My parents were high school sweethearts. My dad moved to Long Beach, California with his family and began his sophomore year at a school that was bigger than his entire town in Iowa. My mom was born in Poughkeepsie New York and moved to Long Beach as a toddler.
I have an older brother named Matt. I was born in West Covina, CA. We moved to Fort Collins when I was two. I attended elementary school at Bauder and played with my four cousins who lived near us. It was the All-American upbringing .. an idealistic childhood ... until it wasn’t. Let’s just say Fort Collins was not Long Beach and my mom struggled with the weather and the slower pace of life. We eventually moved back to Long Beach, CA when I was 7.
Even though we were living closer to Mom’s family and Dad’s parents, things did not change back in CA. My parents separated and soon divorced. My brother and I lived with my dad. He left for work every day before we were awake for school and returned home after we had gotten home from school. It wasn’t easy. We survived on homemade burritos because Dad wasn’t much of a cook. Eating out was a treat for us.
From a young age, my dream had been to attend the University of Southern California. Mom was not going to let anything stop me from fulfilling that dream. She would work 24/7 if she had to. She never let me believe that I wasn’t smart enough or couldn’t afford it. She did the research and I was able to go to USC ... my dream school ... with lots of financial aide. I absolutely would not have gone there if it was not for my mom. She was persistent and I will always admire her for that. I was the second person to go to college on my mom’s side of the family.
As typical of people from Iowa, my dad worked hard and was a disciplinarian. By getting up early every day, I saw his commitment to our family. He worked as a draftsman but wanted to become a licensed surveyor. I remember him studying every weekend. He passed the test to get his license in California. He ultimately became licensed in multiple states throughout the West. Seeing him work so hard to provide for us and reach his goals had a major impact on me.
My goal in sharing these details is to give you insight into who I am and what has shaped me. I get my work ethic and pragmatism from my father and my aspirational vision and open-mindedness from my mother. When harnessed properly, it is a great combination, and has formed the philosophy I bring to my roles as a husband and father, analyst, and public servant.
My wife Shareen and I have been married for 15 years. We have two boys, Logan (14) and Landon (12). Thirteen years ago we were drawn to Windsor. We both had history here (my early years and her sales territory). We came here together in 2004 for my family reunion and knew this was the place we wanted to establish our roots. By 2006, despite the concern from family & friends, we had relocated and have not looked back. This has been an amazing place to grow together and raise our boys.
I would not be able to run for County Commissioner without Shareen. She is an amazing woman and holds the family together. She is a wonderful mother and a great supporter of me.