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Dave Mineo Retires, Sort Of...

By Eddy Ball
September 2006

Dave Mineo poses for a file photo
Dave Mineo poses for a file photo from his years at NIEHS (1989-1999). The twinkle and lines at his eyes are a giveaway: Dave could break into laughter at almost any time. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Dave Mineo hits the greens
Ever the optimist, Dave Mineo hits the greens hoping for a triumphant win. Many of his closest friends at NIEHS remember well Dave's look of tongue-incheek competitive determination. (Photo courtesy of Chip Hughes)

Long-time NIH Grants Management Officer Dave Mineo plans to leave federal service on October 3 after a career of 33 years, but he says he is not actually retiring. With a joke about his golf game -"too lousy to accept such frustration on a daily basis" -the man known as "Captain" Mineo announced that his post-NIH plans include moving from Bethesda to North Carolina and getting back to work. He'll be joining the management and technology consulting firm BearingPoint within its Academic Medical Centers practice. He and his wife plan to live in the Raleigh area.

Mineo worked as a permanent employee at several institutes within NIH, including Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), Aging, Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, and the National Center for Research Resources, as well as in temporary assignments at others. However, the longest tenure of his career was spent at NIEHS, where many of his colleagues have fond memories of him and his love of golf. After he tried to retire from NIEHS in 1999, Mineo served as director of sponsored programs at the University of Georgia (1999-2001) before returning to federal service at NIDDK (2001-2006).

One of his close associates, Jerry Phelps of the Analysis Branch in the Division of Extramural Research and Training (DERT), describes Mineo as "a first class guy, a great friend, and a dedicated NIH employee."

Mineo was a hard-working individual who, among a long list of awards and accomplishments, completed his college education with highest honors at American University through the NIH Stride Program after joining the National Institute of Aging in 1979. With his degree, Mineo quickly advanced to upper management at NIEHS, where he worked for 10 years, and his passion for golf became legendary, both at NIEHS and throughout the institute family.

Former NIEHS Director Ken Olden remembers Mineo as being personable, warm and reliable.

"I enjoyed having senior leaders who are good human beings in addition to being capable, and Dave was like that," Olden commented. "I really hated to see him leave." Director of DERT Worker Education Program Chip Hughes remembers fondly that he often found himself "letting Dave win a round of golf" and always admired Dave's willingness to help young people get ahead. "Dave never forgot where he came from, the challenges he faced in advancing his own career. He was always eager to help others the way someone must have helped him."

Despite his many accomplishments as he rose to the upper ranks of NIH management, Mineo's most visible legacy for his many friends remains the annual golf excursion to Myrtle Beach, which Chip Hughes describes as "NIEHS against the World." A tradition for more than fifteen years, the good natured competition pits NIEHS golfers against golfers from the other institutes. Fittingly, when Mineo left NIEHS in 1999, his friends held a roast and golf tournament at Crooked Creek Golf Course in Fuqua-Varina - giving the Captain a chance to win on his home turf as they celebrated his first attempt at retiring from federal service.

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