Social Capital Interview with Eric T. Goldstein of the King of Prussia District

February 15, 2018

Source, Philadelphia Business Journal

• Company: King of Prussia District
• Title: Executive Director
• Employees: Five
• Age: 49
• Original hometown: Tappan, N.Y.
• Education: BS, environmental planning and design (Rutgers), MLA, landscape architecture (Kansas State)
• Family: Spouse Jody, son Adam, 20, daughter Kira, 17

What’s your essential business philosophy?
I operate, and encourage my employees to operate, with the mantra: There is no time like the present. Don’t delay or procrastinate. Getting our job done in a timely and efficient way establishes our credibility with our funding partners.

What are the smartest and dumbest business decisions you’ve made?
Smartest: Leaving the workforce in 1993 to pursue my graduate level education. Dumbest: I don’t regard any of the decisions I have made in business as “dumb.” Honestly!
What’s the best way to keep a competitive edge? Separate trends from reality. Don’t get caught up in what is popular at the moment. This will keep you ahead of the curve in the long run. Use and trust accurate data to help make decisions.

Is there a goal you have yet to achieve?
There are so many. Professionally, I want to see the King of Prussia Rail completed along with a number of other large-scale infrastructure improvements in KoP like improved access points to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Personally, I want to travel to Norway, Sweden, Finland and Greece. I want to finish paying for my kids’ college educations and see them succeed in the workforce.

What do you think your employees say about you when you’re not in the room?
I think they would say that I am a hardworking and passionate individual who drives the organization’s mission with heart and a sense of humor.
What three words best describe you? Self-deprecating, passionate, impatient.

What was your first job?
Sorting (back in the days when the comics and coupons were delivered separately from the rest of the paper and you had to manually combine them) and delivering newspapers in Tappan, N.Y.

As a child, did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?
I thought I wanted to be an architect.

What’s your first choice for a new career?
If I were not doing what I do now, I would want to buy and renovate homes and apartments in college towns.

What’s something about you that people wouldn’t expect?
I am an avid music fan and play guitar.

Do you have an exercise routine?
Yes. I do yoga almost every morning, and lately I’ve been meditating.

What car do you drive and why?
2014 Ford Edge Limited. It has a lot of nice bells and whistles but is very reasonably priced.

When you get time to relax, what’s your best vacation?
I like to spend time at our beach house in Brigantine, N.J.

If you could have been present at any moment in history, a world event, an invention, a creation of great beauty, and so on, what would it be?
I would have liked to be around in the 1920s. I like the clothing and the cars. People even dressed nice for baseball games. The social scene looked pretty great too!

When you were a teenager, did you have a band or singer whose album you just wore out?
I had quite a few Van Halen (David Lee Roth days) and Rush albums that were worn down pretty well!

If you were stuck on a cross-country bus trip, which famous person would you like to have sitting next to you? David Gilmour, lead guitar player and vocalist for Pink Floyd.

And, conversely, who would you NOT enjoy spending a lot of time with?
Donald Trump.

What’s your favorite place in Greater Philadelphia?
Are you kidding? I HAVE to say King of Prussia for the sake of job preservation!