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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

MOVERS and SHAKERS: Devon Lucie, Meteorologist with News Channel 8 ABC7 Weather Team Washington, D.C. Our Coverage Sponsored by Martin's Tavern of Georgetown Est. 1933

Devon Lucie

Established in 1933, Martin's Tavern is one of Washington DC’s most historic family-owned enterprises. For 80 years, Martin’s Tavern has been a renowned fixture in the mid-Atlantic and a must-visit establishment in historic Georgetown. In the late 1890's, William S. Martin traveled from Galway, Ireland to America. Forty years later, he and his son, William G. Martin, the current Billy's grandfather, opened Martin’s Tavern on the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and N Street NW which is run today by our friend, William A. Martin Jr. You can call him Billy! From sitting Presidents and media icons, to city residents and worldly travelers, Martin’s Tavern is a welcoming home to the many who have long embraced its warm atmosphere. Its quintessentially classic American fare has delighted discriminating palates for decades from the Oakwood Atlantic Smoked Salmon to the Filet Mignon to whatever your little heart desires from the convincing menu. Every President from Truman to George W. Bush has happily dined at Martin's Tavern, and you can see the delicious culinary choices preferred by each in our review: Martin's Tavern is Highly Recommended by Whom You Know: 

The President’s favorite booths, The Proposal Booth of Jack and Jackie Kennedy, Mickey Mantle in The Dugout Room, George W. Bush and family at Table 12 are just a few of the iconic stories. Fourth generation owner Billy Martin, Jr. continues the tradition of Washington’s oldest family owned restaurant and Georgetown landmark. 

Devon Lucie has been with the ABC7 Weather Team since 2011 where he’s the weekday afternoon meteorologist with News Channel 8.

Since graduating from the University of Oklahoma with his meteorology degree and a minor in math, Devon has made stops forecasting the weather in Little Rock, Arkansas (Allbritton’s sister station KATV), Las Vegas (KVVU), and Kansas City (KCTV). While in college, he got his first on-air experience with KOKI in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Devon has also earned the highest accreditation from the American Meteorological Society (AMS): Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) .

Over the years, Devon’s had a knack for being around some of the nation’s most extreme weather as it occurs. While in college he witnessed the May 3rd, 1999 Oklahoma City tornado that at the time was the costliest tornado in history, and is still the record holder for the fastest tornado wind speed ever recorded: ~ 298 MPH! In Las Vegas he braved some brutal Mojave heat waves that tied the all-time record high temperature at McCarran International Airport: 118°. When he was in Kansas City, he showed current Doppler radar imagery of a huge supercell headed towards Greensburg, KS which turned out to be an enormous EF-5 tornado that obliterated about 95% of the town. Then Devon moved to Washington where in his first winter, he brought you the snowiest winter ever recorded in our Nation’s Capital. Let’s hope the trend doesn’t continue!

Devon’s a huge sports fan when he’s not in weather mode, and follows his favorite college football and basketball team. But now that he’s living in such a great sports city, he’s taken an interest in the Capitals, Nationals, United, and Wizards. In the summer, you can find him attending as many games as his wife will allow at National’s Stadium! In his other spare hours, he’s also an adventurous cook. Through watching numerous hours of cooking shows and “Top Chef” episodes, he’s got a knack for handling all sorts of cuisines from Italian to Chinese and dishes from fish to casseroles.

Devon grew up in the small Midwest town of Macomb, Illinois and now lives in Northern Virginia with his wife who gave birth to a beautiful baby boy in late winter of 2012, and just welcomed in their newest addition with a baby girl in the summer of 2014!  We are so pleased to present Devon Lucie as our latest Mover and Shaker.  Peachy Deegan interviewed Devon for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: Did you imagine yourself as a meteorologist when you were a kid? Why or why not and if not, what did you want to be?
Devon Lucie: I guess you could say I’ve always been fascinated with the weather, and more specifically, tornadoes. When I was in kindergarten, I dressed up as a “walking tornado” for Halloween! I didn’t necessarily think about being a meteorologist until I was about 12. My first passion was acting! I was honored with being cast as Michael in Peter Pan, appearing with Kathy Rigby in the early 80's and I fell in love with the lime light. It was the combination of being on the stage with science and weather, that eventually steered me in the direction of where I am today.

Who are your favorite weather people in history and why?
My favorite meteorologist has to be Tom Skilling out of WGN in Chicago. I had always thought he incorporated something more into his forecasts than any other TV weathercaster. I know now it’s his science and reasoning behind his forecasts that he’s been allowed to include in his on-air presentations that most other news outlets (and more accurately news consultants) cringe at seeing. But as someone who had an appetite for science information, I loved watching his forecasts!

When there is bad weather news how do you handle being the bearer of bad news?
I try and let folks know that they’re not alone, if it’s a huge storm like a hurricane, I try and put it in the most person-to-person means possible by even saying, “look, we’re all in this together, even I’ve got the same thing to get through as you… power outages, dangerous winds…"etc., Just remind people at the end, we’re all one big community and we will get through it, we will survive, we will thrive! Try and put a positive spin as best I can!

