David Miller seems to do it all.
He's a member of the Greendale Lions Club and Greendale Historical Society, is actively involved in planning the Greendale 75th Anniversary celebration, and is a weekly Patch columnist. He can be seen at just about every Village Board and School Board meeting.
All of these things are part of a promise he made as he neared retirement. After working 40-plus years in the computer software industry, he vowed to spend five years serving his community.
Miller was born Milwaukee and raised in Kenosha. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Miller traveled all over the country for his work and lived in cities such as New York, Chicago, and Cincinnati. This didn’t give him much time for community service.
“It was very hard for me to get involved with volunteer organizations but I always wanted to,” Miller said.
He moved back to Milwaukee around 1980 and in the early 1990s he bought a house in Greendale.
In 2008 Miller’s career started to wind down and he retired. He then made that five-year commitment to serve the community.
Miller believes people should be involved in their communities in order to know what’s going on.
“Unless you go to the meetings I don’t think you really know what’s going on,” Miller said. “I know before I started going to the meetings I had certain opinions about the Village and the school district. But after I went to the meetings, about four years now, I understand and agree 90% to 95% of what the village and school district do.”
When asked where his energy comes from, he answered, “I think you have energy for something you believe in. I think the 75th celebration is a good opportunity for Greendale to show people that it’s a good place to raise a family….Greendale has been good to me. I’m just trying to give back.”
The Greendale School District is a major part of that. Miller feels the district went above and beyond to help his stepson, Daniel Mattson, throughout his time in the district. Daniel had epilepsy, and died of the disease in 2009.
“He wouldn’t have gotten where he did if it weren’t for the Greendale School District,” Miller said. “I don’t think he would have accomplished as much he did.”
To show their appreciation and to give back to the community, Miller and his family created a memorial scholarship fund in Daniel’s name for students who have faced adversity and persevered through it.
These days, most of Miller’s time is spent on Greendale 75th Anniversary planning, which will take place in 2013. He says he spends half the day working as a co-chairperson for the committee.
“I think the 75th Anniversary is an excellent opportunity for Greendale to re-energize itself,” Miller said. “The generation that was kids when Greendale was formed is kind of aging now. It’s the baby boomers who maybe didn’t grow up here, but live here, who should put some energy back into the community.”
Miller says community service runs in the family. His father was on the city council in Kenosha and actively involved in the Boy Scouts.
“It’s part of what my parents always taught me,” he said. “My personality is that when I get involved in something I tend to put a good effort in it.”
What will happen after Miller's five-year deadline?
Once Miller sees the 75th go through he will tone down his service work and travel with his wife and maybe even go back to school to take some history courses.
If you see Miller around at an event or meeting don’t be shy to say hello. Trust me, he won’t be.