On May 1, the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, we met with alumni Happy and Pat Baumann to talk about how their experience at St. Joseph’s was foundational to their success. Here’s the Baumann’s story and why they chose to give $10,000 to St. Joseph Regional Catholic School. In the photo above (from left to right) Happy and Pat Baumann, Principal Deborah Francis, and Reverend Edmund Eduarte.
Baytown, May 1 — What’s the secret to success? “Two steps: Step 1. Pray hard. Step 2. Work hard. Only two steps, but don’t get those two steps out of order,” says, Happy Baumann, St. Joseph Catholic School alumnus (class of ‘53) and founder of Advanced Connections Inc. (ACI), a leading provider of structured cabling and security infrastructure solutions located in Plano, Texas.
Happy’s company is helping St. Joseph Regional Catholic School install a new intercom system that will connect the main building with the kindergarten and Pre-K buildings. The new system features two-way communications for each classroom and a school-wide PA and bell system.
On May 1, Happy and wife Pat, returned to Baytown to meet Principal Deborah Francis, St. Joseph Pastor Reverend Edmund Eduarte, and benefactors Moreno and Frank Lundy to discuss the work and present a $10,000 check to establish a memorial for Pete and Ethel Keller, Pat’s parents. Happy and Pat joined us in the school library to share their story.
Moved by the Product
“We are blessed,” says Happy. “We’re a product of our Christian upbringing,” Happy entered St. Joseph Catholic School in 1948 as a 2nd grader and was a member of the school’s first graduating class. Pat was also a student and later returned to teach at the school. “Our Christian upbringing is our foundation that has made us who we are today,” says Happy. “We believe God exists. We are his creatures. We are blessed!”
The couple attribute their success to God and their strong faith. Happy says he started his business at age 50 out of necessity. Today, his necessary startup has grown to become a nationally renowned company in the design, installation, and management of commercial paging systems.
“People are most important,” adds Happy. “Without good people, it doesn’t matter. In our Christian education, we learn to place others first. We come second.” Their youngest son now leads the company.
Living the Faith
Happy and Pat live what they have learned. As members of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Plano, the pair serve as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and are active in adult faith formation. Happy also volunteers for the Guadalupe Radio Network in Dallas and regularly mentors high school students by sharing his business expertise and offering advice on interviewing skills. The Baumanns also recommend small-group studies by Matthew Kelly (Resisting Happiness), Bishop Robert Barron (Pivotal Players), and reading the works of G.K. Chesterton.
Happy points out, “The priest is the most important person in the parish life.” In the Mass, Christ comes alive, “At the end of Mass, we have to go out and be disciples. We take what we’ve learned – remembering our calling as priest, prophet, and king — and we go and be Christ’s feet and hands for the next seven days. We come back for Sunday Mass and recharge. I call it, ‘7-day term insurance.’”
Happy and Pat Baumann were married 54 years ago at St. Joseph Catholic Church by Reverend William Tinney. The couple has three grown children. At age seven, Happy and his mother attended RCIA and were baptized together by Reverend James T. Quinlan at St. Joseph Catholic Church. Happy says that sharing RCIA with his mother played a significant role in his faith development and gave him the opportunity to seriously consider the priesthood. At age 16, Happy began serving at the Easter Triduum. When Vatican II commenced, Happy was the first lay person to serve as Lector at the Mass at St. Joseph’s.
From The Baytown Sun files: “As a little big boy, Happy used to play a wicked first base for the Felton Giants and the Brown Bombers … He was also a Gander grid captain, but gave up the game in his sophomore year at Texas” (to concentrate on his studies).
May God bless Happy and Pat Baumann and their family!