1. Tell us a little about your background (where you grew up, your family, your career, etc.)
I grew up in Topeka, KS but attended the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. After working and attending graduate school in Chicago my family relocated to Appleton. My wife Kathy and I have been married for 33 years and have two daughters. Our oldest daughter is a Cardiac ICU nurse in North Carolina and our youngest is an Event Manager in Colorado. In 2016 I retired from Menasha Corporation after 27 years where I served as the Vice President of Tax.
2. What made you decide to volunteer for Habitat?
During my work career at Menasha Corporation I volunteered numerous times on Habitat projects and found the work interesting. My philosophy has always been to do some volunteer work in the community, and Habitat is a great opportunity. Besides, there is a well known phrase that says “Retirement Kills”, and keeping busy at Habitat provides both mental and physical stimulation.
3. When not volunteering with Habitat what do you do? (other volunteering, hobbies, work, etc.)
In addition to volunteering for Habitat I serve on the Board of Riverview Gardens. This winter both my wife and I both volunteered at Goodwill in the VITA program which is Income Tax preparation services for low income individuals. One of my biggest hobbies is cars. I’m involved with a race car team that owns six cars and competes at Road America and other midwest race tracks. Finally, with two daughters in two different regions of the states, we have plenty of reasons to travel.
4. What do you enjoy most about Habitat? (what work do you like most, what keeps you coming back, etc.)
Working at Habitat is a learning experience. Having worked in an office for all of my career, I now enjoy working in the construction trades. The experienced Senior Crew are always willing to teach, and the winter education classes provide additional hands on experience. People are friendly, they are willing to teach, and they don’t dwell on your mistakes! Site leaders learn who you are, the schedules are designed to rotate volunteers into new areas of expertise. As my experience level has grown, I’ve been given more difficult tasks, and opportunities to learn. Finally, the volunteers are great to work with. The crews are very sociable, and I’ve made quite a few new friends at the sites.
5. What is something about you that might be a surprise to those with whom you volunteer?
As previously mentioned one of my biggest hobbies is cars. I have a nice “summer beater” sports car, and people might be surprised to know that I drive a 700+ horsepower IMSA GT Race Car at Road America. I can take it apart and put it back together, but the most fun is on the track.