Milestones have always been easy for me to write about.
The basic format is to find a point in time that goes back in multiples of five years, recall what how I felt about it then, and end with what I feel about it now.
Okay, maybe there is a little more to it than that when recalling milestones.
Forty years ago this month, I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University, began a career in television news, and started four decades as a working professional.
There was a lot of stuff going on in the weeks leading up to graduation. In April, I ended a ten-week internship with a television station. Copies of a video audition tape of stories I reported during that time were being sent to stations all over the eastern United States in hopes of landing a job.
During the week of finals, I had an interview with station WICZ in Binghamton. The news director seemed impressed with the audition tape, but the station was still another two weeks away from making a decision.
One week after graduation, the job was offered and accepted. For the next year and a half, I reported news, anchored newscasts, hosted a daily public affairs segment, and even tried my hand as a substitute for the station’s hunting and fishing feature.
Along the way, I got the opportunity to work on the local segments of the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy telethon and helped call the play-by-play for a local tennis tournament.
I also got married during that time and accepted posts at four other television stations over the next fifteen years.
Two daughters also arrived during that time. At that point, the press card was retired. I made the transition to the next career of running chambers of commerce in three cities.
Chambers help local companies succeed by providing networking opportunities, presenting training programs, and advocating on behalf of the business community before local and state government.
After thirteen years of meeting government officials, creating programs to foster leadership, and handing out dozens of plaques honoring business owners, another opportunity crossed the path.
The current job combines the experience from the two previous careers to help local governments lead their communities toward greater energy efficiency.
It’s been a pleasure to honor local business owners who lead the way in their communities.
Along the way, most of the spare time has been put to use to keep writing as a big part of my life. There have been about two-hundred columns posted to this website and about a dozen essays published in local newspapers in California and New York.
Thanks to a fellow attendee at a workshop in Fresno thirteen years ago, the discovery of on-demand publishing helped produce a few books along the way.
I am humbled by the acceptance of my writing efforts. It has been an amazing four decades as a working professional.
There have been many highs, a few challenges, and an incredible number of great people that have crossed my path.
It’s amazing to think that the journey started just a short forty years ago.