I grew up in a big family, and have eight brothers and sisters when half-siblings are counted. I was born in Salt Lake City, but found Utah to be a tough place to grow up if you weren’t Mormon so I moved in with my dad in Arizona in high school. I first moved to Minneapolis in 2012, and I’ve lived in the Lynnhurst neighborhood with my wife and stepdaughter since 2014. Our rescue dog, Maleficent J. Woofingtons (aka “the Woofs”), joined our family in 2016.
As Minneapolis Public Schools parents, my wife and I have volunteered over the years at Burroughs Elementary and Justice Page Middle School, where my wife Richelle was vice president of the PTA last year. The Justice Page Green Team was also co-founded by my stepdaughter, and my wife is the parent sponsor for the team. Last fall I coached the Lynnhurst Parks & Rec 13U Girls Soccer Team to a 5th place finish—the diamond attacking formation we added at the end of the season was tough to stop.
In 2019 I was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. My diagnosis has made life easier for me, because for a long time I thought I was just kind of an awkward and quirky guy… However, it turns out I also have a mild form of autism. Understanding that I process things and communicate in a different way than most people has helped remind me to always make an effort to try and understand where other people are coming from, which I think helps me bring people together.
After starting at Arizona State, I earned my degree in economics from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2007. While on campus, I successfully lobbied for students’ rights and administrative transparency. The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences named me the 2006 Jason Kesler Senior Scholar, and in 2007 the Student Senate honored me as the Student Agitator of the Year after I wrote a book outlining how student fees were spent. After starting college at Arizona State, transferring to Mankato was a big change. However, it helped me understand that the world is a big place with lots of different points of view.
Since graduating I’ve worked in the logistics industry for both smaller family-owned businesses and a large publicly traded company. While I found a fair amount of success, the corporate life was not for me. I started my own business in 2015 and have been extremely fortunate to be able to convince some great people to join the company.
The business has come a long way since I launched it from my dining room table. In 2019, our company was recognized by the Business Journal as one of the 50 Fastest Growing Private Companies in Minnesota. And in 2020 our team of developers built software that won a prestigious Tekne Award from MnTech.
Our Tekne Award was for software our company developed with the help of a team of interns from Minnesota schools… and not only have we always paid our interns, but now they all make over $20/hr (in 2016 our first intern was paid $15/hr, but that’s the lowest wage we’ve ever paid any employee).
Last year our business expanded internationally and started a Canadian company. In addition to running my own business, I also previously served on the Board of Directors for the Transportation Club of Minneapolis & St. Paul, and was a member of MnDOT’s Minnesota Freight Advisory Committee.
This isn’t to say business skills always necessarily transfer to governance. However, I’m committed to ensuring that Ward 13 is well represented on the Minneapolis City Council. And I know that my inclusive approach can help bring our ward together for the sort of lasting, fundamental changes we need.