Ann Discher

Sometimes you just need a little nudge in the right direction to get on the correct path. That’s exactly what Ann Discher got from her father a few years after high school. She had worked in restaurants and was considering a training program for jewelry makers when her father, a 30-year U of M staffer, recommended she find a job at the U.

Discher started as a parking attendant in 1985 and will celebrate 27 years at the U this year. She utilized the Regents Scholarship to take a number of art classes while working in Parking and Transportation Services, and even considered pursuing an art degree. But working two jobs and spending even more time on campus deterred her from that pursuit.

After about a decade in parking, Discher accepted an offer from the Teamsters and WomenVenture in 1996 to get trained as a mechanic. Upon completing her training, she briefly took a job with campus police before starting as a vent mechanic in 1999. Getting hired as a mechanic meant Discher could finally let go of the part time job she had been doing for 13 years at a local school.

Discher met her husband Bruce, who’s also a mechanic, through mutual friends eight years ago. The couple now lives in Hugo and owns a small cabin in Kingsdale (on the Wisconsin border near Hinckley) where they like to bow hunt and ride ATV’s.

For as long as she can remember, Discher has done weight training here at the U. Recently, she decided to make her passion for fitness into a vocation by becoming a certified professional fitness trainer. Discher has partnered with a wellness counselor and nurse to start a business that offers wellness training.

“We’re basically trying to get people to exercise and avoid eating processed food and sugar,” said Discher. “Then we support them throughout the process.”

Since she started the certification process Discher has lost about 45 pounds, mostly by changing her eating habits and working out at a higher rate of intensity. She’ll be in great shape to begin giving others a nudge in the right direction, just like her father did for her.

Employee focus logo

Ann Discher


Hometown: St. Paul, Minnesota

Hobbies: Bow Hunting, Fitness Training, Jewelry Making