I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. - Edward Everett Hale (3 April 1822 – 10 June 1909) was an American author and Unitarian clergyman.
I was born and raised on a farm near Tarkio Missouri, in Northwest Missouri. My folks moved to a small farm in Southwest Iowa and that is where I graduated (near middle of last century) from Wales-Lincoln High School, 10 miles or so northwest of Red Oak Iowa. Then I went to college at Northwest Missouri State University(when it was still Northwest Missouri State Teachers College and even before they had out-of-state tutition!.. believe it or not), and graduating from that institution with a degree in mathematics. I started my "after-college" career as a high school math and science teacher in Red Oak Iowa.
This was just prior to the computer age. I know - most of you probably figured that computers came over on the Mayflower and that they have always been around...not so. Anyway I wanted to be a part of this "new" technology, so I gave up my teaching job in order to do graduate work at one of the few places in the entire Country that had any level of computer courses and degree - University of Missouri at Rolla (now Missouri S & T).
So far this is the oldest that I have ever been!
This education and training lead me into programming and systems analyst in St Louis Missouri...even as the Arch was being built. (I love St Louis and the St Louis Cardinals!) I went to work for McDonald Aircraft (before McDonald-Douglas 1967, and later with Boeing 1997) as a computer programmer. Following McDonald Aircraft, I became a Data Processing Manager for Doane Agricultural Services.
Following this very challenging career of programming, I got into computer supplies sales when "Mini-Computers" were the hottest thing since sliced bread. I started my own company in Omaha Nebraska in the early 70s and was the first mini-computer OEM in the Midwest - even before Kansas City or Minneapolis had such companies. We were the first "OEM" for Data General (DGC operated from 1968 till closing in 1999) in the entire Midwest. "Resellers" then were referred to as "OEMs". That stood for "Original Equipment Manufacturer", because we litterally had to buy equipment from a variety of sources to integrate into a complete system that could then be bundled with an application and sold as "turnkey". (But all of that is another story)
During this period, I bought a small farm near Henderson Iowa and raised broilers, hogs, cows (for a short time) and girls (4 girls, to be exact), along with corn, beans and alfalfa. I was a full fledged, part time, small farmer.
Later on my company became more specialized by offering data collection systems (from Data Net Corporation), primarily for manufacturers and distributors. These systems were designed to collect information on the factory floor or production area - most often using and/or printing bar code, as well as integrating devices such as scales and sensors. During this period my company became focused on the meat/food industry as far as the services and products that we were offering. It was during this time also that we recognized the need for accessory equipment that could protect the electronic equipment that we were installing in these contaminated environments, and we started a side company to address this problem. That spin-off company is still active today and producing environmental enclosures under the brand name of Titan Enclosures. That company is Bear Tech Industries.
We made financial investments in business and residential real estate and even offered contractor services and financing. One of the business investments was a used car sales business. We offered auto parts sales and services, as well as to offer financing via "buy-here-pay-here" vehicle purchases.
Much of my business career was involved in marketing activities for a variety of companies. We recognized that one the greatest marketing tools was the "new" field of a business having a website domain. At that time there were very few companies that offered such a service, so we decided to do our own website programming. That technology business lead us to offering website programming and hosting to a wide range of companies.
In later business career days, I became a "senior business development associate" (consultant) for a meat/food industry equipment manufacturer out of Canada - Riopel Industries. I was responsible for covering the entire Midwest - from Indiana to Nebraska, and from Arkansas to Minnesota.
Since separating from the consulting effort with Riopel, I have developed a simple, basic eCommerce website - eMallZZ. I have also documented many of the products and services ideas that have presented themselves over my business career - Ideas-Preneur, some of which may be of interest to community economic development efforts... to anyone, any where... particularly if that Community has any interest "Growing Your Own" - an effort to look within your own community to discover potential products and services that would beneift their Community. Notice: Good luck and let me know if I can be of service or aid in any way to assist in a start-up effort.
Since becoming involved with the Red Oak Senior Center in the past few years, I recognized that there was a need for documenting and publishing a website to focus on, and highlight some of the benefits and services offered by this senior organization, and at the same time be an economic benefit to that organization, but not limiting the effort solely to that organization and indeed provide a focal point for a number of Community non-profit organizations.