For the past three years Win has co-founded and been Executive Director at Silver Sobriety, an educational treatment program for seniors over fifty years of age. Win and his co-founder Peter Oesterreich have created a viable alternative to licensed treatment centers.
Previously Vice President and General Manager of the Communication Markets Division at American Polywater, a specialty chemical manufacturer, Win had profit and loss responsibility for those markets in the U.S.
Win was part of a team that invented an anti-freeze gel system for protecting fiber optic cables from freezing in conduits, making him co-inventor of patent 5,385,688.
Over time, Win was involved with all parts of the business, including international sales, finance, accounting, information technology, plant operations, manufacturing engineering, product development, and even contributions to research.
Win has also worked in corporate finance in a high-growth company where he established European subsidiaries with headquarters in the Netherlands.
He holds an MBA from Harvard University, and a BA from St. John’s University in Minnesota.
“Family is a major focus of my life: my wife Nancy and I have two wonderful children, and two wonderful grandkids who I play with as often as I can!”
“I maintain a small vegetable garden and a prairie wetland flower garden, fish, hunt and make maple syrup each year.”
Win has been a director of a local community bank since 1988. He has also served on the Planning Commission for 10 years and the City Council for 12 years, two of those as Mayor in Marine on St. Croix Minnesota. He is on the Board of the MillStream Association and the John Francis Foundation.
Sobriety is the greatest gift I have received. I am grateful every day for the blessings I have. The foundation of my sobriety is a spiritual practice of mindfulness, awareness, and consciousness.
But it wasn’t always this way: I drank and used for 30+ years.
After a few days of sobriety, I realized I did not know how to behave at work! My life had been one of egocentric direction, logic, intimidation and arrogance, albeit with some empathy and management skills which made me attractive and well-liked by most colleagues and employees. But now I had to practice acceptance which I’d never done. Everything was different.
I was confused, alone, uncertain and anxious. No one at work knew of my decision to seek help. I wondered who suspected what, whether my behavior had changed, and what my bosses knew.
Only my wife knew of my decision, and I knew she had doubts that I would do it.
Practicing acceptance in the face of business challenges is no easy task, especially when it is a new way of looking at life. I had so many questions: Should I direct employees work or simply accept that whatever happens is what is meant to happen? Would I ever enjoy life without drinking and using?
During my first group session in treatment I heard myself saying out loud for the first time, “I am an alcoholic.” Rather than pain, I felt relief, and just a small glimmer of hope.
That hope has carried me to today, when I am now helping other sober business leaders who were or are in the same situation.
Win Miller’s Experience
American Polywater Corporation, Stillwater, MN
Chemicals for Infrastructure Construction. Critical player in quintupling company revenues
Vice President Communications Markets Division, Vice President of Operations, Plant Operations Manager, Finance Manager, International Director
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, MN
Security State Bank of Marine
City Council, Mayor, Planning Commission: Marine on St. Croix, MN
To see Win’s resume, click here.
Win Miller wrote that wonderful poem (Mapling) 3 years ago. It’s the clearest personal reflection on the inter-connectedness of all things I’ve read. Yesterday I went over to Win’s house as he was boiling the syrup for this year and it gave us a nice opportunity to talk. The occasion, the conversation, the scent of the boiling syrup and the cold spring day were the tonic of remembering I needed.
Bill Alexander, Author and Story Teller