Our editor, Joey O'Connor, had a chance to ask Adam a few serious questions and many not-so-serious questions! Thanks Adam for allowing the Conway Community to "Get To Know" you a little better!
photo supplied by Adam Emrick
What do you love most about Conway?
The sense of community. I know my neighbors and I know them well enough to walk next door and ask to borrow an egg or power tool and know that they will give whatever I need to me just as I would to them. This is not something that you find everywhere anymore.
When you attend an event downtown or at the Riverfront or at the Recreation Center, half of the people you see are your friends. We have more than 25,000 people in Conway and it still amazes me that everywhere you go in our city, you see a familiar smiling face.
What made you move here initially (or did you grow up here)?
My family and I were living in Atlanta when we decided that we wanted to change career paths and locations. We started looking at the east coast and wanted to live in a historic downtown. We looked at every city from Jacksonville, North Carolina to Jacksonville, Florida and just couldn’t find anything that we fell in love with. Until one day, we came over the Main Street bridge and knew we were home.
If you could change just one thing in Conway, what would it be?
This is tough question because I want to change lots of things about Conway, and I’d better be able to deliver. My goal for the next year is take the fantastic amenities that we have and give them a nice polish. When visitors come into town for the first time, they can’t help but want to get out of their car and see what we are all about. We need to make sure that the close up view is just as pretty as the view from their cars. It is also imperative that we make sure that our historic stock of buildings is maintained. There is a term that is often used, derogatorily, “putting lipstick on a pig.” We need to make sure that as we polish our downtown, that what’s underneath is just as pretty and solid as what’s on the outside. We don’t need any pigs in our city.
What’s your vision of Conway in 20 years?
I see Conway as being the place that other cities want to copy. In some respects, we already are. In 20 years, I expect that to be across the board. Surprisingly, I had not visited Greenville, South Carolina until last year. I had heard wonderful things, and had the opportunity to drive there on my own last spring. I had no idea how blown away I would be by what the City of Greenville has done to invest in their downtown and make it a vibrant and amazing place. We can be a Greenville, but with our own sense of place and history. In 20 years, my hope is that people from all over the South will know that Conway isn’t just that place you drive through on the way to Myrtle Beach. Rather, it is the place you have to visit, live and shop in and then maybe also go see the beach.
If there is something that you don't think the public knows about you but you would like for them to know, what would that be?
This is no secret, but I am an attorney and had my own law firm in the Atlanta area for seven years. I handled several thousand cases across nearly every County in the metro Atlanta vicinity. I loved my time as a lawyer, but had I known how much I would enjoy and value public service, I would have switched careers sooner.
Who is your role model or hero?
My father. Sounds cliché, but he died when I was 20. My father owned a small hardware store in the very small town that I grew up in. I started “working” for my dad when I was about 10, but officially at 12. My dad taught me to treat every customer as family and to treat every stranger as a customer. I have carried that attitude with me my entire life and it has served me well.
Where did you grow up? Where did you go to High School? Where did you go to College? Etc.
I grew up in the Village of Seneca, Pennsylvania. The nearest city to me was Oil City, Pennsylvania, the former headquarters of Quaker State Motor Oil and Pennzoil. I think they may just have added the second stop light in my hometown and they both turn to flashing yellows sometime shortly after dark.
I went to Cranberry Area High School. Home of the mighty Cranberry Berries. That’s right, my high school mascot was a berry. A Super Berry to be exact. Although not the most intimidating of mascots, we did win the girls basketball State Championship three years in a row. My high school was small enough that we did not have a football team or soccer team.
I attended Penn State University and obtained my Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology. After graduating from Penn State I attended Georgia State University where I obtained my Juris Doctorate in Law.
HOW ABOUT SOME FUN AND NOT SO SERIOUS QUESTIONS!
What CD is in your CD Player right now? Or, if you use an MP3 Player, what's the last song that played?
Guns n Roses, Sweet Child O’ Mine. No question. It is the best song ever recorded. Appetite for Destruction is one of the best albums, but not the best album. I also have The Guess Who, These Eyes, on my playlist, and anything by Frank Black or Jack White (and it has nothing to do with the colors)
Are you musical? Do you play an instrument(s)?
I played trumpet from 4th grade through graduation of high school and sang in chorus, pop choir and in high school musicals all through school (and one year of college). I don’t play or sing at all now.
Which do you prefer - Golf or Tennis?
I play neither well and watch neither on tv. If given a choice between the two, I would have to say tennis to play, but only because I am too cheap to pay for golf. If I could add another option, it would be Ultimate Frisbee.
If you could have any superpower for a day, what would you like to have?
Super speed. I have a lot of projects to get done. Perhaps I could make a dent with 24 hours of Flash-like speed.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Donuts. The sweeter the better. Fill them with that super sweet white frosting… yeah…
I would add one more to my guilty pleasures… Science Friday on NPR. If there is ever an excuse for being in my car on a Friday afternoon, I will try to make it so I can listen to Science Friday. My inner nerd loves SciFri.
What’s your favorite restaurant?
While I love all of our fantastic Conway eateries, I have to confess, that my current favorite is MOD Pizza.
What's your favorite movie?
What's your favorite tv show/series?
Survivor, I’ve seen every episode since day one.
Biggest regret in life?
I regret that my father never got to meet his grandchildren.
Best decision you’ve ever made?
Dating and marrying my best friend.
Do you have any hobbies / What do you do in your spare time?
I am a TV junkie, I love video games although mine are all now on my phone, I’m a big sports fan, I am working on restoring a beautiful historic home and although I haven’t been as dedicated as in the past, I love ultimate Frisbee. And all of these hobbies, I can do with my family.
If you could interview (or meet) anyone dead or alive, who would it be?
Billy Joel maybe? I’ve seen him in concert 5 or 6 times. Throughout high school, I listened to his albums constantly. I don’t know what I would say to him or ask him, but I think he would be a pretty fun interview to attempt. I’ll bet he’d be a lot of fun to just have a casual dinner with.
If you had to start a new career, what would you do?
I’ve already done this once. If I had to start over again with something new, I would be a donut baker.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
My kids not cleaning up after themselves… ever.
What’s your “home” page set to on your computer?
I’m a Yahoo guy. I’ve had the same personal email address with Yahoo for 20 years.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
I have identical twin boys who are 11 years old. They are pretty athletic and a little wild in their actions. Watching them play recreation league basketball is hysterical. Pure chaos.