Clarke: Some of our readers are lucky enough to catch up with you when you’re cheering on Pride Basketball in the Kehl Center, but for those who don’t make the games, what are some of the high points since your time at Clarke?
Chad: Life right now is quite hectic, but such a blessing. I just started a new job as Director of Sales at Cambridge Business Publishers in late June. From very early on in my career, I was pegged as someone who had leadership skills and was put in roles to help lead teams to succeed. Along the way there have been promotions and awards, but that happened because I had great teams.
Outside of work, my wife Nichole (Fessler) Schockemoehl ’98 and I have been having a lot of fun with our five kids — Luke 23, Jacob 21, Makayla 20, Maria 17, and Anna 15. In February, Nicki and I took a trip to Mexico to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.
And, as you mentioned, I have stayed involved with Clarke and the community. I have served on the Alumni Board, guest lectured in B’Ann Dittmar’s Business Administration classes, assisted in mock interviews, donated to Clarke, and of course, supported the basketball team. Staying connected is so important to me because I love my alma mater and want to make sure it’s here for decades to come.
Clarke: You’ve had a lot to celebrate, yet we all know life isn’t just about the highs – are there challenges you’ve faced in your life or career?
Chad: Life has been full of hills and valleys. I’ve had several back surgeries which limited me in my early to mid-30s. I learned a lot from those days. I learned that prescription medicine is very powerful and can really change the course of your life. I am not ashamed to let folks know that I had to go to rehab to get off the meds that were prescribed to me by a doctor that didn’t say no. I want everyone to know that prescription medicine is serious business and if someone ever needs to chat about it, I’m always available to share my story and advice. It almost cost me my life.
Clarke: It takes a lot of strength to get through those moments and thankfully you had many people to help you carry on. Who are some of the people who have rallied around you?
Chad: First, my wife. Through my battle with prescription medicine, she was – and is – an absolute angel. She saved my life.
During my time at Clarke, I was also blessed with great mentors and teams that really gave me what I needed to be ready to tackle the real world. Instructors like Mike Anderson and Judy Biggin ’66 were huge for me. I had two fantastic basketball coaches in coach Jeff Fore and someone that I look to as a father figure, Jon Davison. They taught me about basketball but also about leadership, how to deal with loss, and staying positive. I was taught how to work hard every day to get better. As coach Davison always preached, “You either get better or worse, you never stay the same.” I still use that today.
Then there’s all the great friends I’ve made along the way, like Jervis Hayes, Jeff Close, David Heisch, Chris Pegram, Mike Squiers, and Jim Sprengelmeyer just to name a few. I can’t forget Tony Breitbach, Program Director for Athletic Training, who spent countless hours working with me through injuries that would have sidelined most people. He believed in me and did everything in his power to get me ready for games. And probably the best of all was having Sister Catherine Dunn running the ship. What an absolute saint!
Clarke: Given your unique perspective, what advice do you have for current and incoming Clarke students?
Chad: Set goals and crush them, then set bigger goals and crush them. Get involved in as much as possible. Meet and understand as many different people as possible. Clarke’s diversity really is an incredible blessing. Use the opportunity to explore other cultures and really get involved in not only changing Clarke for the better, but also to make an immediate impact at Clarke University today. Take internships, network inside and outside of Clarke. And work to be a person of the four pillars of Clarke to your fellow humans. You can make a difference in your own special way.