Bernie grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He opened the first regional corporate pension sales office for Penn Mutual Life in Dallas, Texas, in the early 1970s. In 1997 he and his wife, Donna, relocated to the valley. They moved at request of her employer, in order to work on the new Aspen Highlands Village project. Bernie and Donna started skiing in midlife. As beginners, they came to the valley to ski and they have skied hard for the past 17 years. They are also active hikers and Bernie has recently become a road biker.
Bernie served on the Basalt Planning and Zoning Commission for seven years, the last two as the chairman. He also serves as the vice president of the Basalt Regional Library District. As chairman of the Basalt Kilns Committee, a citizen interest group, he assisted the town in securing a large State Historical Commission grant. The town added significant matching funds, which led to the preservation of the historic charcoal kilns in Arbaney Park.