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Alumni Connection - Alex J. Pociask

As Valedictorian of my 1965 Wausaukee High School graduating class, I had several academic options to pursue while considering what career path most interested me and which university I would choose to attend. Further complicating my final college choice decision was my desire to also play collegiate football. After facing the realities of location and my talent limitations, it became apparent that my engineering career interests and football playing time compromises would be best served at Michigan Technological University (MTU), conveniently located only 150 miles north of Wausaukee, and a Top-20 nationally-ranked engineering university, with a Division II sports program. Interestingly, I had been first introduced to MTU by my Wausaukee 7th grade teacher, Mr Raymond Cleary, who recognized my math & science aptitudes and took the initiative to send away for the MTU Curriculum Catalogue for me to study in an attempt to better understand the numerous engineering discipline options and help focus my eventual career decision making process. Certainly he was a major influence in my eventual career & college choice decisions. Fortunately, I was a 4-year starter at center on the MTU Huskies football team with 2 All-Northern Intercollegiate Conference (NIC) selections, capped-off by being named Most Valuable Player in the NIC in November, 1969, so my football aspirations were well fulfilled.

Following my graduation with a BSCE Civil Engineering degree from Michigan Tech in December, 1969, I began work as a construction engineer with the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) in Evansville, Indiana. My 6-year tenure with ALCOA included another 2.5 years field assignment in upstate New York in Massena, NY on the Canadian border, before being transferred into Alcoa's corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for an additional year. In 1975, I began a new job in Pittsburgh as Project Manager and later as Manager of Coal Construction Projects with a Pittsburgh-based regional General Contractor, Mellon-Stuart Company, where I worked for 6 more years. In 1982 I began work as Manager of Construction Services for a Pittsburgh-based national engineering company, Comstock Engineering, with promotions to Vice President of Projects & Construction Management in 1984 and Sr. Vice President of Operations in 1986. Following the acquisition of Comstock Engineering in 1990 by a French company, I was faced with a major career decision and chose to develop & start-up a new company, rather than continue with the new Ownership. I launched Continental Design & Management Group on January 2, 1991 with 4 total employees, including myself, which proved quite successful and peaked at 130 professional employees 3 years later, when then merged with a Cleveland-based General Contractor, Stevens Painton Corporation. As President of Eastern Operations for Stevens Painton Corporation for 6 years the combined companies doubled their revenues and profitability tenfold. Following sale of my interests in Stevens Painton Corporation, I then did construction consulting work for one year before accepting a new position as Sr. Vice-President for Design/Build Projects for national water & wastewater treatment company, US Filter Corporation. Following 4 years at US Filter, I then chose to return to my construction consulting business where I spent ten (10) years as a Construction Consultant, including 28 months on two (2) multi-billion dollar projects assignments in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from November, 2008 - March, 2011.

Essentially "retired" since 2011 and living in the NW Chicago suburban community of Crystal Lake, IL for the past 16.5 years, I now spend my time traveling internationally, playing some occasional golf, and assisting my 2 daughters, ages 47 & 44 living in Palatine, Illinois and Chanhassen, Minnesota with their 6 children (girls ages 21 & 13 and boys ages 16, 15, 13, & 12). Married to my wife Sharon, a UWM graduate from Milwaukee for 51.5 years, and both enjoying good health, we both recognize how fortunate we have been to have had a good educational base from which to prosper both professionally and personally. For that reason, we are happy to support the Wausaukee Alumni Education Foundation (WAEF) goals of providing a better educational platform for future generations of Wausaukee Schools Graduates in order for them to also achieve their full potentials.

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