Selig Center for Economic Growth
Terry College of Business
JOB DESCRIPTION: “I work mainly with economic data and maintain a couple of monthly databases that we use here. My boss Jeff Humphreys is our economist, and he uses some of the information I work with for his analysis and forecasting.
“I work regularly on annual and biannual publications we produce, some of which have been around for 50 years. We also do ad hoc studies, and some of these projects have become annual studies.
“Every December and January, we travel around the state for the Georgia Economic Outlook Luncheons. The Terry College puts them on; the first one’s always in Atlanta, then we go to Savannah, Albany, and so on, and the dean gives a speech on the forecast for Georgia. We meet a lot of people and it’s gratifying to know that they take our data and find it useful. It’s nice to connect names with faces at the luncheons.
“I also work with our computer systems. For example, I work with the help desk to get problems resolved and coordinate system purchases for our office. I also help maintain our department Web site.”
YEARS IN CURRENT POSITION: Five.
PREVIOUS WORK EXPERIENCES: “At UGA, I worked as an institutional research analyst for one year for the Office of Institutional Research, then before that I was assistant records manager for a year for the libraries’ record center repository.
“Before coming to the university, I worked for Airtouch Communications, which is now called Verizon. I worked in various departments from customer service to accounting, and was there about five years.
“I came over from Scotland in 1986. My wife Renay is from the States, but I met her in Scotland, then we moved over here to Athens and got married. We were here a couple of years, then we moved to Texas for five years before coming back to Athens. I went to school in Texas at the Institute for Christian Studies in Austin, where I received a bachelor of arts degree in biblical studies. I worked with a lot of data while earning my degree, so it prepared me well for this type of job.”
OFF-THE-JOB INTERESTS: “We just bought a new house, so I’m learning to look after a yard and work something called a lawnmower. We lived in a condo for 10 and a half years, so my son, Hamilton, is really enjoying the yard. We’re getting settled into that sort of a lifestyle, which is fun.
“I like to travel, and I like to cycle, but I haven’t done enough of that lately since we’ve been so busy with moving. We like to have a lot of family time, too. Hamilton is 8 and is into every sport you can imagine, and he goes from one to the next. We try to keep it to one activity at a time, and we go to each one with him. He’s got so much enthusiasm for it, and he just wants to do everything.”
A BOOK I WOULD RECOMMEND TO OTHERS: “Finding Contentment by Neil Clark Warren really helped me with some stressful years my family went through. It helped give me more of a sense of self.”
A MOVIE I WOULD RECOMMEND TO OTHERS: “The British movie Enchanted April. The characters are on vacation and there is a relaxed atmosphere throughout the whole movie. There’s nothing violent or gory about it-it may be too much for some-but you come away from it feeling like you were on vacation.”
THE PERSON I MOST ADMIRE: “My wife, Renay. We’ve been married for 18 years, and she’s got a great strength of character and faith. She’s come through some difficult times, too, but she just keeps smiling. So many people who know her say she’s such a pleasant person, and I couldn’t agree more. Knowing what she has been through and seeing how she deals with it is pretty impressive.”
THE ISSUE THAT CONCERNS ME MOST ABOUT TODAY’S WORLD: “I think it’s just the fast pace of things. We’re busy with our son, and I’ve noticed how quickly life gets so busy. At times you have to stop and enjoy the journey. When I try to do that it really helps. Technology seems to make it easier to go faster and to have more to do, but I think the original intent was for it to free us up to have more time to relax.”