I'm a homegrown Hoosier, born, raised, and rooted in Dearborn County, Indiana. I was blessed to grow up in a family that valued and modeled the Christian faith multi-generationally. By no means does that mean we were perfect, and in some respects, there is certainly a shadow of religiosity that I'm still shaking in my adult life. The temptation to earn God's grace by doing good or being good is ever-present, but praise God that grace is a free gift!
I accepted that free gift when I was just 8 years old (at a revival service in a little Methodist church in Bright, Indiana), and I still have fond memories of Sunday School classes, children's sermons, and eating raisins to keep me occupied during adult sermons.
Blessed by my parents sending me to Greendale Christian School starting in second grade, I learned early to practice regular daily devotion and to memorize scripture (King James!), watching the Bible come alive through directed studies. Don't get me wrong, I still found plenty of ways to find trouble as a young man in need of Jesus. There were wonderful mentors and godly adults who built into me, modeled service, and invited me to serve in the church.
I chose to follow Christ through baptism (in a muddy pond) while volunteering on a youth retreat called Chrysalis; I lost the burden of sin, and the pastor lost his shoes that day!
After my grandmother's passing, I attended a Baptist church with my grandfather to help drive him in his elderly years. (If you see me shed a tear when we sing How Great Thou Art, it's because I can still hear him belting out that soul-felt praise.) As it turns out, I volunteered in the youth ministry at that church for more than 10 years! I met my future wife, Mandy, during this time, and we got to know each other while serving locally and through regional mission trips; we were working in those early years alongside other faithful folks of all ages who felt devoted to the next generation… what a great way to invest our time, treasure, and talents! When I finally got the nerve, I asked that beautiful, talented, smart, kind, clever girl out on a date, knowing full well that she was the one. It took me over a year to shake my silly fear of commitment, but I asked her to marry me, and she said yes! She has been my bride since 2006, and we've been blessed with many great adventures. My life and my story would be incomplete without the love and support of my amazing wife, Mandy.
We started attending Whitewater Crossing Christian Church in August 2009. This community helped heal some past church hurt, filling our cup so we could overflow to others again. This body of believers also helped us get through some of the darkest times when we struggled with fertility and had several soul-crushing miscarriages. We clung to our faith and sang 'Blessed be your name' through tears many times. In our story, God blessed us with children, and we have 11-year-old girl/boy twins (Evelyn and Orion) and a 7-year-old son (Kaivan). These children are smart, kind, amazing, and bring so much life to our house; thank goodness they take after their mother!
Professionally, I serve as the General Manager of the Midwest's "biggest-little ski area," Perfect North Slopes. I grew up across the valley from the family farm that became Perfect North and wound up working there seasonally in 1993 as a chairlift operator. I intended to raise college funds to pursue a future in chemical engineering. Still, college isn't for everyone, and it took me a few years (and lots of debt) to figure that out for myself. I learned in that time what Proverbs 3 really means when it says to trust God with all my heart and not lean on my own understanding. I was learning to acknowledge God in all my ways and watched as he directed my path. While God was teaching me this, the fascination, allure, and gravity of the ski industry drew me in quickly and never let go.
Importantly, by the time I was managing the Rental Shop at Perfect North, I was also volunteering in a youth ministry (next generation!). This shaped my approach while managing a mostly high-school-aged staff at Perfect North Slopes - I was living my life on a mission for Jesus!
In time, being the proverbial one-eyed-guy-in-the-land-of-the-blind, I was tasked with managing the quickly evolving facet of information technologies and software systems. This platform helped mold and refine my overall perspective of operations at an enterprise level. Under the mentorship of quality leaders, I took on the role of Assistant General Manager. By Spring 2020, I was assigned the role of General Manager. In this role, I was blessed to play an instrumental role in the purchase and resurrection of Timberline Mountain Ski Resort in West Virginia (now serving as an Executive Director for that team). I also sit on the boards of the Midwest Ski Areas Association and the National Ski Areas Association.
I love hiking, reading, sharpening my servant leadership, skiing, genealogy, the MCU (that's Marvel Cinematic Universe!), and catching Pokémon (with the kids, of course!). But what really fills me up recreationally is time with my family.
My story is His story because, without Jesus, I would be nowhere and have nothing. I'd still be searching. There's just no earthly reason for this Indiana boy to be in the position of influence I am in had God not done incredible work in and around me. I'm just the same as anyone else who occasionally loses focus and fails to appreciate God's goodness. But my life is all about Jesus and the journey to keep Him at the center of everything I do. I fail frequently, so I'm pointing people to Jesus, not to myself.
My fulfillment comes from creating and fostering a healthy culture in my family, my work, and the local faith community. I really couldn't be any prouder of the teams with whom I serve. I'm excited to be a disciple of Jesus who makes disciples who make disciples, and I'm honored to have been a part of the Elder Team since 2018. I couldn't be more excited about the future and where God is leading WCCC.