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Tony Gude, ICON of the Month, July 2020

Behind the lens

A snapshot of Hendricks County photographer and community advocate Tony Gude

Compiled by Catherine Myers

Tony Gude spends his time behind the scenes. By day he makes works in sales for a commercial HVAC
company, and in his off hours he runs a small business Gudepro Inc., which incorporates Gudepro
Photography and Video and Studio Luxe.

“I am probably known best in the community for doing various projects which attempt to embody what
Avon is all about, community,” Gude said. “My first project was the Town of Avon Lip Dub. This is still
one of my favorites because I met so many lifelong friends through this one. (Watch the video to Justin
Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” at http://youtube.com/watch?v=nUkrAqsZTMI)

Gude, a longtime Avon resident, moved to the area in 1996 with his wife of 24 years Jill Gude. They have
three children, Brody, 22, Brevon, 19 and Brynn, 15.

In addition to his children and work, he also has a passion for reptiles, especially snakes. He owns 15
snakes, three leopard geckos and a Chinese dragon.

Gude’s passion for the community makes him the Hendricks County ICON of the Month for July.

“Although I am a member of the Hendricks County Alliance for Diversity, I enjoy helping people from
behind the scenes and often shying away from any large affiliations if it means that it might take away,
even inadvertently, from my creativity within the community,” he said. “Bringing people together is a
huge deal for me, and I don’t ever want to have to change that for anything.”

What do you consider your greatest virtue? Being humble. I’ve come from nothing, and I’ve grown to
understand that I am but a small cog in a vast machine. Being humble lets me see things from others perspectives. It’s not about me.

What do you most deplore in others? Probably people who complain a lot. Having a consistent, negative
attitude towards things that mean very little. When you see some of the things I’ve seen, it’s easy to
realize we’ve got it far better than most.

What do you like most about living in Hendricks County? The people for sure.
If you had to live elsewhere than in Hendricks County, where would it be? Outside of Avon, there’s
nowhere else I’d rather move. I’m sorry town neighbors but I love my town too much.

If you could begin life over, what would you change? Absolutely nothing. I live my life always learning
from mistakes and always learning from people who aren’t like me. It’s how we grow as people.

If money were no issue, how would you spend it? That’s a good question. I would make sure everyone in
the world had access to clean water, probably.

What makes you happiest? Being around loved ones, but also taking time in solitude. It gives me the
opportunity to renew my spirit.

What is your favorite vacation spot? Capetown, South Africa, by far!

What do you do with idle time? Smoke a cigar and have a glass of bourbon by a campfire.

What is it that makes you angry? Racism.

What do you do to escape from reality? Journal, saltwater floats and picking up my camera and creating
weird composites.

Which living person in Hendricks County do you most admire? Deputy Police Chief Brian Nugent.

What is the quality you most like in a man? Empathy.

What is the quality you most like in a woman? Empathy.

What is your greatest extravagance? Hmmm…photography equipment or bourbon.

What are your fears, phobias? Losing one of my children.

What has been the happiest time of your life? Seeing my children born.

Which talent would you most like to possess? Can I replace the word talent with superpower? I would
want to be able to transfer someone else’s pain, hurt, experiences, into someone who doesn’t have the
ability to see things outside of their own selves.

What do you most value in your friends? Honesty.

Which historical figure do you most identify with? Bugs Bunny (He’s historical, right?)

What is your greatest regret? I have no regrets in life.

What tenet do you live by? Do what makes YOU happy, not what someone else tells you to do because it
makes THEM happy.

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