Did you grow up with a strong Catholic faith?
There was always a pretty strong Catholic presence growing up. My dad is from Germany, and when he came over to this country, he was diverted to the Sheboygan area because his aunt was a nun who worked at St. Nicholas Hospital. She introduced my parents when they later worked at that hospital. So, we grew up with a lot of clergy and religious in our lives — my great aunt and a priest friend of our family were very much like our grandparents, always at every recital and every important family event growing up.
How did you and Helen meet?
We were both working at Kohler Company, and I would kind of notice this woman coming into the advertising building on occasion. One day, she was about half a block away and I saw her coming, so I hung on by a door for a minute and opened the door for her, acting like I was just exiting. I held the door for her, and she walked right past me and said nothing. I just said, “You’re welcome” and proceeded out the door. That’s how I met Helen, though she didn’t know that she met me.
What led you to start your own business 21 years ago?
I was leaving another business — I had had kind of a blowout with my business partners. It all kind of started over the announcement one day that we were having a new client meeting, and it was with Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. I said, “Never — and if they set foot in this building I will tell them exactly what I think of them and their organization.” That was kind of the beginning of the end. I left and I contacted Paul, and said I could offer him no clients and no income, but a 40-minute shorter commute to work. He thought it was a good idea.
You and Helen were a big part of helping last summer’s Unite Wisconsin Eucharistic procession in Madison get to a national level, with rosary rallies all over the country. How did that get started?
Well, (Men of Christ founder) Kevin (O’Brien) is such a great motivator. He has a level of joy that inspires so many people. I always know, if he calls me at 7 o’ clock on a Sunday night, most of my Monday is going to be consumed. He and several others started the first event on the Feast of the Assumption, and we helped spread the word through Men of Christ. Lo and behold, we got 3,000 people to show up for this thing two weeks after it was organized by Dave Yanke and Randy Mack. It was right after the turmoil of the summer and we wanted to show people that we could peacefully assemble and that we aren’t afraid to go into our own streets. A man from California got wind of it — he’s a man of means and he likes to fund good things — and he told us: “I saw the video of the procession in Madison, and I’d like you guys to take this thing national.” That led to lots of news coverage, lots of interviews with places like EWTN and Relevant Radio, and we quickly created this turnkey package for individuals to run processions in their own local part of the world. There have been more than 140 since then.
What do you hope people take away from these processions?
We always want to say it wasn’t a political thing, but it was to help people see what it is that you want for your country and your kids. Do you want to be able to go into your own streets and be able to have your religious freedoms in and amongst all of the COVID shutdowns? Unite Our Nation was a lot about making sure that people remember that they have religious rights and that they can be brought into the street.