RIC: Are you originally from the Rochester area? If not, what led you here?

Whaley: I am originally from Hawaii and California, moving back and forth between the two places from the age of 3 to 18. I moved to Iowa in 2000 to be closer to my older siblings and slowly made my way to Rochester, where I felt there was more opportunity and eventually I realized it was a great place to raise a family.

RIC: What do you like best about Rochester?

Whaley: I feel like Rochester has a big town, small city vibe. It is a growing community and I love that we have the #1 hospital in the country right here at our doorstep.

RIC: What changes do you think still need to be made?

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Whaley: Seems like there are a lot of changes being made already; however I would like to see more events or activities for ages two and up during the winter months. Something that brings the community together to meet other families with children around the same age.

RIC: What do you do for a living and why did you choose that career?

Whaley: I am a licensed barber/shop owner and a licensed Real Estate Agent for Edina Realty. The reason why I decided to become a barber and get into real estate are for similar reasons. I love to socialize and I am always interested in people's stories, where they come from, and what made them become who they are today. I love to help others and uplift them any way possible. I believe everyone deserves to be treated the same, and with my professions, I am able to provide that to my clients. My overall goal is to be a positive role model in my community.

RIC: What one piece of advice would you give someone looking to get into your industry?

Whaley: My advice for people that are interested in choosing the same career path is to never feel like you have learned it all. Always educate yourself in your craft and allow yourself to take constructive criticism, learn from mistakes as well as success, find your strong points and master them, find your weak points and set small goals to become better at them. Never be afraid to ask questions.

RIC: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment and what has been your greatest challenge you've had to overcome?

Whaley: My greatest accomplishment has been putting myself in positions to find opportunities so I am able to provide for my family. And with that, my greatest challenges have been the sacrifices I have made, the financial struggles, and the time lost with family and friends to put myself in those positions.

RIC: What is one thing most people don't know about you?

Whaley: One thing most people don’t know about me is that I am an island boy at heart. I love everything about the ocean and what it has to offer. Growing up in Hawaii allowed me to appreciate that lifestyle.