I am a mostly white, Choctaw native living in Northeast Oklahoma. Married for over 20 years to my best friend, and love of my life, and living a good suburban life with our son and two dogs. We have a motorhome, and enjoy traveling the country and glamping. We also will never turn down a trip to a beach or National Park, and will ditch the RV if needed to make sure our next adventure is the best it can be. I say mostly white because if you run into me, you likely won’t know I am native. If you were fortunate enough to know my grandfather, you would have no doubt of his heritage. Over the past few years I’ve wondered deeply if my journey through life would have been different if I’d looked more like my grandfather.
I grew up in a small town in Oklahoma. My parents were both educators, and I have an older brother. Our world revolved around the school system and we went to every event we could. I was an athlete, playing baseball, basketball, and football for years before settling into baseball being my main focus. I was an academic, and school came easy to me. My dad was a military man, and coach, along with his educator background. By the time I was in high school he was the superintendent of the school system, tying us even more to the school district and the events associated with it. My mom was a computer teacher, and triggered my love of technology at a young age when she brought home that Apple IIe and started teaching me to code.
After high school, I headed to Tahlequah, Oklahoma, for college. This capital of the Cherokee Nation triggered a desire to learn more about my native heritage that frankly had died along with my grandfather in the mid-90s. I was surrounded by native-focused activities in Tahlequah, and I quickly felt right at home. I was a member of the President’s Leadership Class, and participated in the university activities board. My work with the university activities board eventually expanded to the National Association for Campus Activities and before I knew it I was helping book tours across the country. Eventually I found myself in the university’s student hall of fame, and graduated with honors.
Shortly after graduation Kami and I were married and full-on adulting. We were married for 11 years before we decided to try and have children, and our first try ended in tragedy as our son Lukas was born still. After a tough couple of years, and some answers, we decided to try again and in 2012 our second son, Ian was born. He is now the gravitational force that we find our selves revolving around, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
- Mountain Biking
- Watch Collecting
- Graphic Design
- Slow Pitch Softball
- Grand Canyon Nat’l Park
- Yellowstone Nat’l Park
- Grand Teton Nat’l Park
- Great Smoky Mountains Nat’l Park
- Volcanos Nat’l Park Nat’l Park
- Haleakala Nat’l Park
- Visited 41 of 50 states
- St. Croix
- Costa Rica
- Cayman Islands
- Puerto Rico (not sure this counts)
Great Questions to Explore Over Dinner or a Drink…
- Wait, you’re native?
- So you’re a geek, but sports were life growing up?
- When did you meet your wife?
- You hiked on an active volcano?
- What was your time on that lap in Olympia?
- You did what in the Bahamas?
- Why did you design branding for cigars if you don’t even smoke?
- Why do you not like Hartford?
- You’re in the NSU Hall of Fame?
- Why shouldn’t I drive my Jeep at Buckhorn?
- You’re a Yankee fan, ever been to Fenway?
- Ever been to an All-Star Game?
- You ever sit on a beach with a baby sloth?