IT Service Desk Specialist - Progressive Insurance
I graduated from Orange High school in 1968. Attended Marietta College for 1 year. Then, I went to Cuyahoga Community College for a year and a half in 1970-71 before starting at Ashland in the fall of 1971. I graduated from Ashland College in 1974 and worked in the Ashland area for a year and then in Cleveland until 1976. I headed west in January of 1976 to Denver – starting a 20 year adventure away from Cleveland - with the intention of staying except that my friends from college Doug Pippitt and Mary Sale were moving back to Connecticut and New York. I continued west and ended up in the Bay Area staying for a while with Jim Mahon & Mark Borwell from Orange and then with Bob Kopp & Rick Voorhees from Ashland. Only lasted 9 months out there – I got lots of first interviews but never got called back for a second. Worked temp jobs until my uncle called me and dragged me back east to work for MDSI in Ann Arbor, MI. I drove a 26 foot GMC motor home with what turned out to be one of the first Desktop computers – it was actually built into a desk – up and down the east coast covering a territory from Montreal to Miami and everything east of Cleveland starting in January of 1977 through March of 1979. We were demonstrating the benefits of using a Desktop computer versus timesharing and mainframes to create the code that would go onto a Mylar tape to operate a numerically controlled machine tool (Mills, Drills, and Lathes).
In the fall of 1979 I moved to West Palm Beach, FL to start what would become a 20 + year career in Food service management. Doug Pippitt and a partner had recently opened a restaurant in West Palm Beach called Gilligan’s and I went down to help out. I ran the grill the first year and then gradually moved into more of a management position helping with everything from ordering and inventory control to payroll while still grilling some of the time in the middle of the week. In March of 1982 I moved to Denver – this time staying in Colorado for over 15 years. The greatest state I ever lived in. June of 1982 saw me start a 4 year stint with Wendy’s Restaurants as Store Manager. I moved into the mountains – Summit County – in September of 1986 and lived there until November of 1996. During those 10 years I worked 6 seasons as a Supervisor of cafeterias at Copper Mountain Resort – 1 partial season as Food and Beverage Director for Berthoud Pass and also as manager for a company that ran the food service at Rocky Flats in the Denver area. I also worked a couple of years at the now defunct but infamous B-Lift Pub at the base of B Lift at Copper Mountain Resort. I then spent 7 short months in Boca Raton, FL looking into getting into the pack/ship business with my old friend Doug Pippitt from Ashland.
I moved back to Cleveland in June of 1997 to be close to my father whose health was failing. I worked at a sub shop called Grum’s with Brad McCoy from Ashland on and off until 2004. I spent 18 months working for Applebee’s in Cleveland from June of 1998 until November of 1999. I had my mid-life crisis in January of 2000 returning to Copper Mountain Resort for 10 weeks of skiing and eventually some work because all my friends out there couldn’t stand to see me just skiing and not working - and they were running out of comp passes for me. After 10 weeks in Colorado I drove down to Florida to visit my mom for 2 weeks. It was during this time frame that I decided to change careers and returned to college at Lakeland Community College to get a degree in IT. I worked for one of my professors from 2002 – 2006 while I completed 3 Certificates and my Associates degree in IT from Lakeland. I eventually started working for Progressive Insurance in June of 2006 at the Help Desk doing IT support for Progressive’s employees and am still employed there. I expect I retire from Progressive sometime in December 2017. This Labor Day weekend I am at Fernandina Beach/Amelia Island area looking for a condo to live in when I retire - I'm tired of scraping windshields. I can't ski anymore so what is the point of winter??