Alumni Profile: Carl Bergman

Carl Bergman

Master of Business Administration, 1972
Board member, Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity
Cincinnati

Hammer Time | For Carl Bergman, giving checks to nonprofits was always easier than giving time. But after he retired from his job as a marketing executive at Ford Motor Co., he wanted to take a more hands-on approach to serving the community. So Bergman did what he knew: He wrote a check to Habitat for Humanity. On the bottom of that check, however, Bergman wrote a note asking how he could get involved. Someone from Habitat got in touch with him shortly thereafter, and in less than a month, Bergman was hammering nails instead of penning checks.

Most Valuable Volunteer | From 2010-2011, under Bergman’s term as board president, Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity opened two secondhand furniture and appliance stores in Southwest Ohio called ReStores. Bergman recently received recognition for his efforts by being named the Ohio Habitat for Humanity’s 2012 Volunteer of the Year.

Presidential Perks | After receiving his undergraduate degree from Miami University in 1968, Bergman worked for Proctor and Gamble in Michigan. Nine months later, he was drafted into the Army. “I was extremely lucky—99 percent of the people I knew were going to Vietnam. I wound up in the Presidential Ceremonial Unit at Ft. Meyer, Va. I rolled out the red carpet on the south lawn of the White House when visiting dignitaries came in. I got to see the Nixons, British Prime Minister Edward Heath and Indira Gandhi of India.”

Wanderlust | From eighth grade until his junior year of high school, Bergman lived in Germany with his family. He credits his time spent there for his love of travel as an adult. “When I was 16, my brother and I both had mopeds. One Easter break, we rode them on a 450-mile trip from Munich down to Austria and back. We were gone for like five days. I can’t imagine that happening today.” And although he didn’t pick up a second language while living in Europe, he still knows his way around. “I know enough German to order another beer.”

Getting Around | He later upgraded his moped to a motorcycle, which he drives all over the world with his wife, Julie. The two of them have toured in countries as far away as Australia and South Africa, and in places as close as their home states.

Samaritan Scuba Diver | When he’s not riding his motorcycle or volunteering, you might find him under the water. Bergman is an amateur scuba diver and underwater photographer. And for Bergman, the volunteering doesn’t cease on vacation. It travels with him. “One of the best things about visiting these very remote islands is when I get to hang out with the kids at the local schools. I bring balloons and school supplies to the kids. You’ve never seen kids so happy.”

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