This week, we’re featuring Derek Gajdos.
What’s your current job? Director of public works for the City of Grand Haven.
Readers would be surprised to learn that: I have participated in six water well drilling or repairs operations located in El Salvador and Honduras since 2010.
If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would you pick and why? I would love to have had dinner with Mother Teresa. She was an inspiration to many and exemplifies the ideals of humbled servanthood.
What’s the coolest place you’ve ever visited? Denali National Park.
What are your hobbies? Boating, hunting, trail riding and major league sports in Detroit.
What’s your favorite restaurant? Fricano’s.
Favorite book? The Bible.
What class was the most beneficial to you? The Michigan Public Service Institute course work on leadership. All of the topics that are covered in the institute have helped me become a better public servant and enabled me to respond better to the needs of those in which I serve.
Have you ever met any celebrities? No, I like to give them privacy when I see them.
What’s your can’t-live-without piece of technology? My phone!
What’s your favorite app? Flipboard.
If you weren’t in your current position, what would you like to do? I would be involved with bringing clean water to third-world countries.
If you could travel back in time to any certain era or event, when/where would you pick and why? The signing of the Declaration of Independence. I think that seeing the culmination of what our forefathers endured establishing our country would be astonishing.
Who was the biggest influence on your life? My mother was the biggest influence in my life.
What’s your favorite movie or TV show? The Discovery Channel's “Deadliest Catch.”
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Treat others as you want to be treated.
What do you love about West Michigan? I love the natural beauty of the lakeshore, our beaches and water ways, and three of the four seasons.
Do you have any pets? Not at this time.
What’s at the top of your bucket list? Sky diving
What’s your pet peeve? My biggest pet peeve is people not cleaning up after themselves and leaving trash on the ground, disrespecting our community and environment.