Tell us something about yourself and your profession.
"After graduating from college, I joined Procter & Gamble's management training program, then I held upper management positions with Johnson &
Johnson, Alberto Culver, Butler and Rand McNally. When Rand McNally was sold to an investment group, I became a part owner in Authentic Brands, which secured a Major League Baseball license and partnered with Hank Aaron to be a licensed decorator of corporate apparel for Major League Baseball."
How and when did you become involved as a mentor?
"My wife Sue and I were talking to Marti Lennon, an EB211 mentor, about five years ago and she told us about the EB211 program. We told her we were interested and she passed that along to EB211 President Nancy Robb. Nancy contacted us shortly and we each got a mentee that next year. We have each had two mentees."
What challenges have you encountered as a mentor and how have you overcome them?
"My initial challenges were more about the best way to keep in touch with
my mentee and how to help him meet his goals. We met several times before
he went off to school, and I just tried to be open and honest with him and let him know that I was here to help in any way I could. We also decided on how we
were going to communicate on a weekly basis. We decided we would text
every Wednesday. We never faced any serious challenges because my mentee adjusted well to school, got excellent grades from the beginning, and we communicated virtually every Wednesday. Sometimes if I forgot to text him, he texted me, but mostly I initiated the communication."
Besides the EB211 meetings and regular communication with your mentee, are there any other ways in which you have reached out to him
"Anytime I received a communication from Jeff Butzen (EB211 mentor training committee), I would read it carefully and forward it to my mentee with my recommendations on what were the key points. Furthermore, we would get together for breakfast or lunch on each of his breaks from school, and in the summer I would invite him over for dinner at our home, where we could spend extra time getting to know each other."
What have you learned from being an EB211 mentor
"I have learned that helping a young man reach his goals is very fulfilling.
It is also very gratifying to be able to help a young man overcome the many
obstacles that a first-year, first-generation college student faces."