William "Chip" Potter
Joe Dell Brokerage
Toys R Us
LSU Food Services
LSU Faculty Club
Al Cole Landscapes
Baton Rouge, La
Bradford, W Yorkshire, UK
Mountain City, TN
East Windsor, NJ
1803 US Territory
1810 West Florida
1813 United States of America
1863 Confederate States of America
1912 Union, Justice, Confidence and Brown Pelican
A True Louisiana Native
As a child, my father and grandfather shared with me their interest in coin collecting. I have kept that interest my whole life. My collection primarily contains US Commemoratives, US Proofs and Foreign sets. I collect some tokens and specially minted coins. I also collect bank notes - both US and foreign. During my high school years, I would take a bus with a close friend to the French Quarter in New Orleans. There was a large coin shop on Royal Street that seemed to have everything a budding numismatist would need. We would peruse the counters and cabinets for hours and make our deals as if we were seasoned pros. Of course, our meager financial position kept us to the bargain bins, but it was great fun.
During a trip to Denver, I was able to work in a visit to the American Numismatic Association's headquarters. I also have visited the Federal Reserve - Richmond's money museum. Taking such an opportunity to learn about the history of money (in general) and the history of the United State's currency (in particular) is very worthwhile.
Collecting notes and coins is more than just an investment. These collections are a great way to learn about and discuss history. One of my favorite items is a set of USSR commemorative 1 Ruble coins celebrating their success in the 1988 Olympic games. These were minted in 1991. I have coins from countries that no longer exist. I have coins from all over the globe.
Note collecting can also be pretty interesting. Comparing the utilitarian quality of US Notes to the picture-postcard appearance of other nations' bills (such as Jamaica) is really fascinating. The global move away from "singles" is making these disappearing notes even more collectible. The debate surrounding the US's attempt to introduce a dollar coin and still keep the $1 note is a very hot topic these days.
Currently, I am trying to amass a collection of coins from around the world that were struck in 2002. It is a very daunting task.
I am an active member of the American Numismatic Association.
My adventures in craft beer began in 1993 when a close friend and I decided to find just the right beer to go with 50lbs of live crawfish he brought from Louisiana. We tried more than a dozen microbrews before settling on just the right beer. By then, there was no going back to the lesser brews.
Although, I had developed the taste for craft beer while living in England during 1988, it was not truly an appreciation until 1995. I wrote articles on the craft beer craze in Richmond for a local magazine. I assisted in the movement that encouraged the change in laws allowing outdoor beer festivals in Virginia. I still keep up with all of the news via one of the many brewspapers available.
In the past, I have brewed my own beer (I brewed a cider from scratch), but prefer to have a good pint, brewed by a real craftsman at one of our local pubs. You can find me at Legend or at Richbrau at least a couple of times each month. For a change of scenery or something a little different, I visit the Capital Ale House - Richmond's multi-tap with several hundred beers to choose from. When I travel, I use Pubcrawler to find a good brewpub in the city I am visiting. Just like Cheers, at a really good brewpub, everybody knows your name.
Until the unfortunate demise of Rock Creek Brewing Company, I had a bottle collection of more than 1,000 different labels. Rock Creek was displaying this collection in their tasting room in Raleigh, North Carolina. The closing caused me to lose that collection, but I still maintain a tasting log.
My passion for photography started in those days long before PowerPoint when one had to develop overheads for public presentations. I would spend hours in my church's dark room developing slides for use in our sing-a-longs. Gradually I became more artistic in my approach. My camera and attachements were nothing too impressive, but pretty nice none-the-less.
I had great fun working in black-and-white and high-contrast subject matter. It seems that I never have enough time to really pursue this hobby, but I am very proud of some of the shots I have taken over the years.
The Early Years (1967-1981)
Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on March 7, 1967, while my parents were living in the married students housing at Louisiana State University. When my father accepted a job in Houston, Texas for a time, we moved to an apartment complex in the Southwest side of town...that is where I learned to love the Astros and to perennially hope for their World Series victory. Maybe next year!?!?! My sister was born there in 1970.
We returned to Baton Rouge and to the campus of Louisiana State University. I attended St. Aloysius Elementary School from 1st through 8th grades. I played football and basketball for intramural and school teams.
High School Years (1981-1985)
The most important aspect of my high school life was my active participation in the First United Methodist Church UMYF program. I served as an officer on the planning board for several years, I sang in the youth choir and performed in several of the theatrical productions put on by our youth program and our choir. Our youth traveled extensively: choir trips, mission trips, mystery trips, retreats, summer camps and much more.
During the summer of 1982, I participated in my first foreign mission. We supplied and manned a medical clinic on the Island of Utilla off the East coast of Honduras. In 1983, I traveled to Bris Bris, Costa Rica, to provide a medical mission to the impoverished indigenous on the border rain forest areas of Costa Rica and Panama. Both trips provided Christian worship and children's activities in addition to the much needed medical attention. From 1982 to 1985 and in 1990, I was a volunteer for the Appalachia Service Project. In 1984, I helped start the Youth Servant Team based in Nashville, TN.
