My parents immigrated to the US from Holland in 1952, so I’m first generation in this country. I’m very proud of where my parents started and what they’ve built for themselves here in the USA. Hard work was never an issue for my mom or dad. I’m the second youngest of eight children in my family. Love large families!!

At ages 17 and 14, my two wonderful boys challenge me every day which keeps me on my toes and young at heart. I have two twin six-year old puppies Ollie and Bozzie, cute little Yorkie-Shuhs, but not the brightest dogs I’ve ever had. They still have accidents in the house which is frustrating, but I guess I’ll keep trying with them.

I’m proud of my accomplishments and I’m so thankful I have a great career, many great friends that I can’t imagine life without, and a great family. I’m truly blessed.

Q. What was your first job?

A. When I turned 16, my first official job was working at the Moasis Truck Stop in Little Chute, WI as a cashier in the gas station. After I graduated high school, I was promoted to the bookkeeper and worked 7pm – 3am, and then went to design school at 9am. Three o’clock came along before you knew it, then homework, then back to work again. Talk about burn out! Eventually, I earned my associates degree in design.

Q. What was your best job?

A. My current one for sure! Ask me what I want to be when I grow up? I can’t wait to be a grocery clerk! I can meet people so my social need is handled, won’t have to solve large problems, and I can go home with no worries! What’s the worst that can happen … I break some eggs?

Q. In addition to earning a paycheck, how else has your career created value in your life?

A. I’ve learned a lot. When you’ve been in the same role pretty much your whole career, you learn not only about yourself but others along the way. I love working with people, overcoming challenges, celebrating the successes and learning from the failures.

The funny thing about my job is it doesn’t feel like I’ve been doing the same thing all these years and it certainly doesn’t feel like 30 years!!!! I’ve learned to handle change and actually look forward to it. Without change, you just stay the same. You may as well stop living! And I am in no way ready to stop living!

Q. What is your most memorable travel experience?

A. I only spent one night in Jamaica and then went back home … long story. On a brighter note, I took a trip to Holland after my dad’s death. I went with my three sisters, my mom, my oldest niece and my 1-1/2 year old son Bryce. We landed in Amsterdam and I was the designated driver during our stay; no one else had the courage. We had literally rented a bus to haul everyone around in.

One of our first stops was a local bar. The bartender ended up carrying Bryce around (she thought he was so cute) while she was bartending. We had a great time visiting with family, and don’t know if we’ll ever get that opportunity to be together like that again.

Q. What do you like to do in your spare time?

A. Anything near water and beaches! I live near the Wisconsin River and get out on my boat any chance I get. Boating, Beaching, Fishing, playing in the water. I love to travel … Florida has been a real favorite of late; love the sun and beaches. I have gone snowmobiling in the winter, which is fun too. Just not so much a cold weather person. The rest of my time outside of work is spent with my boys, my family and friends. Love spending time with them!

One of my favorites is sitting around a good campfire, sharing a couple of beers, and telling  a few stories! Oh yeah and one more thing I love football!!! Go Packers and Badgers!!!!

Q. What lessons has your work life taught you?

A. Do the best you can. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Always be true to yourself! Don’t sell yourself short!

Q. Do you have any favorite stories from your work life?

A. I can’t mention one of my favorite embarrassing stories. But you can ask Vickie Wenzel! Really, I have many favorite stories because I have met so many special people in my life through my career. Not just one story stands out. But can definitely say it’s been fun!

Connect with Maria:

  1. Great write up, Maria. You made me laugh thinking of that story of long ago… 🙂


Post Your Comment