You grew up in Western New York and worked in Boston your entire career. How did you end up in Columbus?
I decided to take a vacation to Peru. In Peru, I met a wonderful woman who was living in Columbus. At the first opportunity, I asked Beverly out for dinner in Lima. With me living in Boston and Beverly in Columbus, we kept Delta Airlines in business for a year! While on extended business in California, we married in San Diego, and I moved here in 2004.
What is the best part of living here in Columbus?
Columbus is a great town. It is large enough to have a lot going on if one makes a little effort to do so. Yet, it is small enough to avoid most of the big city hassles with traffic, noise and cost.
There are some very proactive thinkers in Columbus who have made great progress in recent years. The whole music and arts world here is terrific and whitewater is unique.
What do you do to keep your mind sharp?
I met John Turner in 2005. He asked me to review a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers report on the whitewater project. I don't recall my comments, but he took me on. I provided engineering input for whitewater during the planning, design and construction phases over an eight-year period.
Community involvement is important. I have served as president of the Columbus Botanical Garden and was involved in CBG's 10-year plan. I am a member of the city's Planning Advisory Commission, SAR and the Trees Columbus Board. I also do a lot of reading, work out at the gym and am studying Georgia geology.
Has whitewater exceeded your expectations?
The tremendous efforts by everyone involved made the project a resounding success. To construct the Cutbait rapids on the Alabama side, we needed a dry river bottom there and no flow over the dam. One day it clicked with me on how to do it. We needed help from Georgia Power with their hydroelectric discharges and good weather.
The GP hydro guys were absolutely terrific, and we lucked out with the drought of 2011-2012! With Cutbait done and good weather, the way forward was clear for the waveshaper construction. The Chattahoochee sprang surprises on us right to the end, but we met the challenges!
The number of rafters surpassed expectations. The first year we had over 16,000 and in 2014, over 25,000. Also, I never thought the float down the Habitat Pool's lazy river would be so great.
What is the best-kept secret in the Chattahoochee Valley?
It is the collective contributions of a whole lot of dedicated people who have provided us a vibrant Columbus with arts, music, dining options, whitewater, as well as a great place to live.