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Monday, July 24, 2017

MOVERS and SHAKERS: Steve Hamm, Actor, Model and U.S. Army Veteran Our Coverage Sponsored by Cosmopolitan Dental, Official Dentist of Whom You Know

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Dr. Garo Nazarian is a Mover and Shaker, and was the first featured:

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Steve Hamm was born and raised in St. Petersburg, FL. During his junior year of high school, he was torn between attending college and joining the military. His father had served in the Air Force for a few years and Steve was a member of his school's JROTC (Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps) program. This program helped groom students for a prospective career in the Uniformed Services. Upon graduation of high school, he decided to join the US Army and signed up as a helicopter mechanic.

After completion of Basic Training and AIT (Advanced Individual Training), Steve’s first assignment, as a helicopter mechanic, was in Germany. However, after eight years of “turning wrenches” (fixing helicopters) in multiple other areas including California and Texas, he made the decision to apply for helicopter flight training. He would graduate approximately one year later as an Armed/Reconnaissance helicopter pilot.

Steve has been deployed numerous times in support of military operations. Once to Kosovo, twice to Iraq, and twice to Afghanistan. He has flown countless combat missions and provided much needed aerial support to the troops on the ground. This support entailed either coverage for a foot patrol or vehicle convoy, to actually engaging the enemy in the event of an ambush. In addition to providing his skills and talent for battlefield operations, Steve elected to get additional training as a Maintenance Test Pilot. This additional job required countless hours of identifying and troubleshooting mechanical and electronic issues, supervising the repair, then test flying the aircraft to ensure the problem had been fixed.

Steve’s numerous awards and decorations are a testament to his professionalism and dedication to his duty. He officially retired from active service after 23 ½ years. Even after dedicating a quarter of his life to military service, he has elected to keep working and provide selfless service to others by being employed as a helicopter Lifeflight pilot. His military flying skills help enable the company to provide airborne medical transport to the critically ill and injured in day, night and inclement weather conditions.

In addition to being a Lifeflight pilot, Steve has also decided to become an actor and model. He is signed with Pro-Model and Talent of Akron, OH, and has been booked in numerous commercial and print projects in and around the Ohio, Michigan, and surrounding areas. One of his projects, Cold Blooded, is a web series being filmed in New York City and is scheduled to be released on YouTube Red very soon. Steve’s hobbies include working out, playing golf, video games, watching movies, and reading. He is a professional, passionate, and driven individual who enjoys having fun, supporting others, and is working extremely hard to fulfill his goals and dreams.  We are so pleased to present Steve Hamm as our latest Mover and Shaker.  Peachy Deegan interviewed Steve for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: What should the world know about aviation that they might not know yet?
Steve Hamm: 
The world should know that modern day aviation is constantly evolving. The FAA is instituting new policies and regulations to streamline commercial and private travel. The Lifeflight company I work for has already incorporated all of the required new equipment that is designed for the utmost in accident prevention and flight deck management. We now have video and audio recording devices as well to help investigators in the unfortunate event of an accident.

If you could own any five helicopters in the world which models and makes would they be and why? 
I would own an AugustaWestland AW109Grand, Eurocopter EC155, AugustaWestland AW149, Bell 525 Relentless, Bell 429WLG. First and foremost, they are all dual engines. I prefer this for personal and safety reasons. All of these models convert into very luxurious personal transports and have an excellent safety reputation.

What brand do you believe designs the best helicopters and why?
I would have to say that Augusta designs the best right now. After having flown one now for over three years for EMS, it provides excellent performance and is really great for IFR (Instrument only) operations.

What are the highlights of your aviation career specifically and why?
I have been fortunate in my flying career to be relatively incident free. I had some great mentors when I was a junior pilot who provided me with tips and advice on how to have a successful flying career. There were a couple of important phrases I heard that have resonated with me. First, “It is better to be on the ground and wish you were up in the air than to be up in the air and wish you were on the ground”. Second, “There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old and bold pilots” This second phrase refers to those pilots who decide to cut corners or who are too overconfident in their flying abilities. This will usually come back to bite you at some point and could lead to very deadly consequences. These two phrases have stuck with me and have allowed me to have a successful flying career. To date, I have over 3,000 total hours of flight time. 95% of this was while I was in the military. We flew a lot with Night Vision Goggles so I’m very proficient using them. I did experience a complete loss of hydraulic power while on aerial patrol in Afghanistan. The team that I commanded executed the briefed emergency plan perfectly once I announced the malfunction. I flew the aircraft back to our home base and was able to land on the runway without incident or injury. To fly in support of EMS is very rewarding to me. It feels good to be able to give something back to the community.

