Basically I like computers, and I'm a "techy" type. I like graphic design, but just enough to be able to manage professional web sites. I am not a fully expert graphics designer, but I do like to create things.
In the summer of my senior year of college, I worked for the Honeywell Ordnance Division in St. Louis Park, Minnesota as a summer engineer. It taught me a lot about the corportate world, about the defense industry, and about engineering as a career.
I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering for North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota. I immediately went to work for the Allen-Bradley Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I spent 8+ good years there in the mechanical design of electro-mechanical switch gear. From there I went to work for Johnson Controls, also in the Milwaukee area. I spent 13 years there in the capacity of a Project Engineer, and Design Group Leader.
Reorganizations, moving divisions out of Milwaukee, and the economy in general required I consider a job change. With 22 years in Milwaukee, I wanted to stay in the Midwest. I went to work for Greenlee Textron in Rockford, IL as the New Products Engineering Manager. My team and I did a number of good things at Greenlee Textron, introducing numerous new products to the electrical contractor business and the emerging digital construction industry. I stayed there for 14 years. Other roles at Greenlee Textron included Director of Engineering, Products Liability Manager, and Product Research Coordinator.
During my career at Greenlee Textron, I went back to school and received my MBA (Master's of Business Administration) from Keller University in Chicago (now DeVry University).
I started my web design business First Webs about 11 years ago. I took many new online courses in the IT department at Keller University, did some self study, and jumped in doing website design. I "burned the oil" on many projects and learned a ton about the online industry.
For the last 7 of the 11 years as First Webs, I joined SCORE (Service Core of Retired Executives), a business partner of the US Small Business Adminstration. I mentored clients who were looking to start or grow their own business. Whenever a question about the Internet came up, I usually got to mentor that client because of my experience online. The last 2 years with SCORE I served as the District Director for SCORE Illinois, including the Chicago chapter. SCORE Illinois provided approximately 20, 000 business services to clients in llinois. That mix included about 10, 000 in educational "how to" workshops, usually offered at nominal cost to the client.
I was born in North Dakota on a small family farm about 100 miles south and little east of Bismarck, North Dakota. I lived and worked on the farm until I was half-way through high school.
My education included grades 1-3 in a one-room classroom with siblings and neighbors. I moved to the "city school" at the start of grade 4. I graduated co-valedictorian in a senior class of 43.
I am the father 0f 3 daughters, and husband to Geri - my wife since marrying right out of college. I have 5 grandchildren - 3 boys and 2 girls.
I love tennis, although it is mostly doubles at this time. I like country music (actually I like a lot of different types of music), but mostly listen to the newer versions of country.
I enjoy couples country dancing including the two-step, double-two-step, west coast swing, and waltz.
I like to "fix things" around the home and yard. I do a lot maintenance on my own automobiles.
Why and How Can I Help You?
I believe we are all "shaped and molded" by our experiences. I've learned an enormous amount in my engineering career, going it alone as First Webs, and in my role as a SCORE volunteer. If I can help you avoid some of the mistakes I've made, I'd be glad to do that.
You might ask "but why this type of online business". I've met some very good people who ran great businesses in the 70's, 80's, and even into the 90's totally frustrated with the technology in use today. Many don't understand the tools in use, and many don't understand the concepts of digital marketing. If I can help educate them, I would feel good about that. While at SCORE, I could have had many more clients than I actually had time for. There is a real need for digital marketing experience with mature business owners.
I've also seen many look to an MLM business, or an online Internet "get rich" scheme. MLM business only work for a very small percentage because of the sheer volume of recruiting needed. I haven't found a "get rich" scheme that works yet, either. So as Brendon Burchard would say "when opportunity knocks, WORK answers"! Those who become successful invest in educating themselves for the skill set they need to run that business. They have goals, a focused plan, and are ACTION takers!