AGE 38Executive Director, CCS Early Learning
Best stress reliever:Oahu.
Education: Bachelor's Degree in Science Education from Western New Mexico University, Master's Degree in Counseling from Western New Mexico University
Community work: Mat-Su Services for Children and Adults, Alaska Head Start Association, Early Childhood Partnership of Mat-Su
Family: Spouse Rhonda, sons Brennan and Jimmy
Hometown: Logan, N.M.
Favorite lunch spot: Any meeting with free food.
Favorite place in Alaska? A concrete bench at the end of the Otterbahn Trail in Seldovia. Sitting on this bench looking out over the ocean and down on my family playing by the water was one of the most meaningful moments of my life.
Your most memorable experience that could only have happened in Alaska. We spent New Year's Eve with friends at their cabin near Talkeetna. We saw the most beautiful display of the Northern Lights, dancing above the Susitna River and shooting up from behind Denali.
What is the strangest thing you've ever seen in Alaska? In May 2000, hiking to Eklutna Glacier, my brother and I saw that the trail was covered with acres of mangled trees brought down in an avalanche. It was an awesome example of how powerful and absolutely destructive nature could be.
Name the person you most respect and why. My wife, Rhonda Lackey. She gives me and all the people around her a lesson every day in how to care for and meet the needs of others. As a wife, a mom, a nurse and a friend, she constantly finds ways to illicit smiles, lend a helping hand and to be an inspiration. Without her constant support, her guidance, and her example I would not be the person I am today.
Famous quote to live by: "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." — Frederick Douglass
How did you make your first dollar? In elementary school, my brothers and I were each given a cow and were allowed to sell the calves from our cow in exchange for feeding the cattle, helping fix fences, and working around the ranch.
What did your pet or child teach you about business? I once had a conflict between an evening meeting for work and my children's school Christmas performance. The meeting was cancelled, so I was able to attend the performance. Both of the boys were so happy. This reinforced that while I have obligations at work, I also have fleeting opportunities as a father that can make a great impression.
What is the best moral lesson learned from a character in a book? If you decide to give a moose a muffin there will be many unimagined consequences.
What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? When Rhonda and I finished college in New Mexico we wanted to go somewhere different for a couple of years. We bought a trailer and drove to Alaska. Rhonda got a job as a waitress while she waited for her Alaska Nursing License, and I found a job running a child care program for CCS Early Learning. Our "couple of years" has turned into over a decade and Alaska has turned into home.
Describe something you learned as a child that made a difference in your later years. My parents taught me how important it was to work hard and to do your best at whatever it was you tackled. They also provided me with an example of how to see the needs of others and do whatever you are able to help out.