Vice president of Imperial Western Products (commodity trading) and current president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sequoias
How did you end up here in Visalia?
My family moved from Pennsylvania in 1975. My dad brought us out here when he went to work for World Wide Sires. I attended Cal Poly and after graduation, I moved to Visalia in 1986. I have been here ever since.
How did you get your start in this line of work?
I started in ag lending with Security Pacific Bank and have been with Imperial Western since 1991. I would say that growing up on a small dairy in Vermont, my dad’s influence in the dairy industry and working on friends’ dairy farms for summer jobs led me to where I am now.
Why are you passionate about your work?
For one thing, every day is different and presents new challenges. The best parts about working in agriculture are the people. There is a work ethic and straightforward approach that I appreciate with my customers.
As I get older, there is more of a push to give back to the community. So much of my passion is now directed in helping with kids through the Boys & Girls Clubs here in Tulare County. My wife, Chris, and I are blessed that we have the time to do this.
What is the most challenging thing about your job?
Trying to make forward decisions on the ag commodity markets in today’s global economy. We are in constant change because of ag policies, tariffs, weather and transportation. But that’s what makes it fun.
The other is more the sign of the times. Most of our communication is done with emails, texts or outside brokers. We spend much less time talking to customers these days. I miss that.
If you had to choose another career, what would it be?
Good question. I often wonder what it would have been like serving in the military. Maybe a Navy SEAL. Ha, ha.
Tell as a little about life outside of work:
I have two sons who just graduated from college and have moved home. So the house is much smaller. Hopefully, that is just temporary. My wife, Chris, is an avid cyclist, and I enjoy golf. We both love the mountains, and ski and hike as often as possible. Both of us enjoy our time volunteering for the Boys & Girls Clubs.
What got you interested in the Boys & Girls Clubs?
Funny story. I played in the Boys & Girls Clubs golf tournament and got a hole in one. When I went to the Gindick Club to receive the hole-in-one check, a young boy said to me, “Gee, Mister, you can retire now!” Well, it wasn’t enough to retire on, but it sure seemed like a lot of money to this young man. He then showed me around the club. I got to see firsthand how the staff worked with the kids, watching them teach life skills to kids who really need it.
What about Visalia makes this a good community to live and work in?
I really think we are lucky to live in an area that is ag-based. This town really gives back, and the ag community has a lot to do with it. I get to witness this firsthand with our Boys & Girls Clubs board. We have such great community leaders volunteering and who are passionate about making Visalia and our county a better place to live.