Friend of the Week – Tara Trask
Before we met Tara, we were unfamiliar with the term trial consultant. But, now with the TV show on CBS called Bull, this vocation is getting its day in the sun. It’s loosely based on Dr. Phil’s career as a jury consultant, before he became a TV personality, and back in the day when our friend Tara Trask began her career working for him. Now Tara runs her own successful trial consulting, litigation strategy, and jury research firm. She’s accomplished, polished, tough as nails, and travels more than anyone we know. But she’s also a deep, compassionate, down-to-earth, exuberant friend that we can’t wait to hang with whenever we’re in the same zip code. Take a moment to read Tara’s answers to our 11Qs. They’re as awesome as she is.
Your City: Bay Area, California
Tara’s What – “Cibo Express Marketplace. I travel weekly, usually over a hundred thousand miles per year domestic which is a ton of airport time. Cibo markets carry an impressive array of whole, raw convenience foods as well as fresh made choices. They carry Epic protein bars, and I found Thunderbird bars (vegan, no grain, no soy, no sugar) there and recently asked my local Whole Foods to see about getting them. They also carry Rx Bars, which are also delicious. I also got the cutest Illume soy travel candle at the Cibo in the United terminal at Newark and I just picked up another in Houston.”
FRIEND OF THE WEEK: 11 QUESTIONS
WEBSITE: TARA TRASK
1. Nickname: Trask, Traski, “Princess” (that’s an old one, but my best friend still calls me that occasionally)
2. What’s your short story? I’m a transplanted Texan. If I didn’t get back to Texas as much as I do, I would miss it terribly. I was born in Del Rio, Texas on the Mexican border and my family history on my mother’s side is incredible. My grandmother was a pilot, my mother was a pilot, that whole side of my family are pilots and my dad was based at the Air Force base there when he was in the service. I came along and we moved away and around a bit to Colorado and Arizona. My mom passed away when I was 10 years old and my dad raised me. I spent most of my school age years in Dallas. When I was in college, my dad married my 6th grade English teacher and I got my family, which includes my stepmom and my three stepsisters and now 10 cousins for my two kids. My kids are Berta (13) and Baden (12)- they are truly the coolest people I know and right now, a huge distraction from anything because I want to spend every waking second with them. I was married to their dad for 11 years and we remain good friends which is a testament to who he is. I started my career working for Dr. Phil before he became Dr. Phil, back when he owned a trial consulting firm called Courtroom Sciences, and after that in 2002, I started my own firm. I run my business which is a trial consulting, litigation strategy and jury research firm of 8 people. We are a national practice, (hence the airplanes) and we specialize in high stakes complex commercial litigation. Now I spend all my time either working, hanging with my kids or jetting to Texas to see my beau, who is a lawyer in a trial firm in Houston.
3. What’s your jam? “Hard Out Here for a Pimp” from the Hustle and Flow soundtrack. That entire soundtrack is amazing. I love Rage Against the Machine, first and second albums especially. We’re all listening to Beyonce right now, right? I mean I was never a big fan, but Lemonade was a game changer and now I’m going back through her catalogue. “Independent Women”, Destiny’s Child? I mean, c’mon. That is awesome. I’m also a big fan of old school country. I don’t mean Waylon and Willie, who I love. I mean Don Williams and Tom T. Hall. Also a big Courtyard Hounds fan. Courtyard Hounds is a side project of Dixie Chicks sisters, Martie and Emily (who are my stepsisters). Check out “Fear of Wasted Time”, which I suppose should officially be my personal soundtrack since it was written by my sisters after they read an email I wrote about the death of my mother.
4. What motivates you? Right now, I’m very motivated to make an impact in my kids’ lives. I’m constantly aware of the fact that my mother didn’t have this time with me and my kids have a mom at a time in their lives when I didn’t. I’m a “by example” kind of parent though and at 46, I’ve had some struggles over the last couple of years that I didn’t expect. You are never too old to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back on the horse. My dad taught me that when I was younger and even though I’ve always know it, there is something a little shocking when we have to do it at this age and for these reasons, but that’s been my most recent lesson.
5. Who do you think you’d have great friend chemistry with? Ruth Bader Ginsberg is just such a brilliant mind and also such an important voice for women. Al Davis- I am a huge Oakland Raider fan and I met someone recently who worked for him. I love mavericks and people who aren’t afraid to take shit for what they do, but who have big hearts.
6. What qualities do your favorite friends have in common? Depth and generally they came from the other side of the tracks but have made something of themselves. I love scrappy people.
7. What’s the smartest, most inspiring, awesome thing you’ve read, watched, or listened to? I went to a luncheon and heard Peggy Orenstein speak about girls and sexuality. Her book is called “Girls and Sex, Navigating the complicated new landscape”. I found it incredible to hear her talk about sex in a completely different way than we normally hear about it. Unfortunately, the culture still treats women, even in their “empowered” sexual states as sex objects, focused on how “hot” they are for example. Peggy’s point is that we need more emphasis on the empowerment of women by empowering their experience. I thought it was a revelation. For the first time, I heard at a luncheon something I’ve always believed and planned to teach my daughter—that her sexual experience is about HER. I’ve never just given a blow job in my life. What would be in that for me?
8. What whets your appetite? Sex. I don’t drink anymore and I’ve changed my diet dramatically, so I don’t use that as a pleasure center anymore either. I have an incredibly attractive man in my life and he is my one remaining guilty pleasure. Not guilty at all actually.
9. What’s next on your To Do List? I am just finishing my first Whole 30 and now I’m starting a 30 days of exercise habit forming program. I’m simply trying to exercise at least 20 minutes per day every day for 30 days.
10. How are you friends with Gina + Amy? I met Gina through the unstoppable Zem Joaquin. I’ve known her through the philanthropic world for many years. She is one of my many creative, smart, amazing friends who I don’t get to see very often due to my schedule and theirs. One of the things I have so loved about living in the Bay Area is the number of impressive, accomplished and lovely women I have met here. Gina is one of them!
11. What’s the single best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Mark Allen was a winning triathlete back in the 80’s and 90’s. I was a triathlete for many years when I was younger. In one of his books he said; “I always get out of bed and get my workout clothes on and get at least a mile or so down the road. If I still feel bad and want to turn back, a mile in, that means maybe I should rest that day. But most of the time, once I get a mile in or so, I feel better even if I started out feeling bad.” Just make a start – that is half the battle. I try to do that.