How Our Cover Stars Rang In 2022

Because, in these trying times, we all need to find a reason for some cheer.

Joe Kava

Vice President, Data Centers, Google

Normally I’m not a big champagne drinker, but I decided to splurge, and my wife and I rang in the New Year with a 2010 vintage Dom Perignon. In the Champagne region in France, 2010 was a very challenging harvest, because they received two months of rain in just two days. This meant most of the fruit developed fungus. Most of the champagne houses did not declare a vintage in 2010. The folks at Dom Perignon focused all their resources on picking only the fruit from their finest blocks in the vineyards and sacrificed the rest of the harvest. This meant they were able to save the very best fruit and still declare a vintage in 2010. It seemed like a metaphor for the challenges of 2021, so we celebrated appropriately.

(L-R) Kay Heiden, Heidi Heiden (parents), Hope (daughter), Tracy (wife), Clint, Haley (daughter), and Hunter (son)

Clint Heiden

Chief Revenue Officer, QTS Data Centers

For me, the holidays are all about family-a time when the universe shrinks down to just our family. We talk, laugh, celebrate, contemplate, and give thanks for our blessings. The highlight is the Christmas dinner-one of the few meals we actually use the formal dining room for-when we eat too much and talk about diets starting on January 1st. I’m not sure if we are very good with the follow-through on the diet conversation, though.

It’s also the time we get our daughter back from college. Our twins are focused on family vs. devices, and my parents join to spoil their grandchildren even more. By the end of that dinner, we’re in a food coma and have started to contemplate taking pictures on New Year’s Eve at 9 p.m. when we act like its midnight-because we’re too boring to stay up long enough to hit the milestone. To sum it up, our holidays are quite boring, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Buddy Rizer

Executive Director Loudoun County Economic Development

The holidays are my favorite time of the year. I’m currently reading ‘How to Change’ by Kathy Milkman and looking forward to starting ‘Think Again’ by Adam Grant. In my glass, as always, will be Diet Coke, but I’m trying to drink more water too. I’m bingeing on the latest season of ‘Succession’ on HBO and listening to new music from Neil Young, Lucy Dacus, The Black Keys, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss.

Steve Alexander

Chief Technology Officer, Ciena

For screen time, we did a different Christmas classic every night with the family, including the original 1951 ‘Scrooge’, ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’,  ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ (a personal favorite with lots of character development!), Bill Murray’s ‘Scrooged,’ and ‘A Christmas Story’-still looking for that Daisy Red Ryder! For drinks with dinner, I’d point you to Orin Swifts’ 8 Years in the Desert for an excellent and yet reasonably priced red. And, for after, again a personal favorite, Lagavulin Single Malt.

Dean Nelson with his daughter Nina

Dean Nelson

Chief Executive Officer, Virtual Power Systems

I don’t drink too much but when I do, it is mostly beer-Stella, Blue Moon, and Sapporo. But mostly I like unsweetened iced tea. I’ve been listening to a lot of audio books on my walks (my New Year resolution is to average 15,000 steps a day). The series I’m listening to now is Red Rising. I’ve finished Galaxy’s Edge, Codex Alera, Monster Hunter, and The Dresden Files. I love sci-fi to take my mind away from work as I walk. My favorite shows on Netflix include ‘The Umbrella Academy’, ‘The Witcher’, and ‘Sweet Tooth’. But one of my favorite pastimes is watching my daughter Nina’s live streams on Twitch (NinaAnnNelson) where she performs and writes music live in front of thousands of people. She recently streamed for five and a half hours! Over 250,000 people came through her stream during that time.