Staff spotlight: George Klippel, Classroom tech and facilities
Weatherheadlines sat down with George Klippel, manager of classroom technology and facilities and recipient of the Innovative Staff Award in September, to talk about technolog, what goes into turning the lights on at PBL and life as a former Marine.
Q: What do you do at Weatherhead, and how long have you been here?
I make sure all the technology is functional for staff, faculty, and students. I've been here 4 years in December and was on staff when we moved from Enterprise Hall to the Peter B. Lewis Building. It was quite a change going from no technology in the classroom in Enterprise, to the high-tech classrooms at the PBL Building -- where we use state-of-the-art technology just to turn on the lights.
Q: What did you do before you came to Weatherhead?
I spent 12 years in the Marine Corps; I joined right out of high school. Then I spent 10 years in technology companies, with the last two at a start-up company. After that, I was in Cleveland visiting some friends when I picked up a Plain Dealer and saw the job at Weatherhead. I knew about Case because my brother-in-law went here, and well, the rest is history.
Q: Tell us about your life outside of Weatherhead.
I live in Cleveland Heights, and am married to Lani. We have two children. My daughter Claire is 7 and Nicholas, my son, is 4-years old. We also have Daisy, a daschund mix.
Q: Do you have any hobbies?
I love golf and music, and I like to read. I also love computer games and am a bit of a fanatic.
Q: Do you have a mentor or someone who inspired you?
The CEO of that start-up company I worked for, Tony Cancelosi, was a kind of inspiration. He was a turnaround CEO and one of the best leaders and motivators I've ever worked with. He taught me a lot about leadership.
Q: What was you best job or job experience?
The time I joined the Marine Corps was one of my best experiences. When I joined, I liked what I was doing, I knew I had made the right decision, and I knew what direction I was going in.Q: At Indians home games the batter get to choose 2 songs that will be played as they come up to bat. What 2 songs would you choose as you walked up to bat to hit the ball?
That's a good question - first I would choose Boom, Boom - Out Go the Lights by Pat Travis. There is also a 50’s song called: Duck and Cover - it is an old song they would play in reference to what to do in case of a nuclear attack - duck and cover.
Q: What book are you reading right now?
Well, I've been reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand for about 5 years now. I'm also reading Harry Potter. I'm about half-way through the first book. It is the first fantasy book that I've read since J.R. Tolkien in high school.
Q: How about a book that you've always meant to read but haven't?
I don't believe that I've ever read Moby Dick (Melville), and that is definitely in the must-read category.
Q: What famous person do you look like or who would play you in movie of your life?
I don't recall people telling me that I look like someone else, except that doctor on E.R., what was his name … George Clooney. As for the movie, I really like Jim Carrey. I don't know if I want the goofy face Carrey, but I like his characters in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Q: Name a famous person who you share your birthday with.
I have no idea, I should Google that! But I can tell you that my entire family was born in October. I mean my entire family, including my wife's mother and father, both kids, and my wife. We are all either Libras or Scorpios.
Q: If you knew it was going to be your last meal what would you want?
I would have a piece of cassada cake from Corbo's (in Little Italy).
Q: If you could do it all over again, what would you do?
I would like to be an astronaut. I wish I had been more involved with science. I'm really fascinated with anything to do with space. Although, I have not purchased a star … yet.