Prior to my injuries in 2007 I was working as a Regional Manager of an information technology and engineering consulting group. My role was to oversee the sales, recruiting, administrative and payroll functionality of this fast paced full service firm in downtown Minneapolis. The organization fulfilled project requirements of our clients by lining up our full time consultants on IT and Engineering projects. On the Information Technology side we put programmers, database administrators, project managers and the like on projects at companies like Target, IBM, and 3M. On the Engineering side we put Structural, Electrical and Mechanical engineers on projects at companies like Lockheed Martin, Honeywell and Toro.
After recovering from my injuries and returning to work it wasn’t long until I quickly realized my heart wasn’t into it like it once was. I had lived through a very traumatic accident and my life had gone through a dramatic change in a short amount of time. It didn’t take long to realize that it would be best to take a break from the IT and Engineering world to focus on what I was passionate about. So, in mid 2008 I resigned from this position to start up my non-profit, Wiggle Your Toes, an organization that assists individuals that have suffered the loss of a limb in their recovery and rehabilitation efforts. After all, my recovery was successful and I had learned a lot. We had gained a lot of knowledge identifying the components that were needed to recover from losing both legs, above the knee. The prosthetics, the people, including prosthetists and physical therapists, the legal and finance teams, the contractors who could make modifications to my home. It took several months to satisfy the requirements of the IRS for the non-profit status. In December 2008 – the business was launched.
As time went on and my body began to change and appointments with my prosthetic practitioner became more frequent. My limbs were changing and the time to get new sockets was quickly approaching. Through conversation my practitioner, who happens to be the owner of the company mentioned that he was looking for an operations person for the company – and asked if I would be interested. My reply was absolutely not – my background was in the IT and Engineering world. What value could I possibly bring to the O and P world? Well after a lot of thought and some persistence by Bob Tillges, I am approaching my 5th year as Chief Operating Officer for Tillges Certified Orthotic Prosthetic in Minnesota.
I am often amazed at how such a tragic event has given me tremendous opportunity and introduced me to some very great people, extremely passionate for what they do. Don’t overlook your next great opportunity. It could be a lot closer than you think.
Aaron wears X3 prosthetic knees.