Do you get fan mail when there is good weather?
I occasionally do! It’s more like a 1:10 ratio, but some folks do take the time to let you know when things are looking much brighter too!

What is Oklahoma like and what should everyone know about it?
Tulsa is one of the neatest hidden-gem cities in the nation! It’s a very unique blend of Midwest to Mid-South to Southwest, but a city with a pretty forward-thinking base at its core. I’ve got several life-long friends in that city, and many unforgettable memories to go along.

We love math and consider being great at math to be laudable -what is your favorite form of math and why?
It’s got to be calculus. Maybe more specifically, partial differential equations in calculus. In algebra, you can only solve problems that consist of a constant unknown, but with calculus you can solve what nearly most “real world” problems pose, which are unknown quantities in change or flux e.g. many problems needed to be solved in structural engineering. Also, it’s the ONLY way to formulate a prediction in time mathematically, so its foundation into my career is crucial!

Did you see Into the Storm by the talented Warner Brothers Pictures and if so what did you think?
I unfortunately have not seen the movie, in fact, I haven’t seen a movie in the theater in 3 years after the birth of my son!

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence?
Right now, my wife Surae Chinn Lucie. She reminds me every day the meaning of love, commitment, and connection, and when I think of where our relationship began, where it is today, and the heights it’s yet to achieve, she sets the bar I aim to achieve nowadays.

What are you proudest of and why?
My family. And not just my immediate family, but my parents, brother, sister, my grandparents, extended family, and even my married family too! I’ve come to realize recently, that being surrounded by a foundation of love and understanding is not met by any other meaning to me!

What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do?
I would like to tackle that acting bug head-on someday. If I could appear as a meteorologist in a TV show or movie, or even as an actor in a role would really be something neat.

What honors and awards have you received in your profession?
Right now, most honors I’ve received have been from helping out in emceeing for various events, but within the past couple of years I was noticed by my co-workers for some long-lived tornado coverage around Washington D.C. metro. That was probably one of the neatest achievements I’ve had yet in my career, to know that my colleagues thought enough of my work to be recognized. The most notable awards right now are the Edward R. Murrow for news coverage and the Emmy Award for TV and weather, where you need to be nominated in order to even be considered. At this point, no one else nor I have yet to nominate me for either award.

What one word best describes you and why?
Perseverance. I believe the ability to continue to strive forward towards one’s goal through adversity, helps to keep perspective in the ups AND downs in life.

What do you take your sense of identity from?
I truthfully don’t think I’ve even pondered the question until now! We’ll see what comes up if I put more thought to it, but right now, I’d have to say it’s my past from where I receive my identity. Most recently from becoming a father, then a husband, then a meteorologist, before that a young professional and student, while in my youngest years, an athlete and musician. It’s a great question for sure!

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan? And Washington, D.C.?
Man… tough… but I don’t think anything rivals the view from atop the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island, can that qualify as being in Manhattan?! I hope so, because the view is great!! For D.C. (while again, technically not in D.C. like my Manhattan location) it’s got to be the Iwo Jima Memorial, at dawn before daybreak, on a crisp, clear, cool, late Spring or early fall morning. Just a breathtaking view.

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan? And Washington, D.C.?
Well… here’s the question I tippy-toe around… I’m not much of a shopper at all, usually, if not always out of necessity! In my last visit to Manhattan, I needed a couple of brand new, nice crisp white collared shirts. I stopped over to the Brooks Brothers store on 65th near Broadway, and loved the visit. I am very intrigued, though, by the shop Obscura, that stars in the Discovery Science Channel show “Oddities”. THAT looks to be an extremely unique shop I’d like to visit sometime… not to mention to say “hi” to co-owners Mike and Evan! In D.C., our recent store favorite has been Dawn Price Baby in Reston Town Center. Hmmm… I’ve got a 4 week old baby too… any coincidence? 

If you could hire anybody who would it be and why?
Mike Rowe. You know, the guy from “Dirty Jobs” on the Discovery Channel? I’ve looked into his background, did you know he’s also a former opera singer? To me, Mike displays the epitome of the ultimate TV personality: the guy you want to have a beer with, humble, funny, and does an excellent job. I think Mike lives in Baltimore, if you read this, call me, let’s have a drink soon! 

What is your favorite drink?
Ahhh, speaking of drinks… my go-to has to be Hendricks and tonic. I know! A lot of you are falling over right now in thinking, “How could I kill the incredible taste that Hendricks is in just itself, straight-up as a traditional martini?”. Well, I like what I like, sorry!

What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you at a cocktail party?
I’ve spent over 5 days thinking about this, and I don’t have one memory that immediately jumps into my mind! But there have been more than one occasion where a stranger comes up to me to talk that recognizes me from TV. We chat off and on, I get to know them a bit and they tell me if they like watching me or talk about the things I do that annoys them (hey, I’m ALWAYS looking for good feedback on what people want, or don’t want to see!). As most do at a cocktail event, you’ll move on to more food, or another drink, or another conversation with someone else, and we’ll wrap up our talk and turns out that person has thought I was ANOTHER anchor or weather person from one of the other affiliates in town! What’s most fun is then running into that other colleague and then telling them about the run-in!

