Sue introduced Ron, one of our newest members who is proving to be, in Sue's term, enthusiastic.  Ron has volunteered to take on the Auction. 

Ron demurred, suggesting he was pushed.  He also expressed nervousness at the prospect of both talking about himself and about answering the questions 'who am I and why am I here?  However, once he got started....

Ron was born in Montreal and moved to Toronto at the age of 10.  When he was 12 he went to the Laurentians to visit friends and discovered boating - a 16 ft. lapstrake with a 25 horse that they spent every day in.  At 16 he and a friend went partners on an 18 ft. cruiser they docked at Waubeshene and Victoria Harbour, his first exposure to this area.  It had a Chrysler motor which broke down on a regular basis but when it ran they went everywhere - no maps, no plans.  They didn't get arrested or die so it was all good.  He sold his share to fund school and went to Waterloo.

His first summer job was as a labourer in a furniture factory and he observed a high rate of breakage on the line and suggested to the owner that things could be done better.  Apparently his approach was not welcomed but it set the stage for a life as a consultant.  He took an undergrad in psychology and was accepted into a doctorate program but decided it wasn't for him.  They let him out with a Masters in Social Psych and Research Methodology and he was looking for work though he really didn't know how to do anything.  He got a government job in Welland, joined a consultancy firm to work on reducing shrinkage, and after Concordia spent some time trying to determine if prospective employees were crazy.  But his worst job ever was with a bank developing a program to teach managers to manage.  He had a two week program and a first morning with 612 slides scheduled but arrived to find the student from Newfoundland had treated the class to screech the night before and by slide # 8 they were all asleep.  He taught that course every 2 weeks for 6 months.

Then he went to ManuLife as Director of Organization.  Then the company was wealthy, full of bright people and just entering into computerization.  His job was to study changes.  When they bought Dominion Life it was like, he says, putting killer whales in with seals but what Dominion offered ManuLife did not so they had to get the two groups to work together.  It was a great experience for a young person but he faced the risk of promotion and a transformation into an insurance person so he quit and started his own firm which ManuLife gave lots of business too through the mid 80's.

His craving for boats resurfaced and he and his dad bought one jointly - two obsessive compulsives.  It lasted a month so he bought the boat he still has, a 1968 wooden Chris Craft.  His wife wouldn't sleep on it though so they bought a cottage on Couchiching and then started a house in Midland.  His business grew - he was consulting with hospitals, which led to manufacturing and he travelled extensively but they came up here whenever they could and he felt he wanted to become a part of this community.  In 2005 he sold the controlling interest in his business though he continued to work for them for a while - a year and then they fired him - so he went back on his own but the travel and pressure was hard.

Ron Crane invited him to the Mary Muter lunch, which he thought was incredible and he was impressed by the people he met.  He wanted to join but Ron wouldn't let him but when he stopped working Ron relented.  He thinks it is important to put back into the community and he has watched this group and, as a tough critic, he has been impressed by the work the Club does and says he is terribly honoured to be a part of it.

Sue offered her thanks for Ron's talk and announced a donation in his name to Polio Plus.