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Please allow me a few lines to introduce myself to the Sam Houston Electric Cooperative members and East Texas families.
I was born and raised in Atchison, Kansas. The town of just under 10,000 people is best known for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, which began in Atchison and ran westward, and as the birthplace of Amelia Earhart, the famous aviation pioneer who mysteriously disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean in 1937.
I enlisted in the Unites States Marine Corps in 1999 as a combat photographer and retired in 2014. I was stationed from California to Long Island, New York, while serving in the Marines. I also was able to live in Okinawa, Japan, for three years with my family. My military career allowed me to deploy to Iraq while also spending time in Thailand and the Philippines.
Upon retirement, I went back to college at Fort Hays State University to finish the degree I started in 1996.
While studying at FHSU, I interned as a communications specialist at a local cooperative. After that summer, I knew I wanted to work in the cooperative world. I thoroughly enjoyed getting out in the field with the technicians. It reminded me of my time in the field with the Marines.
I am familiar enough with Texas to know that I will love the winters here, and as I have been told, I will get accustomed to the hot and humid summer after a few years.
Outside of work, my passions include photography, sports and running for special causes. Another passion of mine is to advocate for people with Down syndrome and their families as well as for those with intellectual disabilities. My daughter has Down syndrome, but I would not change her for the world. Instead, I try to change the world for her.
I started a Down syndrome awareness campaign in 2016 by having high school football teams wear a small vinyl decal on their helmets during October, Down Syndrome Awareness Month. This football season, nearly 50 high school teams in Kansas agreed to wear the stickers as a way to show their support for and acceptance of those with intellectual disabilities.
I look forward to meeting our members and sharing stories with you about the cooperative and its employees and members.