Education: North Cross School 1971; University of Virginia, Econ. 1975, MBA 1979
Year Appointed: 2010
Current Position: Director of Development and Major Gifts
What is your favorite North Cross tradition? It used to be the fifth-grade battle, but a close second is the Fat Pencil Ceremony.
What is the biggest difference in students today versus when you were a student at NCS? Remember this was the 60’s and early 70’s; today the boys have shorter hair, the girls wear longer skirts. There were no cellphones so you had to call a girl for a date and actually talk to her on the phone, usually after talking to a parent first. You made plans with your friends by calling people on their house phone or by talking to them in person.
Who do you consider as your mentor, and what have you learned from them? My father was my mentor, he had an excellent work ethic and he taught me to be respectful of everyone no matter what their background was. He also encouraged me to ask lots of questions, and do more listening, than talking.
What is something most people would be surprised to know about you? I hate spiders, and that’s coming from someone who loves being outdoors, hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, whatever.
If you could say something to the students here at North Cross, what would you say? I left North Cross, went to the University of Virginia and was confident in my academic abilities and the ability to communicate and relate to a variety of people with different backgrounds. My sons who all attended North Cross had similar experiences. Take advantage of as many extracurricular offerings as you can, play sports you’re not comfortable with, play a musical instrument or sing, join a club, perform in a play, and run for an office. Don’t be satisfied with “good enough,” strive to be the best person you can be in all you undertake.
What’s your passion here? What motivates you to do what you do? I get to interact with every level: students, parents, faculty, the Board, and senior staff. I came to North Cross from the Board in 2010 because they had a need that I thought I could help with. I was also frustrated because I didn’t think the School was as good as it could be, and I knew the Roanoke Valley didn’t know how good the education we provide is. I wanted to let as many people as possible know what a jewel this is, in the Roanoke Valley. My sons all received a great education here (we paid for 34 years of tuition if that tells you something!), but the value of a North Cross education is as good as it’s ever been—if not better. I wish they had the opportunities our students have today.
What was your favorite book you read in school? Count of Monte Cristo
If you didn't do what you do here, what else would you be doing? I love finance and was good at it in college and graduate school but I came to Roanoke to help run a family business, which worked out well—especially since I met my wife, Forrest, while she was at Hollins. I would have loved a shot in investment banking or financial management.