“Stop comparing yourself to others,” said Dan Castles, CEO of Telestream, to local high school students on Thursday night. “There will always be somebody richer, smarter, prettier, and taller, than you. Figure out your uniqueness – and embrace it.”
Last night, Castles addressed more than 25 FFA and 4H students from Bear River, Nevada Union and Placer high schools, and served as the second speaker in the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation’s ongoing Speaker Series.
The series, hosted by the Fairgrounds Foundation and sponsored by Sandy Ballou and California Outdoor Properties, brings business education – through access to business leaders and real-life leadership experiences – to local high school students.
“I was so impressed with Dan’s ability to connect directly with these students and pass on advice that can be applied today and throughout their lives,” said Rea Callender, CEO of the Nevada County Fairgrounds. “It was an honor to welcome him to the speaker series.”
Dan is the co-founder of Telestream, and has more than 25 years of TV industry executive experience. Under his leadership, Telestream has become the recognized worldwide leader in enterprise-class video transcoding and workflow solutions. He was named President of Grass Valley Group (then a division of Tektronix) in 1994, following a sixteen year career at Portland-based Tektronix, where he served as Controller and then as Vice President of the Television Division.
Dan, who was involved in FFA growing up, and is a supporter of the Nevada County Fair’s auctions, told the kids that “if I were to ask my young self which program influenced me the most – I would say FFA. Through FFA, I gained confidence and public speaking skills.”
In sharing stories with students and encouraging them, Dan said, “Earn people’s respect for what you do, not your title. Work hard and smart, give your best, be humble, be a team player and always ask what you can do to help.”
The Fairgrounds Foundation’s speaker series, which began in October, features six speakers and will run through April. Students have an opportunity to hear about the speaker’s career path, how they achieved their goals, insight regarding their area of expertise, and plenty of opportunities for questions. The first guest speaker was Jack Parnell, former United States Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. Upcoming speakers include John Paye, former NFL player for the San Francisco 49ers.
About the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation: The Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation’s mission is to support and improve the community’s Fairgrounds, and to support youth in agriculture. For more information about the Fairgrounds Foundation, or to become a member, visit here.