The principle most often stressed to me growing up was to follow "The Golden Rule." Today, I do my best to apply that concept in both my personal and professional lives. I expect those I work and play with to adhere to this principle as well.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND
When I look back, I still don't know how my parents did it. Five boys and a U.S. Air Force lifestyle. During my dad's 20-year USAF career, my family had more addresses then you can count on two hands, ranging from Florida to Alaska. But somehow, they raised us—and they raised us well. I couldn't have been more fortunate.
I came a little later than my four big brothers, so I was spared the nomadic existence for the most part (I "only" lived in Alabama, Alaska and finally on an island in Washington state, where I spent my most formative years). Regardless, I caught the travel bug, and I have been lucky enough to live in a variety of different places. In fact, I met my wife, Tasi, while teaching English in Taiwan in 2003.
I first entered the world of journalism back in high school, first as a staff photographer, then as a freelancer for my local community paper (earning $10 per photo!), and eventually as a journalism student at Western Washington University, in Bellingham, Wash. Since then, I've interviewed lots of interesting people, both famous (I actually made Hank Aaron chuckle—still the highlight of my career!) and not-so-famous. Regardless of who I talk to, I think everyone and every organization has a story to tell.
Whether writing a deadline piece for a daily newspaper, or a press release for a nonprofit fundraising campaign, finding and listening for that story is critical to helping readers understand the true message being conveyed.
Along the way, I have also developed a passion for volunteering and nonprofit fundraising. Building community through nonprofit work is an important part of my life's mission. I am particularly drawn to issues related to environmental sustainability, youth mentoring, senior services and historic preservation.
My most recent professional endeavor includes Houstory Publishing, LLC, a company I launched with my big brother and best friend, Mike, in late 2007. So far, to say the experience has been an education would be an understatement.
When I'm not working, I enjoy hiking, camping, reading, traveling, writing, basketball, playing guitar, bike riding, photography and volunteering.
WHAT DRIVES ME
• Western civilization has too much "stuff" (myself included). I believe "stuff" dominates our lives when we should be filling our existence with meaningful relationships and experiences. I also believe we don't appreciate the "stuff" we already have as much as we should. I want to work for organizations who believe there is a better way, who understand that our current system of "extraction-production-distribution-consumption-disposal" (thank you or this equation, Story of Stuff) is not only not working, it's harming us physically and spiritually.
• I believe in the power of preserving and sharing personal stories before it is too late. In fact, I've helped build my company, Houstory, because of this belief.
• I believe in the power of mentorship. I want to align myself with groups such as Big Brothers Big Sisters because these programs work when properly utilized.
• I believe we have a responsibility to support and honor the most senior members of society. We have much to learn from these family members, friends and neighbors.