Having been born in Virginia and attending Blair in New Jersey and Duke University in North Carolina, Zach Weisberg '03 spent much of his early life on the East Coast. He has found his home and career, however, in the Pacific West, in sunny Los Angeles, California. Once a wrestler and always an avid surfer, Mr. Weisberg splits his time between catching waves and heading The Inertia, the largest global content platform in the surfing, mountain, and outdoor communities. An organization that brings “our passion for the oceans and mountains to life through original films, reporting and monumental gatherings” and “aims to make a positive impact on our planet through partnerships with nonprofits working hard to preserve Earth’s sacred places,” it attracts over 2 million users and generates over 4.5 million impressions monthly.
On October 12 at 7 p.m., Mr. Weisberg virtually returned home to Blair's Society of Skeptics to discuss his former experiences at the School, The Inertia and the means to fulfilling one’s career goals.
“My plan was to talk about my experience and entrepreneurship and figuring out a way to pursue one’s passions,” said Mr. Weisberg in preparation for the event.
“With a bit of imagination and persistence, it's possible to figure out a way to make your passions a livelihood, no matter how unconventional. In my case, I essentially parlayed my love for surfing and being outdoors into a career. There isn’t a very linear path to do that, but just following in the direction of the things that you want to do; that often leads to opportunities."
Upon graduating from Duke University in the spring of 2007, Mr. Weisberg spent time developing and implementing strategies for Source Interlink Media, a magazine publishing company and action-sports media titan, while working as a freelance journalist for The New York Times, Esquire, and O, The Oprah Magazine. In September 2010, Mr. Weisberg launched The Inertia, which Forbes magazine called “The Huffington Post for Surfers.” Mr. Weisberg also graduated from USC Marshall School of Business with his MBA.
“A Skeptics that sticks out the most was the one with Chris Fussell '92, who was a former wrestler and Navy SEAL and who is from Virginia as well. His brother was actually one of my wrestling coaches in Virginia, and it was interesting to hear his perspective,” said Mr. Weisberg, reminiscing about the inspiring moments he felt as a Blair student.
Eighteen years later, Mr. Weisberg chuckles modestly as he prepared to reconnect with Blair students. This time, as the inspirational leader.
“The message was to identify the things that you love to do, and chances are, there’s a way to make that an essential part of not only your life, but your livelihood,” said Mr. Weisberg about what he hoped Blair students learned from his talk. “That was always the goal for me. If you can endeavor to have those dreams, then you can do it.”
History of Skeptics
The Society of Skeptics was established as a forum for students and faculty to discuss and debate important global issues; it has grown to become one of the premier high school lecture series in the United States. Each week, speakers from the political, social, scientific, economic and literary arenas share their unique perspectives with students, who are encouraged to engage with presenters, asking questions and debating points of view.
The program, which is funded in part by the Class of 1968 Society of Skeptics Endowment Fund, is an outgrowth of the Blair International Society, begun in 1937. Forty years later, former history department chair Elliott Trommald, PhD, Hon. ’65, established the modern Skeptics program as a regular forum for student discussion and debate; history teacher Martin Miller, PhD, took over in the mid-1980s and molded the program into a weekly lecture series, one that has since continued without interruption. Under the tutelage of Dr. Miller and his successor, history department chair Jason Beck, Skeptics has featured a wide variety of speakers who are thought-provoking, engaging, accomplished in their respective fields and often controversial. For a listing of upcoming Skeptics programs, please visit Blair’s website.