2040 Broad St
/ San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
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After more than two years as a marketing executive for one of the nation’s largest private networks of plastic surgery practices, I faced the prospect of a forced relocation. I contemplated moving to Atlanta with the company while vacationing with 200 passengers aboard the Royal Clipper.
The second night at sea we were greeted by plumes of lava as the ship sailed past Stromboli. I remember that, despite her size, the ship listed gently starboard as everyone crowded the rails to watch. I was intrigued by both the brilliant eruption and the way the spectacle attracted and held everyone’s attention.
The trip also included a day in Pompei. So while my mind was racing around the professional choices I would face back home, I was surrounded by the beauty, the power for both destruction and creation, and the dynamism of these volcanoes.
When we set anchor at the base of Mt. Etna, I jumped at the chance to hike an active volcano.
I was wary at first when our guide got lost at the start of the hike. After a moment of rapid Italian in her walkie-talkie, she laughed, and explained that the night before an ash cone had erupted and deposited a 200 foot-tall hill where, the day before, there had been a plateau. She shrugged off the radical change in scenery, reoriented herself, and continued the hike.
The hike brought me past the melted masses of ski lifts and lodges that had been consumed by Etna’s frequent eruptions.
They rebuild the ski resorts after each major eruption (about every 5-10 years). Even though the town is regularly overrun in parts by lava, they just move beyond the flow with their belongings and return when the lava cools to build again.
That day I made my decision to stay on California’s Central Coast and start Etna Interactive. The people who built their lives under the volcano convinced me it was worth fighting to stay in the community I loved, and the dynamic landscape reminded me how much I enjoy the ever-changing online world.
It is on Mt. Etna that Etna Interactive was born.