A friend of a friend-Mike Ratkowski and Hunter Wortham-February 6

One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for February 6, 2015.

My goal in 2015 is to learn or get acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.

A university has lots of various functions to make it operate smoothly. Most of my career has been spend working in athletics but I always developed friendships with people in the Advancement Division. Yesterday I profiled a former UNCP employee that spent time in Advancement named Wendell Staton.

Today I want to tell you about a man I have developed a friendship with since he arrived at UNC Pembroke and his name is Hunter Wortham. Hunter serves as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Advancement and has been in that position since early in 2012. Hunter came to Pembroke, from Old Dominion University. At ODU he served as a major gifts officer for the College of Sciences and Health Sciences.

Hunter Wortham, who grew up in Alabama, Kentucky, and the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, began his career as a teacher at Chesapeake Bay Academy, a specialized private school in Virginia Beach. He quickly moved into a key administrative role in development, admissions and marketing.

Hunter has seventeen years of experience in the area of fundraising and is a great guy to be around. He graduated from James Madison University and earned a MBA from the University of Phoenix.

This past fall Hunter was able to bring to campus an interesting entrepreneur who just so happened to own part of a brewery. Last year I successfully drank a different beer each day and his friend’s brews helped me accomplish my goal.

Hunter’s friend name was Mike Ratkowski and he had a real interesting story. On top of his business savvy he also is a US Military veteran. Mike is one of the co-owners of Railhouse Brewing Company in Aberdeen, NC.




The Friend of a Friend-MIKE RATKOWSKI

Hunter and MikeMike Rail House

Hunter Wortham bringing Mike Ratkowski to UNC Pembroke

Living in Moore County I met Mike Ratkowski and thought it would be good to get him to UNCP.

On November 5, 2014 Hunter brought Mike Ratkowski to a social function at the university. The event was a beer tasting from Railhouse Brewing. Railhouse is a North Carolina company out of Aberdeen, NC.

Railhouse Brewery was officially founded on Dec. 1, 2010 in the historic town of Aberdeen, North Carolina.  Started by military veterans Brian Evitts of the U.S Navy, and Mike Ratkowski of the U.S Army, the brewery is proudly veteran-owned.  Meeting as managers of the same company, the two were drawn together by the same home-brewing passion to make excellent beers.  Brian has been an avid home-brewer for nearly 15 years, while Mike has always enjoyed the culture of breweries.  In the new wave of craft breweries, they found that their favorite style was greatly underserved – brews focused more on the malted barley, not so much the abundance of hops.

Mike served as the tour guide for the UNCP event as he explained to our employees in attendance the beer brewing and beer business processes. Mike couldn’t have been nicer or more knowledgeable about all things involving beer.

Everyone in attendance got to taste three different Rail House beers including Ka-Bar Brown Ale, Mastiff Oatmeal Stout, and FCA IPA. He explained some of the interesting things about each beer and specifically mentioned that Ka-Brown Ale is actually brewed with about 100lbs of brown sugar. This beer was smooth and roasted. Even though the beer was served in plastic glasses it had a decent lacing.

Dan Kenney (depicted below with Mike) being the resident UNCP beer connoisseur in attendance rated this brown ale very good. Dan also pointed out Ka-Bar has 5.8% ABV and IBU Rating of 30.

Dan and Mike Rail House

Rail House Brewery is owned by veterans and if you are in the Sandhills of North Carolina go by and check them out.

Open 7 days a week. I was glad that UNCP gave Rail House Brewing a university banner to hang in the pub. GO BRAVES!



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