I learned early what I didn’t want to do – work in a factory. I think everybody should experience it sometime. My factory experience was at Waukesha Rubber Company in, of course, Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Another experience I think everybody should have is working on a farm. I worked primarily two farms: 1) my uncle’s in Elgin, Illinois when I was around 14 and 15 years old, and 2) while I attended undergraduate school in River Falls, Wisconsin, I worked for a couple of summers primarily assisting with the hay crop. Talk about real work!!
My business career began 1974 in Boulder, Colorado at Cen Tex Supply Company. Cen Tex was (maybe still is) principally a restaurant equipment and paper supply wholesaler. I started as an assistant bookkeeper and about three years later was the general manager. The computer system there utilized paper punch tape. This was also my introduction to computers. During my stay there I was instrumental in switching from one computer system to another.
The second significant company I worked at was NBI, Inc. also in Boulder. I started there around 1978 as an accounts receivable accountant/bookkeeper. Shortly afterwards I became the Credit/Accounts Receivable Manager.
NBI was a manufacturer of word processing equipment, a rapidly growing industry at the time. When I started revenues were about five million dollars, when I quit approximately eight years later, revenues were around $300 million. Pretty incredible growth.
After my two year stint in Wisconsin earning my undergraduate degree in accounting, I started to work for a company called MiniScribe. MiniScribe was a manufacturer of computer hard disk drives with manufacturing facilities in Singapore and Longmont, Colorado.
During my brief tenure of about a year and a half, I worked primarily as a temporary employee tracking the raw inventory movement between Singapore and Longmont.
After earning my Masters degree in Taxation from Colorado State University in August 1991, I accepted a tax position with Coopers & Lybrand in Eugene, Oregon. During the period of about October 1991 to October 1995 I worked in the tax department. The nice thing about the Eugene office was I gained a lot of tax experience working with small businesses and individuals. Coopers & Lybrand has since merged with PriceWaterhouse.
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