Meet Jeff: A Lifelong Learner, Once an Aircrew Instructor and Forever a Writer

I’ve been a part of the workforce for more than 35 years and my passion has always been writing and communications. In the U.S. Air Force, I was first and foremost an instructor, teaching aircrew members about the dangers of going to altitude unpressurized and how to use oxygen equipment correctly. I was also attached to the Full Pressure Suit Depot at Edwards AFB, CA, and helped launch and recover the SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft for NASA Dryden’s testing of scramjets and supersonic flight. As you can imagine these flight systems were highly specialized and required attention to detail, which I hope I bring to my writing and communications work.

While in the service, I used the tuition reimbursement program to begin my college career, one that I’m still nourishing today. A lifelong learner, I hold an Associate’s Degree in Education, a Bachelor’s in English, a Master of Business Administration and will defend my Master of Arts in English with a focus in 19th century British Literature later this month. And if that’s not enough, I recently started my application for a PhD program in English. I really love to learn.

From the service I turned to higher education where I worked in admissions for non-traditional, adult students who, like me, were working towards their educational goals. After graduation I moved to Charleston, SC, where I took a communications role with a nonprofit fundraising consultancy and learned the art of creating compelling and persuasive communications. While there, our client list included healthcare, child welfare and sustainability nonprofits.

I have a passion for advocating for two and four-legged friends. That drive eventually landed me back in North Carolina where I had stints fundraising for the American Kennel Club and the College of Veterinary Medicine at NC State University, then as the chief grant writer for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC. Armed with communications skills and expertise in media relations, I eventually took a role at the University of Missouri where I was the science writer for Mizzou tasked with promoting research to national and international reporters.

I am a self-professed science nerd eager to continue learning all I can about science, technology, engineering, the arts and math. At REACH, I can marry all of these with my business background and communications skills, and I love working with our partners as they educate the public on the advantages of driving electric. I’m researching all makes and models with the hope to purchase an EV when my lease is up next year. So, you could say I’m both a professional communicator and the potential audience for the digital and print materials I help to shape!

I am the proud dad of Grayson, who is working on his doctorate in physical therapy, and I’m also a father to Trudy and Mikey (two very vocal show beagles), and Lindy, a golden retriever. I settled with my partner in Columbia, Missouri, where I still keep my hand in fundraising by helping to set capital campaign strategies for the Central Missouri Humane Society.