Director of Core Services
I lived in several small towns near Columbia as a child, but since 1983 it’s been my home. I come from a large, blended family with 4 brothers and 4 sisters…with the majority living within about 30 miles from Columbia, so I am blessed to see them often and share family holidays. I am married to a beautiful woman that has provided me with 2 daughters…that together have given me 5 grandchildren, (which I can hardly keep up with). My family life is great now, but wasn’t always. I really struggled with alcohol and drug use from my early High School years until age 33.
I engaged in criminal activities, developed unhealthy behaviors and was quickly approaching a crossroads, where my choices became living or dying. Pain is a great motivator for change, and once I had experienced enough I sought help through substance use disorder treatment…provided by Phoenix Programs. This was January 18th 1999, the date I came to treatment and my sobriety date. I stayed involved with treatment for just over a year, taking advantage of the array of services offered and getting better. Another suggestion from my time there was to go to school, so I did and graduated from MU with a degree in Social Work. I stuck close to Phoenix throughout my early recovery and around 2 years sober…I was offered a job. I began working with Phoenix in April 2001 and remain fortunate enough to provide services to others in the same manner that I received them. I feel a deep connection to people struggling with addiction and although it can be heartbreaking at times, there are those who recover.
I was enticed to motorcycle riding by my father, he rode as a younger man, but put it away for many years, and at age 72 decided to get a Harley and start riding again. It quickly became a family thing and several members of the family now ride. My father passed a few years ago, but not before sharing many great experiences on the road together, and getting me involved with the Patriot Guard, Honor Flights, Toys for Tots, Bikers for Babies and other motorcycle related events that brought assistance and awareness to people about issues that impact everyone. My hope is that others find what was freely given to me!