Deem Employee Spotlight: Garner Swann

Garner Swann is our Director, Product Management at Deem. He celebrated his 12th work anniversary in July and resides in San Francisco.

Describe yourself in three words.  Creative, spunky, and zealous

What is one thing you couldn’t live without?  Other than the obvious: my kids, food, water etc, the two things I need in my life are exercise and creating art. Exercise keeps me physically and mentally together and painting visual eye-candy rejuvenates my soul.

Where’s your hometown and where are you based now?   I spent my formative years in San Diego and the last 22 informative years in San Francisco.

Where is the best place you’ve traveled to and why?   Kenya/Tanzania visiting the vastness of the Serengeti and Rift Valley. East Africa is a special place with many natural wonders and when you are there you can feel the energy of animals and the people who live among them. A close second is Morocco, in North Africa, for similar reasons. Very easy to be drawn in by the natural beauty, the incredible history, and the peoples of Morocco.

What’s the best part about working at Deem and how long have you been here?  My favorite part about working at Deem is our product. I get to work with an amazing team of really smart people building the next generation of travel products. The best part is I get to help solve really complex problems every day and have fun in the process. This is exemplified by the fact that I have been with Deem for over 12 years – I literally no longer recall my life before Deem!

Where would we find you on a typical Saturday afternoon?  During the day outside with my kids playing, at the SF Zoo, or at one of the many amazing museums the Bay Area has to offer. In the evening taking a walk to our neighborhood greasy spoon for burgers, beer (me), and Dryers ice cream (kids) and maybe a funny movie to cap the night.

What are you passionate about? My passion is creating visual eye-candy whether its painting, sculpting, found art projects, etc. I spend most of my creative energy painting and filling my small SF apartment with wall to wall art but my dream of being an artist will need to wait – Deem pays way better! Until that day, I get to leave my kids with a legacy of visual eye-candy – some of my work is at www.garzilla.com.

What does true leadership mean to you?  A true leader is someone that can foster a sense of pride and ownership in their employees. They are able to tap into their employee’s soul and extract just the best of that individual.

What has been the most important innovation you have witnessed in your lifetime?  If you ask my kids its the invention of the wheel but I’m not quite that old. I would say it’s the creation of the personal computer and how that revolutionized the way we now live. I recall having a Commodore 64 way back in the 80’s and how even with that low tech computing it transformed home life – and with a dot matrix printer I didn’t have to use a typewriter anymore to write papers in college.

Who do you look up to?  I look up to my sister Julie who was shot multiple times and survived the San Bernardino terrorist attack. Her drive to recover and share her story is true inspiration especially as she helps others come to terms with and recover from their physical and mental wounds.

What is the best book you have ever read?  The Poisonwood Bible – This is the book that underpinned my desire to see Africa.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.   I don’t have a mustache, I have a degree in Philosophy (hence all the writing in college), and I don’t have taste buds.

If you could travel back and tell your younger self-anything, what would it be? Don’t be afraid to fall in love.