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News > Alumnae/i News > Alumni Spotlight > Alumnus Spotlight: Dylan Gastel '14

Alumnus Spotlight: Dylan Gastel '14

"I look back so fondly on being able to play [sports] before and after school. It allowed me to focus on my studies, and then be able to totally forget about them for hours every afternoon."
CEO/Inventor EZ Ice Rink, Dylan Gastel '14
CEO/Inventor EZ Ice Rink, Dylan Gastel '14

Tell us a little about yourself, when did you graduate? Where do you live?

I graduated from Wheeler in 2014, and I currently live and work in Boston, MA.

 

Describe your current job and how you got there.

I founded and run an outdoor ice hockey rink manufacturing company called EZ ICE Rinks. I have had a passion for hockey, outdoor ice skating, and inventing since I was a kid. I followed my dreams, studied hard in school, and committed my early career to inventing the best backyard ice rink in the world. Today, we are well on our way to our goal of 1 million kids and families Off the Device & On the Ice and enjoying the thrills of skating in their very own backyards.

 

You have founded not one but several companies since leaving Wheeler. Can you tell us a little about what inspired this entrepreneurial spirit? Do you have any advice for young entrepreneurs?

Inventing is so cool. You get to create something that never existed before, and then you can have an impact on so many people – in this case the kids and families who get to skate on our EZ ICE Rinks. Further, our office and manufacturing and distribution facilities across the U.S. employ hundreds of people in good paying jobs!

 

What is your favorite memory from your time at Wheeler?

My favorite memories from Wheeler are on the sports field and on the ice. My senior year, we won Gold for XC for the first time in history, and made the State Championships for the first time ever in Ice Hockey. I look back so fondly on being able to play hockey, lacrosse, cross country, and squash before and after school. It allowed me to focus on my studies, and then be able to totally forget about them for hours every afternoon. I have so many great lifelong friends from my time at Wheeler, many of whom I played sports with.

 

What are one or two of your proudest professional or personal accomplishments?

It makes me most proud seeing the pictures and videos that our customers send to us showing how much fun they and their families are having on their EZ ICE Rinks!

 

What would you consider the most important thing you learned at Wheeler?

Wheeler taught me how to work hard and how to balance my priorities. Playing sports, along with a rigorous course load and starting a business taught me how to balance my priorities so that I could get my homework done efficiently after practice and to get enough sleep to be successful in the classroom, as well as on the field and on the ice.

 

What person, activity, or experience most influenced you while at Wheeler? How?

Of all my teachers and coaches, Mr. Wharton had the greatest influence on me during my time at Wheeler. Mr. Wharton taught me BC Calculus in high school, coached me in Cross Country for 4 years, and was our middle school Mathcounts coach as well. I think so much of Wheeler’s success is due to the energy that he brings to everything that he does, and I can attribute so much of my success to the passion and competitive spirit that I learned from him during my 7 years learning from him.

 

Describe Wheeler in 3 words.

Learn. Inspire. Grow.

 

What advice would you give those currently at Wheeler?

“If you think you can or can’t, you’re right!” Work hard and follow your dreams. I know this sounds cliché, but this is how to think about it. If you choose what you want to be doing ten years from now, and then you work your hardest over that time, then you will find yourself doing what you love, regardless of if that is being a professional artist, working at a ski mountain, or selling backyard ice hockey rinks. 

 

What are you most looking forward to in the coming years?

 As EZ ICE continues to grow, we already have many other exciting products in the pipeline that we will be bringing to market over the coming years!

 

Any other comments / thoughts for your fellow alum / current Wheeler students?

The motto of the middle school “Leave Every Place Better Than You Found It” is a mantra I still live my life by. There are a lot of potential careers out there, but those that improve the lives of others around you will ultimately be the most rewarding!

 

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