Meet the Team: Dan Risner
Hi Dan, how are you finding Speakers Corner?
I love it, I am really happy and enjoying coming to work. I love working with people, and I like being around a supportive team with people who can have a laugh whilst also working hard. I have worked in lots of different environments, but this is a really lovely team. This is the first time I’ve worked in one that has a bigger team - although Speakers Corner isn’t huge, comparatively it is for me, as I’ve only worked with two or three people before. Importantly, I like being able to grow and learn from the people around me, and I’m a talker, so having people to talk to and being on the phones really works for me!
Dan worked for children's camps in America before coming to Speakers Corner
Best speaker you’ve seen so far?
I haven’t seen that many speakers live yet. My dad is a speaker, so I knew a bit about the industry from watching him, and doing a little bit myself, but I had no idea about the level of complexity of the inner workings of the business and how bureaus work, so that has been a real eye-opener.
The most enjoyable person I’ve seen in the office so far was Sam Conniff. I found him fascinating, and I always love people who give back to the world and try to do something good, so his message sat really well with me. I also saw Natalia Cohen at an event who was great. Her story was amazing she was so inspiring and passionate. I thought it was brilliant that she took on a seemingly impossible task and completed it. I’ve always tried to live my life in this way, so that was amazing to hear. I love a good underdog story – this could also be the reason why I like every sports film ever made!
How do you spend your time when you are not in the office?
I play a lot of sports, and I’m a big football fan - especially Spurs! Don’t tell Nick or Tim though! Depending on how the results go at the weekend depends on how our relationship will work that week!
FYI reader, the Golds are big Arsenal fans.
Dan's karaoke song of choice is anything by Lionel Richie
I also love cooking and a bit of karaoke too. I enjoy going to restaurants, and I spend my days trying to find cool restaurants to go to – food is the only reason I go to the gym! I’m also passionate about the theatre, movies and hanging out with my friends. I have had the same group of friends since I was 11, which is cute. We all live on the same street, so as you can imagine, we spend a lot of time together!
You previously worked for kid’s camps in the States, can you tell us about this?
So, when I was 18, I did Camp America with a few mates, and I fell in love with it. I got hooked! Following this, I moved to the US permanently after university, where I was working for theatre as Director of Operation,s which meant I just schmoozed all day. Then I decided I wanted to work in camps full time, so moved to New York to become a Director of a camp. It was just so great being in the middle of nowhere in a bubble for 2 months with no wallet, no keys, nothing. But, you do have the opportunity to influence a child's life in a non-academic way which is a really magical thing. Doing anything from working the budgets to organising the trips, it is really exciting! So, then I moved to a different camp in Ohio, but soon after that, I realised I wanted to move back to London. I was missing my friends and family, and I wanted to settle down. A lot of my friends were getting married and having kids so I wanted to be around that!
Dan and all his friends
But we hear you came home again due to the lack of good sweets – what are good sweets for you?
Minstrels, fudge bars, cola bottles, pick and mix at the cinema, orange squash and strawberry Ribena. These are all great things that you just can’t get in the States.
Nice to hear you have a sweet tooth. We are also aware that you love karaoke – what is your karaoke song?
Anything by Lionel Richie or Michael Bublé. I was front row for Lionel in New York! I also love Celine Dion, so will sing her songs at karaoke. My girlfriend bought me tickets to see her, but I sold those tickets and bought some that were closer to the front, because well, I'm such a lad!
Celine Dion - Dan's idol
Excellent move there, I hope she wasn’t too annoyed! But, before we let you get back to work, as the new year is coming up, what are your resolutions?
Well, next year my whole year is dominated by weddings. I’ve got three abroad weddings, two in Israel two weeks apart and one in the South of France – that doesn't include the stags! So, my new year’s resolutions will be to experience new things in these new places, learn more and be around as many people as possible.
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