I wouldn’t trade any year of my life: the good, the bad, or the in between. My story shaped me into who I am today. I am continually growing into the professional, disciple, husband, and father I am called to be.
The playground where I spent most of my childhood was the vast expanse of desert about 4 houses down the road. I’m originally from Tucson, Arizona, and I grew up on a dirt road in the west side of town. If you had to categorize my family, I’d say I grew up in middle-class America.
From the outside, we lived the “American Dream.” My parents were married, their kids did well in school, we were involved in the community (including the all-American Little League and Boy Scouts of America), and come Sunday morning you could find us sitting in a small Lutheran church. I didn’t know it then, but I was raised by two high-functioning alcoholics. I thought my childhood was normal. From the outside looking in, it was. My father, mother, younger sister and I each played our roles, and our community saw the mask they were supposed to. Thankfully, both my parents now choose to fight for a life of sobriety every day. I often wonder if my family’s habit of pretending during those years is part of the reason sales originally came easily to me.
During my final years of high school, the unspoken pressure to know what I wanted my future to hold led to a quick decision. I was convinced I wanted a career in sports medicine, and that I had to become an orthopedic surgeon to do so. In the fall of 2000, I enrolled at the University of Arizona.
The lack of structure and boring general education classes led to a less-than-successful first year. By this time, I questioned whether I wanted to attend 1 more year of school, much less 10+ years. I made the decision to pause my education and get a job. I never looked back.
I landed my first full-time job in the retention department of an America Online (AOL) call-center. My task was selling services to people who already tried AOL and were unsatisfied the first time around.
After a year there, I moved on to what started my career within the wireless industry. I began working for what was then known as Sprint PCS. The next dozen years allowed me opportunities to work with great companies in nearly every side of the industry. I began in a retail store and then moved through the indirect sales channel, ultimately landing within the business to business sales organization. Following my time with Sprint, I moved on to work with two different manufacturers, Sonim and Samsung, where I helped build sales teams, raise awareness and drive demand.
2015 turned my world upside down. Due to a series of omissions, deceit, and outright lies, my marriage and family were in jeopardy. An ever-increasing list of selfish choices led to the most difficult thing I have ever had to do; disclose these things to my wife and family, confess and begin to face the consequences with hope of restoration. 2015 undoubtedly impacted my priorities. I started to reframe what ultimately mattered in my life.
And then in late 2016 I was fired from my job. I was told, “you are no longer a suitable fit for this role.” Thankfully, before I was fired, I’d begun correcting the source of my identity - it no longer was partly rooted in my professional performance.. While the loss of my job was a huge blow, I knew I would be okay.
I founded Warner Management Group in the wake of being fired and over the next 18 months, I worked harder than ever before. For the first time, I depended on my faith in a completely new way. I joined Hyperion around the same time. The experience was challenging, risky, and one of the most rewarding opportunities of my professional career. Hyperion went from a table of six people and a couple million dollars in revenue to over 100 employees and nearly $50MM in annual revenue by 2019.
In 2021 I founded Adhesion to specifically address a gap in the market to serve small to mid-size organizations with their digital transformation initiatives through guided application identification, optimization, implementation, and support.
Everything I’ve lived and experienced has influenced what I believe. The following are a peek into the core beliefs that influence every aspect of my life.