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan? And Washington, D.C.?
See… now that’s a loaded question - I have MANY favorites, but I was introduced through a friend to a great spot back in March. I don’t think you can find many places that put together a menu that meshes taste/quality/cost/drink selection in such an affordable or efficient fashion as The Market CafĂ© on 9th Ave. There’s something to be said about a restaurant that does it all. It doesn’t have to be foie gras or 5 * dishes galore, just do good food well and you’ll be a hit! In D.C., one of my recent favorites has been Graffiato, opened and run by former “Top Chef” contestant Mike Isabella. It features his pepperoni sauce that wowed the judges in one of his season’s episodes, and I’ll tell you it doesn’t disappoint!

What is your favorite Manhattan book or favorite character in Manhattan literature? And Washington, D.C.?
Okay, I’ll be completely honest, but I don’t ready many novels at all. Would you accept a “literary figure” from a comic? Please accept my submittal of Captain America as my favorite literary rep from Manhattan, he’s CAPTAIN AMERICA!!!! As for D.C.? Hmmm… I love me some Tom Clancy, so I’ll go with Jack Ryan.

Who would you like to be for a day and why?
Someone who’s extremely wealthy and owns a private jet. I’d love to experience what it would be like to do anything, buy anything, and dine anywhere you feel without even having to think about or plan for the expense. 

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience? And Washington, D.C.?
I haven’t attended too many sporting events in Manhattan, but I was able to see the University of Illinois’ (The Fighting Illini!) men’s basketball team compete in the Coaches vs Cancer tournament a few years back at Madison Square Garden. Yes, I’m a bit of a sports nut too… played some sports many moons ago as a youngster, and son to a pretty good athlete too back in his day. My father met my mother while attending the University of Illinois and is a big fan of their college teams. Being raised a fan as well, I’m still one to this day! Here in D.C., I caught the NCAA men’s basketball tournament “elite 8” games at the Verizon Center and saw the University of Connecticut play and win. They were the eventual champions that year, so it was neat to see them before they won it all!

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else? And Washington, D.C.?
For Manhattan, while I visited a few months back filling in for Good Morning America, the ABC studios were right next to Julliard which is right there with the Kennedy center too. More about me, I’m also a son to quite a musician in my mother and played the cello at one point at a very young age and the was a percussionist through my high school years, and still own and dabble on a drum set to this day. I thought it was great to see one of THE best music schools in the world that’s co-located with one of the world’s most acclaimed musical venues! THAT, you can only do in Manhattan! In D.C., it’s definitely visiting the Smithsonian museums of natural history, air and space, and Udvar/Hazy center. I love science!!!

If you could have dinner with any person living or passed, who would it be and why?
Ben Franklin. Renaissance man indeed. I would just revel in his knowledge and wisdom all night long!

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience? And Washington, D.C.?
Wow. In Manhattan it’s a tie between seeing the first run of “Le Miserable” on Broadway, or seeing the final run of “Cats” with a long-time family friend who played Rumpleteazer. Here in D.C. I’m a huge fan of Wolf Trap, and was able to see one of my favorite artists Ben Folds perform with the National Symphony Orchestra. It was an incredible night with severe thunderstorms all around the outdoor venue, but just seemed to rain everywhere else while illuminating the sky with intense/beautiful lightning, all while listening to the unbelievable performance… it was probably a once in a lifetime experience!

What do you personally do or what have you done to give back to the world?
I think I’ve tried to give back by offering my time through various volunteer and charity events over the years. I’d like to think that if through my past weather coverage, or in the future, if I were to save just one life then that would make me feel that I have offered something to this world as in giving back as well.

What do you think is most underrated and overrated in Manhattan? And Washington, D.C.?
Manhattan. Overrated – Times Square (sorry!), underrated – your kindness! D.C. Overrated – The International Spy Museum (sorry!) Underrated – Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy Museum at Dulles in Northern Virginia… an SR71 Blackbird and a Space Shuttle both on permanent display? Heck yes!!!!

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite Whom You Know column and what do you like about it?
I am a HUGE food guy so I love Peachy's Picks and Terrific Takeout! Before I landed my current position in television, there was a real chance I may not find an opening and would have to change careers. If that were to happen, I knew it would be culinary school for me! My uncle (since passed a few years back) was a fairly well known chef back in his era, and built/founded The Fort restaurant in Denver, Colorado that’s been open now for 50 years and is still in business today. I had the unbelievable experience to live with him for a summer and work at his restaurant while he wrote “The Fort Cookbook”. All that being said, I love to cook, so I love your cuisine and drinks section Champagne Wishes, I can NEVER read too much on food reviews!

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you?
I’m a passionate man, passionate about my family, my career, and others who believe in sharing all of what we have with kindness and love. I’ve been more than lucky to live the life I’ve lived so far, and if I hope to add many more years ahead. If we ever get a chance to meet sometime (not just you Peachy, but all you readers too), I’ll look forward to that moment!

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?
Please check out my Facebook page at! You can also follow me on Twitter, @devonlucie or you could even send an e-mail my way, I’d love to hear from you: Thank you so much for the great interview Peachy!

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