Robert Landis (forward); Partner/Origination, private equity firm
“I started playing rec hockey at the tender young age of 50, because both my 8-year-old and 4-year-old sons wanted to play. When I later became an assistant coach, I realized I knew very little about the game (my hockey skills were even worse). I had skated on ponds as a kid and could go forward, but had little ability to turn or go backwards. As my sons got better, so did I. But once each reached the 4th grade, their skills quickly surpassed mine!
“Every summer, we went to hockey camps in Canada (they with their age group, while I skated with the men’s group, who, like me, wanted to get better). In high school, my sons got much better, and one even made All State for his final two years. I, on the other hand, peaked in terms of ability but not the love for the sport, and the need for me to find a year-round form of good exercise and—even better—camaraderie.
“Little did I know that playing hockey would allow me to make contacts across a variety of business enterprises, some that have helped me professionally in my own business, but also personally with my neighbors and service providers, such contractors and electricians, as well as those in public service, like police officers and teachers. I’ve also become involved in helping to run a charity event that involves setting up a men’s competition to play in Madison Square Garden—a great opportunity to give back to the community. All from the game of hockey.”