Synopsis: Proud husband, dad, and granddad; retired geek turned writer; cancer survivor and passionate cancer advocate; community volunteer; folk/rock guitarist and song writer; HAM radio operator.
Hello and welcome!
My name is Bob Steele. It’s a name common enough that there are likely hundreds of us. In fact, there are at least five of us in Greensboro, NC. All of them being astute, kindhearted gentlemen of distinction, I’m sure!
I’m the one with the wacky sense of humor… Perhaps I should pare down the list down a bit more. I’m the one that:
- Has an insatiable curiosity and is super geeky
- Became an Amateur Radio Operator (better known as a HAM) at 13
- Overcame ADHD, LD, MDD, GAD, and a touch of OCD
- Was a solid D/F student in high school and flunked out college in my freshman year, but went on to become an honors graduate in college and earned three degrees including a master’s degree and post-grad coursework towards a 2nd master’s and a PhD
- Was a hippie in the early ’70s and lived on communes in New Mexico and Virginia
- Hitchhiked more than 12,000 miles across the country
- Was a Petty Officer in the Navy Reserves
- Drove 18-wheel trucks across the country
- Rose through the ranks from electronic technician to principal engineer
- Holds a US Patent for real-time, synchronized, multimedia data fusion technology
- Featured as a hi-tech inventor on the Discovery Science Channel
- Owned a professional sports car race team
- Plays guitar and writes folk/rock tunes
Yep, I’m that one. My life journey (thus far) has been been one wild ride.
I had the good fortune to enjoy a 30-year progressively successful career in business and technology development and management. The first 20 years were focused on technology and systems engineering. I started as an electronic technician and with hard work and many years of night school rose through the ranks to principal engineer. The latter part of my career was focused on corporate management and business development. Ultimately, I became a serial entrepreneur and was the President & CEO of two hi-tech startup companies developing leading-edge, first-to-market products and services.
Most of professional career was spent working as a government contractor for NASA, NOAA, and DOD. My employers included Wang Labs, Boeing, Litton/PRC (now a division of Northrop Grumman), and several small/medium size engineering services companies. I had extensive experience in the design, implementation, and operations of large-scale, mission critical IT systems for Federal agencies and bureaus and Fortune 500 companies.
I was formally trained in management analytics, systems engineering, engineering economics, strategic planning, project management, and quality management methods and processes. I was certified as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.
Artistic Endeavors: I used to describe myself as having an artist’s soul trapped with a geek’s mind and throttled by ADHD. Music, writing, and art have always served as my underbelly – my creative wannabe. I began writing poems in 1969 followed by folk/rock/blues songs and lyrics when I learned to play the acoustic guitar.
My first poem was “Birth.” It’s very abstract and the story behind it is one of my blog pieces, A Bugle Call to Write.
My first “big” creative writing project was a techno/spy thriller novel that I started writing way back in 1985. At the time, I was a Systems Engineer and Senior Member of the Technical Staff with Boeing and working onsite at NASA’s Space Station Freedom Program Headquarters in Reston, Virginia. This will be described in a future blog piece.
In 2009 I took a plunge into whirling, swirling world of screenwriting. I did some basic research on screenplay formatting and style and read 6-8 movie scripts and wrote the first draft of a romantic comedy (ROM-COM). I was quite proud of the effort, practically glowing. My wife read it and said it was okay. All right, cool beans! When I reflected on her comment later, I realized that it meant anything from terrible to really okay – definitely not great.
I had a family friend read it and was fully taken aback with the feedback. After the sting wore off a few days later, I re-read the comments and realized they were valid. Thus I launched into several rewrites. It was getting better, but it still had a long, long way to go to be considered for production.
That’s when I decided to get some professional help and enrolled in a 6-month long online screenwriting class. It was a fantastic program, albeit intense and highly stressful. This story continues in another blog piece.
Stay tuned, there’s a whole lot more to come!