My Journey


“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

That is one of my favorite quotes because it is so true. Life certainly has been a journey of ups and downs, but we just kept moving forward

My Journey to this Point can be summarized with another quote:

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Theodore Roosevelt

I was born in Long Island New York and raised in Bethpage until Junior High. During my last year of Junior High, my father, Henry (Hank “the Crank”) Schwager, accepted a position with Rockwell International (United Space Alliance) to work on the Space Shuttle program.

After graduating from Merritt Island High School, I worked for a year before going to Palm Beach Atlantic College (now University) in West Palm Beach, where I received a B.A. in Business Administration. Yes a B.A., I began as a Biblical Studies major and was well into Greek before deciding to change majors. While at PBA, I was involved in Student Government serving as Vice-President for two years, Assistant Director of Student Activities for one year and a Resident Assistant for two years. During this time I also began working for Autoextras Inc., an automotive aftermarket and customization company specializing in SCCA Racing and European automobiles. After completing my bachelor’s, I continued at Autoextras and was involved in the development of an import and distribution system for Cobra Seats of England. During this time I married Christine Snyder and began taking classes part-time in pursuit of an MBA at Florida Atlantic University. Before leaving Autoextras/Cobra Seats, we were blessed with our son Joshua.

Having always enjoyed working with people and computers, this led to the creation of a small business and computer consulting company. In 1991 I joined with Todd Breen to create ComputerEase, Inc. a company specializing in installation and maintenance of computer networks for churches and non-profit organizations throughout South Florida. I was involved in all stages of the business from the building of the computers – to pulling and splicing cable – to handling the accounts payable and receivable. During this time I began working on a network at the Adam Walsh Children’s Fund a division of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. This involvement with AWCF/NCMEC eventually led to the creation of a new position of Director of Special Events & Administration. This full-time position allowed me the opportunity to complete my MBA. During this time Christine and I were blessed with our daughter Kaitlyn. For five years, I served as Director of Special Events and Administration at AWCF/NCMEC and was responsible for the day to day operations of the organization as well as increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of fund-raising activities.


Eventually, we decided, as a family, that it was time for a new adventure. So we moved to Auburn to allow me to continue my education and pursue a Ph.D. in Management – Management of Information Technology & Innovation. During my years at Auburn, I was involved in teaching numerous classes as well as the creation and implementation of the university’s first Executive MBA program. I left Auburn ABD and was an Assistant Professor at Appalachian State University for several years before completing my dissertation and moving to East Carolina University.

Over my career, I have been fortunate to collaborate with some great people. The following are just a few examples of the projects I played a significant role in achieving.

  •  NCMEC/AWCF – Building
  •  Auburn EMBA
  • AACSB Reaffirmation
  • ECU COB Leadership Program
  • Think. Value. Communicate. LEAD
  • ECU COB Branding


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