I have several hobbies I enjoy and honestly, need to get back doing them more. Over the years I have done quite a bit of woodworking, mostly furniture. Beth and I started stain glass a couple of years ago and really enjoy that. My big old house also is a constant project with carpentry, plumbing, electrical, finishing, painting etc. We live on Lake Winnebago so we also kayak, motor boat, sail (just took the Neenah sailing class for a refresher). With 7 kids and 5 grandkids we have plenty of opportunity to enjoy our family.
1. Tell us a little about your background (where you grew up, your family, your career, etc.)
Well, I have a pretty busy past. I was born in Cincinnati with one brother and one sister. I then went to Kansas State University where I received a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1980. I started my career in Kokomo IN at GM Delco, moved to Kimberly Clark in Conway AR, took a transfer to Atlanta GA, while working mostly in Lee MA installing the world’s first Hydroknit machine that produced what ended up being the #1 selling industrial wipe in the world.
I then moved back to AR and was the Engineering/Expansion manager at the Maumelle (Huggies Baby Wipes) plant. Our team expanded the experimental manufacturing plant to a full commercial production facility supplying the world sales. I then moved to WI in 1997 and had too many Research and Engineering roles to mention. Along that path I was blessed with 5 wonderful daughters who range from 18 to 32. Now we have 5 grand kids as well. All still in in WI. My wonderful fiancé Beth Resch, her two sons and I are enjoying my retirement while she works full time as a Radiological Nurse Practitioner at AMC.
2. What made you decide to volunteer for Habitat?
I stayed very busy the first two years of retirement, but decided I needed some new things to keep me learning and motivated. Being a Techy kinda person the idea of doing construction always fascinated me. There are days I would be driving to work and pass a construction site and think wow, I wish I was doing that today!! Of course that was usually on a pretty spring day vs. the dead of winter I have to admit. After two years of retirement I was seeking something to do voluntarily, to give back to the community while having a social element and learning experiences at the same time. Habitat was perfect!!
4. What do you enjoy most about Habitat? (what work do you like most, what keeps you coming back, etc
With my woodworking and engineering background I tend to enjoy the finishing type work although I enjoy all of it. I would love to do finish electrical and plumbing but I know that isn’t on our “to do” list. What keeps me coming back? The wonderful people you meet and work with. Getting to know new folks with similar interests is key to the experience.
5. What is something about you that might be a surprise to those with whom you volunteer?
I had an interning job in college working for a consulting firm in Cincinnati that designed amusement parks (Kings Island and others). Their specialty was wooden roller coasters. While there, I built a 100th scale model of a mountain (1km x 1km) that contained two roller coasters, two restaurants and a diving cliff off the front for entertainment. We needed the model for interference checks as there was no computer aided design programs then.