Q&A with Mike Finizio
Investment Professional & Neighborhood Pride Program Volunteer
1. It’s inevitable for anyone driving to or from their home in the Oaks that they’ll see you patrolling the neighborhood with straw hat, rubber gloves and trash bag at hand. How did you take it upon yourself to provide such a critical role to the neighborhood and keep our streets clean?
On a walk with my buddy, Scott Riepe, one day about 15 years ago we noticed a lot of trash. My complaints were answered with his response that, instead of complaining, I should do something about it. That’s when the neighborhood cleanup began, and it has evolved over the years. My wife, Erin, refined the process. She requested that I wear rubber gloves for cleanliness and have two bags - one for trash and one for recycling. She’s the smart one of the household. I listened.
2. One can’t help but notice your overall level of fitness - either you are picking up some heavy trash items out there or walking the neighborhood is just one part of your fitness routine. Talk about the importance of fitness in your life and the dedication you place on it.
Walking is part of my fitness program. I do at least 2 miles a day here or wherever we are, even on vacation, and picking up trash is also part of that wherever we are. Manhattan is too much of a challenge though after two full bags, which happens in about one block! My regular fitness routine is 90 minutes a day in the gym, six days a week plus walking 2 miles a day every day. Throw in some push-ups and pull-ups twice a week.
3. You’ve now lived in the Oaks for 17 years; what do you love about the neighborhood?
My wife and I love the Oaks for many reasons. We walk to everything, and everything is within reach, but most of all, it’s the people we’ve met, our neighbors, and all the friends we have made. We love our neighbors.
4. Give us two restaurants in the neighborhood that you love that might not be on our radar.
Believe it or not, one of our favorite restaurants we found out about through the author of the last Oaks HOA article. She told us about La Pergoletta. We have been fans ever since. The Birds is a perfect go-to, and Franklin and Company has always been one of our favorites.
5. Keeping our neighborhood streets clean I’m sure makes you feel good and keeps you out in the fresh air, but what unintended benefits has that mission brought you?
NPP is the acronym given to the 2 mile walk and picking up trash. It stands for “Neighborhood Pride Program.” Other than keeping our neighborhood clean and beautiful, I have been very fortunate to meet so many neighbors while walking and picking up trash. On the walk, I also enjoy handing out dog treats from Tailwaggers to our 4-legged neighbors. These dogs are protecting our neighborhood, keeping an eye on things and keeping our fellow neighbors in shape with all the walks. Dog treats are their reward.