What should everyone know about being in the military?
That it’s an honor and a privilege to serve. The military is an institution-plain and simple. They break you down initially, but then slowly bring you up and mold you into something great. You’re taught values and discipline from the start. There’s an acronym the Army came up with to help remember all of the core values (LDRSHIP-Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage). All of these values can help guide an individual and enable them to be the best that they can. 
I made some great lifelong friends and have been equipped with the skills and attitude to be very successful in all my endeavors. 

Please tell us about Cold Blooded and the role you play.
Cold Blooded is new independent project directed by Crystal Spates of UniquelyMadeProductions in New York City. Currently, the pilot is in post-production but should be coming out on YouTube Red soon. Without giving away too much, the story centers on a young girl, Kyra, and her dad, Bradley, played by me. Kyra’s mom is gone and her dad is trying his best to get back into his daughters life. His work has always been his priority so it’s a bit of a struggle. There is an underlying secret with them which will unfold as the series progresses. It’s a really great story and I’m sure the audience will enjoy it.

How is Manhattan portrayed in Cold Blooded?
Manhattan isn’t portrayed in the series-yet. We filmed my scenes in an apartment in Midtown Manhattan. I haven’t been privy to any of the upcoming episodes so I don’t know what the Director has in store. I’m sure that something could probably be arranged.

How do web series differ from regular television series?
My best answer would be that a web series is less expensive to produce and is more accessible to the general public. It can be watched at any time instead of waiting for a certain time like TV/Cable. Even though DVR’s are very popular, a portable device with an internet connection makes YouTube just a click away.

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence?
This took a little time to think about but of all the people I have met or worked with I would have to say my Army buddy Manny Garcia. He was one of my mentors when I was a Test Pilot. His knowledge base was just incredible. He could tell you, in detail, every step of a helicopter start from the moment you pressed the switch to when the engine and rotors were spinning at full throttle. He was a “go to” guy when it came to troubleshooting helicopter issues. He was extremely professional and very reliable. I really admired these traits and have done my best to emulate them.

What are you proudest of and why?
I am proudest of my three sons. They are incredible kids. My oldest is serving in the Navy and has already given me a granddaughter. I thank him for his service. My middle one is cutting his own path in life at his pace. He plans to get his private airplane pilot license in the coming year. My youngest graduated high school last year and is taking a year off before starting up college.

What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do?
Would love to work on a big Hollywood project opposite an A-list celebrity. To work with someone of that caliber would be an honor. There are too many iconic names for me to list. A suspenseful horror or a political themed thriller would be great.

What honors and awards have you received in your profession?
For my military service, I have received the Meritorious Service Medal, four Air Medals for my performance as a pilot in a combat zone, and several other achievements for various duties and accomplishments.
I have not received any honors or awards being an actor as of yet but with hard work and dedication, my time will come. Even if I don’t, I’m ok with that. More than happy to just keeping films and entertaining the audience.

What one word best describes you and why?
Professional. I like to be on time and deliver great work. Make it a point to understand my job thoroughly. When on set, know my lines and be open for redirection. Above all, enjoy the moment.

What do you take your sense of identity from?
My dad. He was a consummate professional in whatever he did. Very organized and committed. There were a few strange ideas that floated around but he always followed through with his plans.

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan? 
The 9/11 Memorial and Museum. I look forward to seeing this during my next visit.

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan? 
The Steven Alan Annex would be the store for me. Hip and trendy fashion for the Manhattan area. 

If you could hire anybody who would it be and why?
This was a tough one to answer since I prefer to do things myself. I suppose I would hire a personal chef. As busy as I tend to be, having healthy meals prepared by someone else would make my life a lot easier.

What is your favorite drink?
I have a couple, actually. Not a big beer guy but I do enjoy drinking Angry Orchard. Doesn’t have the bitter beer taste. I also like a good Moscato. I tend to lean toward fruity, frozen mixed drinks. 

What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you at a cocktail party?
Haven’t been too many so I don’t have a funny story-yet. My military life kept me from going to these kind of parties. Will have to catch up now I suppose.

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan? 
Gotham Bar and Grill. I’m a steak lover so this would be the place for me.

What is your favorite Manhattan book or favorite character in Manhattan literature? 
I would have to say that “City on a Grid-How New York became New York” would be my choice. Would be an interesting read to me.

Who would you like to be for a day and why?
The President of the United States. To have the opportunity to try and fix some of the major issues currently facing our great nation. I would like to see our country come together and continue to thrive. We have so many great people with so much potential. 

