My family has farmed Central Washington across four generations. I was born and raised here. Mine was a union household. Dad retired from Hanford as a union pipefitter.
The first in my family to go to college, my career path was a little different: First, a global project manager implementing large-scale, multinational technology solutions.
Then, the owner of a digital marketing agency in Hong Kong for a decade and a half. More recently, the creator of a farm-2-table restaurant in Yakima.
We worked the fields and were never rich, but growing up on our farms taught me so much. Working in the orchard with Grandpa Vander Houwen. Pulling sprinkler lines with my Grandpa White. Tending cattle and bucking hay with Dad. Dad didn’t let me own a car until I could do all the repairs myself. In my family, hard work came with the territory. Real satisfaction and importance comes from doing a good job. There’s something about growing up here that teaches you things that someone from outside will never get. So many throughout Central Washington have shared stories that speak to these common values.
Working overseas as a global project manager gave me unique perspectives and powerful skills. My first job was implementing telephone systems across Saudi Arabia.
Imagine, a guy from Yakima getting dropped down in the middle of Riyadh. Functioning as the operations manager for 4,000 employees representing 51 nationalities was an eye-opening experience.
Learning how to quickly find common ground among people with different backgrounds and agendas will enable me to moderate the shifting currents in Congress.
My global perspective also helped me recognize China’s growth from a backward country to America’s greatest threat. Trump’s trade wars helped China achieve record surpluses while we lost billions. We have lost 10-40% or our lucrative South East Asian markets, and China is trying to create an Asian economic zone that would shut us out, entirely. They are investing trillions of dollars in strategic infrastructure while ours is neglected and crumbling. My travels have taught me much about China. They are strategic, merciless, and determined.
I was born and raised in Yakima. I’m back, running the family farm and my own Farm2Table restaurant. The restaurant and the farm allow me to stay connected with my community. My time away provided me with a global perspective that makes me appreciate what we have here, so much more.
This campaign has helped me connect with many other communities and understand what’s important to you. This is a large district and there’s so much to do.
Working together, I know that we can make our communities in 4th District better places to live. Where we're connected and more energy secure, and where ample water supplies support a balanced economy, comprising both a thriving agricultural sector and high-technology jobs.