Why RollerCoaster HR?
Simply put, I am aiming to combine two of my passions – wild thrill rides and the constant challenges that many HR pros (or even amateurs) face.
It seems fair that I explain my background a bit for those reading this initial post.
My first job was as a ride operator at Kings Island, just north of Cincinnati, Ohio. This summer job turned into a career after seven seasons working at the park. Joining a theme park consulting firm after graduating from Indiana University, I then spent three years travelling the world to develop policies, train staff, and open new theme parks in China, Mexico, and Brazil. After being married and wanting a family, I left the consulting gig and helped open the Newport Aquarium (just across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati) and then moved on to a more traditional HR role as the first human resource person for a small family-owned printing company. It was in this role that I discovered that my passion for HR was a spark that I could embrace.
The allure of returning to Indiana, especially Bloomington, led me to apply for a new position as the Director of Human Resources for Stone Belt, a non-profit social service agency that serves individuals with developmental disabilities. To my surprise, I got the job and became the top HR person for the organization and its nearly 500 employees. I still think that the fact my new boss loved the video game Roller Coaster Tycoon was a factor in the decision to hire me!
Now, I am a passionate advocate for seeing people for their abilities as it is important to remember we all have some limiting disabilities as well as many amazing abilities. The mosaic piece here was designed and made by one of the clients the agency is fortunate to serve!
Choosing to see the world in a positive light, I now take a strengths based approach to things and am not one for having rules just to have rules. I still love to ride coasters (coaster count =103) and find my thrills with my wife Susanne and my two children Jack (11) and Annie (6). Beyond family and work, I am completing my MBA and manage communications, technology, and social media for the Indiana State Council of SHRM.
Future writings will include a variety of HR topics with the occasional thrill thrown in to keep it fun. They will be short and not too frequent, but I promise I will try to keep in interesting. After all, life is too short to be miserable. Let’s set out to have a little fun while spinning around the big orange ball in the sky!