This post is part of an occasional series focusing on Leadership Development Academy graduates and what they have done, personally and professionally, in the years following their LDA experience. Please contact us if you would like to be profiled here, or would like to recommend a graduate for us to feature.
What are you doing now?
City Administrator for the City of Milton
What did you want to be when you grew up?
What I really wanted to be was a professional football player … but as I grew older (but not bigger) I realized that was highly unlikely.
How did LDA help you on your journey?
LDA was a tremendous opportunity to learn more about the community that I grew up in and worked for. It wasn’t just a matter of learning where things are in the City, it was more about learning about the fabric that holds the community together. The relationships that I made through LDA still stand the test of time over a decade later.
I would say Kind of a Big Deal, but that would be a little “on the nose.” So I’ll go with Van Halen.
What piece of advice would you give a new LDA participant?
You truly get out of the program what you are willing to put in it. If you put yourself out there, engage your class and your community, you will be repaid tenfold through those experiences.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I have two small children (1 year old and 4 year old) so “spare time” is a scarce and precious commodity to me. But when I do have a few moments, I love to read and do woodworking.
Favorite Rock County event:
I love the Milton 4th of July parade and celebration.
Where do you volunteer?
I am currently on the United Way Board of Directors. I also work with the Special Olympics of Southern Wisconsin and with the Milton School District Lunch Buddy Program.
If you could trade careers with any local person, who would you trade with and why?
That’s a tough one. I really like where I’m at and don’t really look too much for greener grasses, but I guess if I had to answer I would choose someone who is already retired. That way I could have some more of that “spare time” you were referring to.
When you reflect on your LDA experience, what is your fondest memory? Scariest memory?
There were a lot of great memories, from the ropes course, to the project teams, to the graduation. I really do review my time in LDA with great fondness. In terms of “scary” moments, I can’t really recall any other than trying to make it down to one session in Beloit in a snowstorm without 4-wheel drive.
Future goal or dream:
To see my children grow up as good people who find happiness in their life, love, and work.
Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention.
Why have you stayed involved with LDA?
As the program continues to grow and mature, I see the potential of its impact on the community growing every single year.
“Get busy living, or get busy dying” – Red Redding
What was your LDA project? How did it impact your experience with LDA or in life?
Our project was to introduce recycling bins to all Janesville parks. As far as I know, those still exist in the parks and are hopefully be utilized to reduce the overall refuse being placed in landfills.
If you could choose a community project or need to help out with today, what would it be and why?
I would try to introduce more public art to communities, specifically in my case, the City of Milton. I believe public art not only beautifies our communities, but also provides points of interest, discussion, and memories for those living in and visiting our communities.
Who do you look up to as a community leader/mentor?
Former Janesville City Manager Steve Shieffer was a tremendous mentor early I my career. Today, I spend a great deal of time with Jon Cruzan who is a community catalyst and a wonderful leader in the City of Milton.
Do you know of any new nonprofits that might need community support now?
Of course I would always encourage everyone to become engaged in the United Way as they are truly the leaders in our region in addressing community needs and assisting nonprofits in addressing those needs. Closer to home, The Milton Area Youth Center (MAYC) is always in need of assistance and resources in serving their youth clients.