Ken Rona on How Family Relationships Change With Age

In Chapter 1 of 15 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, digital media executive Ken Rona answers "How Are Your Family Relationships Changing as You Get Older?"  Rona has learned that the things that give him the greatest satisfaction are his relationships with friends and family.  Aside from being estranged from his father, Rona notes time spent with those dear in his life far outweighs benefits of material goods. 

Ken Rona is a Vice President at Turner Broadcasting, where he leads teams across advertising sales, big data software development and business strategy.  Rona earned a BA and MA in Political Science from Stony Brook University and a PhD in Behavioral Economics from Duke University. 


Erik Michielsen: How are your family relationships changing as you get older?

Ken Rona: Certainly more important. I mean I know there are people that get satisfaction from driving really fast cars. I’m still waiting on that car. We can talk about that actually from last year. I still haven’t pulled the trigger on it. You know, there are people who get satisfaction from particular experiences or particular things or—My satisfaction really comes from my friends and my family. I’ve said that people—I don’t really care where I live as long as my friends are there really, that’s what defines a home for me, where’s my friends and my family.

So our 25th reunion would’ve been a couple of years ago and that’s when everybody discovered Facebook, so it’s actually been really cool to get back in touch with some of the high school folks that I hadn’t spoken to in 25 years. So I have a kind of renewed interest in getting back in touch with folks and reconnecting, some of those folks I owe apologies to. And I’ve—My wife I think would tell you I do a really good apology, my mea culpa is about—I’m very refined but I’ve actually learned to be really refined about that because I’ve had so many—so much practice.

So I think what’s interesting is that as I get older, that stuff becomes more important. The, you know, with probably the lone exception of, you know, I have one—my father and I are estranged—I would say with the exception of that. You know, I think that these things as you get older kind of become more meaningful because you realize that so much of the materialism isn’t really meaningful, right? It’s the—I’d much rather spend an hour with my son or daughter than buy a new suit. You know, like it’s not even close, right?