I married up. About covers it.
Born in Western Massachusetts…moved to the Philly suburbs of Wayne, PA for 18 years, then back to Massachusetts. Before economic awareness and realities kicked in, I was blissfully in love with the Berkshires, the Western-most county in Massachusetts. Days and nights were spent fishing, taking photographs and enjoying small town life. Many hours were spent wandering Norman Rockwell’s museum…many nights were spent under the stars Tanglewood Music Center, the Summer home for the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
I graduated Hallmark Institute Of Photography in 1984, opened and then sold a camera store / portrait studio / custom framing business. Having fallen out of love with photography as a career, I did what every smart business person would do – Buy a hot dog cart. After surprising financial success, one cart became two…then three…then four…While I object to Lynn’s characterization of me as a “Hot Dog Pimp”, I did enjoy a few years renting out hot dog carts to smiling young ladies in neon-colored tank tops. And yes, they sold more hot dogs than I. After three years of slinging “dogs”, I sensed that my vocabulary had narrowed into phrases like “kraut”, “two with chili & cheese”, “want mustard & onions with that?” so I bid the hot dog pimping days adieu.
I considered which future industries might be high-growth opportunities. Bottled water was my target and I cold-called my way into an organization, starting off as a sales rep and ending up as General Manager. The turning point of my professional career…and the single most impactful event which has actually led to early retirement happened in late 2001. The company was sold to Nestle Waters and …..Nestle pretty much wanted the customers…not the managers. So, my peers and I lost our jobs.
Nine months later and we’re in Charleston, South Carolina to manage another bottled water company. I quickly realize I’m working for the wrong organization and find an opportunity written for me. CUNO, a Connecticut filtration company, wanted a sales rep to support the bottled water industry.One year later, 3M purchases CUNO. For fifteen years, I’ve been Key Account Manager for some of our biggest, most complicated customers.
The time came when I knew it was time to wrap up my career in order to be a happier, more at-peace person. A million miles and 2,000+ flights….1,200 hotel nights…believe me…each one takes a toll. Since I was a kid, I’ve wanted to become proficient in fly fishing. Photography has long been “the girl that got away” and I’m hoping to fall back in love with it. My love of Norman Rockwell’s “Small Town Americana” is a strong influence on what I hope to find and capture wandering North America with Lynn.
So that’s about it.
Mostly I married up.