Bridgman Alumnus, Business Manager
City of Residence
I am a 1982 graduate of Bridgman High School where I was the class President. In fact, we’re having our 40th reunion next week! It’s hard to believe, 40 years! My connection to Bridgman began in 1970 when my father moved our family from Madison, IN along the Ohio River to Bridgman where he was helping with the construction and later the operation of the D.C. Cook Nuclear Plant. I was beginning 1st grade at the Bridgman Elementary School. I was very fortunate to attend Bridgman Public Schools. I received a great education and had wonderful teachers, coaches, staff and administrators that made a huge impact in my life. I can still name all of my teachers, 1st grade through 12th ! Quite a few I not only saw Monday through Friday but also saw on Sunday at church. Interestingly my first exposure to the school board room was at church. We were one of the early families at Woodland Shores Baptist Church and prior to purchasing property and building we met at the high school in the board room.
During my 4th grade year, I became very sick, was hospitalized and then remained home for a period of time. I was eventually diagnosed with Rheumatic Fever which affected my joints and lost the use of my legs. I remember how caring and supportive my teachers, classmates, staff and community were during this time. I was able to complete my assignments at home and eventually regained my health and returned to school and moved on to 5th grade the following year.
I had an older sister and older brother who both graduated from Bridgman. My mom worked
for Bridgman Public Schools at the “new” Reed Middle School as a teacher’s aide until she
retired. In junior high I was on the inaugural Sea Bee’s swim team. Later I took lifesaving at the community pool and was employed by BPS as a lifeguard. I also lifeguarded for the City of Bridgman at Weko Beach, the YMCA on Hollywood Road and taught swimming lessons at the Benton Harbor High School pool.
Growing up I played little league behind the elementary school, floor hockey in the
elementary/middle school gym, flag football on the old high school field and later played
football for middle school and the high school, and participated in the ski club as well. I have fond memories of school, community sports and extracurricular activities.
My teachers from elementary, middle school and high school prepared me for academic
success as I went on to college. Previously, I shared my first exposure to the Board of Education Room. My second was my senior year when as class president I presented to the Board of Education a request to hold our 1982 graduation ceremony out on the football field rather than in a very hot gymnasium. I am happy to report, after discussion they agreed and we were either the first, or the first in many years to hold graduation outdoors. I finished my first two years of college at Lake Michigan College in pre-engineering. I then transferred to Tri-State University (now Trine University) in Angola, IN and in 1987 graduated with high honors in electrical engineering. I later attended the University of Notre Dame and in 1992 graduated with high honors with my MBA.
I began my career with AEP / Indiana Michigan Power as an engineer and later manager in
South Bend and later Fort Wayne. In 2001, I transitioned to the medical device industry where I worked for a couple large companies including Biomet in Warsaw, IN and then transitioned to the start-up world bringing new technologies to market and still work in that field today as an executive in commercialization. I love being one link in the chain that helps a surgeon, and their staff, help a patient! It gets me up in the morning!
Most importantly I am a husband to my wife, Angel of 34 years and a dad to two adult boys,
Josh and Caleb, where they live on the west coast and east coast, respectively. Thankfully we have a wonderful place for them to visit and we enjoy visiting them too. I am an active member of Lakeside Family Church participating several ministries including greeting and facilitating a periodic class among other activities.
We raised our boys in Fort Wayne, IN but after they graduated from college and pursued their own careers, I returned back to Bridgman about 3 years ago along with my wife, Angel. During our time in Indiana, we made frequent trips to southwest Michigan to visit friends, family and beautiful Lake Michigan. We are so pleased to be part of the Bridgman area community. When not working I enjoy many activities including spending time with my wife, my sons, family and friends, walking the beach, kayaking, swimming, hiking, running, fishing, shooting, hunting, golfing, and projects around the house.
So that’s a portion of my story. I hope to get a chance to meet many of you in the coming days and look forward to your story as well. Note, I am not a politician. My motivation to become a school board member is one based on servant-leadership and to give back to the community who gave so much to me. I received a great education from teachers, staff and administrators who cared, and I have always been proud to be a Bridgman Bee! I can think of no better way to serve than to participate on the Board of Education for BPS. Our schools are the foundation and future of our community AND our nation!
In the coming days I will post a manifesto which basically presents bullet points of what I
believe are important in the education of our children. If my background and thoughts
resonate with you, I humbly ask that you consider voting for me to represent you as a member of the Bridgman School Board. Thank you.