About Me — A Not Short Enough Biography
First, I must admit I was not born or raised in Washington State. I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. But no, it was not in the downtown area you saw rioting about Freddie Gray. I grew up in the suburbs outside of the city.
I realize my opponents are both from Washington. Unlike them, I actually CHOSE to live in Washington. It was not chosen for me by my parents.
Truth be told, it was chosen by my wife. We initially moved here in 2000 for her to get her PhD at UW. One house, 2 dogs and 2 children later, we decided we loved it here and chose to stay.
We live in a 3-bedroom house in Snohomish County in the City of Bothell, which we purchased in 2001.
I graduated from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with dual concentrations (Wharton does not call them "majors") in Entpreneurial Management and Information Systems. I founded my first company in college — and even got college credit for it!
The company, Emaze, was started in 1996 to offer online CRM software and later developed online auction software. I sold that company when I was 25.
I co-founded my 2nd company at age 24 (before I sold Emaze) which connected commercial lenders and borrowers. Think LendingTree but for small business and commercial real estate loans. Alas, that venture did not turn out as well, although the company still exists at ibank.com.
After that, I primarily focused on consulting so that I could spend time with my 2 young children (now ages 8 and 5) while my wife finished school. Yes, she has since finished school and she currently works as a software engineer in the Seattle area.
I also volunteered for a few causes, including with the Sierra Club regarding the coal export terminals. More recently, I have coached a few non-profits and socially oriented startups. I also gave a speech at a conference at MIT on how to solve the Israeli-Palestinean conflict. (Spoiler Alert -- Don't wait for the politicians to solve it!) In 2015, I also spent time in Olympia testifying at House Finance Committee hearings in favor of the capital gains tax to help fund education.
With my youngest child about to enter kindergarten in September, I had planned to finally start another company. Instead, I am running for Governor because, like many of you, I know there are solutions to the problems in this state, but politicians seem to be missing either the heart, brain or courage to actually solve them.