My story begins in Chicago where I was lucky to be born into a healthy, happy and stable middle class family. At the age of 2 we moved to the suburbs of central New Jersey where during my school years I was active in sports, clubs and sometimes even as a class clown. At times, however, I struggled as a youngster with my speech and had issues pronouncing words and reading, but I didn’t let it hold me back. I graduated from high school with honors. And, one of my most important accomplishments during high school was becoming an Eagle Scout. Several great values were instilled in me from scouting that I still practice daily such as hard work, integrity and service to others.
After high school, I went to college at Purdue University and earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management with a minor in Management Information Systems. I sought out leadership positions in various clubs to serve others and was awarded the best Purdue University fraternity president in 2002.
After college, I moved to Chicago and worked in various jobs such as banking, restaurants, technology, sports entertainment, event marketing and as a DJ (even on a cruise ship). I also tried my hand in stand-up comedy and improv because I wanted to make people feel good through laughter. A favorite joke I learned during this time is “what does a nosey pepper do? It gets jalapeno business”.
I eventually found that my passion was in event marketing. For several years, I worked as a tour manager for various brands at locations all across the country. I loved engaging customers and learning about their situations and perspectives. On numerous occasions, I was fortunate to be of assistance and helped them address their unique issues and concerns. During this time I also experienced Denver and fell in love with the City. It had great weather, great outdoor activities, and most importantly, great people. When I met Denverites, I felt that Denver provided many communities where I could be involved. While on tour, I also developed an interest in becoming an entrepreneur and to start my own company. I subsequently attended the University of Colorado Boulder (skobuffs!) where I received a Master in Business Administration (MBA) focusing in entrepreneurship and marketing.
I have had a strong desire to serve others, especially my country. In 2015 while also in graduate school, I joined the Colorado Air National Guard (COANG) as an Aircraft Maintainer on F-16 jets. At 33 years old it was a big life change for me but I wanted to join and do my part. My military experience reinstalled in me the values of “integrity first”, “service before self”, and “excellence in all we do”, which is how I live my life every day.
After graduating with my MBA, I was driven to start a business to serve others and make an impact in the community. Without a specific business idea in mind, I decided to surround myself with other entrepreneurs and problem solvers. In 2019, I joined 1 Million Cups Denver and became part of the Denver startup community. I volunteered as a mentor for local entrepreneurs to share the knowledge that I received during my MBA. In particular, I mentored climate-focused entrepreneurs to help them develop ideas to improve the environment.
To further my understanding on climate science and global warming, I have also taken courses to learn about solutions that can develop a livable planet for future generations. While I currently don’t have children of my own, I do have a 4 year old nephew named Miles. And, it concerns me that if we don’t change our systems and our behaviors, members of my family and my community are not going to be able to enjoy a planet that I have been able to enjoy so much. As a result, I became involved locally with sustainability and climate-focused groups. I established a climate change community to ensure all those passionate about the issue were up to date on current knowledge and information so we each can be climate voices in our networks and communities. I’ve further expanded my own network and became a member of Denver’s Climate Action, Sustainability & Resiliency Zero Waste committee, Women in Sustainability (yes they accept men), Eco-Leaders, and Bakers Neighborhood Sustainability committee.
As a member of these organizations, I’ve developed a greater sense of community. Since joining 1 Million Cups Denver in 2019, I have emceed and led over 100 events, supported over 200 local founders, told 500 puns, grown a strong community of 500 entrepreneurs, and made hundreds of connections for community members. 1 Million Cups Denver is a great environment where entrepreneurs show up every week to grow and connect with other entrepreneurs. In 2022, I also became head of Denver Founders which is an entrepreneurial organization with over 10,000 members. Every month, we come together as a community to share ideas, give support and build relationships. These cornerstones of “community” are what I want to bring to District 7.
In 2019, I joined a local Toastmasters club to improve my public speaking. Through dedication and hard work, I improved my speeches and conversations, which was also noticed by an attendee who was a Chief Operating Officer of a private equity firm. As she learned about my work ethic and passion for entrepreneurship, she offered me the position of Director of Operations for one of the software companies in their portfolio. And as I was able to quickly improve operations and bring value to the company, I advanced to the role of CEO and soon was managing two additional software companies.
A key to my success was my ability to problem-solve through an issue. I believe no problem is too big to solve if you work with the right people and create partnerships. I believe partnership is critical if any business or organization is to be successful, especially local government. As District 7’s Councilman, I plan to partner with local organizations to generate support, improve programs and pass legislation that brings value to residents of District 7.
Overall my work, my entrepreneurial networks and my environmental communities are growing and rewarding on a personal level. However, I want to serve others in need and make a positive impact on Denver communities. To learn more about Denver and take steps toward making an impact, I have joined Leadership Denver through the Denver Metro Chamber. This experience has taught me about various issues facing Denver such as safety, housing, transportation and climate. Through Leadership Denver, I have also learned about various ways members of our communities are being underserved. To begin making a direct impact, I now volunteer with Headwater Protectors to provide water, trash services, and compassion for those experiencing homelessness in Denver.
I am running for Denver’s City Council District 7 because of my desire to serve and help the members of my community. I want every Denverite of District 7 to have their basic needs met including food, water and shelter. I believe our community can and should support each other and provide a solution to these important issues. I will work with the 7 neighborhoods of District 7 so each neighborhood’s voice is heard and we work towards improving our community.
I dream that District 7 will be a place where everyone:
I want to make this dream a reality. So, please vote for me on April 4th for Denver City Council District 7.