Alumni Spotlight Jeff Spence '83
Alumni Association - posted on 8/20/2008
With August being Campus Clean-Up month, we thought it fitting to highlight one of our alumni who is working toward making our region a cleaner, healthier place for everyone. Milwaukee native Jeff Spence `83 writes that his time at Lakeland helped to reinforce his basic philosophy that "Our talents and gifts should be used to improve the world. We all add value and should give back to our communities. To think creatively, solutions to problems can be found if we consider ourselves before others."
When he was a Lakeland student, Jeff aspired to become a pharmacist or a chemist. He never would have guessed the direction that his interest in the sciences would take him. By majoring in two areas, Chemistry and Business Administration, Jeff set himself on a path that led to his current position as Director of Agency Services for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), where he oversees purchasing, human resources, sales & marketing, graphic services, facilities management, records management, and the Commission support staff. He notes that one of the most valuable aspects of his Lakeland experience was that it helped expose him to the many available career paths for someone interested in science.
After graduation, he spent seventeen years with Sigma-Aldrich Research in a variety of technical and managerial capacities. He served as a National Accounts Manager for the research division, and headed the Flavors and Fragrances Division. He left in 1999 to focus more attention closer to home, and took the position of Laboratory Manager for MMSD. In 2001 he was appointed to the Director of Sales and Marketing for Milorganite Fertilizer (an organic fertilizer), and in 2005 was appointed to his current position, Director of Agency Services. Jeff says that the most rewarding part of his job is "helping find win-win solutions where none previously existed."
MMSD is a regional government agency that provides wastewater treatment and flood management services for 28 communities in the Greater Milwaukee Area. The service area covers 411 square-miles. Visit the website http://v2.mmsd.com/AboutUs.aspx
to learn about the history of sewerage in the Milwaukee area. You can also learn what you can do to help support the "Every Drop Counts" campaign. Check out the great tips on how you can help to protect Lake Michigan and also cut down on sewer back-up during heavy rains. Find out about the effectiveness of water gardens and water barrels for collecting rainstorm run-off from your roof for use during dry spells.
Jeff is married to Jana (Margenau) Spence `81, a Special Education Teacher for Milwaukee Public Schools, whom he met during his student years at Lakeland. This meeting just so happens to be his fondest Lakeland memory. He is dad to Joshua, a sophomore at Iowa State University (Majors; Art, Math) and Jacob, a senior at Rufus King High School in Milwaukee.
Jeff is a trustee of Lakeland College and Albright United Methodist Church and serves on several other boards as well, including First Stage Children's Theater Advisory Board, Discovery World Museum Board, and the Milwaukee Public School Board of Directors. He has served two terms as the President of the MPS board. For fun and to keep in shape, he plays baseball in a 38-and-over league.
In 1999, Jeff was awarded one of Business Journal's "40 Under 40;" individuals who are seen to be making an impact on the future of the state. His advice to young people just graduating and entering the work force: "Value [your] relationships. Act in an ethical manner." Jeff Spence has certainly made a career out of valuing relationships. With his interest in both science and business administration, he has clearly put his Lakeland education toward the goal of making the world a better, healthier place.
Share This Story Help
Lakeland offers links to several popular social bookmarking services. These links help you share stories with other people or create bookmarks for future reference. The services are free, but they require a personal account. Click for more information on social bookmarking
<< Return to News