CADET SQUADRONS: 8 and 9
ROLE MODEL: USAFA, Class of ’70 – honored to be counted a member of this great class
CIVILIAN STUFF: Corporate Guy from ’78-’86; Serial Entrepreneur for the rest of my life – SSDS – KWI – Qlinks – TSS – current venture is acQyrWallet – the next big thing for online/mobile gamers!
SUPER POWER: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2: 8-9
RUNNING: Used to be a decent distance runner – 5:13 mile; 45-50 minute 10ks. Now, I am training for the HTC, with dreams of what used to be and the reality of a 70 year old body.
CANCER: I have too many family members and friends who have lost their lives to cancer or been impacted by it. On a very personal level, my wife, Debbie, is a cancer survivor from a rare form of cancer – bile duct cancer. To learn more, read WHY HTC below.
For the "REAL STORY" click Read More to help me FINISHCANCER!
The Real Story
FOUNDATION – Born in Lynch, Nebraska on Feb 26, 1948, I have always had a firm foundation, based on a loving and supportive family that raised me in a Christian environment and Midwest culture of trust and hard work. My Dad was a section foreman for the railroad, so we moved to Winner, SD in the mid-50s. I loved growing up in a farming community, where I had great friends, a good education, and the opportunity to play all sports (even did some distance running in HS!!). My Mom died just shy of turning 103 a couple of years ago and taught us all what it is to love and serve others. I still have two older brothers that keep me focused on what is really important.
Getting an Academy appointment gave me the opportunity to continue my education and established the path for my future. I was humbled to be surrounded by great leaders, star athletes, and brilliant minds. This poor farming community boy from South Dakota had to work hard among all these super stars. Fortunately, my classmates were men of integrity and compassion – great friendships were formed that are as strong today as they were at the Academy!
FLIGHT – I had planned to become a pilot upon graduation from USAFA. Unfortunately, the Air Force decided they didn’t need as many pilots, so I was disqualified for sitting height! So, off to UCLA for my Master’s in Computer Science and a redirection of my career toward technology. Five years in Montgomery, AL at the Data Systems Design Center (I met wife here – see Family) was followed by a final assignment at the Federal Simulation Center in Washington, DC.
Having decided to redirect my career into civilian life, I started building a career of technical and managerial leadership. However, in 1986, I made that crazy step into the entrepreneurial world. Three guys, $30,000, and a vision – 10 years later, SSDS was operating in 14 locations, with over 400 employees, with annual revenues in excess of $40 million. Once an entrepreneur always an entrepreneur: SSDS was followed with several other ventures (some good; some not so good). Currently, I am working with an outstanding team to launch the first loyalty rewards platform for managing and redeeming gaming rewards in US dollars (USD) that players can spend anywhere (www.acQyrWallet.com).
FAITH – I was baptized into faith as an infant and have been blessed with knowing Jesus as my Savior for my entire life. Whatever accomplishments that I have in this life cannot compare to the love shown for me through Jesus’ death for my sins. I pray that you also know Jesus as your personal Savior.
FAMILY – Without my family supporting me through the past 70 years, I wouldn’t have made it. In 1976, I married the love of my life, Debbie, whom I met at an Easter Sunrise Service. For 42+ years, we have supported each other and been blessed with three daughters and four (soon to be six) grandchildren. We have had some great times and some very difficult times, but through it all, we have always been there for each other. I agreed to run in the HTC Relay only after getting the blessing of my wife and three daughters.
FRIENDS – If you’ve read this far, you are probably a family member or friend 😊. I’d like to say that I’ve done a lot to earn the trust and respect of my friends, but it is really just the opposite. I have received so much from each of my high school, academy, church, work, and golfing friends, that I cannot begin to repay you. I can only say thank-you!
WHY HTC? (Hood-to-Coast Relay supporting the Providence Cancer Center)– We have many family members and friends who have lost their lives to cancer or been impacted by it. A primary passion for being on this team is to honor those family members and friends and to help raise money for cancer research. On a very personal level, my wife, Debbie, contracted a rare form of cancer – bile duct cancer – in late 2010. Sparing you the details, we spent much time at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN (yes, it gets cold there). Eventually, our youngest daughter, Angie, gave half of her liver, so that her Mom could survive. The surgery was a success! Both Debbie and Angie are healthy and Debbie is cancer free. We know that Debbie would not be here today except for the power of prayer and the support of so many family members and friends.
Finally, it is an honor to continue to be counted as part of the close-knit team we call the Class of 1970. Go Winded Warriors – finish the race!
The "Winded Warriors" Team
Follow Winded Warriors all the way to the finish line!