OCEAN CITY - A Philadelphia native who has vacationed in Ocean City every summer growing up, Bill Quain stays close to his surfside roots.
Quain serves as the Coast Guard Flotilla staff officer for public education in Ocean City, where he is responsible for teaching the required boating safety course for all New Jersey boaters.
“We consider it home,” Quain said, referring to Ocean City.
From a young age, Quain was interested in the hospitality business. At 19, he leased The Arlington Hotel and operated it on his own. He eventually did the same with a restaurant in the area.
“I wanted to work for myself, so I ended up renting a small hotel that had gone out of business,” Quain said. “I’m thinking that’s when things really started to become kind of different in my life - were those two experiences.”
Quain graduated from Cornell University, in 1974.
“I went to the hotel school there,” Quain said. “My family was a restaurant family. I always worked in restaurants when I was younger, so I decided to go for hotel and restaurant management. That has kind of been my driving force.”
Quain has done a lot of interesting things in his lifetime, including VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), where he helped run two community-owned McDonald’s, traveling to Napa Valley, where he worked in wine cellars, working as a chef and food and beverage director at a ski resort, in Lake Tahoe, a speaking career, a teaching career, a television cooking show, being crowned Mr. Mature America, and now a best-selling author.
Quain has written 27 books during his career. After his first five books were “commercial failures,” he said, with a laugh, Quain adapted by writing with a purpose for his audience. He writes about teaching people how to solve problems, he said, and eventually took over his parents’ publishing company.
“Businesses don’t buy books. People buy books,” Quain said. “I completely changed the way I was writing.”
Now, Quain is an international best-selling author. He attests his writing is about teaching people how to solve problems, so they can make money.
“I try to give them a lot of personal insights into my background,” Quain said. “I connect with my readers.”
As someone who is “visually handicapped,” he said, he has had a lot of practice overcoming disruption with resilience, which is the theme of some of his latest works stemming from the pandemic, including his latest book, "Who Will You Be When the Masks Come Off? - How to Survive Any Disruption, and Come Back Better Than Before," and his newest talk based on the book, which can be found on his website, about going beyond resilience and bouncing back in a way that one can apply what they learned from it.
“It’s not a book about Covid,” Quain said. “I mean, Covid was a huge disruption for us… We all go through disruptions all the time in our lives - could be the death of someone close to you, or the loss of a job, or all kinds of things… Very few disruptions are what we call positive… It’s about who they’re going to be, who they’re going to act like because we all went through this common disruption… this is kind of a guide on how to do that.”
Quain, who is also currently a professor at Stockton University, teaches various general education courses on how to better/make the most of life. One of his favorites includes “Make Money and Pay It Forward,” which helps students achieve a better lifestyle, he said.
“I try my very best to make a connection with my students,” Quain said. “We learn, but we have fun.”