Tim and Heather Seitz knew from the moment they stepped on Colorado State University’s campus that this was the place for them.
“I’m from Akron, Ohio, and I decided I wanted to come out west to go to school. I came to CSU, walked through the Oval, and was like, ‘We’re done.’ I knew it was where I wanted to be,” Tim said.
Tim Seitz, the newly appointed brewmaster at Budweiser’s Fort Collins brewery, and his wife, Heather Seitz, a stormwater engineer for the City of Greeley, are what you could call an engineering power couple. And though their careers have taken them in different directions, they attribute their success to a firm foundation that started with their CSU engineering degrees.
A CSU beginning
The two met the second semester of their freshman year in a chemical engineering class taught by Vincent Murphy. Tim was studying chemical engineering on an Army ROTC scholarship, while Heather was pursuing a degree in engineering science with an emphasis on water.
“We have Dr. Murphy to thank for our relationship. And, I consider him the finest college professor I ever had for educating students. He truly cared about our understanding,” Tim said.
Heather received her bachelor’s degree in the spring of 1996 and Tim followed suit soon after that winter. The two were married in February of 1997, and three days later Tim left on assignment in Fort Rucker, Alabama, with Heather close behind, joining him in June.
Putting the rain in pipes
“Since we’ve been married we’ve moved like eight times,” Heather said. And in the midst of those eight moves, Heather earned her Master of Science in Civil Engineering from CSU, and worked in a variety of positions across the country. Ultimately she ended up as a stormwater engineer for the City of Greeley, where she is currently employed.
An exciting project she has begun work on is a park redo. The City of Greeley is taking an existing park, turning part of it into stormwater storage. Working alongside the Parks Department, the space will be completely reimagined.
“I truly love my job. I feel like what I do makes a difference. I try to prevent issues and problems for people,” Heather said.
From helicopter pilot to brewmaster
While Heather pursued a career in stormwater, Tim followed his own path with an ultimate goal in mind: brewing. After eight years in the Army as a helicopter pilot, he decided to change the course of his Army career, pursuing a master’s degree in environmental engineering.
“It was the closest thing I could get to chemical engineering, and I knew with water treatment experience I could get into brewing,” Tim said.
He was hired by Anheuser-Busch in March 2005, and became an assistant brewmaster in Columbus, Ohio in 2010.
Dream jobs in NoCo
The couple made their way back to Northern Colorado in 2011 after their daughter, Hadley, was born. Or rather, because their daughter was born. “I was literally in the delivery room after having just given birth, and Tim was filling out the application for a position in Fort Collins. Before he hit send, he checked with me to ensure I was on board. It was the only place I would have considered moving to with a newborn,” Heather said. After their move back to Fort Collins, Tim continued working for Anheuser-Busch, this time as a brewery resident engineer.
Earlier this year, Tim was appointed brewmaster of the Fort Collins Budweiser brewery, where he is the first CSU grad in the position. “I’m most looking forward to working with the brewers and technicians that work in the brewing department. They have a lot of knowledge among them, and I want to ensure that from brewer to brewer we pass that knowledge on,” he said.
It may have been a non-traditional path, but both Tim and Heather are right where they want to be. Their advice to students? “If you’re the smartest person in any room, go find a different room – you have to be challenged. You can always change your path. You might have to go back for a master’s degree, but if you’re in something you don’t like, look for something else.”