I was working in the World Trade Center 20 years ago when the planes hit. I got out without a scratch—but the aftereffects linger to this day.

How I came to be in Tower One of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, is a story that starts at Puget Sound. I joined a fraternity house—Beta house—and in my sophomore year, my fraternity brothers told me about a scholarship opportunity through Kemper Insurance. I ended up doing a couple summers with Kemper, and then after graduation they offered me a trainee position in Chicago. I took the job, and stayed with that same department for 25 years.

In 1985, I met my wife, Laura, who also worked at Kemper. In 1990 we transferred with Kemper to L.A. with our 2-year-old son, Sean, and newborn, Ryan; after four years we were transferred back to Illinois, and then in 1998 I moved to the Summit, N.J., office, outside of New York. In February of 2001, I was transferred to our offices in the World Trade Center.