If you could have anything in Manhattan named after you what would it be and why? 
Rockefeller Center. Practically everyone has heard of the place. It houses three things which I am fond of-TV studios, ice rink, and a huge Christmas tree.

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience? 
I’m a soccer fan, so watching the Manhattan College team would be it for me.

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else?
Enjoying Rockefeller Center. The energy and atmosphere would be great. 

If you could have dinner with any person living or passed, who would it be and why?
Would have to say Tom Hanks. He has maintained such an impeccable career in Hollywood. I would really welcome the opportunity to chat with him about the entertainment business and just life in general. We could share some great stories. 

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience? 
I had the opportunity to see an Off Broadway musical once. I can’t recall which one but it was my first time experiencing one and it was very entertaining. I would really like to see the Rockettes perform at Radio City Music Hall.

What do you personally do or what have you done to give back to the world?
During my military service in Iraq and Afghanistan, I helped provide the security for the Iraqi/Afghanistan citizens so that they could try and live “normal” lives again in order to rebuild their infrastructure. Was fortunate enough to be in Iraq when each province held their own elections for the first time ever. That was a very historic day. My job was to provide aerial cover and security at various polling sites to deter any terrorist activities. For both the US military and the Iraqi people, it was a successful operation.
In my civilian life now, I find myself looking for causes and projects in the US that I can relate to and help out in some way. Between using Twitter and Facebook, there are a few that currently stand out for me.
I saw a post on Twitter from actress Mira Sorvino in regards to human trafficking and slavery. She wrote an amazing article regarding this huge issue and mentioned an organization,, which helps to fight it. I looked into to it to see what I could do and read they were hosting a half-marathon in the Virginia area to raise money for their cause. Due to my work schedule, I realized I wasn’t going to be able to go. I decided to donate some money to help out instead. Figured it was the least I could do. Another charity I was able to donate to was the George Lopez Foundation. This foundation helps underprivileged kids and adults with challenges in the health and education areas. I have also supported the SAVE LIV35 organization’s Spring gala. This group is helping with the anti-bullying and anti-drug movement. My donation supplied 20 Veterans with Hope Bags filled with food, hygiene items, and clothing in honor of Veteran’s Day. I am supporting the Megan Meier Foundation. She was a teenager who took her life due to cyber bullying. This group was founded to help prevent and eventually eliminate this new threat to the younger generation. Lastly, I am a mentor for the Knights of Heroes ( is an organization who holds a week-long camping adventure in the Colorado Mountains for kids who have lost their dads due to military service. We help the kids cope with their loss and provide a positive influence to assist them to become well-rounded citizens. Needless to say, I have my hands pretty full right now. I am hoping to help these causes as much as I can to help make the world a little better one day at a time. 

What do you think is most underrated and overrated in Manhattan?
I don’t think I can use the term overrated. Times Square gets a lot of hype. I have been there twice so far. It doesn’t really change that much. The scenery is captivating and you never know who or what you might see. The historic museums are underrated. With the fast paced environment of the city, history and culture tend to take a back seat to technology, social media, and other types of available entertainment. I could be wrong with this comment so it’s just my personal opinion.

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite​ column and what do you like about it?
Patriotic Peachy. Being a former military guy, it would only be natural that I would navigate toward this topic. The articles on history are interesting to read. Over the years, I have appreciated learning more about the background of people, places, and events. Expanding my knowledge base helps so that I can speak intelligently with other people. 

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you?
Readers should know that I’m a genuinely nice guy and have a good sense of humor. Even though I have spent over 20 years in the service, I don’t have a hard core military personality or attitude. I am a professional when it comes to my work but enjoy kicking back and relaxing when I can. 
When I’m not working at Lifeflight, much of my time is spent looking for new project casting calls or interacting on social media. If it weren’t for my aspiring drive to become a working actor, I wouldn’t even have a Twitter or Instagram account. 
I actually find it difficult to just sit still. My last 13 years in the military were consumed with deployments in support of the war on terror. Now that I’m out, I feel that I need to catch up things and pursue hobbies that had to be put on hold. My fiancĂ© and I have taken several cruises in the past three years. We try to plan trips as often as we can. We don’t have much planned after June but I’m sure we will fill in the gaps quickly. I do take time to exercise, play golf, do some video gaming, and read. We actually went skydiving not too long ago. What an adrenaline rush that was! 
My basic philosophy is that I will get all the rest I need when I’m dead. Life is too short to be upset or miserable. Take the good with the bad and keep moving forward. Be friendly to everyone and don’t worry if some don’t reciprocate. You can’t please everyone. 

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?
I can be contacted via email:

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