From 1981 through 1985, I attended Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I was very active in extra-curricular activities. Throughout my four years, I belonged to Key Club, The Drama Club, Hi-Y, Bearings, NHS and French Club. I lettered my freshman year in Academics and participated in Rally several times. I continue to feel a great personal honor to have been able to attend such an outstanding school for my four years. I attended a very special regional reunion at Andrew's Air Force base in 1993. It was an emotional event with men from classes as far back as the 1930's sharing the memories and some good fellowship.
College Years (1985-1990)
After graduating near the top of my class, I attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I graduated in 1990 from the School of Business Administration with a Bachelor of Sciences degree. My major was Accounting, but I took courses in Anthropology, Public Speaking and Computer Sciences.
During my Freshman year, I pledged Delta Chi fraternity. I was active for two years.
In 1987, I lived and worked in Dallas, Texas. I worked for MMR-Wallace (a general contractor) and MMR (an electrical contractor) as a laborer and as a team leader. This job was at the South Dallas Wastewater Treatment Facility.
For a time during 1988, I lived in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. I tended bar for an international hotel - the Stakis Norfolk Gardens. I was able to travel throughout England, Scotland and Ireland. I was forced to curtail my stay when I broke two bones in my left foot at work.
In 1989, I moved to Mountain City, Tennessee, to work for a summer as staff for the Appalachia Service Project. I met Gretchen that summer.
Virginia Years (1990-2008)
In 1990, I moved to Richmond, Virginia. Actually, I moved to a small apartment in Ashland. Gretchen and I began dating soon after she arrived to attend classes at Randolph-Macon - also in Ashland. After 18 months there, I moved to a nicer, loft apartment in Henrico county. I lived there for another 18 months and moved to a larger apartment in the same complex. That was 1993. I was working as an account administrator for Joe Dell Brokerage, Inc. in Ashland. This company was a food broker that represented McCormick's, Topp's, Brach's and Ocean Spray to name just a few.
Gretchen and I married that year in Manheim, Pennsylvania. It was a smallish ceremony at Salem United Methodist Church. The Rehearsal Dinner was held at Bube's Brewery. The Reception was at the historic General Sutter Inn. Family and friends from all over attended. Our friends and siblings read and sang during the ceremony.
I was able to advance my career by moving to KSB, Inc. After one interview, I joined the accounting department as an internal auditor. My main responsibility was getting the new Symix ERP system up and running. I started the user group for that application in the Virginia area in 1995. It lasted until I left KSB in 1998.
I became very active in the Real Beer revolution in Virginia. I wrote a beer-scene review column in a local magazine. I helped organize petitions to have the restrictive home-brew laws repealed. I even brewed my own beer. A brown ale from a kit and a cider from scratch.
A dinner meeting during the fall of 1997 started the ball rolling for my move to ACUMEN Corporation. ACUMEN is a systems implementation consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems. My career took off. I worked with clients in Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, California and Canada. Most of my engagements were general systems implementations, although I did a lot of process consulting for inventory and MRP. I was part of an engineering exchange with software developers in Atlanta, Georgia, and Joinville, Santa Catarina (Brazil). Although the application has not yet reached general availability, it will soon.
During late 2003, it became increasingly clear that ACUMEN had lost its focus on customer service and had become the type of firm we warned our clients about. Following a huge financial miscalculation (including entering a costly office lease and terminating our key development personnel), our principals were asking the few remaining consultants to inflate billable hours. We alienated our partners and we began losing customers. I lost faith in the future of our company.
A dear friend put me in touch with the CFO of Lumberg, Inc. After a brief interview, I was hired on as the acting controller. Within 1 month, the board of directors released the CEO and CFO and brought in a business consultant to run the show. We terminated the controller, reorganized the company and began working to improve the processes throughout the organization. I was put in charge of Finance, IT and HR. I really felt like I had found my place. I had a strong staff, headed by the same dear friend who brought me on board.
After almost two years, the board of directors finally hired a turn-around specialist as president. He reorganized the management team (reducing from15 managers to 5 and eventually 4). We worked hard to improve every aspect of the business (we even threw out more then 15 construction dumpsters of office clutter). After our first year, the board of directors reorganized us into Lumberg Automation. They repositioned the Lumberg Automation brand and then sold it to Belden. Belden eventually combined us and another recent acquisition (Hirschmann) to form Belden Automation. Times were tough and very uncertain for our Midlothian operation. It soon became clear that we were to be closed. The three other managers all moved on to other opportunities and Belden released the president. I worked with my functional boss in Europe to find an alternate position. Shortly before the announcement was made, I was transferred to Alpha Wire Company in Elizabeth, NJ.
New Jersey Years (2008- Present)
I never would have thought that I would be able to call New Jersey home. My wife and I found a nice community not far from Princeton and just north of Trenton. My kids have made many great friends and Rachael adapted to her new school quite nicely. The commute to Elizabeth is not nearly as bad as I was afraid it would be.
Rachael or Liam and I will make day-trips to NYC, PHL and the coast. We love spending part of our daddy-daughter/father-son days in local brewpubs sharing a good lunch, a lot of laughs and talks about everything.
I have been able to continue my pursuit of good beer, Having now been to more than 260 brewpubs across the US and around the world, I consider myself an "experienced novice" of the craft beer craze.
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