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Classical Musician, Die-Hard Runner and TV Star?

See Senior Product Manager Howard Fan in the office and you’ll immediately notice his calm demeanor and kind smile. But, don’t let this quiet exterior fool you…Howard’s an on-the-go type of guy mentally and physically. We managed to catch him in between gigs and runs (and work!) and learned a little more.

What do you love about your job?
I used to work at e-commerce and media companies and while the work was interesting, I didn’t get the same sense of satisfaction that I do working at WebMD Health Services. Here I get to build software products that can have a real-life impact on the health and well-being of others. It’s so fun and challenging to solve problems that make a difference. Plus, I have to admit, I absolutely love the people I work with. They are kind, smart and – best of all – fun to work with!

A little birdie told us you’re something of a musician…?
I love music! I sing in a community choir where we do a mix of classical and contemporary songs and I sing karaoke at Voicebox more often than I probably should…I’ve also played piano since I was three years old and violin since I was 12.

Wow! Sounds like variety is a big part of your life. Does it take any other forms?
Oh yes. I love to vary my workouts between Judo, running and Nike Training Club, a circuit boot camp-style workout. It helps prevent me from getting bored by keeping things fresh.

I will say that I do love running a lot and hit races of all lengths from short 10K events to 200-mile team relays like Hood to Coast. I usually get in about 10 races a year although one time I did manage to get in 21 races in a single year. I’m currently training for the Mt. Hood 50K which will be my first 50K ever.

With all of that running do you just eat whatever you want, whenever you want?
I will admit food is the area I struggle with the most. I do love my treats, especially when I eat out but I also know the importance of proper fuel for my body to do all the things I want to do. So, I do my best to cook healthy meals for dinners at home. This means making sure to have at least one or two types of vegetables, minimizing the use of oil and overall just trying to keep the amount of fatty foods at bay.

How do you relax your brain when not at work?
My mental state is a big part of my overall well-being mix and so I make sure to spend time every day relaxing and de-stressing. This might take many forms from hanging out with my family and dogs, talking a walk, reading a book, watching TV or working out.

Back to that birdie from earlier…he also told us you’ve been on TV?
Oh yes…I was once on an episode of Portlandia! They were filming some scenes where the main characters were running a marathon and they needed a bunch of runners as extras. I showed up bright and early at 6:00 a.m. in head-to-toe orange running gear (I wanted to be seen, of course!) and ran around some closed streets in freezing cold weather for six hours.

Several months later when the episode aired, I discovered that my total on-screen time was about two seconds. All you could see were my bright orange shorts, compression socks and shoes running across the scene as the camera focused on the main characters laying on the ground in pain (from not having trained for the race).


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