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Born: May 1, 1952
David was born in Portland, Oregon and spent the first thirty years of life mostly in Milwaukie, Oregon, a suburb of Portland. His father, Richard, was a welder and a master craftsman, who built the Freeman family home stick by stick, with the help of David’s mother, Jackie. Six decades later, at the time of this writing, the home remains the home base for the extended Freeman family.
David’s mother was a cheerleader in her youth and Miss Redondo Beach, California (1948). Jackie Freeman continued to be a cheerleader for David and his siblings, Tim and Janice. Her involvement in her children’s school, church and community were an inspiration that helped to formulate David’s appreciation for learning, sharing and “Paying It Forward”.
THE GOOD OL’ DAYS
David was raised in a close knit community where neighbors were considered family. It was a peaceful time, where children were cared for and raised by a community. Every parent on Beach Street knew and cared for every child on the block.
That was a time when front doors were rarely locked and every house, child and pet was secure under the watchful eye of the Beach Street community. It was common practice, in those days for neighbors to share their house keys with each other, just in case of an emergency or for watering plants when a neighbor left town for a vacation.
David was fortunate to be surrounded by stability in every aspect of his young life. He attended one grade school, one high school and grew up with the same friends and neighbors, who remain life long connections. His father had one job for 45 years, in a company that David later joined, for a time, as a Supervisor. His mother, in addition to volunteering as an active PTA and church member, worked until her 84th birthday, as a Realtor and Land Developer. Those examples influenced David’s work ethic and his future career in construction.
COLLEGE AND CAREER
David has worked continuously from the age of thirteen, when he worked at his church as janitor and “landscape engineer”. Once he was old enough to have a work permit, David worked for a time as a dishwasher at a local pancake restaurant, but really found a fascination for sales by working at Kinney Shoes. He worked all through high school at the same store, which happened to be just down the hill from Rex Putnam High School.
David was a good student, who excelled in track and field as a pole vaulter and sprinter. Each day, after school, he would attend track practice and then walk down the street each day and every weekend to the shoe store to polish his sales techniques.
The sales experience, while working through high school as an award winning sales associate on a national level, led to the selection of Business Administration as a college curriculum. In fact, upon graduation, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, he returned to Kinney Shoes as a retail store Manager.
BORN TO BUILD
After several years as a retail Manager and having been relocated to several obscure locations out of state, David answered the call to join his brother, Tim, in his construction business. That was clearly a life changing decision.
Together, David and Tim built single family homes in both Oregon and Washington state. Business was booming and their reputation for building quality homes seemed to point to a long and successful career and the building of a small construction dynasty. That was the case, until the global economy took a dive and housing construction, as they knew it, dropped off. To be honest, it stopped. No more construction, anywhere and no more dynasty.
VARIETY MAKES FOR A SPICY CAREER
As they say, “When one door closes, another will open.” That was certainly the case over the next few decades. Never one to be disheartened or idle, David responded to what seemed to be a roller-coaster ride in the economy, by seeking new and greater challenges in frequently new and apparently unrelated industries.
When the construction industry collapsed, David joined the same company that his father had worked for as a welder for 45 years. His qualification as for this position ranks as one of his father’s favorite memories and proudest moments. David entered as an Assistant Plant Supervisor, in a totally unfamiliar manufacturing industry. While he excelled in his area of responsibility, the roller-coaster ride took another turn.
While Omark Industries built tools related to forest products, it was still a surprise that exactly two years after the housing industry hit bottom, the forest product industry followed suit. David’s plant population, over time was reduced from 1,200 employees to around 300. After surviving several lay-offs and personally conducting exit interviews for hundreds fellow employees, ultimately, his position was eliminated, as well. A year later, David received a call to return to the organization, but like any good rolling stone, he had already moved on to the next adventure.
This event was a life changer beyond description. Combining his management experience, with a passion for sales and customer service, David accepted a managerial position with a national restaurant chain, Stuart Anderson’s Cattle Company Restaurants. After a brief training in several local Portland area locations, David was offered an opportunity to relocate, across the country, to Chicago. He jumped at the chance.
Once again, the economy took yet another turn. The restaurant company that had introduced twelve new locations in the Chicagoland area, only two years before, made the decision to close all twelve locations.
NETWORKING WITHOUT AN INTERNET
Fortunately, through the process we now know as networking, David had developed relationships that led, immediately to a return to the construction industry, the following week. That connection began a 10 year assignment that raised his skill levels in a number of areas, most importantly, learning every aspect of the construction process in Medium to High end residential and commercial construction. In addition, since fully 90% of the workforce in the local market spoke only Spanish, David, at the age of 45-ish, became fluent in Spanish.
In addition to the experience in following years to David’s supervision of the construction of $300 Million in real estate of every description, the side benefits were more important. Learning Spanish led to many future successful assignments, where being fluent in construction, management and Spanish was the key to every future connection, both professional and personal.
ENTER THE PRINCESS
The greatest opportunity, after a life adventure that may some day become a book, once David determines if it should be written as a scary, thriller or a comedy, was yet to come. His most important connection was the introduction to an artist/graphic designer/interior decorator from Bogota, Colombia, Maria Consuelo Robayo (aka: Love of his life and bride).
The rest of the story continued to unfold. Maria Consuelo (Connie), one day, asked David to write a short story that would allow her to illustrate a children’s book. She had some Mushroom characters in mind, that she had been dreaming about for years. “You mean, Mushroom Tales?”, David asked and the rest is a wonderful series of stories teaching children “To Love, Laugh and Learn!”
David had a passion for writing, whether it be for commercial copy, short stories, resumes for other individuals and even writing problem solving letters for clients and employers. With the combination of writing chops and the Hispanic and bilingual connections, David answered the call to help many Spanish only speaking individuals, with English only speaking antagonists, to solve conflicts.
This took the form of interpreting personal problems for individuals involving, for example, a landlord, their child’s teacher, a doctor, attorney or government agency. The written solutions that became popular resulted in the formulation of a service called “Ayudamé Gringo”, which in Spanish means “Help me, Gringo”. On going, by bridging the communication gap in a multilingual community, problems and misunderstandings are resolved to the relief and appreciation of all concerned. The stories continue.
Taking the subject of Independent Self-Publishing to a new level, David, in an effort to better understand the process of publishing books, created a FaceBook Group and a podcast to find the answers to questions being asked by literally millions of potential Love-To-Be Authors. The Authors Pay It Forward Podcast, combines David’s personal interest in publishing, a desire to “Learn Something & Share Something” and a fantasy from college days to become a popular radio DJ. Livin’ the dream!
BOOMERS STILL BRING IT
From his experience of both conducting and participating in many interview sessions in his career, David mastered the interview and job search process. From the mind numbing experience of personally reviewing many hundreds of resumes, he found most resumes to be lacking in substance, readability and personality. With an eye on the challenges faced by both job seekers and employers, a format developed that made it easier for job candidates to stand out above the crowd and for their future employers to find them.
David has helped many individuals, over the years, to improve their resumes and develop an effective job search campaign. Many of those career boosters were among the 75 Million Baby Boomers, 75% of which remain either uninterested or unable to retire.
At the age of 64 ½-ish, David put his own recommended procedure to work, while looking for a long term upgrade in his own personal career assignment. In short order, David had identified target companies that he was interested in, generated three key interviews, received three job offers and chose one that doubled his income and earned him the most interesting and exciting assignment in his professional career.
Continuing to explain his job search technique, David began a blog which expanded to the book “The BOOMER’S GUIDE to a CAREER BOOST after 60!”
The process of paying it forward by learning something and sharing something, daily, continues.