A Letter from Howie
As many of you know, one of the outcomes of our recent 50th reunion was a request to the Athletic Committee of our high school by our class to admit me to the WFB Athletic Hall of Fame. This initiative was spearheaded by our own Jim Rumack who solicited nominating letters from you, the members our class.
Jim shared with me the dozens of letters that you wrote. And I must tell you they were so laudatory that they could make a hall-of-famer blush. And the Athletic Committee was equally impressed. They have decided to induct me to the HOF on Saturday April 13.
While it is true that my athletic exploits were an essential ingredient to this honor, the tireless efforts of Jim Rumack and your involvement were an indispensible ingredient as well. WFB was the foundation for countless Athletic Triumphs. WFB has chosen to honor us.
I have always been a team player. So, I feel this honor and award belongs to our entire class. It is through my efforts and as well as yours, that the class of 1967 is being honored in this way.
As I think about all of this, two moments come to mind:
The first was at our 50th reunion, as we were touring the high school, the WFB Principal said to a few of us within earshot.
“I must say your class has an amazing amount of energy and spirit”.
The second moment occurred 50 years prior, in late winter of our senior year. As we returned from the State Basketball tournament, the school hosted an assembly in the auditorium for the entire student body. It was my honor then to address the assembly. The tournament did not turn out as well as many of us had hoped. But it was a thrill for all of us to go, to compete, and to cheer As I stood in front of the student body, so proud of our achievements, not so much of the results. To be truthful, I have never been a good loser. As I looked out over the student body, I remember saying
“Although we all hoped for a better outcome, from this day forward, everyone will say ‘1967, that was the year we went to Madison’.”
In this spirit, if it possible for you to be there on April 13, I would love you to share this moment. It belongs to all of us.
**See all the letters of nomination here**
During our 50th Reunion, classmate Jim Rumack began the process of nominating Howie Zien for the Whitefish Bay High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
Now we need to join the throng and send letters to the school in support of this nomination. All you need to do is send a letter stating your support of this nomination. The requirements include a written letter of less than 300 words, stating your support of the nomination, and sent by snail mail to Activities Office, Whitefish Bay High School, 1200 E. Fairmont Avenue, Whitefish Bay, WI 53217.
You do not need to repeat Howie's achievements (those are already on the nomination form which is loaded in our photo gallery, click on "Past Reunions" on the left navigation bar), just offer your support. But add your own memories such as "he was so exciting to watch" or whatever memory you have that makes the letter personal. It doesn't have to be long.
Jim also requested that you email him a copy of the letter so he can keep them on file. Jim's NEW email address is email@example.com. Thanks to you all for your input!
Here's what Jim wrote in his nomination:
Whitefish Bay Athletic Hall of Fame Statement of Support for Howard (“Howie”) Zien
Howie Zien was a superstar before there were superstars. He not only starred in football, basketball, and track, but was a captain and leader in each of these sports. He lettered as a freshman in track and accumulated nine additional letters over the course of his high school career.
He demonstrated a fierce competitive spirit and led WFB to championships in football and basketball, including its first ever appearance in Madison in the finals in of the State basketball tournament, before there were tiered divisions. In basketball, he was a wizard at point guard. In football he was an elusive, lightning fast halfback, punt returner, and kickoff returner - talents recognized in a first team all-suburban conference selection and a second team all-state selection, both in his senior year. When he set his still existing state 180-yard hurdles record as a junior at 19.1 seconds, his margin of victory recalled Secretariat’s legendary Belmont Stakes win (immortalized in the movie by the same name) by 31 lengths – the others had not even rounded the final turn. He captured the 180-yard hurdles state title again in his senior year.
He was a leader and a scholar off the field as well, maintaining an A average, active in student government, and serving as the sports editor of the Tower his senior year. He was well-liked, admired, and respected by his peers.
Following high school, he completed his college education at Princeton with a degree in philosophy, taught himself computer science, received his MBA from New York University and went on to found his own company, Business Logic, presently located in Manhattan, specializing in providing unique software needs for businesses and governmental organizations, including the Department of Defense and New York City.
In addition to his professional accomplishments in New York, Howie is President of his residential COOP and Treasurer of his class at Princeton. He is an Assistant Director in BNI, a global business networking organization with 220,000 members, and frequently delivers speeches to groups of varying sizes on its behalf. He maintains his fitness by being an active tennis player in the USTA, bicycling to work, jogging, and running errands on rollerblades!
He has resided in Greenwich Village since 1976 and is married with two accomplished children, his wife Marj working as a software developer in his business.
James S. Rumack, M.D. ‘67
Thanks, Jim, for honoring our classmate in this way!