Upon his return home, he worked 2 years for Muntz TV until he was approached in 1960 by Singer with the goal of becoming a manager – which he readily achieved. Seven years later, he went to work for JC Penney selling sewing machines, TVs, air conditioners, and other appliances, though in 1969 Singer asked him to return. Rejoining with Singer, he worked in various positions as a National Training Manager, District Operations Manager, and more. When Singer exited the retail business, he found employment with Fabri-Centers of America, converting Singer Retail locations to set-ins for JoAnn Fabric stores. He also spent time with Elna/White based in Cleveland as a Regional Sales Rep.
In 1983, Bill undertook the mission of starting his own business – Apple Valley Sewing Center in Apple Valley, MN. Two years later, he formed a partnership and went on to open several locations that carried multiple brands, but knowing the company name was no longer applicable, it was changed to Creative Sewing Centers. Today there are four locations in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and a centralized service center/office.
It was not easy starting a business from nothing, but Bill always loved a challenge. He never listened when people told him something could not be done. Instead, he found a way. He often said, "Things don't work when you stop trying, but if you keep on moving it always works out."
Reflecting on his career, Bill appreciates all of the people who have helped him along the way and pays it back in kind. He loved his position of trainer because his greatest joy is seeing people succeed. He encouraged employees and customers alike to take chances and always celebrates their success. Even today, people from 40 years back thank him for his encouragement, tough love, and helpfulness.
Bill has been married to wife, JoAnn, for 57 years and has 4 children and 9 grandchildren. He has won several sales and leadership awards, is a founding member of the Minnesota State Fair Foundation, and participates in many local school/work education programs.
2017 VDTA-SDTA Hall of Fame Inductee