Posts

What do you consider one of your greatest achievements in life?

Completing the 1985 Nationwide/Bank One Marathon in Columbus, Ohio stands above the rest.  While my time of three hours, fifty minutes, and 22 seconds is nowhere close to being great, it put me at 177th place in the group of 509 men in the 30-34 age group, almost to the top third in the field.   The marathon is the only running event where I would stand at the starting line and wonder if I would complete the race today.  The question at the beginning of half-marathons or shorter races was how long would it take me to finish.  I attempted three marathons in my early thirties and only completed the 1985 start.  The other two I stopped around seventeen miles due to physical problems.  The first “failure” was due to improper running shorts causing a chafing issue.  The other one was knee pain that was bad enough to make me worry if continuing to run would cause permanent damage.  But in all three races, I was in great physical condition and had the super-low body-mass index of a marathoner

Do you have any notable ancestors?

To the world at large, none of my ancestors have done anything that I’m aware of that would be notable in any famous sense.  However, to me personally, a few stand out for their bravery, skills, and traits that ended up being very much a part of me and who I became.   The two that were most impactful were my great-great-grandfather Franz Heinrich Moorman and my great-grandfather Eugene Adelbert Otto.  Both immigrated to the United States from Germany in the 1800s and I admire that they, like many other European immigrants, decided to leave their parents, siblings, and homeland, most likely never to see them again, and make the dangerous 4,000+ mile trip to the United States.  People often say that I’m lucky to live in the United States, but the reality is that these two Germans are the reason I live here.  Their dream became my reality and the reason I speak English instead of German. The majority of my Moorman side were farmers.  They settled and many continue to live in Mercer County

What is one of the most beautiful places you've ever been?

I’ve often said that the three most beautiful places are mountains, beaches, and golf courses, with the most beautiful place I’ve ever been capturing all three. The runner-ups, just the most notable of a very long list, include golfing at Pebble Beach, sailing in St. Marteen’s Great Bay, dinner at the Flagstaff restaurant in the mountains overlooking Boulder, Colorado at dusk, and standing at the highest point of the Alta ski resort, southeast of Salt Lake City, Utah, gazing at the slopes below. In each case, I had to pause, take in the scenery and commit it to memory. The place that takes the top spot is playing golf at the Wailea Golf Club on Maui. The course is built on the side of a mountain with majestic views of a deep blue Pacific Ocean. It boasts beautifully manicured fairways and greens and a layout that demands you concentrate fully to play a good round. I remember how hard it was to focus, the vistas compelling me to gaze upon them and ignore the golf. I don’t rememb

What have been some of your life's greatest surprises?

My earliest memory of a great surprise was my grandfather Maurice Otto taking me to Arby’s on Salem Avenue.  There may have been my Mom or another sibling or two there, but all I remember was the gigantic Arby’s sign shaped like a cowboy hat and how amazingly delicious the roast beef sandwich tasted.  Not that my family ate out a lot or favored fast food, but I knew enough to be shocked at the taste.  It’s still my favorite fast food sandwich to this day. My first trip to the Hawaiian island of Maui was full of the beautiful ocean and mountain scenery I was expecting, but the shocker was the awesome aromas of the resort.  I remember walking out of the hotel room the first morning and experiencing the fragrance of bananas wafting through the air.  Everywhere I went whatever tropical fruit trees were planted imparted their essences into the air.  Nowhere else I’ve ever been has matched that aromatic scenery.  I walked into yet another Information Technology Leadership Team meeting in the

Has anyone ever rescued you, figuratively or literally?

I credit Dr. Zimmer, my long-time chiropractor, for rescuing me from severe pain, one of the two miracles in my life.  During a vacation in California, I threw my back out and spent an agonizing day laying in bed, barely able to roll over.  It was the day before returning home and the next morning things were no better and I realized I could never make it down the stairs, drive the car to the airport or tolerate a four-hour plane ride to Ohio.  As I laid there trying to figure out what to do, I thought about the position Dr. Zimmer sometimes puts me in while adjusting my back, that being laying on my side, bottom leg extended, the top of my foot on the other leg tucked up behind my knee, and turning my shoulders in the opposite direction.  This position forces my lower back to push forward.  I assumed that position and laid there for forty-five minutes.  Then I got up, all pain gone, carried two suitcases down the stairs, drove to the airport, and flew home.  Dr. Zimmer, plus some divi

What was an unusual compliment you once received, but really appreciated?

While I was working at NewPage Corporation in the Information Technology strategy role, Tom Anderson once told a small group of people, with myself included, that “For most people, we’re trying to get them to think outside the box, but for Paul, we’re trying to get him in the box.”  I guess that fulfills the “unusual” part of the question.  I’ve never heard anyone being described that way.  For most of my career, I was tasked with creating or managing change.  A large part of that is getting people comfortable with that, whether providing the resources, motivation, or atmosphere to move an effort along.   The biggest part of the atmosphere aspect is reducing or eliminating the fear of failure.  A part of being “in the box” is that it’s a safe place, where you do what’s expected of you and not rock the boat.  It’s doing what you know and perhaps learn one or two new tricks, but nothing where the blame can come back on you when something inevitably goes wrong.   I’ve completely changed h

What are you really hard on yourself about?

I’m really hard on myself when I do something stupid.  Not any stupid, but the kind where I’ve told myself what to do or not to do and I go ahead and do the opposite.  For example, I’m doing some kind of task and it has become obvious I need to stop what I’m doing and regroup.  But no, I continue on until I start shouting at myself to stop, often several times, before my body listens to my mouth.  It’s that kind of stupid I can’t stand in myself. Conversely, I’m generally not hard on myself for being wrong, unless that wrong is really stupid.  I’m notorious for poor navigational driving skills.  I turn on the wrong street often and even drive by my own house on occasion.  Being in Information Technology all my adult life, I’ve written many errors into programs, misconfigured hardware more often than I care to admit, and have had to take a whole different approach when a decision turned out to be poor.  I personally think admitting you are wrong is a strength, so much that I wrote on my