I was raised in the mountains of Western North Carolina around Asheville. We were an average working family. My father was an accountant and my mother was a teacher, and I have one older sister. They raised me to have strong family values. They taught me to value God, my family, and my country.
I attended Andrews University in the late 1980s. I graduated with majors in electrical engineering and business.
After graduating I traveled to Asia to do mission work. I worked as a teacher to pay expenses. I worked in soup kitchens and local orphanages in my free time and I spent a lot of time fund-raising for UNICEF and ADRA. I was privileged to be able to go on several disaster-relief projects to organize the delivery of relief supplies and aid. I returned to the United States in 1995, and settled in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
After returning to America, I worked in computer networking and software development. I started small and worked my way up to managing large software development and implementation projects. I worked on the tax systems for the states of Tennessee and Kentucky. I worked on DMV systems for Texas. I worked on insurance and health care systems for Louisiana, Illinois, Indiana, The Travelers, Cigna Healthcare, The Anthem Alliance, and many other public and private organizations. I became known as a team player who would work with everyone to streamline the systems to work better and more efficiently for the customer. It was important to me to bring projects in on time and on budget. As a Systems Analyst, Programmer, Project Manager, and Team Leader I was always using technology to make the systems more user friendly, and to save money for the company or the government organization I was working for.