Shopping Cart

No products in the cart.

10 Questions for Vasa’s Owner, Rob Sleamaker

To start 2015 we thought it would be great for you to get to know the team here at Vasa a little better. Look for “10 Questions for…” every Wednesday through February.

CIMG2372How long have you worked at Vasa and what is your job title/what do you do?

26+ years. I started the company in summer of 1988.

How do you keep active – what is your favorite sport, and why?

My favorite sports are cross country skiing, mtn biking, hiking, soccer, and playing any ball sport with my son Kellen. Lately, we’re really into passing and catching a football on our front lawn (and in the house!).

What is a fun, random fact about you?

In graduate school at University of Arizona, I got to teach courses on hiking & backpacking in the Sonoran desert climate. Coming from a life in New England, that was fascinating and great fun.

What do you like most about working at Vasa?

Opportunities to innovate and the ability to turn ideas into viable products that serve our customers well. If I could, I would do only that. Got any suggestions on how?

Where did you grow up?

I grew up primarily in New England primarily, and from age 11, in Vassalboro, Maine. We have a saying: “You can’t get they-ah from he-ah!”

Where did you work before you came to Vasa?

University of Vermont Medical School – for several years, I assisted with research on the effects of exercise during pregnancy with James Clapp, M.D. What an honor to work with him! During that same period, I worked with the US Biathlon team sport medicine group.

If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be?

Ikaria, Greece, to learn why those people live so well and happily.

Before working at Vasa, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

I was a commercial salmon fisherman in Alaska for 3 summers during Graduate school.

Motto or personal mantra?

Problems are opportunities to use one’s creativity. When I embrace that notion, I pinch myself and say “I get to do this fun stuff!” It’s very entertaining.

Tell us a little bit about your family.

I am married to Carol Sullivan, and we have 2 wonderful children, Julia and Kellen.

In my primary family, I am the little brother of three older sisters.

My parents were born and raised in Kentucky. My mom was a classic southern belle.

Tell us three things most people don’t know about you…

I am an Eagle Scout;

I hitchhiked from Maine to Alaska for the year between college and Graduate school;

Since age 16, I’ve had a crush on Isabella Rossellini and always wanted to meet her.

Three words to best describe you:

Creative, perseverant, inquisitive

IMG_3928Top 3 life highlights?

Becoming a father to my 2 incredible children; getting to know so many great people through Vasa and my books; traveling throughout the world.

What book did you read last?

Silverfin. (about young James Bond) read it with my son, which we enjoyed immensely.

5 things you personally like:

Positive people;

The beauty and wonder of Nature;

Snowflake Chocolates milk chocolate covered toffee with almonds;

Observing how people in other countries do their everyday tasks in life as contrasted to the way we Americans do things.

A great cup of coffee in the morning with a lumberjack breakfast

3 things you don’t like:

Loud, overbearing people;

Human beings’ complete disregard for Nature;

Unwillingness to try new things

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

25 – still full of curiosity, vitality, and naivety.

What’s on your favorite playlist?

Happy by Pharell Williams

Favorite movie or TV show?

Movie – Lasse Halstrom’s “My Life as a Dog”, TV show – Modern Family

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?

James Bond with a superpower to “McGiver” anything.

What are your favorite and least favorite foods?

Favorite: wild sockeye salmon roasted on a spit over an open fire minutes after catching it

Least favorite: Lutefisk

Favorite quote:

I have 2 favorites:

From a great Vermonter, Calvin Coolidge: “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not…Genius will not…Education will not… Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

From Eleanor Roosevelt: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”