I’ve always been in the Goshen area. My father was a worker in Goshen through Goshen Rubber, Triangle Rubber – all the Midwestern rubber factories, when they used to call it “Little Akron.” My wife’s family is heavily connected to Goshen. Her grandmother is Cathie Cripe. She was president of the school board. Her father is Steve Hooley. He owns Business & Professional Services in downtown Goshen.
I am what is called a master certified aquascape contractor. There are about a thousand of us in the world, and we pool our knowledge together. I operate Aquascapes of Michiana. We do ponds, waterfalls, and water features. It was started by me and my stepmother Shari. She’s a Master Gardener. After she and my father decided to retire, she sold the business to me and I have taken over since then.
I don’t have an MBA. I’m an ‘I lift big rocks’ kind of guy. A lot of things I’ve taken away from being a Goshen Chamber of Commerce member are, ‘How are you supposed to do those things? How do you run a business?’ Steve Hooley is heavily involved in the Chamber as well, and I’ve learned a lot of things from him. He’s kind of been my Chamber mentor. If I have a question, the Chamber is the first place I go. I’ve met a lot of my really good friends there. I’m also one of the founding members of the Goshen Young Professionals group. It was Joe Mehl’s brainchild, and I was one of the people who helped get it started.
I love old things. The house I owned in Goshen was on the corner of Seventh and Plymouth. It was built in 1920. The reason why I bought that house is because it still had the character. It wasn’t remodeled. That’s what I like about Goshen – Goshen still has character. Goshen has character in its people, it has character in its community, it has character in its business. It’s one of the very few places I can find where a handshake is still as good as a contract. I’m an old soul in the sense that a man is only as good as his word. That still holds true in Goshen. That does not hold true everywhere else in the world.
I like Goshen’s vibrant downtown, as well. I love that there’s always something going on. There’s always something for everybody, whether it be First Fridays or events we do with the Chamber. No matter what day of the week it is, there’s always something to do. There’s always somewhere to go and somewhere to be.
Editor • Maddie Yost, Scott Weisser
Interview + Photography • Scott Weisser
Do you have a story you want to tell?
Do you have a story to tell about someone who contributes to Goshen’s greater GOOD?
We invite you to share!