SBD/January 25, 2013/People and Pop Culture

What's Up For The Weekend With Navigate Research President AJ Maestas

Maestas texts his brother in Alaska every day to tease him about the weather
Navigate Research President AJ MAESTAS spends an awful lot of time up in the air, as his role keeps him hopping around the country to serve his clients. When on the ground, Maestas calls Chicago home for around half of the year, but during the harsh winter months, he escapes to the warmer climate of Arizona. Like many jet-setting execs, Maestas values his downtime, and hopes for just a little taste of it before zipping off to Orlando this weekend.

SNOW BIRDS FLY WEST: We have an office in Scottsdale, Arizona, and I work out of that office until about mid-May. There are some legitimate reasons -- it’s easier to see people on the west coast for business and to spend time with the people in that office in person -- but you can imagine the timing of that schedule is not a coincidence. I’m kind of hiding from Chicago’s winter.

RESET BUTTON: Saturdays are my down days. I do so many business dinners in the week and travel so much -- I’m constantly flying -- that Saturday, I call that my rehab day. It’s like my restart day basically. I never go out late on Fridays, or rarely do. I get a big, slow, nice breakfast. I do a workout at my gym, which is right next to my office, so it’s super convenient. It’s an effort to sort of purge all the pain of the week and give myself downtime which I am not good at. I don’t get out of there until maybe 2:00pm. But I start fresh, it’s almost like a reset.

STATING HIS CASE: I’m going to go to the National Sports Forum this weekend. They have the Opening Dinner, they call it the Founders Dinner. It’s where all the speakers go and the sponsors. We are the people who write the Case Cup every year. So I’m going Saturday to be a part of the Case Cup. GMR is actually the one sponsoring the case this year and we’re working with them to write the case. It’s like a family reunion, so I am really looking forward to it. The National Sports Forum for me is ... like a wedding reception with your good friend from college who’s getting married. So you go back, you see all your old buddies. I’m really looking forward to Saturday.

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: Depending on if I’m in Phoenix or Chicago, I have a couple of favorite breakfast spots that are all within a beach cruiser ride away. I love biking, but I’m not a serious cyclist. It's not like I’m doing it for competition. So something within a one-mile ring of my place and sit outside. I love eating outdoors. In Chicago, it’s probably John’s Place in Lincoln Park in my neighborhood. In Scottsdale, it’s the Herb Box or Olive & Ivy. Great brunch places.

LET’S GO FOR A CRUISE: Our Scottsdale office has five or six beach cruisers. They’re so fun. So that way a big group of us can go to lunch together at once. Our office is by this canal that runs through Old Town Scottsdale, so we can use that to get to all kinds of bars and restaurants and fun stuff. It’s more disliking driving and liking to be outdoors than it is about enjoying biking. But no question, if I can bike, I would never get in my car to drive somewhere on the weekend unless I absolutely have to. I do not wear a helmet. That’s not smart.

FAR FROM HOME: I was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska. Eighteen years in this really cold town. So I always check the weather -- and it’s going to be 40 below there, not counting wind chill -- 40 below there this weekend. So I always check the weather. Then I always send a text to my brother or mother or call family and let them know what the weather is like where I am ... as well as check up on nice stuff too. Not just rubbing their nose in it.
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