Global Experiences Inform Alumnus’ Approach to Life

Rick Zinter ’74During his work overseas, Rick Zinter ’74 has procured much more than supplies for his employers. He acquired a unique worldview that has shaped his life philosophy.

“The travel I’ve done for work helped me realize we need to enjoy the journey, not just the destination,” he says. “Whether the destination is to reach retirement, go on vacation or visit with my two sons, I remind myself and my sons not to focus so much on the goal that you don’t enjoy the path you take to get there.”

His job as a global procurement manager for companies like Xerox, Tyco and his current employer, Jedson Engineering, has taken him to jobs in Japan, Hong Kong, California and Florida, in addition to shorter visits to several other countries and U.S. states.

He enjoys the work’s diversity as he handles the logistics, financial, legal and social aspects of purchasing materials from global suppliers, arranging for their transportation to manufacturers and seeing them incorporated into final products for sale.

During a recent two-year assignment in Saudi Arabia, Zinter says he spent most of his time working 12-hour shifts, six days a week, and then enjoying fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving in the Red Sea on his day off. He also made a list of things to do when he returned stateside, like spending more time with his family and catching a Laker men’s hockey game in the Campus Center Arena, which didn’t exist when his roommate, Don Padgett ’74, played on the team.

He remembers fondly the many afternoon trips with his senior-year roommate, Michael “Mook” Moroukian ’74, to Kelly’s for a drink and to shoot some pool, and trudging through the snow from Waterbury to Onondaga to visit a friend. Although he says he has lost touch with many of his classmates, he believes that he “could call any of them and just start talking, and it would be fine.”

His global experience, he says, affirmed a similar truth. “No matter where you go, most people are truly good.”

—Margaret Spillett

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