Iíve worked at McDonalds as an assistant manager (1982 - 85) Later during college, I worked part time as a shift manager (1985 - 1988)
I landed an internship with COUNTRY and was offered a full time IT job a year later. I spent the first half of my career writing mainframe based Assembler and Cobol programs. The last 10 years Iíve been involved in performance testing. We test web-based applications to see how many users they can handle at an acceptable level of performance. If the application does poorly, we work with a large group of IT types to improve performance.
A Bachelor's degree from ISU in Economics and Computer Science. (1985-1990) 80 Hours of Insurance
Walk for Mankind (1980s - 1993) This charity was the granddaddy of the walk, run, or jog for charity concept. At its peak we had thousands of local participants in McLean County. I started helping out on Walk day and ended up chairing ďroute operations and logisticsĒ a few years later. That included getting volunteer groups to man all 11 checkpoints, marking the route, and getting supplies to checkpoints. The ham radio club did communications. The Kiwanis and Optimists Clubs were a couple of the many groups manning checkpoints. Some of the great people I remember working with are Jan Pritts, Rich Beal and Judy Markowitz. If you have fond memories of helping or participating, give me a holler.
Church (1984 - present) As a member of Grace Church in Normal Iíve helped out with the AWANA youth program. I served for 5-6 years in the mid 90s. A few of the many awesome guys that helped back then were; Phil Merritt, Richard Buchanan, Bruce Rawlins, and Henry Alexander. More recently Iíve helped with the food distribution ministry.
Lions Club (1995 - present) Iíve been active in the Towanda Lions Club for 20 years. Currently I serve as Treasurer. The club does fundraisers and much more for the local community. We do a variety of service activities including; serving sno-cones at Easter Seals summer camps and Towanda Grade School and running an annual Easter egg hunt. We offer an annual $500 college scholarship to Towanda area students. We also support other local charities with donations and keep a section of highway litter free.
Service organizations have fallen out of fashion, but I heartily recommend Lions Club membership to anyone wanting to be involved in their community. Jerry Bersche is the current president.
Unit 5 - CAC Member 2013 to present.
Unit 5 Participated in Study Circles (2006), an initiative for Organizing Community wide Dialogue for Action and Change. Carla Vandongen and Sharla Brown-Ajayi did a great job of organizing. The Study Circles allowed a cross section of the community to discuss what was important about our schools, identify issues, and suggest potential solutions. The results were presented back to the larger group. I was a co-presenter of our Study Circle results.
Volleyball Coach for Bloomington JHS (2005 -2010) Coached 7th grade girls volleyball. A big Thanks to Tom Wait; 8th grade coach and mentor, volleyball girls, parents and administration!! A very rewarding experience.
Volleyball Referee IHSA (2011 - present)
Lamplighter (1994 - 1997) - Treasurer and then President
While president, I led a $20,000 tennis court renovation in our subdivision. Because we needed a loan, the members had to vote on the project. It was essentially a mini-referendum. I created handouts explaining the project, held educational meetings, and the board handed out ballots. Once voted on and approved, the project was successfully finished.
Lamplighter (2010-2011) Board member
Lamplighter (2011 to 2014) President
Lamplighter (2014 to present) Board Member
Subdivision community service (2005) I wasnít a member of the board that year nor a creek resident. But I did some interesting volunteer work anyway. Our board was fixing subdivision drainage issues. Carol Myers and Dan Jackson did a fabulous job getting the pond dredged. Yet we had a problem the association couldnít fix, our creek was flooding. Because it wasn't on subdivision property, the fix was outside our associationís purview.
During bad storms water would go over the road and threaten nearby houses. Andy Kaufman and I developed a plan. He knew the dredging contractor and got a bid to dredge the creek within the subdivision. With the creek clogged downstream this still didnít address the root cause. However, I found a cost effective solution benefiting all parties. I asked the farmer to consider a deal dredging his portion of the creek in exchange for the contractor spreading fill on his field. That was the easy part.
Getting agreement from 14 people to spend money on a single proposal is similar to herding cats, though Iíd take the cats any day. After some door to door salesmanship, 13 of 14 agreed to the dredging. Rewind, talk to 13 people, get them to cover the entire cost and weíre almost there. Final score one unhappy customer, but 12 of 13 extremely happy. The creek still rises with the rain but hasnít reached the road since we fixed it.
I anticipate the cats herded by the school board have different colors and a look a bit larger. After 30 years of local community service, I look forward to the opportunity to serve Unit 5, whether herding cats, utilizing financial knowledge from my Economics background and 80+ credit hours of insurance exams, or just applying some good old fashioned common sense.