As a boy growing up in Terre Haute, Indiana, I got into scouting through Boy Scouts of America. A lot of my male role models, other than my father, were professors at Rose Hulman or Indiana State University. Together they taught me what hard work looked like, gave me courage to do things I didn’t think were possible, and taught me a lot about leadership. If it hadn’t been for those positive male role models, I wouldn’t have earned my Eagle Scout, which is the highest achievement or rank attainable through Boy Scouts. Those scouting principals shaped me into who I am today. I have a strong passion to pay that back, so I am actively involved in Boy Scouts with three of my own boys.
Every year, I look forward to warm weather, leaving the city, and spending time camping in the great outdoors. I love unplugging from technology, packing up the Jeep, and heading to the woods. It’s good for the soul to see 1,000 stars on a cloudless night, fall asleep to the sounds of nature, and share those moments with the next generation.
As much as I enjoyed scouting as a child, I was also destined for a career in architecture. My mind was made up by the sixth grade that I would become an architect. I was further determined in ninth grade when another student told me I wouldn’t ever make it in the Ball State University architecture program (never tell someone they can’t do something; it only hardens their determination). As I’ve progressed and evolved my career, my focus and enjoyment has changed. Earlier in my career, it was about creating and expressing my own ideas into the physical world. Today, I enjoy being a guide. It’s not about my ideas anymore; it’s about helping others find their ideas and working hard to help realize them.
I feel more connected with my Christian faith when I get to work on projects that impact the Bible’s message. I just wrapped up construction for a wonderful addition to a Lutheran church and school addition. Now, we’re wrapping up design details for the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission’s new facility. Their dream, when realized in this new facility, will touch, shape, and change so many lives. Using my talents to assist the Rescue Mission in their daily mission is a blessing.
Something else I’ve worked to achieve is my love for running. I don’t have the typical build of a runner, and a friend never thought I’d run a marathon. I’ve run 10 sanctioned half marathons and completed two full marathons. Running is another concept that has really defined me. It’s another underdog story for me. Right now, I’m following a lot of ultra-runners, and hope that in a few years I’ll be able to blend my running hobby with my love of nature by becoming a trail runner.
When I can’t camp or run, I’m working on learning to play my banjo. I often get looks when I share this with folks, but is it that odd with the last name Hatfield?
Speaking of the Hatfields, I met my wife Tracy when I was young – really young. Her mother gave me my first hair cut when I turned one year old. We don’t remember any of it, but both our parents have stories about the other, as their generation went to school together. We wouldn’t realize any of this until we started dating in high school.
We have four kids – one girl and three boys. I’ve been blessed a lot in life, but my kids definitely make me smile more than anything. Each one has their own personality. Our clan lives in a house that’s over 100 years old. It works for us, and there is always a family project. My wife and I love to plan, design, and complete our own construction. Together, we’ve tackled heavy demolition, framing, electrical, plumbing, drywall, and wood flooring. We’re also pretty good at bat removal!