"College was my opportunity to escape"
I grew up in the middle-class neighborhood of Bel Air, Maryland — about 30 minutes northeast of Baltimore. I was the youngest of three children and we were each impacted by the detrimental effects of having alcoholic parents. Life in our home growing up was a little chaotic — like this short video.
College was my opportunity to escape. I attended Salisbury University (on the eastern shore of Maryland) — known for the Frank Purdue School of Business (the chicken guy). I graduated in 1991 and started my career in government procurement working for the U.S. Navy.
welcome to the real world
Early Professional Years
For 4 years with the U.S. Navy (as a civilian), I worked on the procurement of F/A-18 fighter jets (The Blue Angels) for the U.S. Navy and foreign countries — an amazing experience. While living in the Washington, D.C. area, I also attained a graduate degree in Legislative Affairs from George Washington University.
I always knew I wanted to get my MBA, so in 1995 I moved to California to attend UCLA. After two years in the full-time MBA program, I accepted a position in the Government Consulting Practice with PricewaterhouseCoopers — where I helped implement “procurement automation” systems around the country for the federal government.
The late 1990s was the height of the dot-com era and the start of my entrepreneurial pursuits. I moved to Silicon Valley and co-founded my first venture-backed startup. It was a travel company similar to Uber/Lyft - but it crashed with the dot-com bubble.
I then became immersed in the government's "big data" movement. I was recruited by a firm in Florida to help promote a proprietary new system called "the Matrix" - a database that aggregated all of the available public records for every U.S. citizen. This amazing system was quickly acquired by LexisNexis for over $750 million.
Enjoy the journey
"The Matrix” technology attracted the attention of top law enforcement personnel because it was used to help solve numerous high-profile crimes - by using demographic information in public records to identify suspects...including the 9/11 terrorists.
The connection with law enforcement led me to co-found my next start-up in the public safety industry - Advanced Public Safety (APS).
APS automated many of the processes that police officers & sheriff deputies were conducting on the laptops that were installed in their patrol vehicles. In over a decade with APS, we deployed our solutions to the top law enforcement agencies across the U.S., and eventually sold the company to Trimble, Inc.
Leave a legacy
After APS was acquired, I wanted to take all of the lessons-learned from selling to the government and combine that with the enormous opportunity provided by the government's open-data/big-data initiative. We created a series of technology solutions to make the government procurement/sales process more efficient & effective for agencies and contractors. GovQuote, GovSales University and GovSpend are revolutionizing how government agencies purchase products & services, and how companies pursue #GovSales.
"Success is attainable from any circumstance"
So that is how I attained over 25 years of experience working in government sales and procurement. Starting with virtually nothing, I am proof that with focus, determination and God's blessing- success is achievable from any circumstance.