PM360 recently spoke to Andrew J. Watson, MBA, Associate Vice President, Sales & Marketing at Wockhardt USA, about his passion for bicycling and his participation as a LIVESTRONG Foundation leader.
PM360: We understand that you enjoy bicycling when you’re not working. Tell us about that and how long you have been involved.
Watson: Yes, I’m a cycling fanatic! I like watching it on television (for hours). I like watching a local club race, visiting bike shops during my travels, and most of all…I LOVE to ride! I’ve participated in 100-mile century rides in various parts of the country over the past 19 years, including the LIVESTRONG Philadelphia Challenge rides for the past seven years.
Were you inspired by someone to get involved with cycling?
I’ve always enjoyed cycling. Growing up in Switzerland as a young boy I can remember ringing cowbells and watching the Tour de Suisse passing through the town of Rheinfelden where we lived. The main pack of riders, known as the peloton, would race by in just seconds, but the memories have lasted 30 plus years. I became more serious about cycling during high school watching cycling great Greg LeMond.
What makes you so passionate about riding?
I enjoy the sense of achievement as the engine behind every pedal stroke in reaching the crest of a long climb. Biking, for me, is a great way to escape the stress of work and noise of the world around me.
Please tell us about LIVESTRONG and how you got involved.
At the LIVESTRONG Foundation we fight to improve the lives of people and families affected by cancer and advocate on their behalf. The Foundation has helped make survivorship a household word—that’s enormous progress. I joined forces with Lance Armstrong and Team LIVESTRONG (www.LIVESTRONG.org) in 2005. At first I simply began wearing a yellow silicone LIVESTRONG wristband (along with 80 million other people) and then registered for the inaugural LIVESTRONG Challenge in Philadelphia. My partnership with this organization was a natural fit—cycling, pharmaceutical industry, and a desire to make a difference. I’m also proud of the four-star charity rating LIVESTRONG received from www.CharityNavigator.org. Donating and volunteering with organizations that have strong financial oversight is extremely important to me. I’m very proud of my affiliation with LIVESTRONG and plan to continue raising awareness. Philanthropy is a core pillar of my work-life balance—faith, family, work and community.
Wow, that’s awesome. Besides cycling and participating at LIVESTRONG, what else do you do in your spare time?
Chasing our boys—James (12), Daniel (9), Matthew (7½) and Andrew (3½)—keeps us pretty active and busy! Soccer, swimming, hiking, 4-H, Boy Scouts, and more bike riding are a staple part of most weekends.
I’ve also developed a love of bow-ties. My granddad, who passed away from cancer in 2012, frequently wore a bow-tie, so I’ve started “rocking” a bow-tie on a regular basis to honor his memory. You can visit www.BowtieCause.com to purchase a LIVESTRONG bow-tie or support a variety of philanthropic initiatives.