An Introduction to an Innovation Specialist
This is my story and this is what I do. I grew up with Electronic Technology. I was there when it began, as a medium to transmit information to the citizen masses in real time, wherever they might be. It became my life’s work as it grew to a point where it now controls the way our society lives, works and plays.
During my 4 years of service in the U.S. Navy, I became enthralled with the potential for electronic technology to improve our society. I decided that this would be my career of choice. Therefore, after my honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy in 1952, I attained an Associate Degree in Electronic Engineering, which was the highest degree offered at the time, under the GI Bill.
After graduation, I secured employment with a national manufacturer of specific types of electronic systems. After four city-to-city transfers over the next nine years, I rose through the ranks to the level of Branch Manager of the company’s largest office in Chicago, Illinois. At that point in my life, I got off the corporate ladder and joined a friend in a private distributorship, to design, sell and maintain integrated electronic systems for hospitals and schools in the Greater Chicago area. In 1959 the majority partner decided to sell, so I had little choice but to agree.
Following that experience, in 1970 I started my own company, Stoll Associates, Ltd, with offices in Chicago and Houston. I remained engaged in the business arena of design and construction of Integrated Electronic systems for the next 35 years, always searching for ways to deliver improved services and to advance the state-of-the-art in integrated electronic technology. During that period, clients engaged my company to design and build some of the largest and most complex integrated electronic systems in the nation, including the design of one “electronic city” and the design and build of the first “electronic building” in the nation. We pushed the known state-of-the-art to its limits, all of the time.
As a result of the writing skills that I developed during my preparation of detailed definitions of need and functional specifications for the systems I designed, I began to be called upon to write feature articles to be published in the magazines of the trade associations to which I belonged, such as ASIS, ISC, NFPA & NCTA. As the reputation of my company grew, I began to be invited to speak at the annual conventions of those national trade associations concerning my vision for the future. I felt as though I had finally reached the zenith of my career. Then disaster struck.
As I was traveling toward downtown Atlanta on Interstate I-75, at 6:00 AM, in the dark, on January 21, 2001, I was sideswiped by a large unmarked tractor trailer truck, traveling at 75 miles per hour. My vehicle was totaled and I was left for dead in the median strip, as the truck that had attacked me left the scene of the accident. I had suffered multiple injuries, including a concussion and a shattered right leg. They patched me back together in the hospital where I was taken and after 10 days in two hospitals, plus 3 months of intensive rehabilitation, it took me over 2.5 years to learn how to walk again. I knew then that my days as an electronic systems entrepreneur, traveling the country by air and walking 75 story buildings, under construction, were over. So I made arrangements for others to finish my company’s work in progress and I shut my business down. Then, as I started to think about what I would do with the rest of my life I remembered: I could still think, I could still write and I still knew how to manage all aspects of the design and construction of a major cluster of Integrated Electronic Systems in large scale high rise buildings.
So, I contacted everyone I knew and asked them for an opportunity to develop printed documents that would advertise their business and the things that they did. Documents that I could do from my home, or with minimal travel, with my wife driving, as I was healing. I developed classy corporate brochures, system sales brochures and product data sheets. I developed detailed project proposals and printed tri-fold information pieces for use as mailers and convention giveaways. I analyzed operations of active electronic contractors to recommend methods whereby they could improve their operations and profits, and/or expand their business into new areas. I developed literature describing various relatively unknown electronic systems, for mailing to architects, engineers and builders, for those companies, to improve the recognition of my clients in their industry. My motto was: “If you want to walk on water, you’d better learn where the rocks are”.
I have also authored two successful books: “Witness to a Fading Dream” in 2006 and “Survival in 20th Century America” in 2008. Then I began to write articles on matters of public interest, such as Illegal Immigration, The State of our Union, The Deterioration and Failures of our Educational Systems, The Illiteracy of our Youth, The Dangers of Toxic Agents in our Air and Waterways, The Deceptions of Our Federal Reserve Bank, The Frivolous Machinations of Our Elected Leaders, The Take-over of our Interstate Highways by Larger and Larger Trucks, etc. I soon found my articles being published in magazines, association newsletters and newspapers. I am constantly amazed with how many people know how to verbalize complaints, but how few know how to write interesting and mean-ingful articles about the world around us.
Now that my body is as fully recovered, I am seeking further engagements to expand and challenge my management and writing skills. I prefer to work part-time, at home as an independent contractor, at hours that are convenient to both parties. I would be agreeable to work in an office, if necessary, so long as the driving distance is not too far and at times other than rush hours. I have no need for medical insurance, retirement programs, investment accounts, vacation days or similar perks. I will work for an agreed upon fixed sum per task or hourly rate, whichever is appropriate for your needs. However, I can no longer travel on Interstate Highways and I can no longer drive after dark, so my travel is somewhat restricted.
I believe that I am capable of managing any type sales or service business and writing any type of document, on almost any subject, given sufficient time to research the project for accuracy of document content. I maintain three ring binders that are filled with hundreds of published documents that I have written and I will be happy to review them with any interested party, or parties, along with an in-depth discussion of my capabilities, at a mutually convenient time.
I thank you for this opportunity to present my skills for your consideration and I look forward to an opportunity to be of service.
James E. (Jim) Stoll