Melissa Gauger, product manager for Lisle, Ill.-based Navistar Truck Group, is a good person. When she’s not using her vacation time to tackle international homelessness, she’s rescuing helpless succulents from the garbage and nursing them back to health. But dig deeper into our latest lighthearted Q&A and you’ll discover that Gauger has a dark side – one that would see her resurrecting beloved relatives with the ulterior motive of making them cook her dinner.
Waste Age: What is your pet peeve?
Gauger: People who drive slowly in the left lane (Of course, I only drive the speed limit).
Waste Age: What is your idea of the perfect day?
Relaxing with family or friends.
Waste Age: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Gauger: I remember my father telling me I could do anything if I put my mind to it. It took me a while to fully realize the truth in that statement but the first step in accomplishing anything is to convince yourself you can do it. Likewise, if you don’t believe you can do something you will never accomplish it.
I also love witty motivational one-liners. I have a poster in my office that shows a tropical beach in Australia with the quote, “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” I try to live by that motto as well.
Waste Age: What was the last book you read?
Gauger: I am a little behind on my reading list, but the last book I finished was “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein. I couldn’t put that one down.
Waste Age: What is your favorite movie?
Gauger: It is hard to name just one favorite. One of my favorite foreign films is “The Lives of Others.” I also am a bit of a geek (I am an engineer) so I am a fan of the Star Wars movies.
Waste Age: What is your favorite TV show?
Gauger: “How I Met Your Mother.”
Waste Age: Beatles or Rolling Stones?
Gauger: Rolling Stones, but I am more Elvis than either the Beatles or the Stones.
Waste Age: What is the strangest piece of trash you’ve ever come across?
Gauger: A cactus that someone tossed on the sidewalk. I replanted it and it is still alive today.
Waste Age: Do you prefer the beach or mountains?
Gauger: Mountains. I love hiking or biking in the mountains because around every corner there is a new view or perspective. One of my favorite national parks is Zion in Utah.
Waste Age: What is the one thing you couldn’t live without?
Gauger: My health.
Waste Age: If you could invite three people — living or dead — to a dinner party, who would they be?
Gauger: would invite my grandparents. My grandmothers were great cooks so I would ask them to cook the dinner.
Waste Age: If you weren’t serving in your current role, what would you like to be?
Gauger: I spend my vacations volunteering with Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village Program and if I wasn’t serving in my current role I would work full time to eliminate poverty housing.
Waste Age: What is your favorite sports team?
Gauger: The world champion Green Bay Packers!
Waste Age: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Gauger: The ability to fly. Hopefully it would be faster than going through the airport.
Waste Age: What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done?
Gauger: Whitewater rafting on the Nile River in Uganda. It was awesome but I don’t think I would do it again.
Waste Age: What’s the one talent you have that not many people know about?
Gauger: I am a fairly mechanical person so I do my own basic car maintenance and repair.
If you have suggestions for future interviewees, send them along to [email protected].