How I got here
Even as a kid growing up in the desert, I had a fascination with water. I tell my friends that I was the first kid to fall in the mud puddle in the spring and the last to crawl out in the fall. Maybe it traces back to grade school in Annapolis where my Dad taught at the Naval Academy and I spent a lot of time along the Chesapeake Bay. Anyway, I made my way to UW where I majored in Oceanography. After graduation, I spent the Viet Nam era working as an Oceanographer for the US Navy. I spent more time at sea than most of the sailors on board, but they couldn’t grow a beard, have long hair, or wear love beads. During this period, I met Cindy, fell in love, got married, and started having dogs. We started out with a miniature dachshund. Shortly after, I made my way back to grad school in Fisheries at UW, and we expanded our family with a great Dane. On the average, our dogs were about average, but (for my statistician friends) they were in the tails of the distribution. As I finished grad school, Cindy finished our first great Dane and our second dachshund with their AKC championships. I had to start making a living, and got a great job with Washington Department of Fisheries, where I put in 10 years managing baitfish (herring and surf smelt). I learned how things work and how to get things done in often adversarial conditions. Then I moved up the food chain to the International Pacific Halibut Commission, an even better job than WDF. There I got great experience with folks who are still my friends. While I was doing fish things, Cindy started working for United Airlines and we started our mega-travel adventures.
After several visits to Cindy’s sister on the east coast of FL, we decided that we needed a change that included warmer weather. We had two criteria for a location in FL: a city with a substantial United Airlines presence and an estuary. Tampa Bay fit best, and in 1999 we moved from Seattle to St Petersburg FL. We had three dogs and a cat by then. Cindy worked at United and I was unemployed when we arrived. Cindy supported us and I played tennis and rode my bike. I met a guy who ran MRAG Americas, a two-person fishery consulting company, and I went to work for him. Over time, people came and went, the company expanded, and through attrition, I ended up as Vice President. We have clients all over the world. I travel a lot, which is fun, exhilarating, and exhausting. When people ask me when I’m going to retire, I say when I don’t have fun anymore. So far, so good. I have small center console fishing boat for Tampa Bay that I don’t get to use enough, but still enjoy. Cindy retired from United in 2003 and now rescues Airedales as president of the FL Airedale rescue group. We now have an Airedale and a Yorkie, but no cat. Yet.
So, here I am getting ready to return to Richland for the first time in about 35 years. See you there.