What do you like most about working at Midtronics?
Without a doubt it is all the talented, dedicated, and motivated people I get to work with daily. I have learned so much from my friends and colleagues here. It’s fun to work together and be a part of something great, and knowing we’re really making a positive difference in this world.
What is a favorite memory you have from your time at Midtronics?
I came here from a company that lacked direction. In my tenure there, I invented plastic injection molding process cooling, Deepwater Horizon downhole instrumentation, thumb-print trigger locks, shocking dog collars, automotive coffee brewers, propane blowback valves, and yes, even the self-flushing kitty litter box. Total randomness.
When I first met Steve 30 years ago, he had a strip of butcher block paper taped to the wall over on Adams Street with the letters N-D-M-F scribbled in marker. I asked him what that meant, and he said “That’s our strategic plan: Noise immune, Digital, Monitoring, and Fuel gage”. Over the years, we have accomplished all those things, plus many more, and our vision for the future continues to expand.
What personal accomplishment at Midtronics are you most proud of?
I’m proud to have been a part of leading Midtronics to have been twice recognized as “Chicago’s Most Innovative Company”. I’ve played a substantial role in developing technology and dealer service strategies for vehicle electrification. Our collective work in this area has been significant in enabling the way for customer adoption of EVs. If it can’t be fixed, you certainly don’t want to buy it, and our customers choose Midtronics to supply the fixin’ tools. (Six dollar gas doesn’t hurt, either…)
What is on your wish list for the next 10 years with Midtronics?
I’m looking forward to the day, and hope to help make it happen, that everyone is driving an electric car, and Midtronics is the service tool of choice for electric vehicles. Retirement, schmirement, I’ve having too much fun…
How do you like to spend your time when you are not at work?
I like to “unplug” as often as possible to get my personal batteries re-charged. My favorite activity is spending as much time as I can with my wife (and our two grown daughters when they are around, which is seldom, ‘cuz they have both deserted us for the Big Apple) in Wisconsin on the weekends. We enjoy sitting on the deck, watching the wildlife, and reading until it’s time to head to one of our favorite supper clubs.
What are your hobbies?
I am an avid reader of fiction and historical fiction, with Nelson DeMille and Ken Follett being just two of my favorite authors. I’m always happiest when I have several novels “in the bank” just waiting to be enjoyed. Since my favorite authors don’t write fast enough, I’m always on the prowl for a new favorite. I’m currently enjoying the Preston & Childs Pendergast series.
Tell us about your family
This July 27th, my wife and I are looking forward to celebrating our 38th wedding anniversary!! She is a saint and has developed an amazing tolerance (albeit with a significant amount of eye-rolling) for dealing with my “Sheldon-ness”. We actually met on a blind date 40 years ago set up by my grandmother. Our oldest daughter is Engineering Manager for Spinmaster, a games company that produces such classics as Rubik’s Cube, Etch-A-Sketch, and thousands of board games. Our youngest daughter recently graduated from NYU and is currently teaching Wildlife Ecology in Manhattan. She is presently very excited because Ellie Kemper’s son James is one of her students. (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt).
What is your favorite food?
Meat. Any kind of meat. Lots of meat. Did I mention meat?
What is something you think other people would be surprised to know about you?
That I’m a farm boy from Iowa. Wait. I guess that is the world’s worst kept secret.