Great cities, great companies, and great organizations all have ideas that people believe in and can easily describe. El Segundo isn’t great because of an invisible force or a mysterious management cycle; it’s great because of the people, the culture they create, and the effort they put forth. The schools, the businesses, the local government…they all work and run on the energy and involvement of all of us.
When my family settled in El Segundo, we knew from our first day at Eagles’ Nest Preschool that this was a town with the values we shared and the character we wanted our children to emulate. We also knew that participating, volunteering, and serving were our responsibility. And it’s been an absolute joy and pleasure to have the opportunity to get involved.
I am originally from Wichita, Kansas, a city that shares many of the same values, characteristics, and aspirations as El Segundo (as well as a rich history with aerospace with Boeing, Cessna, and Beechcraft, among others). I attended the University of Virginia and, upon graduation, served as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps. After serving as a commander in Iraq, I began my career helping businesses and individuals safeguard and protect their interests and loved ones around the world. The private sector also brought me to my wife’s native Los Angeles and our now hometown of El Segundo.
For me, a formative moment occurred watching the news with my father. I saw the aftermath of the US Army’s battles in Somalia with atrocities being committed in the streets of Mogadishu. The scenes were barbaric, with injured women, children, and American troops. I looked at my father and exclaimed with angry, exasperated, indignation and demanded that, “Somebody needs to do something.”
My father coolly responded,
From that moment, I knew that involvement is a personal responsibility. I turned to the Marine Corps. I was able to attend the University of Virginia on an NROTC scholarship and served 8 years as an infantry officer in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. I was awarded a Bronze Star with ‘V’ for actions in the Anbar Province during Operation Iraqi Freedom and left the service in 2005 after an early promotion to Major.
I began my career in the private sector thereafter, helping businesses and individuals safeguard and protect their interests and loved ones around the world. One of my first positions was managing a contract with the Department of Homeland Security, where I had to lead and manage both non-union private employees and public sector unionized workers. I gained invaluable knowledge of bargaining agreements and service contract negotiations. This public-private partnership grew from a start up to the largest program in the country within six months, and its success ultimately gave me the opportunity to move from New York, to San Diego, to Houston, and ultimately move with my wife Laura to her native Los Angeles.
I met Laura at the University of Virginia, and we married in 2006. Our son Dash was born in New York, and we adopted our magical daughter Mazzy from Ethiopia while living in San Diego. We had both seen the hopes and needs of children in our work and travels around the world and we were delighted to be able to grow our family when Mazzy found us. Iris was born in Houston, and we relocated to El Segundo just 4 weeks after her birth.
We chose El Segundo on the recommendation of Laura’s mother, who has been a realtor and volunteer throughout the South Bay for more than 25 years. She knew about the incredible schools, the close-knit community, and the excellent services and safety that El Segundo offers and predicted that we would fall in love with the town. She was spot on, and we got involved immediately.
I joined the Board of Eagles Nest Preschool and served as Vice President for 5 years. I have coached AYSO soccer, Little League Baseball and Softball, and serve as Commissioner of AA Baseball on the Little League Board. I have volunteered for the Run for Education, and (as a support to Laura) for the Richmond Street School Fall Festival and School Site Council.
Laura and I also joined the Los Angeles Board of Camp Kesem, a nonprofit serving children impacted by a parent’s cancer, and with the support of many friends in this generous community, have raised more than $2.5 million to send kids to free weeks of summer camp.
Today, I serve as a risk management executive and manage partnerships, employees and contractors all over the world. I regularly interface with companies at the most senior levels and believe this experience, along with my successful track record of managing public sector employees, give me a unique perspective for City Council (or as I see it, the city’s Board of Directors).
I regularly attend City Council meetings (when I’m not forcing my children to watch them with me on TV) and am pleased to have my candidacy endorsed by the BizFed PAC* and the South Bay Association of Realtors.
I look forward to meeting those of you I have not met and hope to earn your vote on April 10th.
*BizFed PAC is the only business political action committee that is laser-focused on local elections in all 88 cities in LA County, supporting business friendly candidates and job creators.