You can take the boy out of the Bronx, but you can’t … Well, let’s just say that Jerry Moses has come a long way since growing up in a ghetto in the South Bronx. He moved to Flushing in Queens, N.Y., and went on to achieve his bachelor’s degree in public utilities and transportation at New York University, before attending the Brooklyn Law School and the Atlanta Law School.
His career eventually brought him to the Milwaukee area, where he served as recruiting manager for the United States and Canada at GE Medical Systems.
Today, Moses is president of J.M. Eagle Partners Ltd., a Grafton-based recruiting firm that works primarily in the medical diagnostic imaging and radiology markets.
Every year, he attends a trade show in Chicago, where he chases business leads, makes new contacts and runs back and forth between multiple buildings.
However, his ambitious pace began to slow in 2000, when Moses developed a bone infection in his left foot.
“The only way to solve it is to cut that part of the bone out,” he said.
Over the next two years, Moses routinely traveled to the wound clinic at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee. Doctors there treated his leg with a vacuum system and even placed Moses inside a hyperbaric chamber to try to save his leg.
The hyperbaric chamber is supposed to help troublesome wounds heal because their bodies absorb more oxygen while exposed to the higher pressures of the chamber. Between 2000 and 2002, Moses had more than 40 treatments inside the chamber.
“At one point, I was going down there a few times a week,” he said. “(The chamber) holds six people. They’d put a nurse or a medical tech in there with you. We would play cribbage.”
However, later in 2002, doctors concluded that they weren’t going to be able to save his foot.
“There were no blood vessels left,” he said. “There were no support structures any more.”
A short time later, doctors amputated part of his left leg.
Until that point, Moses ran his own recruiting business and routinely worked 60 to 70 hours per week. He has been actively involved in the Milwaukee North Shore Rotary and the Boy Scouts, as well. Moses organizes speakers for the Rotary’s weekly meetings, and he serves on the budget advisory committee for the scouts. He also is a frequent guest at Milwaukee Press Club events.
Because he didn’t know how long his recovery would take, Moses closed his office. For the next year, Moses did not work. He spent a lot of time at home, watching television and reading newspapers and magazines.
“I was driving my wife nuts,” he said.
He did not want to start up another office because of the high costs of renting space and hiring people to work for him.
Moses eventually found a new business option while attending a Rotary event in Slinger, where he met Joel Schneider, president of Seek Careers/ Staffing in Grafton. Moses and Schneider agreed that Moses would reopen his company inside the Seek offices.
“I wanted to get back (to work), but the start-up business cost was so great to open back up,” Moses said. “I had thought about going to work for someone else. But this was a much easier way to go.”
When Moses began his relationship with Seek, he was still adjusting to life as an amputee. A physical therapist had taught him how to move around a bit, but Moses had not yet been fitted with a prosthetic foot.
“It was very difficult to go anywhere,” he said. “I had to balance with a four-point walker. And when I started (at Seek), I didn’t have a prosthesis. Someone would bring a wheelchair to the car out front when I came in.”
Today, Moses gets around just fine, thanks to his prosthetic leg. When he walks around the Seek offices, he doesn’t even use a cane.
During trade shows like the one in Chicago, Moses rents an electric chair for $40 per day, which helps him navigate shows that are in more than one building.
Moses, who retains his Bronx accent, resides in Mequon with his wife, Eileen. They have raised three children.
Like many amputees, Moses still has phantom pain from his amputated foot at times. However, he doesn’t let it bother him or keep him from conducting business.
“I don’t think about the amputation,” he said. “I’m just another person out there. I don’t concentrate on it.”