Thank You For Being Such A Vital Part Of Our Team, Tim Quenan! We Look Forward To Sharing More About You So Others Can Get To Know You Better!
Tell us a bit about your backstory and what lead you down your current life path.
I was mainly raised in a small northwestern Wisconsin town (Shell Lake, pop ~1,200). Growing up in such an environment allowed me the opportunity to participate in many things – sports, music, arts, outdoor activities, and church. This provided me with a broad range of interests and passions. My mother was very passionate and involved in causes that she cared deeply about. My father was a dedicated professional and committed to providing for his family. My grandparents were working class people who dedicated themselves to providing a better life for their kids. All these still influence who I am today. A curious individual with many interests, always looking to learn new things and improve on myself. I am passionate about things I care about, dedicated to my family, and trying to provide a better opportunity for my children.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career?
I am inspired by my mom, Joan Quenan, who was a math teacher and into computers way before that was the thing to do. I was fortunate to have an Apple II+ in our house as a preteen. In high school, I also had two math / computer teachers who were my basketball coaches who fueled my passion for software development and problem solving while lighting the competitive fires for constant improvement.
What is one thing you are proud of achieving in your life?
I am proud of being married to my wonderful wife Colleen for 25 years and raising four independent children – Jonathan (23), Sean (21), Anna (21), and Kate (19) into young adulthood. Each has become their own person and found their own passions but stay fiercely loyal and supportive of each other and our family.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
My older brother, Pat, has always been an inspiration and mentor to me both personally and professionally. He’s someone I’ve always leaned on for advice, insight, and coaching.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I enjoy many different hobbies, I’m an avid golfer and look to play any chance I get. I also enjoy running (although may pace is more like a fast walk) and have completed a dozen or so half marathons over the past decade. I’ll still play the occasionally basketball pick-up game or some softball. During the winter, I referee middle and high school basketball. Besides sports, I also like doing home repair/remodeling tasks. I recently finishing a redo of the basement at our family’s Wisconsin lake house. I’ve also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in the past to scratch that construction itch.
Tell about an amazing trip you took. Where did you go and what did you enjoy most?
Was able to spend a couple of weeks this past Spring in Italy. Our daughter studied in Florence for the Spring semester. We spent a couple of nights in Rome, visiting the Vatican, Colosseum, and other Rome highlights. Then we spent a week with our daughter in Florence; what a beautiful city! We got to see some of the works of the Renaissance masters – DaVinci, Michelangelo, Dante. I had always thought the statue of David was overrated; wow was I wrong – it is stunning! We finished our trip staying a few nights in a small town named Neive in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. Some of the most beautiful vistas I’ve seen in my life (and a lot of good wine).
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? What is it and why did it resonate with you?
Too many different books have influenced me over the years to name just one. Recently, Daniel Epstein’s Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World really hit home with me and Most Likely to Succeed, Preparing our Kids for the Innovation Era by Tony Wagner was incredibly informative. Simon Sinek’s latest The Infinite Game is a powerful reminder that life is a journey and not a game to be won.
I’d include Michael Lewis (The Big Short, Moneyball, Liar’s Poker, The Undoing Project, and The Blind Side), Malcom Gladwell (Blink, The Tipping Point, Outliers, and David and Goliath) , and Michael Pollan (Omnivore’s Dilemma, The Botany of Desire, and Caffeine), in my list of must-read authors.
Other books I read in the past that I thoroughly enjoyed and impacted me either professionally or personally are:
- Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, by Christopher McDougall
- When America Stop being Great, by Nick Bryant
- The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups, by Daniel Coyle
- Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t, by Jim Collins
- The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett
The road to success is difficult and requires tremendous dedication. What advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?
I feel everybody has a unique definition of what success is and the path they take to achieve it is different. For some, the path may be long and difficult with many obstacles to overcome; for other success may come easy. I think the key is being true to yourself and determining what are the core values that will light your path. For me that has been integrity, leading with empathy, treating people with kindness, and always being curious (I am a lifelong learner). I also feel its important to enjoy the journey, celebrate victories, and be willing to try new things.
Why did you choose to be a Committee Member of Educate. Radiate. Elevate.?
As part of my professional and personal development, I made the decision to look for volunteer board and committee member opportunities at non-profit organizations. I wanted to find an organization where I could be fully committed to its mission and purpose, plus provide value from my background. E.R.E. provided just that opportunity! Coming from a family of educators and having worked for the past 10+ years at learning organizations, E.R.E’s. mission and purpose really spoke to me. Education is the water that lifts all boats, but unfortunately many don’t get the same opportunity for a quality education and advanced tutoring. I love that E.R.E. is bringing that to the underserved community.
What about the Educate. Radiate. Elevate.’s Purpose, Mission, and Core Values speaks most to you and why?
That the focus on the tutoring in not just about improving test scores. The purpose is to provide “essential learning and life skills” that will carry them forward even after the tutoring has been completed. E.R.E.’s focus is on helping low-income students who normally don’t get a chance to have this kind of high-impact one-on-one tutoring. We are looking to improve the future outcomes of these underserved youth so they can become “successful contributing members of society.” Lifting up just one student can have an impact on many members of their family and community, along with future generations.