A Brief Bio
I’m a lifelong Alaskan and small businessman who lives with my family off of Farmers Loop. Several years ago my wife and I moved to Fairbanks to start our family business, which we slowly expanded over the years - one gift shop in Denali has grown into a few stores now. (My twin daughters, with a natural entrepreneurial spirit, started their own little enterprise. Using money from lemonade stands and PFDs they self-published their first book when they were six-years-old and expanded to greeting cards and a second book when they were eight.)
But I didn’t start out in business. When I was a baby, my parents settled on some old homesteads outside of Delta Junction and along with other members of their church, they set out to build a communal village in the Alaskan wilderness. Growing up we had no television, no toilets, no telephones; but there were outhouses and CB radios. Cut off from the road system by two rivers, we boated in the summer and waited for freeze-up to build an ice bridge in the winter.
There were many things to be learned growing up in a rural village. Responsibility comes fast. You learn to drive trucks and tractors before the age of 12. You milk and muck the dairy, herd goats, and slaughter hogs. There’s planting and weeding to be done in the gardens … endless hours of working the land.
And though as a businessman I’ve left that life behind, I’ve retained many lessons from my earlier years. I’ve learned thrift and hard work. I have seen what is possible when a close-knit community rallies to conquer any obstacle. I also discovered that despite all efforts Utopia remains illusive; our highest ideals are tempered by the limitations of human nature. And all the power of collective purpose amounts to nothing unless an individual takes responsibility, rolls up his sleeves, and does the job that must be done.