I have academic training (through the graduate school level) that has emphasized cross-disciplinary understanding. My first degree was an engineering degree. Graduate school studies were in computer science/software engineering. In a personal commitment to staying professionally current, I have also completed several technology programs at JCCC in recent years. My most recent effort was an Associate of Applied Science degree in Web Technologies completed in 2015.
I also hold a Class A General Contractor's License (Commercial and Residential) in Johnson County. I am trained and have a good working knowledge of both commercial and residential building codes and their purposes. I also have a user's perspective, deeper than most residents, of how other communities in the area undertake codes and zoning administration which could be helpful in decision making when deciding about new codes under consideration for adoption.
As a business owner for more than two decades in more than one type of business, I have a well developed understanding of the conditions that allow for both the business and residential sectors of our community to co-exist and flourish.
As a young engineer, I originally held staff positions as an employee of two Fortune 50 companies. After combining my engineering background with the emerging computer science discipline of software engineering, I leveraged my cross-disciplinary skills and founded a successful software company that landed several major corporate clients that we have provided services to for over 20 years.
Our early software products were used primarily in the petroleum industry. Another early software focus was construction estimating and project management. A third software development area was asset valuation and property tax administration which fostered a close relationship with local government entities, primarily at the county level.
In 2004, my engineering background and knowledge of construction practices gained through software development and volunteer work with organizations including Christmas in October and Habitat for Humanity led me to start a construction firm as a second line of business.
That company quickly developed a tremendous word of mouth following due to our innovative team approach to building where we used our own personnel to do the work rather than sub-contract as many general contractors do. A serious accident/injury forced me to step back from the day to day operation of the construction business about three years ago even though I am now fully recovered.
Now in 2017, as I am entering the wind-down portion of my professional career, I would like to put those years of great training and learning to use and serve my community. I have had a diverse set of cross-discipline experience, encompassing both knowledge-heavy professional roles and more hands-on people-interactive management jobs. I believe I bring a unique set of tools to the table that allow me to find potential solutions to problems from a number of directions. I want to put those skills to work for Merriam.
Despite my business background, I have always been an advocate for the welfare of community members that I have had the opportunity to serve in my roles as an employer, as a vendor, or just as a concerned fellow human being. I will take my roll as a city council member in a similar way, always serving Merriam residents first.