Lifestyles, November 2012

Ron E. Peck, Esq.
SVP & General Counsel
The Phia Group LLC

Hobby: Whitewater rafting.

Describe it. I’ve been fortunate to raft all over New England, upstate and western New York, the Delaware River Valley and the Carolinas.

What attracted you to it? Rafting provides just the right mix of refreshment, excitement, exercise and danger, all while enjoying a closeness with nature that you can’t achieve anywhere else.

How long have you been doing it? I have been rafting since I was about 9 or 10 years of age, and tackled my first class V rapids before my 16th birthday.

How often do you do it? I try to get out and hit the water at least once or twice per year.

How do people react to your hobby? No one is neutral … either they want to join in on the adventure or have nothing to do with it. I guess some people just refuse to get their hair wet!

What’s the best part of rafting? Having something to escape to and share with others—and creating memories with family and friends—is not too bad either.

Is there anything else you’d like to add? Rafting is like life. You should always keep a hand on top of the paddle or it will pop up and split your lip. Don’t try to stand up in the water. Lay back and go with the flow (not if, but when, you fall out of the raft). It happens.

Willie Wilcox
Senior Audio Director
Bally Technologies Inc.

Willie Wilcox has been a musician since he was a teenager. He started out drumming and playing for celebrity acts such as Bette Midler, later recording and touring with Daryl Hall and John Oates. He spent 15 years as the drummer for 1970s rock icons Utopia. Wilcox also has collaborated with well-known artists such as Meatloaf, Mick Jagger, Luther Vandross, Kylie Minogue, Natalie Cole, the Pointer Sisters and others. Today, in addition to creating the sounds for many of Bally’s biggest games, he is also creating new dance music in his home studio.

Passion: Music. Right now it’s making dance records.

What attracted you to this? Women (laughs). I was attracted to dance music because it was something you could do on your own. With the advent of computers and technology I didn’t need anyone besides myself to produce music.

How long has it been? I have been playing for 30 or 40 years. I’ve been making dance music since the 1980s. In 1986 I made a No. 1 record called “We Connect” with Stacey Q.

How often do you do it? Every day. I work on Bally stuff all day at work, then I go home and make dance tracks. I have a full recording studio in my home. I take online tutorials to learn new tool sets. I go on YouTube and listen to new things coming out to see what’s going on. Some nights I’ll be working on technical stuff or organizing my samples and sounds. Other nights I’m working on new tracks.

How do people react to your hobby? People who have heard it like it. When I did some electronic music with Auto-Tune on our Code Red™ game, people at Bally were making it their ring tone. I get people asking me things all the time. One person brought me a Utopia record to sign.

What’s the best part of having music as a passion? Having fun. It never feels like work. It’s amazing to watch your creations that started out as ideas come to fruition and see it impact people’s lives.

Is there anything else you’d like to add? I worked on the music for Michael Jackson King of Pop™, which is on casino floors now. My newest dance track, “Boop-Boop B Doop” is available on iTunes!

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