I was born and raised on a farm along the Erie Barge Canal on the famed Niagara Frontier of western New York. Working the land and riding horses along the water were a springboard to a career of eclectic adventures and learning. To this day I tell my students, "keep an open mind, do not fear change and dare to take risks."
I started out as a cowboy with a love of horses and cattle, and graduated from Morrisville State College with a degree in General Agriculture and Cattle Ranching. I got called up for the Korean War, dispersed the herd of beef cattle and joined the U.S. Coast Guard, where I served four years as a Hospital Corpsman and Surgeon's Assistant. My assignments included law enforcement and air/sea rescue patrol in the Gulf of Mexico, a tour in the North Atlantic above the Arctic Circle reporting weather for the Air Force and charting icebergs, followed by an assignment to the operating room at the Coast Guard Academy Hospital. In the summer of 1955, I was assigned to the Eagle, a square-rigged sailing vessel and one of the famed tall ships used to train cadets. A surgeon and I were in charge of the sick bay and we went under sail to Europe and back and then Bermuda and back.
A year later, I was honorably discharged and moved to Burlington to enter UVM where I earned a BA. I was encouraged by the faculty to push my talent for writing and speaking and found by putting the two together I was well suited for a career in advertising. It began with a direct marketing company, then on to marketing with General Electric, which led to a founding partnership in Wheeler, Wood & Macleod, Inc.—a full service advertising agency from which I also consulted for other agencies and studios here and in Montreal and Toronto as a creative director, copywriter and presenter on some of the biggest advertising accounts in North America.
Nearly five decades later, we were beginning to ease the agency into retirement when I got a call from Professor Jay McKee at Champlain College asking if I'd be willing to teach Advertising for a semester to fill in for a guy who'd taken early retirement. That was the fall of the year 2000 and I'm still here.
Do I like it here? No, I love it here. To be able to share my experiences and my enthusiasm for the wonderful world of advertising with these terrific young people, who are the next generation to go into the world and make a difference, is a rewarding way to be retired.