I am a self-described urban geek who lives by one simple rule

To live life one

byte at a time

Personal Insights

Husband. Gamer. Father. Creator. Thinker.

I consider myself to be many things in life: a husband to an amazing wife, a diehard gamer, a father to some crazy (but wonderful) kids, a passionate creator teeming with ideas, and a profound thinker. And in all that, I am simply — a geek.

More than a stereotype, I am equal parts a tech enthusiast, comic book fan, political junkie, lover of sci-fi, and a business-savvy individual with an analytical mind. My passion and optimistic outlook on life motivates me to pursue knowledge, technical skill, and imagination above mainstream social acceptance or conformity. This combination of both creative and intellectual pursuits has shaped me into a person that seeks to learn all he can to better himself and those around him.

Themes of Talent

Being the best version of myself

If you have ever read StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath, he states that everyone has five areas of strength that everyone should focus on for self-improvement. These “Themes of Talent,” as he calls them, are the areas one should invest in to develop their skills in the pursuit of excellence. 

Using this concept, I have learned to acknowledge my weaknesses and simply embrace them. Understanding what I am not good at allows me to manage myself more effectively. By recognizing my weaknesses and dedicating time to improving my strengths, I am able to deliver quality results and perform better in any endeavor.

Strategic

By studying every angle in a given situation, I am able to quickly generate a host of ideas. Discussing these ideas help me to envision what can be accomplished. Like chess, there is always more than one path to success.

Ideation

A question not asked, is an answer not learned — By asking questions, I seek to find the underlying cause of a problem in order to solve it. Involving others helps to stimulate everyone and foster a stronger group dynamic.

Futuristic

I am enthusiastic about what the future holds and channel my energies into what I may accomplish. By taking the time to share these visions, I challenge others to consider new possibilities they could never imagine.

Learner

Abstract concepts fascinate me, creating a strong interest in communication and the mastery of words. This gives me the ability to give insightful responses to whatever question I am asked or situation I find myself in.

Input

I try to project myself into any given situation and gather as much info as possible. This gives me the ability to desconstruct complex procedures and outline the steps needed to understand what is happening.

Back Down Memory Lane

The journey is more important than the destination

My life has taken me through many interesting places over the years. Throughout my career, I have acquired a myriad of professionals skills through on-the-job training, progressive learning, and good ‘ol fashioned blood, sweat, and tears. At first glance, it looks like a hodgepodge of unrelated jobs, but each step in my career has given me new insight into my professional capabilities.

In any professional relationship or business venture, we tend to focus more on where people have been as opposed to how they got there — placing emphasis on the companies we work for while ignoring the reasons that brought them there. But I have come to find out that the journey truly is more important than the destination. My career path is an expedition of sorts — a roadmap chronicling where I’ve been, and more importantly, how I got there.

Activision

1997

Before Call of Duty and the 800 lb. behemoth known as Activision/Blizzard, there was simply Activision. At a time where others laughed or thought me crazy to pursue a career in the gaming industry, I sought to make my dream a reality. After being rejected many times over, Activision was the one that called back and said, “You’re hired.”

Ignorant of its inner workings, my passion compelled me to learn all I could about the software development process. My commitment to learning helped me to gain expertise in quality assurance practices, testing protocols, and analytical thinking giving me a practical understanding of the technology that powers the world today. Each day was an adventure and every conversation was an opportunity to learn from someone smarter than myself.

Square Enix

1999

If Activision is the foundation of my professional skillset then Square Enix (SQEX) would be the house upon which it is built. Working for the company that gave us classics such as Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger was a dream realized. The time I spent at Square Enix were formative years, where I developed core business principles married from the best of Eastern and Western philosophies.

This new knowledge, allowed me to rapidly ascend from a mere QA Analyst to the Assistant Manager of the QA department and excel beyond my own expectations. Working for SQEX offered me opportunities to hone my management skills, travel internationally, and work with a global community of like-minded individuals who shared a vision of excellence. It was here where I turned a job into a career and forged timeless relationships.

Nectar

2007

Leaving SQEX was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. But after years of working in the gaming industry, I longed for new challenges and desired to move beyond my professional boundaries. Part of that desire was the chance to work at a much smaller company where my voice could be heard and my influence could be turned into action.

At Nectar, I went from game development to industrial design, and from a large corporation of hundreds to a small startup of less than ten. As their Project Coordinator, Nectar tested my management skills and forced me to adapt in ways I could not imagine. It was here that I learned to incorporate a “scaling skillset,” which provided me with a flexible management system based on the size and scope of a project. My mantra was simple: Think big. Work small. Be flexible.

Long Beach City College

2008

Whenever people would ask what I did for a living, they would be fascinated by my career in the gaming industry, asking all kinds of questions. This genuine fascination for the industry I loved, stirred a desire in me to “pay it forward” and help others achieve their own dreams and aspirations. To do so, I would step even further outside my comfort zone and work for Long Beach City College and the Small Business Development Center.

At the college, I helped to provide educational training for entrepreneurs and used this opportunity to pass on the knowledge and experience I had acquired over the years. Knowing the frustration of having to navigate alone through one’s education and career, I promised myself if I ever had the chance, I would be there to mentor others on their path to success.

Web Designer

2012

Now you’re probably wondering what the hell is a website wrangler? Well, a website wrangler is what you do when your job lays you off unexpectedly due to budget cuts during one of the worst recessions in U.S. history. With the economy in disarray and few job prospects, I decided to return to school to continue my education and found a new interest in website design.

I found myself building websites for various clients ranging from bloggers to small businesses. Learning what I could about HTML, CSS, Javascript, and WordPress, I used that knowledge to make ends meet. During this time of uncertainty, I rediscovered my drive for excellence and forged a new path with greater dreams and was determined to reenter the workforce better, stronger, and more capable than I ever was before.

VDS LA

2014

Coming out of the Great Recession, I had a renewed sense of purpose and found myself working in digital advertising as a Project Coordinator for VDS LA. Leveraging my skills in project management and current web design experience allowed me to seamlessly transition from the dynamic world of game development to the ever-changing world of web development.

My experience working with companies such as Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo allowed me to manage multiple priorities while communicating my ideas effectively in a clear and concise manner. Moreover, my technical background gave me the ability to understand the nuances of web development and digital advertising. Working at VDS was a refreshingly, new experience where I felt I could make a difference.

Long Beach City College

2017

Another year, another layoff. Clients come and go and, sometimes you along with it. The ad world can be unforgiving at times, but it can teach you a lot about people, personalities and perseverance. Not wanting to skip a beat, my web design expertise led me back to the Home of the Vikings as the new Web & Electronic Media Coordinator.

Back here, I was tasked with a massive undertaking – relaunching the college’s pre-2000 era website as a new, modern experience. To say the task was daunting was an understatement. Working with outside developers, I spent the next 8 months migrating countless pages of content and building it into a more intuitive and user-friendly experience. Difficult, yet rewarding, most of my days are spent building new web content for today’s student and tomorrow’s leaders.

? ? ?

20xx

The future is unwritten and where I choose to go is only limited by my imagination and the will to see it become reality.

First Contact

Every conversation starts by simply saying, hello.

No matter what the topic may be, whether it be about politics, movies, or your favorite hole-in-the-wall joint with the killer breakfast burrito, I am always up for a good conversation.

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.

Steve Jobs, WIRED Magazine