DAVID ILAN WEIS '82
Small Business Owner
Tell us about how your experiences at Cornell influenced your path. How did you come to live in Los Angeles and what you are doing now?
They didn’t. I was a French Lit major and pre-med and although I now volunteer as an EMT, I don’t use my French much and did not go to medical school.
I ended up in Los Angeles after spending the first 43 years of my life in Boston, which was way too cold. After getting married my wife and I moved to Boca Raton which was too hot. We then tried San Francisco, which was damp and rainy, so we settled on LA, which is “just right.”
I’m a small business owner: I co-own a chain of health clubs in Boston and an auto accessory importer in LA; I’m currently developing a new novelty product for the pre-teen market and would love to hook up with an expert in the new product marketing field.
How did Cornell help prepare you for your life?
I learned about working hard, getting along with lots of other types of people, and the importance of balance in one’s life.
Tell us a favorite memory of your time at Cornell.
I founded the Cornell Emergency Medical Service, which took an extraordinary amount of my time. It was a terrific experience, made better by the fact that not only is the organization still in existence, but has grown by leaps and bounds and is of tremendous value to not only the Cornell population but to the squad’s volunteers as well.
What advice would you give to Cornell grads looking to come to LA, personally and professionally related to your line of work?
Do your homework. Know where to live and how you’ll get to work. Develop as many networks as possible beforehand and utilize all your resources: friends, family, fellow undergrads, social media, etc. There are lots of online organizations offering excellent networking opportunities. LA is a big city with tremendous opportunities, but with that come challenges. And bring sunblock.