Growing up "hillbilly"
I was raised in ultra-rural Southwest Pennsylvania, surrounded by tons of farmland and very few people. Enjoyed all the country things to do growing up, ATVing, mountain biking, hunting, and generally spending as much time as possible outdoors. Graduate of a VERY tiny high school, barely 100 classmates in my class.
The college years
Spent years that went by WAY too fast at Kent State University. Studied weekdays, studied weekends, I was a sponge for the booming internet business. Learned I was good with design, struggled to focus on one specific tenet, I wanted it all. Fell in love with photography and photojournalism, digital design, publication design, journalism and development. Some avenues paid off, some, like Coldfusion and Flash, would love to have those hours back.
Ultimately ended up in Information Design, was the best way I could apply everything I wanted to do across all the specialties I wanted to learn.
Met the love of my life my sophomore year, and married her in 2009.
The after college life
After graduation, tried my best to stay in the Akron area, but the job offers from Chicago were something I couldn't pass up. Moved to Chicago in 2006, for a position as basically the "one-man-band" for a small software company, tradeshow booths, site management and design, ads, publication design and basically any other marketing production job you can think of. In 2009 IBM came calling and gobbled up our little software group, have found a home at IBM since.
Ten years later in Chicago, I truly embraced the working remote mentality, and took my job home, and by home I mean Medina, Ohio. It was time to get back to family, and to start a family. In May of 2016 I added "Father" to my personal resume, as we welcomed our firstborn daughter into the world.
What do I do?
You know, with all that EXTRA free time I have. I enjoy helping people. I freelance and contract all the time, mostly for free, sometimes I get paid. I've made many friends and colleagues who need help, that have gone off to other jobs, that are always in need of some sort of digital publication, site design, ad designs or tradeshow booths.
Gamer at heart. I love to play board games and tabletop games, no particular kind, it's more about the sitting down at the table, having a fun time, and everyone making memories.