I’m driven by a desire to serve and to leave my community better than how I found it. My life of service began with the boy scouts and developed into volunteering for my church and school. After high school, I had the honor of serving in the United States Navy as a Gas Turbine Mechanic. In the Navy I learned the core values that I try to live my life by each and every day, Honor, Courage, and Commitment. I am blessed that my family laid a strong foundation on which the Navy was able to build.
After leaving the Navy, my desire to serve my country and community only grew. It began by volunteering in with various non-profits that worked in community care and civic engagement. I then became involved at Berkmar High School, first as a community partner in the PTSA and then on their School Council. I also became involved in the legislative process by volunteering at the State Capitol as a legislative aid and eventually as the Chief of Staff for Representative Pedro Marin, the new Chairman of the Gwinnett County Delegation. Through it all, I’ve seen the need and the importance of being part of the process. As I enter this new journey, my mission is to continue answering my call to service and help my city become a more vibrant, stronger, and inclusive community so all our citizens can flourish.
My parents moved to Snellville in 2001 after I enlisted in the military. I went to visit them every time I was on leave. Snellville was home. Since leaving the service I have always called Gwinnett home, but it wasn’t until 2013 that my wife and I relocated to Snellville and joined the rest of my family. Family is extremely important to me. I am the father of two amazing girls, and husband to a wife that is way out of my league. My oldest went to Snellville Montessori and is now a student at Magill Elementary, and as my youngest grows up she will do the same. I endeavor, each and every day, to ensure my girls understand that they can be anything they want to be in life if they work hard, never give up, and care for those around them.
This is why public service is so important to me. I’m committed to my part to ensure a vibrant, inclusive, opportunity filled city for my children and yours. I need to make sure that their city is better than when I found it. My wonderful wife received her degree in Biochemistry from Georgia Gwinnett College and is working on a bridge program to become a Nurse Practitioner. At the moment, she’s completing her nursing rotations. She also helps our church’s children’s ministries at the NETT Church, our home church. My wife is the best mother and partner I could ask for and is the bedrock of our home.
In 2011 I graduated from Georgia Perimeter College. They help veterans like me transition to the classroom. It was very different being in a classroom compared to being in a Navy vessel computer room. I was later blessed to earn a Political Science degree from Emory University. After taking a break to help support my family, I entered law school and earned my Juris Doctorate from the Georgia State University College of Law. While in law school, I was selected as an Urban Fellow and concentrated my course work in land use, advocacy, construction, and urban planning.
While I am proud of my accomplishments, I know I couldn’t have gotten here myself. My educational success started at a young age. I’m thankful for mentors and support every step of the way. Educational programs such as Summer Bridge, which allowed inner city youth to have an educational experience like none other, set me up for success. It allowed a young boy to see what was possible with hard work and determination. My blessings continued in high school where I had great mentors and individuals that cared about my success. Throughout my life I have believed in the importance of building as you climb, this is why mentoring our youth and instilling in them the values of hard work in determination is so important to me.
I started working at a young age, first helping with my family’s business doing whatever job needing doing. I worked after school and weekends. My parents made sure they instilled in me the value of hard work. My first paid job was working in retail, a job I held until I enlisted in the United States Navy. My life in the Navy was a blessing and an honor. I served each day as if I was doing 20, and as a result I was able to excel in the service, receiving various accolades along the way. Before I separated I was a GSM2, work center supervisor, and responsible for the service men and women under my command. In the service, I also learned the impact a good leader has on achieving a mission. I learned to value each member of the team and the importance of building up your weakest link instead of tearing them down.
These values and leadership skills helped me transition to civilian life and me manage the business operations at my family’s medical practice. With God’s grace, hard work, determination, and a great team we have been able to grow the practice tremendously over the years. Now the practice is a pillar in the community, serving hundreds of families weekly and providing medical care to the uninsured or underinsured. It provides countless community health fairs and supports various non-profits helping those less fortunate. We aim to be the good Samaritans that God has called us to be.