I grew up in a place called Rolling Hills Estates in Southern California. A quiet bedroom community in a rural setting on the coast of LA county. We raised horses and all of our neighborhood property owners collectively financed a riding rink where we learned to ride and practice our horsemanship skills. We raised Double Registered American Saddle-bred Palominos and an assortment of western pleasure and western riding horses. Many years ago, each property owner donated 15′ of their back property line, creating some 50 miles of 30′ bridal trails. We saddled up and rode out the back gate to a land of what seemed like endless trails and adventure. Because of the large population of rattlesnakes in these coastal foothills, Peacocks were brought in and to this day dominate the country side. Growing up, I awoke almost every morning to the call of the Peacock!
“Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.”
As one of three brothers, I spent most of my childhood as a “ranch hand.” Although I complained a little when I was young, my childhood responsibilities provided me a valuable work ethic that has served me well throughout my adult life.
I left home after High School at 17 to play college football. We won the Junior College Super Bowl that year and it was clear to me this was my ticket to a University. Suddenly, at 18, I was the lucky recipient of the number 14 in the Vietnam War draft lottery. My world came crashing down.
During the enlistment process, President Nixon ended the draft before the conscription laws expired and started the all volunteer Army. I was released… At this point in my life, I decided to pursue academics rather than athletics and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I haven’t stopped learning since!
My parents were divorced when I was 10 and my stepfather, with his horses, joined the family. I maintained a loving relationship with both of my parents until their death and have very close ties with my brothers and sisters to this day.
My father was a Mechanical Engineer and MBA and my mother was a stay at home mom. Dad was the first in our 3rd generation Swedish immigrant family to graduate college. My sister and I followed. Spending most of my time outdoors, I embraced a love for photography which helped develop my appreciation for God’s hand and the extreme privilege of being an American.
I was married in 1978 and have two sons, Erik (38) and Chad (36). I remarried in 1992 to my second wife, Tricia. We have two daughters, Alyssa (15) and Haley Rose (12). I am a dedicated Father and take raising God’s children seriously. I am very close to all of my children today and have two granddaughters, Aven (7) and Maizen Grace (5).
A Love for Education
I graduated from Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in 1978 with a degree in Political Science and Philosophy. My focus was international relations and politics of oil but my passion was constitutional law. I won the Christopher Foundation Scholarship my junior year and graduated with honors (Pi Gamma Mu). At LMU, I was the President of the Political Science Association and for the 1976 bicentennial Presidential election, we registered enough students on campus to establish our own Precinct. This effort was the first significant step I took in becoming politically active.
I wanted to be a Constitutional lawyer until I realized business was a better way to finance a family.
Upon graduation I was married and faced a battered economy in the hands of Jimmy Carter. As I left school and entered business it didn’t take long to get behind Ronald Reagan and his conservative ideals. I became a lifelong conservative as my efforts and successes blossomed in a robust economy. I understood opportunity comes with responsibility and worked hard.
I am a semi-retired serial entrepreneur with 40 years’ experience in business start-up and development across multiple industries. With an emphasis on team building, communications strategy, marketing execution & profitable revenue generation, I have authored several business plans; co-founding, raising capital and managing companies in diverse markets including Professional Sports (Golf), High-tech Database Marketing (hardware/software), Direct Marketing & Fulfillment, Renewable Energy (Heat to Power) and Molecular Diagnostics (DNA Amplification Chemistry). My business development skills served the market side, client side and the business side of the organizations I have founded. I spent the last 5 years of my career as a CEO and revere accountability.
I am of deep faith and serve my fellow man. My callings have included, Assistant Scout Master (pinned 24 Eagle Scouts), teaching Sunday School and Deacon’s Quorum and of course the Republican Party. I am a strict constructionist when it comes to the Constitution and I am an avid 2nd Amendment supporter trained in defensive hand gun skills.