My inspiration to contribute to great sustainable cities stems from my personal experience with Detroit's stuggles.
Once a growing metropolis with an iconic industry, today, Detroit is spoken about as the saddest of places in the rust belt. It is true that Detroit has struggled to retain its best and brightest who have fled to the sun belt seeking opportunities. I suppose I am part of that migration. Nevertheless, I will always think of Detroit as a special place and I believe it will be reborn by committed Detroiters.
My roots stem from a vibrant inner-ring suburb with walkable neighborhoods and bustling small business with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. This experience also helps inform my desire to design communities that also can embrace this reality.
In search for opportunity and an affordable education, my wife and I moved to Phoenix where I would complete my degrees at Arizona State University and my wife would start her career as an elementary educator. Arizona was a new chapter filled with our dreams of becoming our own people with fulfilling careers.
I had worked for an architect in Detroit, dabbled in construction, operated my own free lance design business, and completed the design and construction courses at a local community college. I had yet to find a fulfilling career and had never had formal exposure to urban planning. It wasn't until I registered for a course (Intro to Urban Planning) that I understood my purpose. Urban Design and Planning has allowed my creativity, problem solving, analytical, and social goals to align. This field offers me the chance to play a positive role in our shared environment (a community) that supports our pursuits in a way that independent effort alone cannot.
Many people have played a positive role in my life. From my parents teaching me the importance of leadership, my wife's support and encouragement, my professors noting worth in my work and research, my employers voicing belief in my capabilities, and clients who genuinely thank me for work. I get the sense I am making my way and serving a deserving purpose. When a person wants to affect change, I want to be their ally and make their goals possible (challenging the apithetic stigma discouraging a potential dreamers and leaders).
I hope that my story provides a genuine understanding of who I am and what I stand for. I hope you will consider how I could benefit your organization and contact me on how I might be involved.