I graduated from Northeastern University in 1989 with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. I began working for GTE’s Government System’s Advanced Development Group designing mobile communication systems for the four branches of the military.
I suffered a broken neck in a snow skiing accident in the spring of ‘92 and began my life as a quadriplegic. After years of rehabilitation and adjusting to a new existence, I went back to school and earned my Master’s degree in Computer Science from Boston University.
I was thrust into a life riddled with adversity and challenges that drastically reduced the quality of the new life I was now living. Being an engineer, I’m a problem solver and I’ve never been the type to surrender and capitulate. I was determined to find solutions to adapt, overcome and rise above the limitations I faced.
“Regret the things you don’t do, not the things you do!” With this spirit I’m determined to live life to the fullest and no paralysis will stop me. I’ve always enjoyed activities that are exhilarating and so I'm driven to find ways to take part in thrilling and exciting adventures.
I've learned since my injury that I'm not alone; I've become a member of a large diverse community of disabled people. My goal and mission is to enable every kindred spirit in my community to enjoy adventures, live life to the fullest and benefit, as I have, from any solutions I’ve been privileged to bring to fruition.
After leaving the 548th Engineering Support Unit of the 82nd airborne during the end of the Vietnam war, I took a lead maintenance mechanic/electrician position at Boston University. While there I took advantage of the tuition reimbursement program and the G.I. Bill. With the night courses offered at BU Met College I attained a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering.
I’ve worked my way from the associate engineering position to the Principal Controls Engineer at Tecnau, a company with the largest share of paper handling hardware/software in the world.
With over 30 years in this company, I have 17 patents of electro mechanical devices as well as co patents of many others.
I am currently the manager of Motion Control Hardware and Software in the developmental lab in Billerica mass.
I am excited to be part of the development team of Abate & Empower and to enrich the quality of life for the disabled.
"After retiring as an officer in the US Merchant Marine serving in the Gulf War Theater of Operation Desert Storm/Shield with MSC (Military Sealift Command), I turned my interests to mechanical design working for twelve years as a contract designer. I then went full time with Foster-Miller which became QinetiQ North America working on projects for NASA, DARPA, and other aerospace companies in the Space Structures and Transportation Group (STG) for almost twenty years.
I have accomplished four patents and many provisional patents in my career and am excited to be on the team of Abate & Empower to contribute my talents toward the design and manufacturing of products to better the mobility of our clients and enjoy a more enriched quality of life. "
My Mom was an artist, my Dad was a research scientist and I've always been strongly influenced by the fine arts and science, design and engineering. After leaving The University of N.H. in the early '80's, having majored in English Literature, I went back to school to study furniture making and design, having realized that I'm the happiest when creating physical things. After an intensive two year Associates Degree program at The Wendell Castle School in Scottsville, NY, with a third year internship teaching there, I went on to establish my own furniture design business, designing and making custom, one of a kind furniture and related pieces for mostly private and some corporate clients.
A move back east from Upstate NY, created a break from furniture making, which by happenstance, turned my career to industrial prototyping, with a 17 year stint at an R&D automotive division of The Robert Bosch Corporation, which then led to creating and heading prototype shops at several more start-ups and then contract prototyping. One of the things that fascinated me about industrial prototyping, was the need and opportunity to learn multiple fabrication skills - from manual machining and TIG welding of a variety of metals to composite lay-up, mold making, woodworking and at small start-ups remodeling and construction of facilities.
With a passion for problem-solving, design, development and fabrication, working with R&D engineers in all aspects of development of industrial processes and products has been my niche. Now, working with Rob and the others at Abate and Empower, I have a chance to add my creative skills and to learn new skills and gain new insight into mobility and accessibility issues. In 1997 my Mom suffered a massive stroke that left her with very little speech and full right side paralysis. Involved in her care for the next twelve years of her life, I became very familiar and frustrated with the challenges of wheelchair users and was always working on small things that I could do to improve the experience. I see big advances that Abate and Empower can bring about and am excited to be on the team!
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