Activator. Strategic thinker. Passionate Communicator. Helper of others.
The Short Version
Known as a “business-minded creative” because of my strategic approach to generating results. Half creative director, half marketing director, I have over 2 decades of helping others thrive.
In 2014 I put my career on hold to chase a dream with my family and ride a bike across the country for malnourished kids.
I’ve been a frequent conference speaker, a TEDx presenter, and have been a branding professional for over 20 years.
Personally I’ve been married for 17 years and live in Tustin, CA, with my wife and two young boys. I’m an avid cyclist and passionate about helping children who suffer from Severe Acute Malnutrition.
The Long Version
As a Marketing Strategy Consultant I spent over 18 years operating CROSSGRAIN, a business minded marketing and branding firm with a knack for bringing out a company’s unique personality and generating revenue for our clients. My focus has always been on developing three core growth areas for clients: New business, client retention and brand strength.
Though I enjoyed my work, I’ve always felt drawn to helping others in a bigger way. In 2009 I found myself feeling frustrated professionally and, at 340 pounds, was miserably out of shape. This began a season of transition in my life (talked about here at TEDx). I spent a lot of time reflecting on who I was and what I wanted out of life. I also discovered cycling. Riding allowed me the alone time I needed to reflect and it did wonders for my health. To date, I’ve lost over 100 pounds riding. Cycling changed my life.
As I began to shift my focus, some friends of mine had started a non-profit called MANA Nutrition. My oldest son asked if he could taste a sample RUTF packet they had sent. That night, everything changed. I realized that he would never deal with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) purely because he was born in the US. It was luck, privilege, grace, whatever you want to call it, nothing else. At that moment I realized two things: first is that I was blessed with God given abilities and talents that could help others, second is that I knew I had to get involved in the fight for these starving kids.
Since then, the fight against SAM has energized my life. I’ve worked closely with MANA Nutrition, helped a couple of young entrepreneurs with Good Spread and co-founded StopSAM.org. We successfully launched the annual PBJ For Good campaign which has now expanded to Atlanta. I finally realized that nobody was going to execute the vision I had.
And I’m not just fighting for these starving kids, I’m fighting for my own kids, I’m fighting for everyone watching. I’ve set out to live my life in a way that will inspire others to chase their dreams and to help others, to risk big for the sake of someone else.
In 2014 my family I did just that, we took a big risk for the sake of children suffering from SAM. I put my career on hold, gave up all my clients, gave up my cool office space in Orange, packed up all our possessions and moved them into storage. After securing sponsors we launched an effective campaign before setting out on a bicycle from San Diego to ride to New York with my wife and kids following in an RV. We documented our journey and shared the story of SAM with anyone who would listen. The journey was also well documented in the media including Huffington Post, OC Register, Channel 6 San Diego and others.
I’ve always felt that as a dad I can tell my two young boys that they should care about others or I can go show them what it means to care.
On September 27th, 2014 I crossed the George Washington Bridge in to New York City, completing a 4,170 mile ride solo ride across America. I’ll never forget riding up to the Rapha Cycle Club, being greeted with a big hug from my oldest son, we did it, we made it to New York! The ride took 100 days of travel, 58 days of riding with an average riding day of 70+ miles. We then drove back over 60 days sharing the story about children suffering from SAM.
The results of the Cycle Cause journey are still being felt and remembered. We successfully donated 135,000 packets of RUTF to children in South Sudan an have continued to share the story and fundraise.
On a personal note, I’m originally from Montana, but I’ve spent most of my life in Orange County CA where I grew up in a family print and design business. At 21, I married my first and only girlfriend and we have enjoyed 16 years of marriage (and counting!). We have two beautiful sons and are back in Orange County after our grand adventure.
My hobbies include road cycling, mountain biking, anything cycling, reading, eating BBQ with my dad and playing outside with the kids. Now you know a little about me. What about you?