Dave Reynolds. (Phote by Bob Bumpas.)
"Some years ago," says UCAR controller Dave Reynolds, "I taught accounting and commercial law at Parks Junior College [in Denver]. I did that in the evenings and loved it. We'd have mock trials and find out where your rights really begin and end. With the introduction of Bi-Tech [the new administrative computing system] and the new cost-accounting system, my work week went to 60 hours and I had to give it up."
For Dave Reynolds, a genuine people person, the chance to return to the classroom is one of the perks of early retirement. Dave leaves on 31 July after 24 years in NCAR Budget and Planning and UCAR Finance and Administration, the last 11 of those as UCAR controller.
Dave began the transition from spreadsheet to blackboard this summer as he taught an informal introductory accounting course for staff. It wasn't too different from the instruction he envisions doing later on. "I enjoy teaching at community college, where the students tend to be older and a little more serious," says Dave. "Most of them are good students if the instructor treats them as adults and makes it worthwhile for them."
When Dave entered the college classroom as a student himself, his attention was drawn more to first downs than to debits and credits. He went from a successful high-school football career in Iowa to Central Missouri College, where he was a running back ("Can you believe that?" he grins) until he suffered knee damage. "I realized I wasn't going to be a great player and I figured I needed an honest profession, so I transferred to the University of Iowa and majored in accounting."
Dave began his career in Denver at the accounting firm of Haskins & Sells (now Deloitte & Touche). After a switch to Great Western United Corporation in 1969, Dave ended up joining former Haskins & Sells colleague Wray Freiboth at UCAR in June 1971.
"My greatest joy here has been the satisfaction of being able to provide whatever support I can," says Dave. "I think we're still blessed with great people who care for the organization, even though there's more stress these days. The people are still marvelous, but the tight budgets and the increased requests for cost accounting have made it more difficult for everyone. Because of the increased interest by Congress [in indirect costs and cost-accounting practices associated with government awards], we're all under the microscope."
Things were indeed different in the days before electronic fund transfers. For instance, there's the time in the early 1970s when the Global Atmospheric Research Program's Atlantic Tropical Experiment (GATE) in western Africa narrowly avoided a calamity. "We'd reserve cars and hotel rooms months in advance, but it was pretty common then for companies to say, `The money didn't arrive.' They might actually invest it for a month or two and then say, `Oh, it just got here.' One day during GATE I got a call from [project manager] Stan Ruttenberg. He said, `If the hotel doesn't get their money in 24 hours they're going to throw everybody out.'
"In the space of four hours, Wray and I called the NSF, the U.S. State Department, and the U.S. Customs Service; went to Boulder Army Surplus; got a money belt; put in a sizable amount of cash; and gave it to a courier from NCAR. He flew over to Africa, passed it over to somebody from GATE at the airport, and got back on the next plane to the States." After a deep breath, he adds, "I felt good that we kept things going."
Dave's plans for the fall are considerably less hectic. He and his wife, who is retiring from the Boulder Valley School District, are preparing to move to the Phoenix, Arizona, area, where he will investigate teaching possibilities. Before then, he plans to look at the changing aspen-something he rarely got to enjoy while working at UCAR. "I have always wanted to have time to see the state in the fall, and it's always been impossible because of year-end closing of the books." •BH
Dave`s retirement party will be on Friday, 28 July, at 3:00 p.m. in the FL cafeteria.