John Shegerian, co-founder, chairman and CEO of the Fresno, Calif.-based Electronic Recyclers International Inc., is a competitor. A talented racer of horses who draws inspiration from Ted Turner and the film “Rudy,” the man’s perfect day would involve spending some portion of time at the gym — especially impressive considering that for most people, the perfect day would involve seeing their gym demolished.

Waste Age: What is your pet peeve?

Shegerian: Apathy.

Waste Age: What is your idea of the perfect day?

Shegerian: Gym early. Work. Family dinner. Hang out with my family in evening.

Waste Age: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Shegerian: “Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise.”
— Ted Turner

Waste Age: What was the last book you read?

Shegerian: “Great By Choice” by Jim Collins.

Waste Age: What is your favorite movie?

Shegerian: “Rudy”: So many lessons in the struggle to achieve the immigrant American Dream. And it all starts with a goal and an education.

Waste Age: What is your favorite TV show?

Shegerian: "30 Rock.” Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin are simply brilliant at their craft.

Waste Age: Beatles or Rolling Stones?

Shegerian: Beatles. Classic and timeless.

Waste Age: What is the strangest piece of trash you’ve ever come across?

Shegerian: Adult electronic “toys” that were sent to us for recycling.

Waste Age: Do you prefer the beach or mountains?

Shegerian: Beach. Always.

Waste Age: What is the one thing you couldn’t live without?

Shegerian: My family: my wife of 27 years, Tammy; my daughter, Cortney; and my son, Tyler.

Waste Age: If you could invite three people — living or dead — to a dinner party, who would they be?

Shegerian: President Ronald Reagan, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi.

Waste Age: If you weren’t serving in your current role, what would you like to be?

Shegerian: A doctor.

Waste Age: What is your favorite sports team?

Shegerian: Dallas Cowboys since 1969.

Waste Age: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

Shegerian: Healing. It would be wonderful to be able to heal the sick and cure diseases.

Waste Age: What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done?

Shegerian: Skydiving.

Waste Age: What’s the one talent you have that not many people know about?

Shegerian: I am a professional harness racehorse driver. I turned professional when I was 16 years old and became the youngest driver in harness racing history to set a world’s record when I was 17. It was a great confidence builder and set the tone for my career. Once you are in the “winner’s circle” you always know how it feels and the formula for how to find your way back there.

If you have suggestions for future interviewees, send them along to saverett@wasteage.com.