January 24, 2020
New Staff Spotlight: Carl Borleis
Director of Program Excellence
Carl Borleis, the Minnesota State TCOE’s new Director of Program Excellence, has joined the team this month. We sat down with him and asked him a few questions, so enjoy this Q&A and be sure to offer Carl a warm welcome!
Q & A
- Tell us a little bit about your transportation background
- My love of travel and transportation started quite early. I was born in Baltimore, Maryland, but grew up in N. Idaho. My family did a lot of traveling. In fact, I had been in all 48 lower states by the time I had started kindergarten. Many of my first memories are of traveling around the country.
- Out of high school, I joined the Air Force. I was a Carpentry Specialist but quickly learned that driving truck to pick up supplies was a lot more fun. That was my introduction to transportation and trucking. Once I was discharged, I moved to MN and started driving school bus and straight truck. After a couple years of doing that, I went to truck driving school at Winona Tech (now Minnesota State College Southeast), then moved out to Washington to be closer to my family and started driving flatbed for a company out of Eugene, OR.
- Fast-forward a bit and I had started driving for a fortune 500 company that had dedicated operations all over the country. After driving for several different dedicated accounts in Washington, I started to progress into Logistics Management and eventually became a Sr Logistics Manager with that company. Due to a change in CEOs and some major philosophical changes within the company, I decided to leave that company and buy my own truck. My wife didn’t like the resulting cash flow of truck ownership, so I considered other career options and eventually settled on education. Moving back to MN was part of that decision.
- Tell us about your experiences with education.
- I went back to school at Bemidji State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in Education. Wanting to stay in the Pequot Lakes area, I worked at my local school district as a teacher in their Alternative Ed. Program. Working with at-risk youth gave me a unique experience and helped hone my teaching style and approach. I enjoyed the work, but due to funding changes, that position was changed into a part-time position.
- My boys were just starting High School. My wife and I didn’t want to move them out of our home district during their high school years. With no other available teaching jobs in the area, I looked for other options outside of the immediate area. Due to the low pay for public educators I decided to try to merge trucking and education together and wound up working for a large carrier in Cedar Rapids, IA as a truck driving instructor. The plan was for my wife to move down after the boys were out of high school.
- The distance from home was hard. My wife noticed an ad for the Instructor position at Alexandria Technical and Community College. I applied and got the job. Working in Alexandria made getting home much easier, but it was still tough. After the boys graduated from High School, my wife decided she didn’t want to move to Alexandria. We both like the Pequot Lakes area a lot. I started looking for work back in the area. After a couple years of looking for a job that would be related to education and that would be a challenge, I saw the opening for the Minn. State Transportation Center of Excellence. I applied, and here I am.
- With all your traveling, what is the best vacation you’ve been on?
- A cruise to Alaska. I only have one state left, Hawaii. Maybe for an anniversary trip.
- What is a favorite line from a movie?
- I have two: “Just smile and wave boys, smile and wave.” -Skipper; Madagascar; “Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda; Star Wars.
- What did you want to be when growing up?
- A Park Ranger. I still think it would be a cool job.