I've loved the natural environment all my life. Growing up in Chicago, Illinois, and later on the shores of Lake Erie in Cleveland, Ohio, I played incessantly outdoors and got to know my local surroundings intimately. I also witnessed the unchecked and unregulated pollution and destruction of nearby wetlands, rivers, beaches, and woods. I joined the Boy Scouts and learned to be a responsible outdoorsman, and even at that young age I knew that someday I would be a defender of the environment.
I maintained that feeling of responsibility and stewardship as I grew up, later attending college at Lakeland Community College and earning a degree in Mechanical Design. My profession as a medical engineer has afforded me the ability to volunteer many hours for ODA both at sea and in the boardroom.
In recent years, I have also had the pleasure of volunteering with Sea Shepherd, Indian Guides (medicine man), and the Orange County Tree Society (organized tree plantings).
Back in 2000, my brother Kurt proposed forming a nonprofit conservation group with encouragement from Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd. I was all for it, and as the years have gone by, we have brought a massive amount of abandoned fishing gear up from the ocean floor; I feel great knowing we are making a difference. Thankfully, ODA has continued to grow and we’ve been able to take on bigger jobs. It is inspiring that, thanks to the organization Kurt founded, so many wrecks off the Southern California coast are now clear of deadly debris.
When I am not working as mechanical engineer work or volunteering with ODA, I enjoy attending music festivals with my wife Lisa. I am also an avid bicyclist.
I remain big supporter of ODA because I have seen that by working together a small group really can change the condition of the ocean that we are all so dependent on for survival. ODA is a local and non-controversial organization. We believe it is easy for the average person to look at what we are doing and agree that our actions are proper, necessary, and effective.
Humanity is unquestioningly linked to the ocean, and as the ocean goes, we go too. I am committed to continuing my hard work with ODA to clean the oceans…one trap, one net, one dive at a time.