Frederick Hans Sindel (aka “Fred” or “Hans”; alias “Richie Silver”) is a husband, father, grandfather, retired engineer, and lifelong accordion player.
Fred retired from General Electric on January 1, 2000 after a career that spanned over 40 years and five distinct disciplines: Engineering; Finance; Strategic Planning & Business Development; Venture Capital; and Information Technology. Hans started his career with GE in 1959 in an engineering position at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Schenectady, NY. Knolls was operated by GE to design and test the nuclear reactors that power our nuclear submarines and other US Navy vessels. GE transferred Fred to Stamford, CT in 1971.
Fred was born in Brooklyn, NY of German immigrant parents and given the name Frederick Hans Sindel. His father Hans and mother Babette came independently from Bavaria in Germany in the mid 1920’s. Fred entered the New York City school system in the midst of World War II. (One day, his mother was called into the school and told never to speak German to him.)
Although retired from being an engineer with GE, Fred has never retired from being an accordion player. He finished his seventh and final year of accordion lessons at the age of 16 and started playing gigs to earn money. His first was a dance at the Fresh Meadows Jewish Center for which he earned $5.00. Fred soon joined a group called The Melotones, playing various events and clubs (because he was still under 18, he carried a draft card with the name “Richie Silver”). He also played at several resorts in the Catskills.
Fred graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School and continued his education at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (now known as the Polytechnic Institute of NYU) where he earned a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree in 1959. He later earned a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1961 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute while working full-time for GE.
Fred married Carole in 1961 and they moved to Wilton, CT in 1971 (where Carole was a school bus driver for 32 years). They have four children and eight grandchildren. They also enjoy time at a cabin on the Sacandaga Lake in upstate New York.