Campus Closeup: Scott Krah
Scott Krah (Micro-Repair) and his staff are busy coordinating this week’s laptop distribution. What started as a four-day event with the inaugural rollout of 4,200 notebooks a decade ago, has been streamlined to a two-day affair—even with about 7,000 computers changing hands this fall.
Krah said his area still feels the pressure leading up to the start of the semester. The main concerns are ensuring on-time delivery of the notebooks and enough staffing for the distribution.
“It’s pretty crazy this time of the year for us,” he said. “But it's a good kind of stress. With some other key players, we coordinate the planning and implications of the fall rollout. It’s our department’s job to make sure that the hardware keeps running so the students can continue to participate in the TLC [Teaching, Learning and Communication] technology program. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a staff you can trust for running something like this. It makes it nice to come to work.”
Aside from the TLC rollout, Krah’s duties as director of Micro-Repair include ordering, configuring and testing computers and making sure repairs take two hours or less. His department is also responsible for “asset tracking,” which means knowing where equipment is, who has it and proceeding with the collection process when it’s not returned. Krah spends much of his time dealing with vendors, whom he interacts with on a daily basis.
Krah began working at NMU 28 years ago as a second-shift mainframe operator. “I loved that job,” he said. “I ran nightly production jobs of accounting, student and payroll updates.” He held that position for 16 years before moving to Micro-Repair.
“During that time, because I was working second shift and my kids were both in school, I started doing PC work on the side at home,” he said. “Then one Friday, I got a phone call telling me that I was being reassigned to Micro-Repair on Monday.”
Surprisingly, Krah rarely uses a computer at home, unless he’s asked to fix something by his wife or he’s making rosters for the Marquette County Youth Football program, which he’s been involved with for 20 years. He doesn’t “go on Facebook or play games” and once the work week is over, he doesn’t check his e-mail again until Monday.
Krah recently celebrated his 30th anniversary with his wife, Jill, who works at Teaching Family Homes. The couple has two sons: one married and living in Marinette; and another attending Northern. In his spare time, Krah enjoys walking the family dog, biking, and snowshoeing.
The decorations on the walls in Krah's office demonstrate his loyalty to the Green Bay Packers. But unlike some Packer faithful, he remains a Brett Favre fan, despite yesterday's headlines that the quarterback will suit up for a second season with the rival Vikings. His office also hints at another of his passions: Disney. The two interests converge with the modified Mickey Mouse on Krah's desktop (above). He taped a mini cheesehead to the top of the head, between the famous black ears.
Krah estimates that his family has visited Disney World at least 24 times. They try to make the trip once a year and the only exception he recalls was when his son got married. Though Krah is a fan of most Disney movies, his favorite is the original Toy Story.
“It’s just one of those movies where you walk out of the theater smiling,” he said. “It’s a good, fun story.”
Krah’s love for Disney doesn’t end with the theme park and films. He tries to incorporate Disney’s philosophies in his day-to-day work, taking inspiration from a speaker who came to Northern to give a presentation called “Service, Disney Style.” This includes the ideas that the customer is always right and that customers should not leave angry.
“It doesn’t always work, but I think Disney does it right,” he said. “When we do retire, Jill and I plan to move down to Kissimmee, which is in the Orlando area, and both get jobs at Disney World. I want to drive the bus and she wants to sell balloons on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom. It’s been our plan for quite some time—probably 15 years.”
And it will likely happen if they abide by one of Walt Disney’s inspirational quotes: “All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them.”