I graduated from Chattanooga City High School in 1959. My parents decided to move, this time to Clearwater, Florida. I entered the University of Florida as a freshman and graduated in 1963 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, having majored in Marketing and Economics. Those four years, here in Gainesville, were the longest I had ever lived in one place.
Gainesville has been my home ever since. As a student, I worked those four years at the Campus Bookstore. Upon graduation, they hired me as the Assistant Director in 1963. In 1973, I was hired as the General Manager of the Independent Florida Alligator, the student newspaper at the University of Florida.
I oversaw the Alligators’ transition to an independent, off-campus publication, and believe I was instrumental in it surviving as a viable business enterprise. During my tenure at the Alligator, it grew to have the largest circulation of any truly independent university newspaper in the country.
In 1975, I earned a Master of Education degree from the University of Florida, College of Education. In 1976, I became an entrepreneur in the financial services industry as a licensed insurance agent. Over the next few years, I put myself on the cutting edge of industry developments. I also earned the professional designations of Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC).
Today I’m retired from all that, though still retain some of my professional licenses. At one time I held Series 7, 24, and 63 securities licenses, and owned my own Registered Investment Advisory firm.
Regardless of the technical requirements, I early on assumed a fiduciary responsibility toward my clients. That makes me not just legally, but morally and ethically obligated to put my clients interests first, a responsibility I embrace.
My life started in wartime England in 1941. After being released from the British Army, my father moved us to France in 1947 where my father took a job with the International Harvester Co. We lived in Le Vesinet and Le Pecq, along the Seine River, about 40 miles from Paris. I attended a local school where no one spoke English but I made friends, one of whom is a friend today.
In 1950 we moved to Peoria, Illinois and after a few months, my father’s employer, Caterpillar Tractor Co., moved us to India. There I attended a mission school for two years in the mountains of southern India, a town called Kodaikanal. It was an idyllic setting around a lake in the mountains and I have strong memories of the place.
It was also where I learned to play golf, on a beautiful and hilly 18 hole course carved out in the mountains in 1895. It was run by an elderly Scotsman named E.O.King. I can vividly recall being alone on the course one day, armed with three golf clubs, and finding fresh tiger tracks in a sand trap. I picked up my ball and hurried back to the clubhouse!
Returning to the States in 1952, we stayed in Peoria for 18 months. My father came home one day and announced that we were moving to what was then the Belgian Congo in Africa. My mother said “No, we are not moving to Africa”. My father subsequently resigned from CAT and instead we moved in 1954 to Jacksonville, Florida. My first regular job happened when I was in the 8th grade. an afternoon paper route for the Jacksonville Journal.
Three years later, we moved again, this time to Chattanooga, Tennessee where I attended Chattanooga City High School. It was where I was granted United States citizenship in 1959, just before I graduated.
My efforts today are focused on making Successful Retirement Secrets™ as successful and as far reaching as possible. If retirement is in your future, it will teach you a new way to think about and plan for retirement. If your goal is to someday retire, it will be in your best interest if it’s worry free and you find yourself financially secure. That will not happen without effort and discipline on your part.
I‘ve been active within the Gainesville community all my adult life. My activities have included
- Chairman of the Alachua County Bicentennial Commission, from 1974 through 1976,
- Secretary of the Community Foundation of North Central Florida, from 1997 to the present,
- Chairman of the Advisory Board to the Academy of Finance and the Academy of Entrepreneurship, magnet programs in the Alachua County School System,
- Chapter President of the North Florida Estate Planning Council,
- teaching retirement planning at Santa Fe College, and
- President of The Alachua Press, a not-for-profit publishing house focused on the history of Alachua County and the surrounding area.
There have been numerous other activities and board tenures over the years, including a year as President of the Gainesville Country Club, a private club with some 750 members.
I am married to the former Candy Algee and we have two grown children, Eric and Erin, and two grandchildren. My interests include writing, reading, collecting stamps, computers, being a grandfather, looking after clients, and staying as active as possible. Please wish me luck!