Past Club President Jan Constable recently gave his Classification at our Friday morning meeting. Jan is incredibly involved in so many of our programs and is a big advocate of literacy, having been instrumental in helping start-up our tutoring program at Capitol West Academy. If you didn't make the meeting when he spoke, here's Jan's bio and learn about his first experience with coming to a Rotary meeting. As you'll read and despite the situation, Jan was persistent and we're glad he still decided to join the club! Plus, who knew Jan was a talented Rugby player traveling to England, Ireland and Wales!!

I was raised in Milwaukee in what was a very diverse neighborhood. Growing up I was either in school or playing sports. As a child I played football without pads or a helmet, climbed trees without any safety devices; roller skated without knee and elbow pads and rode bikes without a helmet. Not quite sure how it happened but I somehow survived my early years without a major injury.

After attending high school I was heading to the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee to attend Business School when I put my education on hold and enlisted in the military. In 1965 the conflict in Viet Nam was escalating and I felt it was my duty to serve. Three years into my enlistment Darcy and I were married. We had been dating since we were sophomores in high school.  This past September Darcy and I celebrated our 46 year wedding anniversary.

After my military enlistment I took a short term employment position with Wisconsin Telephone, which was one of AT&T’s operating companies. Well, my short term employment lasted 37 years. I had a fantastic career at Wisconsin Telephone, and with all of our name changes, subsidiaries and mergers, Wisconsin Bell, Wisconsin Bell Communications, Ameritech Services Inc., Ameritech, Southwestern Bell Communications (SBC) and then back to AT&T. Working for such a large and diverse company offered me the opportunity to experience many positions without changing employers. In 1969 I started as a resident and business telephone installer. A couple years later I became a Public Branch Exchange installer.  Shortly thereafter I moved into a management position and have held positions in the both the regulated and non-regulated entities at the city, state and regional levels.  My leadership career spans marketing, sales, engineering, project management, center operations and installation and maintenance. My last position was that of Director of the Midwest Specialty Centers. I was responsible for six diverse centers, five of which covered the workload in the five Midwestern states and one which covered the five Midwestern states in addition to our territories in California and Nevada. At that time I also was responsible for Wisconsin’s Outside Plant Rehabilitation Engineering Department. During my career my employer was also nice enough to pay for my education. I have a BS in Business Management and a MS in Organizational Leadership and Quality.

My wife Darcy and I have two sons, Jeff and Tyler, who are both married and have graciously provided us with four fantastic grandchildren. Growing up the four of us where all involved in sports. My main sports were baseball, football and rugby. Rugby was the sport I enjoyed the most and I was fortunate to have played all over the Midwest, in addition to England, Ireland and Wales.

In 1989 a business peer asked if I was interested in looking into local service organization. I agreed to meet with him at a Rotary meeting the next week. I arrived at the agreed upon time, entered the meeting location and introduced myself to the Sergeant-At-Arms. Well, my peer didn’t attend that meeting or the next four that he agreed to meet me at. After the fourth meeting I thanked the Sergeant-At-Arms for putting up with me and told him I wouldn’t be returning the following week. With a smile he told me to continue coming as I had better attendance then some of the existing members. A couple days later I received a call from the club’s president asking me if I would like to join the Elmbrook Rotary Club (ERC). Saying yes was one of the better decisions I’ve made. I’m honored to be a part of such a great club. I have gone through the chairs and served as president in the 1997/1998 Rotary year. Service Above Self is a standard at the ERC. Whether it is at the local or international level the ERC assists many who truly need help.

Anyone observing ERC members in action would see that they do not look down on anyone, unless they are giving them a hand up.