A: Chris Mai (CM): I was born in San Francisco and grew up right here in San Rafael. I was fortunate enough to be raised in the Sun Valley community and enjoyed extracurricular activities such as CYO Basketball, Pop Warner Football and Swimming with Marin Swim League and USA Swimming for most of my adolescence. After receiving the excellence in Digital Media award for my graduating high school class, I enrolled as a banana slug at UC Santa Cruz where I continued my swimming career and pursued a Film and Digital Media degree. Through a turn of events, I went the “practical” route and got a Biology degree from Sonoma State University.
Q: What attracted you to work for Marin County?
A: CM – Being a job nomad after finishing my undergrad, living with my parents and in pursuit of figuring out life, my mother, Supranee Mai, and aunt, Ratana Mahavuthivanij, who’ve both worked for the county for more than 25 years each, informed me of an extra hire Office Assistant position in Health and Human Services. Since then, I was promoted to a new position on the HHS Media Team, got married and became a proud father of a baby boy named Noah and just like that, my attraction to work for and live in Marin County tripled! I now get to do some of the creative work I love under supportive and innovative leadership and grow my family in the healthiest county in California (and healthiest to raise kids in the US).
Q: What do you like to do for fun outside of work
A: CM – I enjoy photography and karate kicking in pictures. I love listening to live music and playing music on the drums, guitar or piano. As of the last two years I’ve picked up and really enjoyed road biking (hard to beat riding up and down Mt. Tam and through West Marin) and tennis! My top two things to do are playing with my son and listening to my wife’s laughter (mostly at my expense).
Q: What do you hope to get out of MAPLE?
A: CM – Besides a few extra pounds from all the great food and new people for my son to call auntie and uncle, new interdepartmental relationships, a renewed sense of our Asian American heritage and a shared sense and way to contribute to our communal impact for the County.
The interview was conducted by Jacalyn Mah on Thursday, August 7, 2014. Photos are courtesy of Chris Mai.