Where were you born and raised?
Born in Gadsden, at Gadsden Regional Hospital. I was raised in Southside.
What is your occupation?
I am an insurance producer.
What made you decide to work in your field?
I was in the car business. When me and my wife found out we were pregnant with our son, I decided that I needed better working hours and you spend a lot of time at a car dealership.
Tell us about your family and pets.
Wife Rebecca, son named Ronan, dogs Koda, Stella, Finn, Bo. Two cats named Lily and Frankie.
Describe an average day in your life.
I wake up and fix a cup of coffee, then get my son ready to go to school or to the babysitter. Come to work, work from 8-5. Then go home and either cook or do the dishes. Depending on what day it is, we take turns. I get Ronan ready for bed, then usually read a book or watch some TV, then go to bed. That’s an average day.
What school or schools have you attended?
I went to a lot of high schools, actually, from Southside to Mussel Shoals to Jacksonville back to Southside. I graduated from Pell City.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I spend a lot of time with my son. We just bought a new house in October, so I’m doing a lot of new handyman stuff around the house. Most of my free time is spent taking care of my son, hanging out with my wife or doing stuff around the house…becoming an adult.
To what do you credit your success?
Hard work, persistence and time spent putting forth the effort.
Are you involved in any service organizations?
No, but I wish I was. I would love to help out with some youth soccer program at some point in my life. That’s a goal. I played soccer a lot growing up. My dad loves soccer, I love soccer. It’s just always been a part of my life. I think it’s something I have a lot to offer, especially to the generations below me – and I can make it fun. I feel like I have the ability to make things fun for other people, even when they’re not. I would enjoy that. I hope my son decides to play. I’m not going to force him to play, I’m not going to be that dad. But, if he does, this could be something we can dive into.
What is your favorite thing about this community?
I think moving around helps me. Gadsden seems to all have the perspective of wanting more. We want growth. We want to make our community better. Do we always go in the right step to do that? I wouldn’t say that’s the case. Especially living in other communities and growing up in other places, I feel like we have the best intentions but not always the best results. I think that might be a leadership thing, but I will say as our generation takes steps into more leadership roles, that will be a change that we see within the next decade. You can’t stay 20 years back, you have to stay 20 years forward. I feel like we’re in a spot of limbo, where we need to move 20 years forward. I think a younger leadership would benefit the city of Gadsden.
What would you like to see change in the community?
Everybody is like, ‘we need more stuff to do.’ Stuff to do doesn’t necessarily make the community a better place. First Fridays are amazing. I think First Fridays are great, but First Fridays have been the same since I was young. There’s no change. It’s the same thing. You go downtown, you see cars, you come home. I think we need more things that involve the community as a community. I think that would help tremendously. Just like if you go into your home and everyone goes into separate rooms, there’s no sense of family orientation there. You’re surviving together but you’re not living together. Living together as a community is important.
What is your favorite quote?
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”—Sir Winston Churchill
What is on your bucket list?
I’d like to go the Gorge Amphitheater in Washington and see a band play – what band doesn’t matter. I’m sure it would matter in the moment, but it’s a beautiful venue.
What is your hidden talent?
I’m great at sales. I don’t think people looking at me would think, ‘he’s a salesman,’ but I would say that I’m good at talking to people. If you didn’t know me and you were like, ‘sell me this,’ I’d probably sell it to you. That comes from a lot of trial and error.
If a movie were made about your life, who would you want to play you?
Mark Ruffalo. A young Mark Ruffalo. I feel like we’ve got the same look. He’s better looking than me. It would be the worst movie, but I’d go see it!
What advice would you give yourself as a child?
Be more persistent. I didn’t learn persistence until I was older. At a younger age, when things got rough, I’d just give up and go find something else. As an adult, if I could go back and talk to myself, I’d say be more persistent. Hang in there. Just because it’s rough doesn’t mean that it’s not going to get better or it’s not worth fighting for.