MPIPersona Project
Craig McCausland/iStock

Greg

Portrait of Greg
Age
28
Race
White
Hometown
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Now lives
Phoenix, Arizona
Job Title
HR Manager (Technology)
Income
$105,000
Education
BA (Kinesiology), MA (HR & Labor Relations)
Group
Creative Traded
Occupation
Management
Industry
Aerospace Vehicles & Defense
Artifact: Framed Photo

Artifact: Framed Photo

I have a framed picture of my dad and me each holding a steelhead. We caught them in the Grand River in western Michigan. The frame itself is very rustic-looking wood. The picture has a lot of the things that stand for being an American: family; the freedom to go fishing whenever we want on our own time; a great American hobby; being outside, on the river, connected with nature. For me, it symbolizes the great American outdoors.

Staunch conservative, with the future all figured out
“I think of George W. Bush throwing out the first pitch after 9/11. It was in the World Series at Yankee Stadium; he went out there and just threw a strike. I watched that YouTube video over and over. I still get goose bumps. It’s hard not to cry at a moment like that.”
people attending church lydialou/EyeEm

Spirituality

My family wants me to move back home. But my job is good out here, so I’m not in a hurry. I talk to them at least once a week, plus texts. My dad was my biggest coach growing up — baseball, basketball and football. He helps me not get psyched out about things. Dealing with difficult people, having difficult conversations, getting people to buy in, leading by example; all of those work skills I learned from sports, from him. I miss them for sure. I miss them when I go to church every Sunday by myself. My mom came from a big Catholic family and religion was very important to her. For me, it’s not just about going to church and following the teachings, but a way of looking at life.

“I have a list of thirteen personal goals and nine professional goals. I want to have a family, be able to provide for them, make sure that my kids are more successful than I am.”

Economy

I have a list of thirteen personal goals and nine professional goals. I want to have a family, be able to provide for them, make sure that my kids are more successful than I am. It would be nice to be more successful than my parents, which I think I’m on track to do. I’d like to buy a house someday. That’s a really difficult thing to do these days on a single-person income.

US tax papers pkstock/iStock

Government

I find myself getting frustrated. I’m paying so much in taxes for those that aren’t working. I’m busting my ass to make a good living. I’m working 60 hours a week while 30 percent of my paycheck is going to the Fed and the State to do with it what they want. At some point, people need to not depend on the government, they need to live on their own and provide for their own families. A government with entitlement programs creates a vicious cycle of people who continue to reproduce and have more people who are never going to be in a position to support themselves, make more money and do better for themselves.

Staunch conservative, with the future all figured out
“I think of George W. Bush throwing out the first pitch after 9/11. It was in the World Series at Yankee Stadium; he went out there and just threw a strike. I watched that YouTube video over and over. I still get goose bumps. It’s hard not to cry at a moment like that.”
Businessmen having a conversation Andrew Rich/iStock

Work | Economy

I’m lucky to work for a very good company. We’ve outperformed the market the last five years due to strong leadership. It’s reassuring to know that our company’s headed in the right direction despite a slow-growing GDP and stagnant U.S. market. We are very much in the global economy. Oil prices, the stock market and the currency value in China: when markets fluctuate elsewhere, it certainly affects us. We’re all in this global economy together. Our VPs get it, but the person on the shop floor doesn’t get it. It’s understandable. They’re saying, “I’m the one over here actually doing the work, building the engine. And you’re not going to give me a merit increase when I make 20 bucks an hour and our CEO makes $58 million a year?” The big picture can be difficult for them to understand.

“I find myself getting frustrated. I’m paying so much in taxes for those that aren’t working.”

Politics

I keep up-to-date on these international issues because it impacts me and my job. If, all of a sudden, things aren’t looking good, and we have to do a mass reduction of force, it could impact me. I’ve joined the company PAC at the chairman level, the highest level that I can join. I’ve volunteered to recruit other people to join, too. Our PAC ensures our long-term growth. It’s to make sure that people in Washington — politicians, legislators — are doing things that will best benefit us. I really like politics. I think this gets me more involved and I think it’s good for us.

people rallying Ken Durden/Shutterstock.com

Politics

Our CEO, he’s a Republican but he’s very moderate and very logical. He never tells us how we should vote. With regard to democracy, I know it can be very challenging to get things through Congress. We’ve got this dual-party system that only seems to disagree on everything lately. But, to me, it’s better than ruling with an iron fist and having one person say how it’s gonna be. I think that it’s good that we have two parties with very different views. That said, I disagree with basically everything Obama has done. He’s really a socialist.

“A government with entitlement programs creates a vicious cycle of people who continue to reproduce and have more people who are never going to be in a position to support themselves, make more money and do better for themselves.”

America

I love America and am proud to be American. I almost moved to Dubai last month. I went over to be interviewed for a new job. It’s a beautiful city, but it’s incredibly different: Muslim culture, Sharia law. A lot of the things we take for granted — this freedom — aren’t the same over there. Granted, it’s a very safe, peaceful place to live and very economically prosperous. It’d be a good place to have work experience. But really thinking over the opportunity I told them: “No, I’m not ready to do that just yet.” I was super happy that day. Why pick up and leave when you like living in this country so much?

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