Director Engineering Project Management & Processes / Site Leader
Bosch Automotive Aftermarket / Automotive Service Solutions
6400 Technology Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Where are you originally from?
My wife, Madeline, and I are natives of Carpinteria, California—a beautiful beach community, very close to Santa Barbara. I had been working with a small private health firm in Santa Barbara for 20 years. It was acquired by Bosch in 2003. My wife and I raised our three daughters in the Santa Barbara area. Finally our youngest got to a point, three years ago, where we said to ourselves, ‘Let’s try something new.’ I volunteered to take a position overseas, if one became available within Bosch. A position was created for me in Germany.
So, you came here from California by way of Germany?
We relocated there in March of 2013 and I spent just a little under three years at a site where we have 400 to 500 people. I built a brand new network of people and broadened my experiences. In the middle of 2015, I was asked to consider between Kalamazoo, Michigan and Minneapolis, Minnesota. My wife and I gave it some thought and chose Kalamazoo. We moved here the first week of November 2015 directly from Germany.
What criteria did you use when selecting your new house?
I found some nice homes on a golf course. I hadn’t played golf in a few years and thought, ‘That would be really cool.’ My wife thought, ‘That wouldn’t be so cool.’ She really wanted to be near water because we were very near water—the ocean—in California. She missed that; we both missed that in Germany. There, we were near water too, but it wasn’t water you’d actually ever want to go swimming in. We ended up finding a home on a lake. We’re really happy here.
How does Southwest Michigan compare to other places you’ve lived?
We find that Southwest Michigan has this really educated, business-focused, upwardly mobile community overall. There’s a strong focus on the economy, building up businesses, and creating opportunities for people to go to work and for advancement. There’s this incredibly positive dynamic here.
What kinds of things have you been doing for fun?
Great restaurants. Wonderful outdoor activities. We’re looking forward to actually seeing more. We moved here in the fall and didn’t have too much of a chance to take advantage of the outdoors. There’s this ideal combination of things you can do outdoors, with wonderful entertainment and culture. The Kalamazoo symphony orchestra. My gosh, Kalamazoo has a symphony orchestra and a very good one! Who would have thought unless you looked closely at the community?
What’s been the most unexpected thing that you’ve been able to do here?
My wife’s been surfing on the lake many a time.
Just getting here in November?
How does surfing here compare to California?
It’s not as buoyant as salt water and the waves aren’t as nice and formed. She really is trying to figure out how to surf lake waves. It’s a challenge she’s up to. She’s building her lake network—people who she goes surfing with and who she can call to check on the lake conditions.
What would you tell someone who was looking to move here?
Come see it. It’s just an incredible area. The difference between Southwest and Southeast Michigan is, to me, quite dramatic. When I think of Southeast Michigan, I hope I don’t offend anybody, but I think of a lot more development, more density, more traffic. In Southwest Michigan, we have this ideal balance where I can go do challenging interesting work—high technology and really work with great people, be around great people outside of work, not have traffic and have open spaces right outside the door or within five or ten minutes. That balance to me, that work life balance, just makes this one of the absolute ideal places to live.