I Am Wilshire – Joe Groner.
Education: University of Oklahoma, Mississippi State University
Profession: Software Architect
Present city: Dallas
Tell us about your work. I currently work at DataRobot as a demo engineer. My day-to-day involves designing and building software demonstrations that are used by field sales in discussions with customers and prospects.
Favorite pastimes and hobbies? Reading, learning, investing. I’m always looking for the next great restaurant. I hope to continue learning as long as I possibly can.
Favorite place to travel? New Orleans. I love Cajun and Creole food.
What brought you to Wilshire and when? I grew up in a nonreligious household, but I began exploring churches in 2013. My habit was to sleep in on Sunday mornings until time to get ready for church. The alarm radio was programmed to WRR-FM and I found myself staying in bed to listen to George’s sermons. After a few weeks, I decided to investigate by checking the WRR website. When I did, I realized I’d been driving by Wilshire on the way to the church I had been attending. One Sunday in March 2014, I stopped in to visit. Brent Newberry, pastoral resident at the time, was in the pulpit, and spoke on “Believing is Seeing.” I didn’t realize it in the moment, but those were exactly the words I needed to hear. On George’s 25th anniversary in August 2014, Rabbi David Stern spoke. There was something about having a rabbi in the pulpit — since my paternal grandfather was Jewish — that made me feel certain that it was the right time to join, but I didn’t know I was going to come forward until that morning. I was baptized in September by the pastor and am now a member of the Foundations of Faith Class.
Where are you engaged in Wilshire? I serve on the Video Ministry team assisting with live streams of services.
What do you think God is up to in your life right now? Even through a difficult year and half, God has been at work reminding me of the importance of deep social connections and simple pleasures.
What’s something interesting most people wouldn’t know about you? I moved to the Los Angeles area in May of 2018. I returned to Dallas last October and rejoined the church. I look forward to getting re-engaged at Wilshire and meeting all the new members from the past few years.