Becoming Alaskan since 1984.
I was born in Oklahoma City and spent several years growing up in Montana and Washington before returning to Oklahoma to finish school and attend university before moving to Alaska. I first came to Alaska in 1984 as a young teenager to spend summers with my father to enjoy some fishing, hiking and going to the cabin or take on a few odd jobs like caring for a sled dog team in Big Lake. In the summer of 1995, I drove the Alcan with a friend to spend another summer in Alaska, when I decided to make the commitment to becoming an Alaskan for good.
Since then, I have been part of many great Alaskan companies, met many amazing people and truly developed lasting roots with a wide range of friends, family and colleagues. Being Alaskan is a state of mind and I am very happy to be a part this amazing community. My partner of more than 10 years is a lifelong Alaskan and shares my belief that we are fortunate to live in the best state, in the best country on earth.
My experience in small business, corporations and non-profits spans a wide spectrum of industries and focus. Beginning in 1996, I converted the skills I learned in a family owned printing business into developing websites, new media and related media development projects for Alaskan companies such as Internet Alaska, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union and GCI. For nearly a decade I honed my management skills and small business experience working on several startup businesses focused on travel, tourism and marketing. In 2000 and again in 2006-2007, I also worked on several projects outside Alaska including a few interesting projects at Starbucks corporation and a handful of software or internet startups. I’ve learned from experience and continue to take these lessons forward as I take on new challenges.
I am an optimistic, collaborative and proven leader who will do everything in my ability to bring us together for the cause of realizing my belief that believe Alaska is the last, best place on earth.
Driven to Succeed.
For the last six years, I have been the Executive Director of the Iron Dog snowmachine race. Using my past experience and skills as a great collaborator, I have evolved this truly amazing Alaska race and community activity into a successful statewide event with the largest growth it has experienced in more than 30 years. Managing a race that covers more than 2,000 miles across Alaska requires the ability to develop working relationships with a wide variety of individuals, corporations, government agencies and community leaders. I have built the trust of major corporations, local charity partners, individuals from rural and urban Alaska, educators, base commanders at JBER & Fort Wainwright, faith-based organizations, local businesses and many Alaskans of all color, creed and ideology. In my time leading the Iron Dog, we have donated nearly $200,000 to local military and veteran organizations, started an Urban-Rural student exchange and other educational activities that benefit Alaskan high school students, brought live local television coverage and created international business partnerships and national media coverage. None of this had happened before I arrived. This success is a direct demonstration of my real world ability to bring people together, knowing how to negotiate a path forward that benefits all involved. I plan to bring this same focus, energy and work ethic to representing my neighbors as your Alaska State Senator for District H.
Live, Work and Play.
I believe that an important part of being successful in working hard, is also knowing how to balance life with fun, family and recreation. Both Job and I value our time outside of work. Whether he’s skating and filming videos, going hiking or working on a car restoration together, I think it’s important to take time out and focus on the people and activities that we enjoy. These values reflect in my thinking about how Alaska should continue to invest in the arts, sports, recreation and community events. Teamwork begins outside the office and on the fields. We cannot undervalue the importance of teaching the next generation how to build, perform, play, compete, have fun and win.
Since moving to Alaska I took up quite a few hobbies and activities including snowboarding, airsoft, flying (got my private license in 2000), sport fishing, hunting and enjoying working on sports cars or anything automotive related. Job and I also like to travel, ride rollercoasters, go camping and snowmachine out to the family cabin.
Outside of my personal hobbies you’ll also find me engaged in business issues, cheering on entrepreneurs or acting as a mentor for a startup company.
My professional experience, resume and recommendations by colleagues:
List of some of my association or group involvement:
- Launch:Alaska (Mentor to startup businesses) – 2016
- Alaska Republican Party (Delegate, 2008, District Chair 2012, 2016)
- Alaska Hospitality Retailers (Board Member, Fundraising Chair) – 2014-present
- AMBIT Incubator (Advisor to a local software company) – 2012-2014
- Anchorage First a Buy Local campaign (Volunteer) – 2012
- Rotary International – 2010-2011
- Alaska Miata Club and other local car community events – 2000-present
- Make A Wish Foundation (Wish grantor) – 2000-2001