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05-13-06 Cerebral palsy doesn’t deter local man from education, life’s goals

By William Kincaid

  ROCKFORD --  Following his early inclination and love of drawing and designing in high school, a Rockford man has defied the challenges of cerebral palsy and come a step closer to becoming a subdivision developer.

  Armed with associate degrees from three different Ohio colleges, 37-year-old William Miller is preparing the initial phases of a future 20-acre subdivision within Rockford.

  In a recent interview with The Daily Standard, Miller said he wants to make it "more easier and ... a lot cheaper for people" to find housing in the Rockford area.

  "Bill doesn't back down from any challenge," Dick Bollenbacher, Edison's former special needs coordinator for three years, said. "For sure he is capable of planning and starting his own business."

  According to a news release from Jack Kramer at Edison Community College, Miller's proposed subdivision will specifically accommodate families with children in the Parkway school district who want to live near the new facility.  "I'm committed to building homes with quality and energy efficiency that exceed that offered by other housing developments in the region," Miller told Kramer.

  Miller says his subdivision would include major landscaping and the addition of three holding ponds to eliminate the possibility of continued flooding in the low-lying area.

  Working with an advisory council of two architects, a civil engineer, real estate agent and heating and plumbing contractor, in addition to Patricia Abels, an Edison associate faculty member, Miller said he plans to buid the first house within the next year.

  Although he did not specify where his proposed subdivision will be, Miller is currently seeking financing to begin the project.

  "It's ambitious and I think it's a great idea ... a great concept," Rockford Village Administrator Jeff Long told The Daily Standard. "I hope things work out for him. The village would be behind him 100 percent."

  Besides organizing the framework of the project, Miller, who lives and works as a free-lance CAD operator at his parents' home in Rockford, will also provide the computer-aided drafting housing designs and three-dimension visualization services.

  And Miller, a 1988 graduate of Parkway High School, is quite prepared for the daunting task, as he has associate degrees in technical studies from Sinclair Community College, architectural technology from Wright State University and business management and real estate from Edison Community College.

  Miller also has worked in the past for Fanning-Howey Associates, Celina; McCall Architecture, Bellefontaine and Benchmark in Brookville.

  Also, according to a news release, Milller has already developed a full-scale marketing, management, operational and financial strategies within 125 documents.

  Born with cerebral palsy due to a lack of oxygen, Miller struggles with verbal communication, but as his academic record has proven, is quite intellectually developed. He was placed on the Edison Community College's Dean's List three teams in addition to being included in Phi Theta Kappa, the national honors organization for two-year college students.

  When he communicates with business associates and other people, Miller said he sometimes needs the assistance of others or a computer to clearly communicate.

  "Pretty much ever since he's been in school," Kenneth Miller said about when his son became interested in drawing and designing. "After that (enrolling at Wright-State University Lake Campus and working on computers) he pretty much took off."

  Kenneth Miller also said his son has taken over his upstairs with all of his computer and designing equipment. When asked if his son is finished with his education, his father jumped into the conversation and said with a grin, "I'm not guaranteeing it."


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