I began my journey toward an MSSW in the fall of ‘69, however drawing a low draft lottery number; I decided to take a job with Milwaukee County as a Caseworker in May of ’70, hoping against hope for a deferment. That deferment did not pan out. At induction in August, I was granted a 4-F deferment due to a medical condition. It was too late to re-enroll in graduate school, so I returned the fall of ‘71 and graduated with an MSSW as part of the Class of ’72.
I have lasting memorizes of my field instructors, Ed Buxton at Dodge County and Dean Schneck at the DFS Madison Regional Office. I recall a class on developmental disabilities taught by Oscar Shade. I reconnected with Lou Rowley as part of my State job when she was the Waushara County HHS Director.
I never saw myself as a provider of direct services but strangely enjoyed working with the state and county bureaucracy. This resulted in an initial 31 year career with the State of Wisconsin providing oversight to counties as they administered Food Stamps, Medical Assistance, AFDC (which became Wisconsin Works) and Child Support. Along the way, I became interested in local government and have served as the Chair of the Town of Sherman since 1987. In 1988, I became a Sheboygan County Board Supervisor and continue to serve today.
I retired from the State for the first time in 2003, when I began serving a five-year stint as the Sheboygan County Board Chair. Once no longer the Board Chair, due to term limits, I was bored and returned to working for the State as a Behavioral Health Surveyor for another eight years. While I obviously can point to no great accomplishments as a “Social Worker” or administrator, I like to think I put everything I learned in graduate school to work in serving as a local politician and state bureaucrat. In my spare time, I am a charter member and current board chair of Zion Housing Development Corporation, a non-profit that operates an eight unit apartment complex for the aged and disabled in Adell, Wisconsin. Since I am always running for reelection, the photo is one of me on my “parade tractor” (a ’51 Case DC) which I drive in the local Random Lake Fireman’s Picnic Parade. I continue to live on the family farm where I have lived since my birth aside from my college years and less than a year spent in Milwaukee.