Where did you grow up? What did you want to be when you grew up?
I grew up ninety miles west of Middleton in Prairie du Chien Wisconsin. While growing up I was always building things and dreamed of being an inventor.
Where did you go to college and what were your career goals?
I attended UW-Madison for four years and wanted to be in a career where I could make a difference.
Did you work your way through college?
During the summer I worked as a barge handler and loaded corn onto barges on the Mississippi River. I was up at five-thirty in the morning and out on the river until nine o'clock at night - long days, hard work but good money. I had wanted to stay in Madison and get a job as a bartender, but my dad got me that job so I lived at home with my parents in Prairie du Chien. Not my original plan, but I do thank him now that I'm older.
Where did you go to work after you graduated, and what was the biggest surprise when you started working?
My first job out of college was at Oscar Mayer. The biggest surprise was that I had seven different positions in five years - from engineering to supervision to industrial engineering to name a few. I'd work in one position for six months then they would move me to a new position. It actually turned out to be a good thing because I learned how to fix problems and adapt, but it was not at all what I was expecting.
You worked in manufacturing management for several years before moving into the insurance industry. What prompted your decision to become an agent for State Farm Insurance in 2005?
My wife Berit and I had our first of three children in 2004. We wanted to make a change in our lives where my job could allow me to stay in the same town while raising our family. I own my State Farm Agency and get to stay in the same city my entire career. I choose State Farm because they have been the No. 1 insurance company for over forty years.
What type of insurance do you specialize in?
My team and I specialize in protecting families with Auto, Home, Life and Health Insurance.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding experience happened when I was able to pay for a young adult's college after the death of his father. His dad was no longer there for him but he did make sure that he put his kids through college.
You've served as president of the Middleton Good Neighbor Festival. Why did you decide to volunteer to lead this community event?
I enjoy being a member of the Middleton community and making a difference in people's lives. I want to make my community better in any way that I can and leading the local festival that supports so many good causes is a great way to make a difference.
What do you like to do for fun?
When I have the time I enjoy working with horses. I have been involved in competitive carriage driving since I was six years old. It is very similar to three-day eventing, which includes dressage, cross country and show jumping, except you drive the horse instead of riding it. A couple of the shows we attend every year are located in the Madison area.