive attitude just to get us through the tough times. His passion and dedication for his goal was to ensure his family is happy and to always look at the positive sides in every situation. He is everybody’s super hero, our Superman.

Tyler R.

This man is recklessly determined to make an impact through art.  Tyler R. is an inspiration to us all…he has become a well known artist not by focusing on himself but rather putting all his energy into helping the world. Just about every other painting he creates, he donates the work or profit to non-profits and focuses on amplifying their voice in communities. He has helped girls in Liberia escape brothels, orphaned children in India, moms needing diapers in Los Angeles, homeless on skid row, poverty stricken families in Panama and the list goes on and on. By doing so, he has gained the attention of art collectors such as UN Ban Ki Moon, Bill Clinton, Prime Minister of Tibet, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Surlief, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, TOMS Tyler Ramsey Line, etc. He truly embodies energy and passion that is “more than himself” and only in doing so he has found success.

Meet Ivan P.

I met Ivan at my best friends wedding in Argentina, with no expectations, our conversation flowed so naturally and I felt a relief at the moment to have had the opportunity to meet someone that gave me hope, peace, someone who with little words let me know his values and his appreciation and respect to life.  I only got see him a few days, but strangely we connected.  He had a bright future in soccer; an unfortunate injury put a stop to this, but it did not stop him from following his other dreams.  With only ten months after seeing him, he made all the arrangements and driven by his ambition to get the best education possible and to come after me, he moved to the US in search of his dreams.  Since then, he has managed to become fully independent, work full time, his dedication has landed him consecutive terms as part of the Dean’s List of one of the best Aviation Schools in the US and his passion has made me, his girlfriend who is 6 years older than him, madly in love with who he is.  His determination is obvious, his intentions are always transparent, and in no way is he selfish, he is one of the few people that I can actually say has a big heart as he never expects anything in return from others, what he does, he does with the kindness of his heart.  Its no wonder how many people love him.  He is an unconditional grandson, son, brother, friend and soul mate.  Ivan has been blessed with an exceptional family, who has made him a man of character, and the most impressive thing of all, he is only 23.  With such determination, I wonder what is yet to come from him.

Michael L.

A tried and true friend, brother, and an outstanding single Father of two sets of twins. Michael L. He is a inspiration to everyone that is lucky enough to know him, a heart of gold for sure, a true silent blessing. He is the upmost selfless soul I have ever truly encountered and deserves everything positive life has to offer. He enjoys the simple things, mainly taking pictures of sunsets, taking his children to the beach to explore mother nature’s beauty & bike rides. He is the most sincere, loyal and honorable man. He deserves the best of recognition. 

Name: Denny G.

Denny G is a high school English teacher who has been challenged and challenges others to think more critically, engage more deeply, and reason more sharply. Following in the footsteps of his mentors, who have helped him to achieve greatness, Denny aims to transform the world by educating one child at a time. His students not only look up to him, but also acknowledge that he has managed to change their lives in just 3 weeks of teaching.

Brian D. 

Very excited to nominate Brian for the Men of Character award.  He’s a visual artist (and new father to twin boys) working in the fine art world as well as the streets - whether his medium is cut paper or aerosol cans his work depicting both the everyday and the imaginary always strands out from everyone else. 


Michael C.  

Stoked to nominate Michael for the UGG Men of Character campaign, whether he’s cooking an elaborate dinner for 12 on the NYC subway, or planning and hosting a 100 course dinner for hedge fund managers he’s always raising the culinary bar and pushing the limits of what it means to eat a meal.