Home Region

Barnesville, OH

Undergrad Education

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, BS, 2006

Previous Experience

United States Air Force

HBS Activities

Socioeconomic Inclusion Task Force, Inclusion Workstream; Armed Forces Alumni Association, USAF Representative; Heartland Club, Management Consulting Club, Aerospace Club

“I want to unlock the latent potential that lies in mutual respect and understanding.”

Why did you choose this path at this point in time?

The U.S. Air Force requires pilots to stay on active duty for 10 years after training, so I ended up serving for 13 years. I’m already the oldest student in the MBA program and, honestly, it was now or never. I had dreamt of attending HBS for most of my time in the USAF, and it hasn’t disappointed.

Coming to HBS is like...

...flying the F-15 through Denali at 500 feet and 550 knots – fast paced, a little daunting, and a whole lot of fun!

Being part of the HBS community is like...

...nothing else. HBS is one of the most inspiring places on Earth. You’re surrounded by the most accomplished, yet humble, people in the world. Because of them, each night I go to bed believing that anything is possible.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was 9 years old, I was riding my four-wheeler on my parents’ farm when, suddenly, two fighter aircraft flew low and fast directly over me. To this day, I remember the rumbling I felt in my chest as they turned on their afterburners. As they tore through the sky, I imagined the sensation of piloting such a machine, and soaring through the clouds. I knew then that I would be fighter pilot.

What is your favorite childhood memory?

It was a hot summer day in Barnesville, Ohio. I was 16 years old and had just finished loading several hundred bales of hay from one of my family’s fields into a wagon. It was exhausting work, and I had had two-a-day football practice earlier to boot. But the satisfaction of a really hard day’s work combined with the setting sun over the rolling Appalachian hills gave me a profound feeling of awe. That was the best day of my life.

Who is one person from your life that you admire the most today?

While flying combat missions in Afghanistan, I would often reflect on my childhood, and I realized how fortunate I was, not only to have had a dream but also the belief that I could obtain it. Few Afghans are afforded such assurances. Circumstances are especially dire for widows who struggled to overcome their second-tier social status and dogma that prevented unmarried women from leaving their homes without a male escort. Still, they persisted. One in particular rose from an IDF camp to secretly operate her own textile business to provide for her children and create employment opportunities for other widows. The word “hero” gets thrown around a lot, but that woman is the most heroic person I know.

What’s the best thing about your home town?

Fast cars, backroads, and freedom. I grew up in a really small mining town nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Growing up, I couldn’t leave fast enough, but now I long for those dirt roads, country sunsets, the smell of fresh cut hay, and people who wave and smile at you for no particular reason.