My wife, Lynn, and I have lived in Colorado Springs for over 40 years. This is where we raised our three children, Amanda, Rob and Brian. I have been a lawyer, a small business owner and an executive at a NYSE listed corporation, as well as a volunteer board member at numerous community non-profits. I bring a diverse background to my position as State Senator.
While working in personnel at the Holly Sugar Corporation, a Fortune-500 company, I was admitted to the Colorado bar. I went on to practice law for twenty-five years, first with a firm and later as a solo practitioner. I focused on representing individuals and small business owners in commercial and real estate transactions, employment, equal employment opportunity, franchising and litigation matters. I also practiced law in the criminal justice system. At various times during my career, I have worked as a real-estate agent, a college instructor, a restaurant owner and a ski instructor.
Over the years, I have developed a passionate commitment to preserving Colorado’s natural beauty and have pursued wilderness activities including hiking, biking, trail running, white water rafting, angling and, most especially, mogul skiing.
I attended college at Ohio Wesleyan University where I received a BA in 1970 with a double major in English and Politics & Government. I was elected to two academic honorary societies. After graduating I studied business and economics at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania. In 1971, I took a leave of absence from Wharton and accepted a position with Superior’s Brand Meats, a multi-state meat packer in Ohio. At the same time, I began law school in the evenings at the University of Akron.
I received a Juris Doctor and the Bancroft Whitney Award for Civil Procedure at the University of Akron Law School, graduating in 1975. I moved to Colorado that summer and began working for the Holly Sugar Corporation.
Lynn and I first met on a Colorado Mountain Club hike on Mount Sneffels in 1987. She was a special education teacher for 14 years in Widefield, taught classes for gifted children during the summers and regularly worked in our children’s schools. We both coached soccer with Park and Rec.
Lynn’s passion for restorative justice has led her to the Chair position of the Pikes Peak Restorative Justice Council where she received the John Gallagher Restorative Justice Volunteer of the Year Award because of her work as a trained facilitator of victim offender conferences, for the Manitou Springs Restorative Justice Council and the Youth Transformation Center. Lynn is also a silk painting artist affiliated with Commonwheel Artists in Manitou Springs and has begun botanical illustrations. She recently won an award for her painting of a columbine.
Throughout our 25 year marriage, we have shared our love of the mountains, particularly hiking the local trails, rafting the rivers, backpacking the “fourteeners,” running annual marathons on Pikes Peak, skiing in Summit County and most recently, in Winter Park. Some of our most special memories were acquired during backpacking trips to the Grand Tetons, the Swiss Alps, Alaska, and the Grand Canyon.
Throughout my working career, I have volunteered for many local community based organizations, including serving on the board of AspenPointe Health Services, (formerly Pikes Peak Mental Health), the Manitou and Pikes Peak Restorative Justice Councils and the Youth Transformation Center. These experiences have taught me about the challenges facing our fellow citizens.
Some of my most rewarding experiences were as a board member and board chair for Workout, Ltd. A local juvenile justice program, Workout found jobs for young people with legal troubles and returned 80% of the teen’s wages to their victims. Using hard work as a teaching tool, Workout helped more than 10,000 kids and returned $2 million to our community over 30 years. The recidivism rate for these kids has been less than 7%.
I am a concerned citizen with a passion for our community and a desire for public service. Far from a professional politician, I subscribe to Thomas Jefferson’s view of “citizen public servants” bringing their real-world experience to a public office for the benefit of the community. That is the spirit in which I serve the people of Colorado.
Having lived the last 40 years in this community working for hundreds of clients, serving a wide variety of people and organizations, I have come to know the needs, hopes, difficulties and aspirations of our citizens. I have talked to leaders, administrators and advocates about healthcare and access to it, public education, dropout and graduation rates, criminal justice, prison crowding and recidivism, water, roads and infrastructure, employment and training, and environmental concerns.
I am now ready to dedicate my full-time efforts to improving our community by creative, open minded thinking, by drawing upon the best ideas from whatever sources or philosophical arenas and working toward practical and effective resolutions of our communities challenges.