I am originally from a small mill town in eastern Connecticut. Both of my parents began their careers as teachers. In the 1970’s my dad left teaching to become a corrections officer. At the time, it paid much better and was easier to support a family working in the prison system than as a public school teacher. My mom later became director of a soup kitchen at our family’s church. Mom and Dad were active in the American Federation of Teachers, and volunteered on political campaigns. They instilled in me the importance of helping others and serving my community.
In second grade we studied weather. I was immediately hooked and decided then that I wanted to be a meteorologist. After high school, I went to the State University of New York at Albany to pursue a degree in Atmospheric Science. I worked my way through college with various jobs from food service to research assistant to fill-in route salesman for a coffee company. While in college I volunteered with the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG). I worked with an environmental committee on projects including trying to shut down a toxic garbage incinerator in a low-income neighborhood and establishing recycling on campus. It was there that I met my future wife, Deb White. After a trip to that garbage incinerator I invited her out for hot chocolate. Our first date!
When my wife started graduate school, I put my meteorology career on hold and went back to the coffee company as a route salesman. Eventually an opportunity came along for me to purchase a small office coffee service. There were lean years when I worked other jobs and continued to build the business while my wife completed her doctorate and our son was born. Within a few years I grew the company enough to support our family.
When my wife completed her PhD in 2000, she was offered a faculty position at Minnesota State University Moorhead. After visiting, we knew MSUM and the Moorhead area were where we wanted to raise our family. We sold the coffee company, packed our belongings in a moving truck and headed west for our new life in the Red River Valley. After a few years I was fortunate to be able to achieve my childhood dream by returning to meteorology, first at WDAY-TV then as Chief Meteorologist at KVRR. Our son Quinn graduated from Moorhead High and then went to the University of Maryland to study aerospace engineering. His Minnesota education helped him become an actual rocket scientist!
WHY I RAN
In the 20-plus years we’ve lived in Moorhead, I’ve come to love our neighborhood, this community, and our region. Our lives have been deeply enriched by the great people who live here and the opportunities this region provides. I want to give back to this place that has given me so much, and make sure that other families who choose to make this region their home will achieve their dreams and cherish their lives here as much as I do.