Man returns to Millville to assist family business, help community
By JOYCE VANAMAN For The Press
Published: Monday, February 11, 2008
Eric Walter was once part
of the "brain drain" group … people who leave their hometowns for
college and don't return.
After a dozen years, Walter returned to Millville and is now account
executive for his family's business,
Graphicus Communications, and is active in youth sports, church
and community service.
Walter, 37, moved to Millville from Northfield,
Atlantic County, when he was in sixth grade. He played varsity
basketball, football and baseball at
Millville Senior High School, graduating in 1988. He then went
Old Dominion University in
Norfolk, Va., where he earned a bachelor's degree in business
administration, with a specialty in human resources.
"After 12 years out of Millville, I had enough of big business and
decided to come back home where I could shape my own destiny,"
"One of the reasons for my decision was that I liked the positive
changes in Millville - moving from the glass industry to
professional and retail diversity," Walter said. "Millville is
slowly becoming a location where people who go away to college think
about coming back to establish their careers and families."
"I think the motor
sports complex will be a positive thing for Millville and
Walter said. "This area will become more of a destination place,
instead of a place for day-trippers."
Being a member of the
Millville Planning Board means that Walter is on the front edge
of almost everything that is going on now and in the future.
"I've got a lot to learn, and it entails a lot of on-the-job
training and time," Walter said. He stressed the importance of
considering the impact of proposed projects - whether industrial or
residential - especially the impact on the schools.
After Walter joined the Millville
Kiwanis Club, he persuaded his parents, George and Sandy, to
join the club.
The current club president, Walter said the club has about 60
members, but usually just 20 to 30 show up at the meetings. Walter's
focus is on getting more active participation at the meetings and
with the club's special projects.
Serving the youth of the community and area is a particular interest
to Walter. He and his wife, Denise, have a son, Hayden, 11, and
daughters, Karlie, 8, and
Walter cited the Kiwanis Club's long history of serving youth
through sponsorship of the Cumberland County 4-H Favorite Food Show
and the Millville elementary schools' Safety Patrols' trip to
"We have a good relationship with the high school's Key Club,"
Walter said. "One of the recent successful programs was filling
stockings for needy children and having them distributed through the
local Weed & Seed program."
Walter also cited other youth-oriented activities such as
scholarships and hosting some Key Club members and high school
students of the month at the weekly lunches during the school year.
"One of the things I'd like to start in collaboration with
Shelly Schneider (Millville superintendent of schools and
Kiwanis Club vice president) and with the schools is a Builders Club
Lakeside Middle School," Walter said.
The Builders Club is part of Kiwanis International's program that
includes Key Club for high school students and Circle K for college
Walter feels it would be a good opportunity for the middle school
students, which include sixth-, seventh- and eighth- graders, to
become involved in community service.
The Kiwanis Club supports many worthwhile programs in the community,
Walter is using his communication/technology skills to work
behind-the-scenes at the new "Saturday Night Alive" services at
First United Methodist Church and the 9:30 a.m. Sunday services.
The current vice president of the
Millville American Baseball League, Walter has been a manager
and an assistant coach. His son is a participant. "I want to be
involved with kids as much as possible," he said.
Walter's mother, Sandy, vice president of Graphicus Communications,
said, "It's a parent's dream to have their kids involved in a
family-owned business. We are elated that Eric decided to come back
to Millville and to become so involved in community service."
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