Get to know Kelton Kinnick

Kelton Kinnick
Occupation (current or previous):
Retired, but spent about 45 years as a software developer, development manager and software architect for storage management on IBM mainframe computer installations.
What is your favorite type of music and/or band?
My musical interests are pretty broad, but my favorite is pop-rock, with my all-time favorite band being Blood, Sweat and Tears. Terrific musicians, including trumpeter and drummer.
Where are you from? (Where did you grow up?)
I was born and raised in Lohrville, Iowa, which peaked at roughly 650 people back in the 60s. Lohrville is about 100 miles NW of Des Moines. I attended Iowa State University, in Ames, Iowa, only 60 miles east, so my roots are definitely small town Iowa.
What was your religious upbringing, and what impact did that have on you?
My family (parents, three sisters, and I) attended the Methodist Church every Sunday. But we were not a religious family at all. Around high school age, I began to think about this a lot – – why did all these people go to church and say the things they said, if it appeared that nearly all of them didn’t take it very seriously? So I became quite serious about it for a while. Just before I started university, a young minister came in, who was one of the brightest people I’ve ever met. He was very much an intellectual in his approach, and had to be careful how he expressed that. But he and I hit it off quite well, and discussions with him helped convince me to question most things, and find my own path to humanity.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Be more courageous in doing things outside my comfort zone, such that they become part of the comfort zone too.
What are your hobbies?
Mostly sedentary things now, but I love music, theater, dance, tv and movies, and I enjoy hiking a great deal. But it is too flat around here! I enjoy spectator sports a fair amount too. Right now I’ve been watching the 2019 Women’s World Cup of Soccer (or fotball as most of the world knows it).
How did you find out about LSUS?
I found LSUS via a local internet search near me.
Why do you stay with LSUS?
It is close, so easy to get to, and it provides very interesting speakers and topics, with good discussion, combined with good music. I’ve also enjoyed all the people I’ve met so far. So it is a good stimulating way to get the week started.
If you didn’t choose the career path you embarked, what would you have pursued? Why?
Well I wanted to be a performance musician – – song and dance pop group. This was really my first, and life long love. But it didn’t seem practical for many reasons. And another dream was to be a practicing mathematician working in the space program. This is what I was best at in high school, and what I studied at the university.
What is a fact about you that few people know?
I had polio during the big epidemic in the 50s. Fortunately, mine was a mild case with no obvious long lasting problems.
What is an accomplishment you are most proud of?
In my 45 year career, I spent most of that time developing and leading 2 teams to produce, sell and support 2 of the most successful storage management products for IBM mainframe computer installations. The first was started in the late 70s and is still used today. But the second, started in the late 80s, became and still is a huge triumph. It is a very modern product, used by hundreds of large companies worldwide, with continued development being done by a young team in Prague, which I and others helped train. Even IBM uses and promotes this product when providing services to their contracted customers!

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