Melissa Martinez

Ambassador In Training

Although born in the middle of the Eisenhower’s presidency, Dwight’s Republican
parents maintained that he was named after a great-uncle who died when he (the uncle) was two years old. Growing up in northern New Jersey, western Tennessee and central Florida, Dwight saw and read more than was good for him and then attended college in Virginia for the very good reason that it was not New Jersey, Tennessee or Florida.

Upon graduation during a time when the nation was in the twin grips of stagflation and a “crisis of confidence” he determined that the best thing to do was to hunker down in place and used his expensive learning to run a small restaurant and bar, followed up a few years later by a jump to the west coast, and then by a year in the South Pacific. These were in fact the right decisions.

Inexplicably, Dwight left Paradise’s second cousin and returned to central Florida
(“Home is the place where, when you go there, /They have to take you in.” Robert Frost) to pursue a career in software. This choice may have been made out behind a Napier, New Zealand youth hostel, but became manifest because some family friends with a chain of department stores needed a night operator to change tapes on the nightly computer backup.

This came to that and push came to shove and decades later Dwight had worked in 20 states, 16 countries and 6 continents before the bottom dropped out of his corner of the retail software consulting business. Rather than re-tooling (yet again) at 62, he decided that getting on yet another airplane at the behest of yet another manager that was half his age was not in the cards.

Before that, however, he worked for big retailers and small ones, college bookstores, small software houses and very large ones and for himself. He wrote the definitive consultant’s handbook, Beowulf: The First Consultant, and designed several software products that didn’t quite make it to market.

He now spends his time gardening, running, swimming, making bread, cajoling second graders to keep reading and helping his good friend stand up a non-profit company.

He has a French wife, a daughter who lives in France, and a son who has narrowed his college choices down to pretty much any school more than 500 miles from home. He and his wife hope to settle down to a life as tai-chi-ninja-assassins-for-hire – or maybe they’ll move to France and adopt a few dogs.