Who I Am
I’m a guy who had 12 step-parents, went to 12 schools by sixth grade, moved more times than that, and left home mid-way through his junior year of high school.
I worked my way to graduation and then through college as a print shop bindery worker, dishwasher, waiter, bank teller, grocery store manager, and resident hall advisor. I attended university on a theater scholarship, realized I liked theater, but didn’t love it, and wasn’t willing to live in my car and wash dishes while waiting for my big break.
I went looking for a steady job and a challenge, earned a commission as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, and somehow landed in the public affairs field where I advised generals on strategic communication, crisis response, internal communication, community relations and media relations from day one.
My time in the Corps gave me the opportunity to lead and build diverse cross-functional, cross-generational, inter-agency, and multi-national teams ranging in size from three people to more than 100; to teach and re-build the public affairs curriculum used to qualify U.S. military, government, and international public affairs officers; and to advise executive leaders including the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the second most senior officer in the U.S. military, on public engagement issues including environmental disasters, aviation mishaps, and combat, disaster relief, and humanitarian assistance operations.
Along the way I completed masters and doctoral degrees in organization and management with a leadership specialization.
I enjoyed my Marine Corps career — and it certainly provided the challenges and opportunities I was looking for. But when I hit the twenty year mark after a one-year deployment to Helmand, Afghanistan, I set three new life priorities and chose to retire from the military. Those priorities are:
- Put my family first for the first time
- Live where I choose
- Continue doing satisfying work in service to others
I returned to my home state of Washington in 2015.
We put down roots in the community of Camas.
I built North of Center to share my knowledge and experience with new and aspiring leaders and help them succeed in a world that moves at the speed of send.