A childhood obsession turned lifelong passion. For Jason Tanko, that would be street lights. As a child, Tanko would create his own street lights using beads and straws, and collect the real thing as a teen. Unusual? Forward-thinking is more like it. Today, Tanko is founder of a company that not only has become a successful streetlighting business, it has also saved the cities and municipalities it serves a significant amount of money by helping them repurpose old street lights. No surprise, perhaps, to those who know him well.
But filmmaker Ted Frank had no idea that Tanko, his neighbor, is quite obsessively dedicated to a piece of modern life that many probably take for granted. Neither did he know the depth of Tanko’s commitment to the community and to lessening his industry’s negative impact on the climate. Frank was blown away by Tanko’s obsession that he decided to create his first Ripple documentary, Freakin’ Heroes.
“Jason is my kind of hero, not only because his passion-turned-career story is so inspiring,” says Frank, “but because he’s absolute proof that there’s so much more to people than we could ever imagine.”
Frank adds, “Heroes can be found among us, and if we need to feel good, all we really need to do is talk to the people around us.” And he’s glad he did. Watch and see why Jason Tanko is such a freakin’ hero.