George Ball introduced himself to River Falls Rotary at our most recent meeting. George told us that he was born in Elgin Illinois, the oldest of 4 children; his parents were educators and he has two brothers.  His wife of 46 years is a retired program analyst. The moved to River Falls in 2019, living in Clifton township west of the city with their labradoodle Maisie.
George received an undergraduate degree in zoology and chemistry in 1974. While working as an air traffic controller, George started taking computer science classes to gain understanding of the systems involved. George's air traffic control career ended when striking controllers were fired en masse in 1981, forcing a career change. He moved to computer systems business, including time as a co-owner of Studebaker Systems. During that stage of his career, he he added an MBA with a concentration in systems. His company developed two products for sale as well as supplying custom solutions to businesses.

As the computer world changed, so did George’s businesses. And over time, George’s role moved from the more technical to the sales and sales development aspects of his company. He retired as a partner from Sikich LLC in 2015 after 34 years in the computer business. 

George and his wife have 3 children, a son and twin daughters. The younger generation are scattered, one living on each coast and one nearby in Cottage Grove MN. George reported that the families are all doing well, with 6 grandchildren total (and he added that, to his knowledge, that is all they’ll have!). George and his wife found a place in River Falls that met their retirement criteria for both residence and access to a major airport. He has a detached building as his shop for his major retirement interest of woodworking (which, he added, doesn’t always . . . work, that is!). He also has an interest in wine and is a member of the Rotary group that shares interest in wine. He also does raised bed gardening to grow vegetables. He also manages to fit in weight training, which he said is essential to allowing him to keep up with the work of maintaining 18 acres.
George joined Rotary in 2001 in Aurora where he found a like-minded group interested in serving the community and the wider world. He held every office in the Aurora club except secretary, was involved in youth exchange, and was very active with a club fundraiser that became very successful.