NISSWA — Retirement doesn’t mean life is slower for John Poston — it just means he gets to stay in one place for a while.
Poston, a lakes area native, moved back to Minnesota after spending more than three decades away and for many years living abroad.
“We always knew at retirement time we would come back here,” Poston said.
Poston spent most of his career working for Sally Beauty holdings as the Vice President of International Operations. His job meant for a lot of time in transit and some serious frequent flyer miles. Poston said he has traveled to 20-something countries managing operations in Europe, Japan, Mexico, South American and Canada.
Among his favorite places to visit — Germany.
“I was there on a pretty regular basis,” he said. Time in Germany wasn’t always all business for Poston. He said he has a deep love for German bakeries.
“I don’t care what anyone says,” he laughed. “German bakeries are hands down the best in the world.”
Poston said three decades of traveling for business and living abroad had its perks, but he was ready to say so long to the fast-track. “It gets old after a while,” he said. “I spent most of my career moving.”
Poston has slowed down his travel schedule, but he keeps plenty busy living home in Minnesota.
Since moving back to the lakes area three years ago, Poston has thrown himself into volunteering.
He said he started out volunteering with Minnesota Teen Challenge when the group hosted a service at his church, Lutheran Church of the Cross in Nisswa.
“This was just something I knew I need to do,” he said.
Poston volunteered to drive the Teen Challenge bus to transport students to churches throughout Minnesota for weekend services. He said he’s been to more than 70 churches all over Minnesota.
“You get to see a lot of different ways people worship,” he said.
It was through his service with Teen Challenge that Poston learned about the New Hope-based organization, Kids Against Hunger.
The organization works with local churches and organizations to package fortified meals to feed hungry children in 60 countries around the world.
“When I heard the horrifying numbers of kids dying of starvation I knew I had to get involved,” Poston said.
Poston didn’t just get involved — he bought a building and brought the organization to northern Minnesota. Kids Against Hunger Nisswa opened in July and has packaged around 100,000 meals since over the last four months. The organization is solely supported and operated by local volunteer efforts.
Poston said 70 percent of the food packaged in Nisswa is shipped to Haiti and North Africa, 20 percent stays in northern Minnesota and 10 percent is kept for local emergencies.
“There’s nothing like this in northern Minnesota,” Poston said. The Nisswa location is the organization’s 100th satelite campus and is unique because there is an actual building, as opposed to borrowed space or trailer storage like many other satellites have.
Poston said his life post-career is something that gives him purpose.
“This kind of stuff I never thought I’d be doing,” he said “It’s really more meaningful than those other things I’ve done.”
SARAH NELSON KATZENBERGER may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5879.