Tell us a little about your career with Anheuser Bush.
I relocated to Jacksonville in 1989 after taking early retirement from Merck Chemical and Pharmaceutical Company. My career with Anheuser Bush was as a microbiology lab analyst in quality assurance. With a degree in biology and a chemistry minor, I was able to be involved with all phases of testing in brewing, starting from the raw materials and brewing process through to the end product. I retired after 25 years with the company.
What advice would you give young people looking to pursue a career in the same line of work?
I encourage young people to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). There are numerous career paths with a science degree. For example, I worked in water pollution control, research in air pollution, chemical quality control as well as quality assurance. The current careers in microbiology are in demand in such areas as research to find cures for diseases like COVID-19.
What do you like best about involvement in Rotary?
Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self” appeals to me, because giving back and paying forward good deeds is one of my core values. It gives me a conduit by which I can serve others. I am able to do even more with a group that is committed to the same principles as my own. The membership affords me the opportunity to network with others of varied backgrounds and socialize with those who are like-minded to make the world a better place.
Looking at the year ahead, what activities are being planned by the club? Is there anything you are especially looking to?
The club supports BEAM with its back-to-school efforts such as providing school supplies and its food drive. We donated funds for personal protective equipment (PPE) for teachers in St. Johns County. Through our annual fundraising effort, Mineral City Celebration, we were able to support 27 agencies who applied for grant money to assist them with needs that were identified. Our international project in Guatemala helps to provide clean and potable water to communities that lack this necessity. Scheduling great speakers is of particular interest to me as I have been able to get a Rotary International director to facilitate our strategic planning, a speaker from Japan and the immediate past president of Rotary International to address our club. With that being said, the club’s attendance has been consistently strong if not stronger during the virtual meetings. I am especially looking forward to being able to have activities where the club will be able to interact without fear of the COVID pandemic. Such activities as the Jags game with the district, Big Brothers Big Sisters fundraiser, Jax Symphony, etc., may be put on hold.
A lot of Ponte Vedra residents moved here from somewhere else, so perhaps you have, too. How long have you lived here?
I have lived in the area for a little over 30 years. Initially I thought this area was going to be a stop-off on my way to other places wherever my career would take me. The longer I stayed, the more I enjoyed the people and lifestyle.
What do you like best about residing in this community?
It is hard to find a better quality of life outside of here with all the amenities like the beach, golf courses and family-friendly places that this area has to offer. The Florida sunshine and the laid-back attitude of the culture here is appealing.
How do you like to spend your free time? Do you have hobbies or activities that you enjoy or do you volunteer?
I like spending time with family, especially my soon-to-be three-year-old grandson; jogging on the beach at sunrise; playing golf; and snow-skiing during the winter months. I love traveling abroad. This year alone, I have skied the French Alps and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. I sculpt as a hobby. I have been known to log as many as 10-plus hours a week volunteering. I serve on nonprofit boards like The Beaches Museum and History Park, State Attorney Melissa Nelson’s Neighborhood Accountability Board, Community Redevelopment Agency of Jax Beach and as president of First Coast Tiger Bay Club.