Q & A with Living Earth Crafts' Jim Chenevey

Discover some things you never knew about Jim Chenevey, and I'm not kidding!
How many years have you been involved in the spa/hospitality industry?

I joined Earthlite and Living Earth Crafts seven years ago.  Prior to that, I spent six years in the Golf industry.

What was the path that led you into the spa industry?

It wasn't a direct path.  I worked in the hospitality industry via golf, where I was in charge of Callaway Golf's International Division.  Many of our biggest customers were large hotel chains and resort properties.  I was introduced to the Founder of Living Earth Crafts, Tomas Nani, by a former colleague.  The business had become quite a bit more complicated--the markets had expanded internationally and the internet had become a major force.  Tomas was looking to get out of the day-to-day operations of the company.  So, I purchased a stake in the company and took over as CEO.  I loved the Founder's focus on core values and principles instead of profit only.  He and I hit it off right away, and we agreed on almost every key operating concept.  Since then, we have expanded and expounded upon these key principles for all of our activities and operations.  For us the business is an extension of ourselves and who we are as people.  It means much more to us than a revenue generator.

What is your favorite place in the whole world?

There isn't one:

1. Favorite city: Barcelona, Spain

2. Favorite mountain: Whistler, B.C.

3. Favorite beach: Lanikai, HI

4. Favorite home: Encinitas, CA

Alternatively and more accurately:

1. On a couch, snuggling with my family

2. On a boat, laughing with my friends.

3. At a table, creating with my co-workers.

4. At a restaurant, collaborating with my customers.

If you could have any profession in the world, other than what you do now, what would you be?

I would love to work for the Peace Corps.

What is your motto or concept that you live by?

I believe in Karma.

I believe in helping others.

I believe in living for today.

I believe that you are what you do.

I believe that love and laughter are nature's cure-alls.

What is your most treasured possession?

Aside from my family and my health, I try hard not to have too many treasured possessions, but if I had to name one, it would be my children's 529 accounts.  That being said, I would be upset if I lost my house, my car, my watch, or my basketball shoes.

What’s your go-to spa treatment?

It may not be a spa treatment, per se, but I love structural integration massage.  Break me down and build me back up, part by part.  I also love meditation rooms and deluge showers.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Personally: I've had a two year commitment to a daily morning yoga ritual.  I didn't think I had the discipline to do it, but it has made a significant improvement in my quality of life.

Professionally: I am proud of Earthlite and Living Earth Crafts' global fair trade operating principles, our sustainable manufacturing practices, and our total carbon offset program.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Talk less, listen more.

Care to share any details on family life; i.e. spouse, partner, children, pets?

My wife Elke and I are raising three kids in Encinitas; JP (15), Michael (12), and Elise (9).  We have an oversized Shitsu named Chico, and a Jack Russell Terrier on the way.

Tell us two things about yourself we don’t know.

I love all food, and I love to read.  Also, I grew up playing a lot of baseball, and was drafted out of college into the minor leagues as a left-handed pitcher, but injury redirected me , and here I am in the spa industry.