I was born and raised in the small town of Muskogee, OK which is probably only known because of the late Merle Haggard’s “Okie from Muskogee.” My dad, a Vietnam era Marine, worked for the government. My mother was a stay at home mom who did night school to earn her business degree. Until I was in third grade, our family lived in what is best called working poverty, we had enough to just get by but never much more. After my mom completed her degree and began working in a high paying leadership role, everything changed for us. New house, new clothes, new school, and whole new life. My family has seen both poverty and privileged. My upbringing has shaped me to understand both worlds.
I hold a degree in Biblical Studies and Languages from Evangel University and a graduate degree in organizational leadership from Liberty University. I am currently working towards doctoral work in the area of renewal studies dealing with community transformation at Regent University.
Vocationally, I have worked in the corporate, education, church, and the nonprofit world.
With Staples, I began as an office supply employee and moved up to traveling and helping open stores, train employees in customer service strategies, and local store management. Early in my career with Staples, I was awarded the coveted Staples ALL STAR Award for customer service and leadership excellence at the age of 20!
Family wise, I have been married to Lynette since 2001. She is a cancer survivor of 14 years being diagnosed only four days before our wedding. We have two beautiful daughters and spend a majority of our time enjoying life with them! I have been diagnosed with degenerate bone disease and have had avascular necrosis in both my hips. After 3 hip replacement surgeries, I am doing farily well now, but still have a few more surgeries (on my shoulder and lower back) to go. All in all, these suffering events in my wife and I’s lives teach us to live everyday full of life and on purpose.
Within the local church, I worked as an assimilation and education specialist, applying my corporate skill set to benefit religious organizations. From 2009-2016, I worked as an executive pastor overseeing operations of the church in the areas covering cradle to college, membership, high level volunteers, budgets, and leadership development.
In 2011, I was added to a directional team for the formation of a statewide leadership development program for pastors and nonprofit leaders in Oklahoma. The program is still going and growing stronger than ever. Check them out at www.centuryleadership.com.
In early 2016, I was appointed director of Gift of Hope, Inc. a non-religious affiliated nonprofit that serves the children and families of Taney County Missouri that find their self in less than ideal situations. Gift of Hope helps feed over 1,200 children for the weekend in Taney County through a partnership with nine schools. Gift of Hope is funded by a few corporate sponsors like National Enzyme Company, grants, and regular donations from generous people and families. Partner with us and become one of the change agents that is striving to reduce poverty and food insecurities in the homes of Taney County families.
Oh, one more thing…I read a lot, so if you are looking for a book suggestion, check me out on Facebook where I post on what I am reading and much more!
Bill Hybels, author and leadership guru says, “Lead where you are!” I would add, and LEAD HAPPY while you do it!