I am an Arizona native. I grew up in the southwest valley. My two brothers and I grew up playing little league baseball, youth soccer and running around the neighborhood only to be home by the time the streetlights came on. Before the Cardinals and Diamondbacks came to town, we attended spring training baseball regularly, Phoenix Firebirds, Phoenix Roadrunners and Phoenix Suns games. We spent holidays with big family gatherings. We are four generations in our little church. We spent our summers camping around the state, most notably through Oak Creek Canyon and above and below the Mogollon Rim. We would also spend time in San Diego on Pacific Beach each summer. My roots run deep in this great state.
Veterinary medicine has been a life-long passion of mine. Both of my parents are educators. The pursuit of higher education was an expectation in our family and a model followed by all three of the brothers. We always had various animals around growing up. It felt like a natural draw to the animal sciences and therefore, veterinary medicine. I began volunteering and working in veterinary hospitals in high school experiencing both large and small animal medicine.
My father was my principal at Desert Horizon Elementary School. I was the 3rd class to graduate from Westview High School in Avondale. I ran cross country and played soccer and a little bit of baseball. My Grandfather worked very hard to buy a trombone at a young age. He passed it on to me and I played it in elementary and high school and eventually earning an undergraduate scholarship on it. I graduated with my Bachelor of Science degree from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix in 1998 with contributing classes from Glendale Community College and Estrella Mountain Community College. I graduated from Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in 2002. Here, I also learned a certain respect for the equine farrier industry through a close friend and classmate.
I came to work with VCA El Mirage Animal Hospital in 2003 part time as I was still working in the field as a mobile equine practitioner. I was fortunate to learn and grow in the small animal discipline under a remarkable individual in Dr. Roger Bender, the former owner of this hospital. When he retired, I took the reins as Medical Director. I married my wonderful wife in 2004 after meeting in Fort Collins, Colorado, a couple years earlier. She is a native of Washington. Through her I have learned to absolutely love the Pacific Northwest. She is my best friend, the love of my life, and someone I admire and look up to and trust in every capacity. She is also a veterinarian and has gone on to become a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine,Oncology. We have two amazing children. Our daughter was born in 2008 and our son was born in 2011. I can't get enough of them! You will find my current dog Clyde in the hospital from time to time, helping to "oversee" the daily duties. We found him at Arizona Border Collie Rescue. He has been a great addition to the family. He is part Border Collie and part "Goofy".
My grandfather taught me basic woodworking skills at a very young age. I truly enjoy the story and origin of different species and pieces of wood. Blacksmithing is an art and functional skill I have enjoyed for over 15 years. It is intriguing to me to take a seeming rigid structure and discover the fluidity of it and to be able to apply that to a finished fabrication. I have been involved with leatherwork for over 20 years. These are all functional skills and more intriguingly unique art forms. I enjoy the sport of fly-fishing. Specifically I am most drawn to dry-fly trout fishing and the challenge of the small streams in Arizona. I enjoy being on the water, reading the water and the local environment and creating that moment when that brown trout rolls up and engulfs the fly off the top water or when that rainbow hits the fly from underneath, breeching the surface and breaking the tranquility of the pursuit like a small explosion. I enjoy getting outdoors and exploring this great state of Arizona in which we live. We have such a unique state with the diversity of the desert below the Mogollon Rim to the high country of Flagstaff to the White Mountains. We live with the grandeur of the Grand Canyon to some of the most unique small towns anywhere. It is really a blessing to live here and with the wonderful family I have.