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< Andrew Groff >

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Andrew Groff

I was born in Delaware to the family of public school teachers. My mother and father moved to Delaware from Lancaster, Pennsylvania upon his completing a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Delaware. Dad taught school at Krebbs Elementary in Newport and later Shipley Elementary School in Wilmington. Mom taught school at the Richie School in Newport after I, and my sister, became school age; later teaching at Darley Elementary School in Wilmington.

I attended public school in Wilmington and graduated from the University of Delaware. I received the Eagle Scout award when I turned 14 from Troop 536. At the time, I was the youngest Scout to have earned this highest of rank in Delaware. During High School, I participated in an international school exchange program. The Edith Stein Schule in Darmstadt, Germany hosted eight students from Concord High. I lived on a farm in the state of Hesse and commuted to school each day by street trolley. While attending Concord High School, I met my wife Marcia. We have been together since the Fall of our sophomore year. During college we both had the good fortune to work for Storm's Shoes to learn and earn our way through school. As an Economics and Business major I participated in Winterim abroad. Sixteen UofD students travelled to London, UK and studied the marketing and financial operations of varoius London businesses. Upon graduation Marcia and I married and were hired by the StrideRite Corporation in Cambridge, Massachussetts. Our jobs took us to nearly every state in this country and we enjoyed the beauty and diversity of the United States. Seven years later, I was hired by the Cole Haan division of Nike in Yarmouth, Maine. While Directing Production and Inventory Control, I traveled to our contract factories in Italy, Brazil, Mexico as well as six American factories. As American production costs became an important business issue, Nike developed a "Total Quality" initiative and I was educated and certified in Organization Development and Training as well as Total Quality Management. Although our efforts in quality and cost control were very effective, China was coming on-line as a resource our parent company desired to explore. Those American shoe factories are now closed.

As the world was looking to China for manufacturing opportunities, I was approached by Airwalk to develop production capacity and distribution around the world. I travelled to China (mainland), Korea, Japan, and Australia to develop offices and relationships and set up production in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Portugal and Spain. This was a fast and exhilarating experience around the Pacific rim.

My daughter was born in 1992. Many say that the birth of a child can change your life. They are correct in my case. As exciting as world travel would seem to be, it pales in comparison to watching your child grow up. I decided it was important for me to be a father who is active in his child's life. I looked for work that would not require so much travel.

As it turns out you can go home again. I ended up working for Mark Hamm, and Carol Bieber at Delaware's own Flapdoodles Clothing Company. I worked for them until the company was closed and the brand sold. It was a wonderful company, and full of wonderful people. It was sad to see it fold.

Since Flapdoodles closed, I have been running my own company, Avero Holdings, LLC here in Wilmington. Avero Systems specializes in computer consulting for small companies, professionals and home-based businesses. I also have taken up my familial love for teaching and have been teaching for twelve years at Delaware Technical and Community College in the Computer Information Systems department as an adjuct professor.

Last Fall, I became involved with a group of people who wished to organize around the idea that there is something wrong with bank bailouts, abridgement of our constitutional rights and money in politics. As I am an organizational development professional, I agreed to help them come together to get their message out. Occupy Delaware has been a shining example of first amendment peaceful activism, cooperation with community leaders and advocacy for home foreclosure victims. Not a single arrest, act of vandallism or civil disobediance has been associated with this group of fine and caring (fully employed) Delaware citizens.

As I studied the issues, financial markets and conditions internationally, I came to understand that we were not well served by our current band of professional politicians in Washington. In-fact, we as citizens have been harmed by their actions. I intend to bring new character and a level of civic commitment back to the office of US Senator from Delaware. As an independent candidate, I will represent the people of Delaware.

Join us. Prove that our government is "by the people and for the people"; and not for sale to the highest bidder.