1. Tell us a little about your background (where you grew up, your family, your career, etc.)
I grew up in a small Iowa farming community, though I was a “town kid.” Those small towns survive on the backs of volunteers so it was ingrained from an early age that volunteering was more than just giving back, it was essential for the life of the community. My dad was the town mayor and a leader in the local American Legion Post so our family was in the middle of pretty much all the community activities. My wife Veronica and I both graduated from Iowa State University in 1981. With the farm economy in serious decline at that time, we left small town life for Houston, Texas and subsequently after we started a family, Appleton. Veronica and I have 4 children: Cara is married with one child and is a dentist in Albuquerque, NM; Jessica became attached to the Iowa lifestyle while in law school at Iowa U and is a lawyer in Carroll, Iowa, Jonathon works for an Ascension Health affiliate in Chicago as an IT program manager; and Cayla followed her sister to Carroll after graduating from Lawrence and is a high school choir director. I worked for Boldt Construction in various project development roles for 26 years and retired in 2016 to enjoy time with Veronica and the kids in all their various locations without knowing that there was a job not being done back in the office.
2. What made you decide to volunteer for Habitat?
Retiring from full time employment meant I could think more about volunteer opportunities. With a construction background and some marginal carpentry skill, Habitat seemed to be a natural fit. I had volunteered on a few builds over the years and knew that it was an outstanding organization. It was a real easy choice.
3. When not volunteering with Habitat what do you do? (other volunteering, hobbies, work, etc.)
After retiring I formed a LLC focused on helping Healthcare organizations in developing the cost side of their business per forma on capital construction projects. I also continue to volunteer at my parish, St. Pius X by mowing the lawn every couple of weeks. I do a lot of maintenance and improvement projects around my and my kid’s homes and always have some woodworking project in progress in my shop. Veronica and I love to travel and having our family a bit scattered we have plenty of opportunity.
4. What do you enjoy most about Habitat? (what work do you like most, what keeps you coming back, etc.)
Meeting new people is the top answer I’m sure. I also like the variety of work that I get to do and the feeling of helping others earn their own home.
5. What is something about you that might be a surprise to those with whom you volunteer?
Even though I spent 34 years in the construction industry, virtually none of my actual carpentry experience came through that work. The most serious tools i used during my career were pencils and spreadsheets.