Dave & Delta Emerson: Two Authors, One Lowry Home

March 3, 2024 / Comments Off on Dave & Delta Emerson: Two Authors, One Lowry Home

Diversity & Inclusion Lowry Community Building

We are fortunate to have people here in Lowry who are focused, fun, insightful and hardworking. And add being really smart. That describes this incredible couple, Delta and Dave Emerson, to a “t”; they have the right stuff for landing on their feet and thriving in Lowry.                                                                            

They reluctantly waved good-bye to Dallas and moved to Lowry six years ago to be near their only daughter Ashley. They bought a home in the Lowry Steam Plant area, sight unseen, except for a virtual iPad tour. Since then two granddaughters have arrived who are the light of their grandparents’ eyes.

Dave Emerson has come a long way from Murfreesboro, TN, where his dad was a superintendent of a K-12 school. Dave was interested in technical projects and liked the sciences. At Middle Tennessee State University, he earned a BS in chemistry, math and biology, planning on being a doctor. Ten days after graduating, he joined the Navy and through Officers Candidate School moved up the ranks quickly and he ultimately trained aspiring Navy pilots. After his military service, he attended grad school at the University of Memphis and ended with an MBA, along with a focus on the emerging world of computer science.

He was recruited to Washington state as the business manager for a non-profit that supported those with mental health challenges. It gave him a solid experience on the business front and an appreciation for what many people face and what they need for support. His next adventure was with Bell Helicopter, where he worked in Iran for 13 months designing an automated financial management system, living among the 5,000 other expats. One day they were all asked to leave, with machine guns in the front office being a big hint that his time was over.  He was on the last plane out. 

More computer leadership jobs followed from creating and selling computer systems to small businesses and converting a paper-intensive dentist office to computers. Ultimately he joined Bank of America as Senior Vice President. He helped carry the company through the Y2K transition and was with BOA for 23 years. Along the way he became a certified Black Belt Six Sigma instructor teaching hundreds of professionals worldwide.

Delta (along with her sisters, Alpha, Beta and Theta—true story) is originally from San Angelo, Texas. But her father had earlier ties stationed here in Lowry during WWII before transferring to Goodfellow in San Angelo. She says her dad “was creative and a writer and at 6’3’’really stood out.” Delta inherited most of his height and a talent and love for writing. “I was an honor society member in high school, class Salutatorian and I loved writing. I wasn’t athletic like my older sister, so no sports for me, but I did like journalism.” She majored in journalism and English at Angelo State University where she finished in three years with a teaching certification and then moved to the Dallas area.

At the University of North Texas, she completed her MA course work in journalism and earned an MA in conflict and alternative dispute resolution at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Her three corporate careers, all of which she calls “great adventures” included work as a senior learning and development leader with a communication company and 12 years with a financial services/mortgage company in Dallas. For 13 years, she worked as a senior leader and board member for a global tax advisory firm where the CEO wanted to be voted one of the top workplaces in the U.S. and abroad. She tackled this objective, “but he managed the work environment in a Draconian fashion—a somewhat harsh environment—and wasn’t focused on the culture of the company. It’s not just ordering pizza on Fridays.”  There was a lot of work involved to determine what the culture was missing, and he gave her free reign to figure it out.

Understanding that culture is centered on listening to employees to understand what they want  and need, Delta became a change agent within the company. Within several years, the company rose to being at the top of the list of best work places in Texas, as well as worldwide. She has spoken on a panel at the White House on how to affect worker satisfaction by focusing on culture. One of the big keys is to listen to what people are saying about what’s going on and  to create a healthy, win-win environment. Delta is now a licensed career navigation and leadership coach and trainer.

Their paths first crossed when Dave hired Delta to work for his team at the computer company he joined. They went their separate ways when the company closed but reconnected in a technical writing group they both joined.  They have been married now for 40 years and both are working on their writing; Dave has just published his first book – Essentials of Retirement Living, a great handbook on financial security, mental wellness, forming relationships and exploring the passages of one’s golden years. Written under the name Dave Neil, it’s available on Amazon for less than a Starbucks drink. It reinforces ideas you already have, but he makes it worthwhile going through chapters on thriving and finding a purpose beyond work.

Delta is currently focused on writing a book she has had in her head for years – Leading Your Company’s Culture Transformation. Her book will share lessons she learned working hand-in–hand with a CEO who learned the value of creating a great company culture. Delta is finishing up her book with thoughts on listening to those around you, organizing groups and finding out what’s working in a variety of places. Culture affects worker satisfaction as well as financial success. Her insight into people and their environments gives her insight into how to help them succeed.

So there’s not much sitting around for this pair … well they did sit with their 20-year-old cat, Ebbie, while we talked. Together they are a strong couple with insight into work and play, granddaughters and art. Delta was told in the 9th grade, “One day, Delta, you will be a published writer.” So she’s trying to complete this goal – soon. And it’s an easy bet is that she will.

Meet Your Lowry Neighbors is a monthly feature written by our intrepid reporter Sally Kurtzmanwho knows everyone in our community. If you have a suggestion for a Meet Your Lowry Neighbor, please send us an email to connect@lowryunitedneighborhoods.org.