What kind of law do you practice and what do you enjoy about it?
I chair the firm’s Private Client and Family Office Practice. I help individuals plan their estates, advise fiduciaries on the administration of trusts and estates, and help families transition their businesses to younger generations. Helping individuals identify their goals and objectives, and designing plans to help them reach those goals, is very rewarding. But, the interpersonal relationships with my clients are what I enjoy most.
Tell me about your journey to becoming an attorney.
Becoming an attorney was something I first considered in middle school. I enjoy researching, writing and problem solving so the intellectual challenge of law school was very appealing. When I graduated in 1982 from the University of Iowa College of Business, attending law school seemed like the next logical step. I’m glad I followed my instincts.
When did you join Warner Norcross + Judd and what attracted you to Private Client and Family Office law?
In 1990 I was practicing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and was hired to help build the Holland office. My wife Angie and I are from the St. Joseph area and we wanted to return to the West Michigan lakeshore to raise our family here and be closer to our parents. I found there was a need in the community for a young lawyer providing high quality estate planning and family business succession planning and have been doing it ever since.
What do you think people would be surprised to learn about you?
I am a huge Disney fan and my favorite place in the world to vacation is Walt Disney World. It is constantly changing so there are always new things to experience, and it is the one place I can be a kid again. Plus the Disney cast members treat people extremely well and provide an excellent destination experience. People may also be surprised to learn that I was in the University of Iowa Hawkeye Marching Band in college. I played the trombone and my last performance was in the 1982 Rose Bowl.
What are your hobbies and interests?
In addition to all things Disney, I’m a huge baseball fan. My dad brought me up as a Cubs fan and he recently reminded me that it had been more than 50 years since he took me to my first game at Wrigley Field. I have attended games at 20 of the 30 major league baseball stadiums — 15 of which have been with my dad. In 2016, my dad and I attended four baseball games in 48 hours in three stadiums in two cities. Aside from Disney and baseball, my wife and I are into food and wine and we make our own wine from time to time. We also enjoy spending time with our four boys, who range in age from 24 to 30.