I grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, MN and always had an interest it fixing and building machines. Go karts and bikes when I was younger, then snowmobiles and cars that I liked to race when I was a teenager, always searching the local scrap yard for parts, but I never really considered a skilled trade as a career choice. I also enjoyed photography and wanted to pursue a career along that path but the school I wanted to go to was near impossible to get in to and had a 4 year wait list. After goofing off in college for a year with no direction I was suddenly accepted to that photography school, problem was I could not afford it so I turned to the Navy for a photography school and GI bill to make my dream happen.
I aced the ASVAB so the recruiter made me take a nuclear engineering exam, which I took just to humor him and aced. They offered me the nuclear propulsion program that I had zero interest in until they offered a $28,000 signing bonus, which a pile of credit card debt and nothing else going I made a decision that changed my life forever. I spent 8 years, 7 months, and 22 days in the Navy serving aboard a LA class attack submarine and the last few years as an instructor teaching nuclear and electrical theory in a classroom environment as well as hands on training. My teaching job allowed me the free time to get a business degree on the Navy’s dime with time left over to become a fairly decent golfer.
My first job after leaving the Navy was a field service engineer for ABB in Detroit, where I met my soon to be wife. We serviced LV/MV switchgear for large industrial facilities (Mostly automotive) and I discovered that both the engineers and UAW/IBEW electricians had little or no training on this equipment they were responsible for so I started to develop custom substation maintenance training programs for our customers which quickly became a full time job. Fed up with Michigan winters I moved to Florida and opened a training facility for ABB (Easier to get people to come to Florida than Detroit for a training class) but ABB sold off their service division which eventually went out of business (On 9/10/01, the day before the world changed) so I went to work for a few different NETA companies that wanted to offer the training programs I developed.
The training business was great and I enjoyed it for about 10 years but it required extensive travel and with young children at home I wasn’t going to miss out on being a father so started looking for something else. I loved the Southeast, the weather, values, and people was what I wanted for my family but I didn’t want just any job, I wanted a challenge. Then one night at 2AM my phone rings, it was someone in my industry I had known for a while and respected for longer, he had just bought a company in North Carolina that specialized in switchgear services for nuclear plants and he wanted me to run it for him. 2 weeks later my family and I were in a moving truck headed South to a house we bought unseen and a whole new adventure, best decision I ever made. Every day produces a different challenge, our customers come to us for solutions that no one else could figure out so I have to get creative, luckily I work with some of the best talent in the country and have vast resources at my disposal. I don’t even know what my job description is, my daughter just says I am a “circuit breaker email writer”.
I have lived here for 8 years and love it, kids are a perfect age for travel so we all explore the country on road trips whenever we can. Having the mountains and beach close by is ideal for weekend trips. After a 25 year break I am back to racing cars on the weekends, and when the kids go off to college I plan on restoring some old sports cars, back to the scrap yards, full circle.