Dave Carroll '66
Dave's life work: Projects he is passionate about, and projects to serve his family and the world
Dave Carroll started working part time at a tool and die shop when he was just 13 to help pay his way through Minnehaha. He also worked summers at Trout Lake Camp. It seems he has always been working—both on projects he is passionate about as well as opportunities to serve both his family and the world. He is now 73 years old and says he is working on his most important project to date—getting us back to what he calls the “blessed balance.”
“MA led to great friendships that have grown through the years. Great people with a caring heart—that is what comes out of MA. Guys like my best friend, Jim Davidson.” Dave spent 4 years in Singers. “I got to grow up singing in churches. I enjoyed the trip camaraderie and practicing J.S. Bach. I miss that. Harry Opel ruled the roost with kindness but determined goals. It forced us to do well, proud of our sound”.
Living day to day with a Christian set of ethics, kindness, and a willingness to go the extra mile for others is the most memorable thing about Minnehaha. “It was pervasive among students and especially among the staff. ’66 resumes prove my point.”
Dave joined the Brainerd National Guard unit, which may have saved his life, as other students were being drafted for the Vietnam War. He graduated from St. Cloud State with a bachelor’s in Technical Education, which also included a teaching certificate. He got into the doctoral program at the University of Minnesota, and took all the classes, but did not finish his dissertation as he became an entrepreneur.
Leaving his career to pursue entrepreneurship full-time
He taught at Des Moines Area Community College, worked as contract administrator for the large architectural/engineering firm, TKDA, and then became Assistant Director at Staples Technical College. While there, he started a robotics and automation application business. He left tenure to pursue entrepreneurship full-time. Now, he has 100 patents to his name. One invention is a wearable ring, which functions typical to a smart watch but operates one-handed. A recent example is a simpler DIY solar system.
While growing up, his mom and dad were great outdoors people and cared for the environment, which produced in him a passion for Christian stewardship of the earth. Dave grew up canoeing in the border lakes between Minnesota and Canada, exploring the Wisconsin woods, and enjoying his first Canadian island purchased at 18. He also surveyed in the Canadian bush for several years. “I love the woods!”
In 2006, in an effort to understand, he read many environmental studies on climate change. He decided most efforts and inventions should be directed to helping mitigate that problem. Since then, Dave has worked to educate political and industry leaders (among others) on how to make sustainable choices and be good stewards of our planet. He has been invited five times to work on climate change at the White House. For his efforts, he is an announced recipient of the “Steward of Creation Award” from the National Religious Coalition on Creation Care.
The Blessed Balance: "There is nothing more important"
So, what will Dave focus on for the future? “There is nothing more important than getting us back to what I and others call the ‘blessed balance.’ We have a very thin atmosphere which is our protective shield. It is unique, and we have polluted it to the point where we are out of balance. When I listen to the loons fly over our house, or go canoeing on the border lakes, they represent to me how cool nature really is. When you are out of balance, that life is thrown out of sync and eventually can’t survive. For example, high acidity in the oceans means shellfish can’t create a shell. Human emitted excess greenhouse gases are the cause. This also causes oceans and terrestrial surfaces to overheat. Sustainability is at risk.”
“My boys Ian and Ben have a special heart for the woods and caring for the planet too. Karen, my oh so caring and understanding wife for 52 years and I want to apply our Christianity to address this critical problem. We must care for the ‘blessed balance’ God has given us.”