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Alumni Spotlight: David Schisla '80

David Schisla '80

David Schisla '80 tends to a plant at St. Matthew's 26-year-old produce garden. Schisla has been working in the church garden for eight years. 

Name: David Schisla 
Year of Scecina Graduation: 1980
College/University: Indiana University, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, Thunderbird Graduate School of Global Management
Degree(s): Bachelor of Science in Marketing (Kelley School of Business) and Spanish (1985), Master's in International Business Management (1987)
Current Position: Senior Strategic Account Manager, Caribbean and Central America, at WILD Flavors and Specialty Ingredients, Division of ADM

By Bob Golobish, Vice President of Advancement

It is Saturday morning and a dedicated group of volunteers are working hard. “We will be delivering 600 to 800 pounds of tomatoes a week by the middle of July.” That makes David Schisla, a 1980 Scecina alum and avid vegetable gardener, smile. 

David is a member of the Men’s Club at St. Matthew Catholic Church. Over a dozen volunteers from the Men’s Club and the parish tend St. Matthew’s 26-year-old produce garden, which grows just east and north of the church. David has been laboring in the garden for the last eight years. He credits his grandfather for getting him interested in gardening. When he can, he works in the garden on Saturday mornings and in the evenings. 

The garden is just over half an acre and produces a wide range of fresh, healthy food, e.g., tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peppers, strawberries, Chinese cabbage, kale, asparagus, zucchini, squash, romaine and leaf lettuce, collard greens and Swiss Chard. It includes rows of well-trained tomato plants. It also includes a small, inexpensive drip irrigation system that parish volunteers tested and then took with them to help the twinning parishes in the Village of Bois de Lance, Haiti. 

Locally, the tomatoes and other produce from the garden are shared with St. Vincent de Paul, Wheeler Mission Ministries, Shepherd Community Center, St. Vincent de Paul, The Lord's Pantry at Anna's House and Little Sisters of the Poor. All of them feed the poor and hungry. When asked to explain why he helps grow food, he smiled and said: “I really enjoy it and it's inexpensive therapy.” 

When David is not gardening, he travels up to 40 percent of the time in the Caribbean and Central America on business. He speaks fluent Spanish and is proficient in Portuguese. He credits spending a full year of university study in Madrid, Spain, for his Spanish fluency. 

Education is important to David. He had this to say about his four years at Scecina. “One may not realize at the time the value of a Catholic education, but as life goes on… I realize how important this foundation has been in my life, both professionally and spiritually”. 

David, his wife, JoAnn, and their two dogs, Lucy and Murphy, live on the Northeastside of Indianapolis. 

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