Growing up in Oregon and then Eastern Washington, I have always had an interest in the history of where I live. I came to the Phoenix area in 2003, and one of the first people I met said, “Go to Tucson and visit the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.” I took the family, and immediately fell in love with the desert Southwest.
As my three daughters grew older and I had more time, I picked up an old hobby of photography. Around the same time, I visited the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve and became obsessed with finding a “duck” petroglyph that they had displayed on a book. With that goal, I ventured into the Aqua Fria National Monument. There I found a new history that opened my eyes to so many who had passed this way before and the record they left behind. I was hooked.
Luckily, this was the same year that the State Archaeology Expo was being held at Horseshoe Ranch. The Expo was my first introduction to Archaeology Southwest, as well as the Friends of the Aqua Fria National Monument (FAFNM). I started attending Archaeology Cafés in Phoenix along with my wife and also became a member of the Cultural Resources Committee with FAFNM. I delved into Archaeology and have become very passionate about saving the sites discovered and yet to be discovered.
It took me three years of hiking to find the duck petroglyph along with so many other amazing petroglyphs and historic sites. Being around the archaeology community and learning became more exciting than finding that duck! The Cafés have educated me and ignited a passion for the causes that Archaeology Southwest promotes. I have worked with Aaron Wright on two projects as a photographer, and tried my best to capture his direction of “petroglyphs as they relate to the landscape.” This challenge has made me look at all petroglyphs and sites in a new light; rather than taking the picture, I find myself trying to envision the why and how of the location and just enjoy the experience.
I have worked in the Real Estate and Construction field for over 22 years. From 2004 to 2014, I had my own Land Development consulting company, and in 2014 was invited to join Sun Health Senior Living (one of my clients). I manage the land holdings, development, and construction of Senior Living campuses, and look at future opportunities. Sun Health is a nonprofit that has a longstanding history in the West Valley of Phoenix, and at one time owned Boswell and Del Webb Hospitals. I often find myself in business meetings discussing weekend hikes and various sites that people do not even realize are under their very feet.
As I look at Archaeology Southwest and what it stands for, I would be proud to back and support all efforts to protecting our lands, preserving the history, and furthering the educational opportunities those lands hold. In our current political environment, although aligning myself with a conservative/independent perspective, I would always stand in support of the institutions and declarations that protect our lands and their history for future generations. I fully support current efforts protecting our National Monuments and granting the Great Bend of the Gila the same status. I believe I can contribute on the Board with an “outside of the Archaeology field” perspective. From my novice interest to actively pursuing knowledge and site protections I feel I can add a voice to the conversation with that insight.
My current work environment allows me access to individuals in the political and real estate arena and to help bring them to the table for discussions regarding Preservation Archaeology. In the land development effort, I have had to deal with many government regulations that often conflict with my clients’ goals; however, I have always prided myself on finding the path that allows a way through with both sides achieving their ultimate goals. It also helps that I am stubborn! There’s always a way.