My life has been a wonderful roller coaster up to this point. I am happy to share with you all what makes me tick and some things that have lead me to run for a seat on the city council.
Here is a little about myself.
I learned from a very young age that if you want something, you have to work hard to get it. I had a love of baseball and collecting cards. My family wasn’t rich or poor and in all appearances we made ends meet. In order to fuel my love for collecting cards, I went to work at the baseball card shop at the age of 12 on Saturday’s. I was able to get cards each week and learn how business was done. More importantly, I learned that through hard work I was able to get what I wanted. That little job that lasted 2 years really taught me about people as well. It taught me how relationships and interactions with people are the keys to everything.
So many families have struggles, and mine was no different. About that time in my life, my parents decided to get a divorce. I was pretty much left alone to fend for myself because my mom had to work two jobs to keep the house. My father? Well, he thought it was more important to focus on finding a new wife then to continue a relationship with his son. He was non-existent after the divorce. This is the time in my life where I really grew up and started to lay down the foundation of values of which I would govern myself by.
At the age of 14 I really wanted to learn self-defense. I wasn’t the popular kid in school. I had big coke bottle glasses, loved Dungeons & Dragons and was a nerd. I sought out a local martial arts studio. I couldn’t afford it lessons, however, the owner saw something in me. I will be forever grateful for him, not only did he give me a chance but for the next 8 years, he was truly a father figure in my life. In the beginning, I started cleaning the karate studio every day for a few hours. After three months I had earned enough money for the down payment and I could begin classes. I continued to clean the studio in exchange for my lessons and after 6 months of hard work, I became an instructor. At the age of 17 the owner put me in charge of a whole school location, then at 20 was running all three. Even at 41, I still have many relationships with my students to this day. They are my real family.
Those 8 years at the karate studio really set up who I was, the principals to which I wanted to live my life. Integrity, discipline, and respect became my core values. With these principals dictating my life, I wanted to give back and go into law enforcement. More importantly, I wanted to work for the Marshall Service. However, another mentor stepped into my life that I will again be forever grateful. One of my students always said she wanted to hire me for sales. She saw how I ran the schools, treated people, and she knew how I truly connected with people.
Even though at 21 I had been training off the books with Midvale Police for a couple of years, I couldn’t afford to pay my way through the police academy. This karate student of mine persuaded me to work for her in the dental insurance business. She said if I didn’t like the insurance business she would pay for my police academy training. Little did I know that I would spend the next 18 years in the insurance industry, including becoming a vice president for this regional insurance company that was owned by Blue Cross Blue Shield.
I worked with some of the best people in the industry. Having this mentor in my life has also given me the opportunity to pursue my other dreams, in addition to working at the insurance company.
I was over the security department of Rocky Mountain Raceways for 7 years, working hand in hand with West Valley Police and working as the Security Director for Salt Lake Comic Convention (Now FanX) for their first 5 events.
I have been fortunate enough to be able to go through the FBI Citizens Academy and Unified Police Citizens Academy. I feel so privileged that Unified also lets me assist with their mass casualty training.
I have had amazing opportunities to work with Junior Achievement as a volunteer teacher for K-12 grades. We were able to raise funds for them to continue to have business teachers go into schools and teach kids how to use a bank account or balance a checkbook. Teach real-life stuff kids need that isn’t taught in the schools.
During these years of leadership, business and growth, I was able to meet my wife and start a family. She brought two wonderful kids to our marriage who instantly made me a dad, something I have always wanted to be. We now have a third together who has brought me more joy than I could’ve ever imagined.
I have loved serving on my kids Elementary School Community Council. Ensuring that the teachers are able to get support from the administration to be the most effective teachers they can be.
Additionally, I have served in our church to teaching corporations, women’s groups, kids, young women self-defense and motivation. I will continue to give back to the community in the best way I know-how.