Jason Wyrick: Founder of The Vegan Taste and Vegan Chef

Jason Wyrick, vegan chef and cookbook author and founder of The Vegan Taste, photographed in central Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Jason Wyrick, vegan chef and cookbook author and founder of The Vegan Taste, photographed in central Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero


Jason Wyrick
www.thevegantaste.com

Adopting a vegan diet helped Jason Wyrick lose 100 pounds and reverse his diabetes, while learning about factory farming conditions has kept him passionate about the lifestyle. Wyrick, 42, from Glendale, founded The Vegan Taste, a vegan meal delivery service he runs with his wife, a fellow chef. Wyrick also creates vegan cookbooks, such as his Vegan Tacos, which is one of the world’s most comprehensive taco recipe cookbooks. You can even hire him as a private chef, and he plans international culinary tours.

Wyrick talked about his fervor for veganism and what he offers as a chef, and you can hear him name his five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley in a video.

What brought you to Arizona?

My parents, when I was 4. I was born in Houston. My dad’s family all lived in Texas, and my mom’s family all lived in California, and they came to Phoenix because it was right in the middle.

I went to Apollo High School and have a degree in philosophy from Texas Christian University. Continue reading

Bruce Robert: Co-Owner of MelRuce Salon

Bruce Robert, co-owner of MelRuce makeup and hair salon in Old Town Scottsdale, photographed at his salon, by Nicki Escudero

Bruce Robert, co-owner of MelRuce makeup and hair salon in Old Town Scottsdale, photographed at his salon, by Nicki Escudero

Bruce Robert
Facebook.com/BruceRobertW

Bruce Robert creates magic as a hair stylist and makeup artist for the salon he co-owns in Old Town Scottsdale, MelRuce. Robert not only brings out the best in his clients, he also educates them with home styling tips to keep them looking fabulous. Get to know the 36-year-old Glendale resident, whose services include updos and extensions, as well as special events, better here. Listen to him name his five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley in a video, too.

What brought you to Arizona?

I was birthed here. I went to Moon Valley High School and took some classes at Glendale Community College, Phoenix College and ASU West in addition to cosmetology school at Artistic in Glendale. Continue reading

Lance Greathouse: Founder of Wheelchair Labs

Lance Greathouse, creator of Wheelchair Labs, photographed at his garage in Glendale, by Nicki Escudero

Lance Greathouse, founder of Wheelchair Labs, photographed at his studio in Glendale, by Nicki Escudero

Lance Greathouse
www.wheelchairlabs.org

Lance Greathouse wanted to make things better for his brother, Brent, who had been diagnosed with a rare form of Parkinson’s disease in 2000. After the disease left his brother immobile and in a wheelchair, Lance noticed how people would treat Brent differently, so he set out to create the coolest custom chair for his brother. In his new chair, people responded more positively Brent, and the idea for what would become Wheelchair Labs, a nonprofit organization donating custom wheelchairs to those in need, was born.

Although his brother lost his battle with Parkinson’s, Lance continues to fix up chairs and donate them to those in need. He also builds robots and elaborate tailgating grills, contraptions which have helped land him on television shows such as Robot Wars and BattleBots and have made him a standout annual Burning Man arts and music festival attendee.

The 54-year-old Glendale resident, who works as a dental field service engineer by day, hopes to one day make building custom wheelchairs his full-time job. Greathouse has never been paid a salary for his custom creations, and he’s donated 20 chairs in the past year and is always in need of more donations to help others. Learn about how he got into building custom wheelchairs below, and keep scrolling to hear him name his five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley in a video.

What brought you to Arizona?

I’m a native, and my parents are also natives. I attended Alhambra High School, as did my father. I grew up watching (TV show) Wallace and Ladmo and having fun with friends and family at (amusement park) Legend City. I attended Arizona Technical Institute and earned a degree in electronics.

I’ll never leave Arizona. I can’t think of any other place I want to live. It has a little bit of everything — pines, lakes and desert — and I love it. Continue reading

Al McCoy: Phoenix Suns Announcer, Arizona Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame Inductee

Al McCoy, Phoenix Suns announcer, photographed at US Airways Center, by Nicki Escudero

Al McCoy, Phoenix Suns announcer, photographed at US Airways Center, by Nicki Escudero

Al McCoy
twitter.com/Suns

Al McCoy is one of the Valley’s biggest legends. The Phoenix Suns radio play-by-play announcer has been calling Suns games for 42 years as the longest-tenured announcer in the NBA. The Arizona Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame inductee never misses a beat on the court while amusing listeners with his colorful commentary — including his unforgettable catchphrases, such as “Shazam!” (Learn all about the origins of his most popular exclamations here.)

Fans can get excited: the 80-year-old Glendale resident and Williams, Iowa native has absolutely no plans to retire. Listen to him on KTAR (620 AM) and KMVP (98.7 FM), and read on for his impression of this year’s team, as well as to learn about his favorite jazz musicians — McCoy is a talented piano player himself. McCoy also shares his five favorite reasons for living in the Valley — scroll down to watch the video.

What brought you to Arizona?

I came to Phoenix in 1958 to do minor league baseball when the major leagues had realigned. The New York Giants had moved to San Francisco, the Brooklyn Dodgers had moved from Brooklyn to LA, and the Giants moved their number one farm team from Minneapolis to Phoenix. I was working in Buffalo, New York at the time, and I came out here to do minor league baseball. I worked for what was then KOOL radio and KOOL television. Continue reading