HUSBAND, FATHER & BUSINESS OWNER
It’s always been about families for me. Raised with four brothers and two sisters, I learned early on to work, share, and compete. And to lose, laugh, and make friends. My parents poured their hearts and sweat into our Delaware County home, mentoring, corralling, and feeding us. We grew up bruised and imperfect but blanketed in the confidence and strength great families provide.
Creating families wherever I’ve worked, studied or played has always been the goal. When I started a building products company in 2007, I promised my new employees we would stick together and focus on customers. Little did we know, the Great Recession of 2008 would push us to the curb months after we started. In the heat of crisis, you learn who you really are.
Our small Quakertown company lost money for three straight years but I kept my promise: "No one will lose their home or health insurance while we work together." I stopped taking a paycheck but never missed payroll or funding our insurance. By 2011, the economy was recovering and our business grew. We increased pay, benefits and the level of service to our customers.
In our Warrington home, my wife and I raised two wonderful daughters and a rescue dog. Good friends, good schools, and a nice community provided a lifetime of fond memories. My wife and I have been married for 33 years and live in the same house we bought 25 years ago. Our daughters have left the nest and are starting their own families nearby.
But families are rarely as peaceful as they appear. We have lost two nephews to addiction. My daughters have been to more than a dozen funerals for young friends. Teenage anxiety and suicides are rising at an alarming rate. Drug and alcohol abuse are found in every generation.
The opioid epidemic and now the coronavirus pandemic challenge the strength of families. Our health care is only as good as our neighbors’ health care. Families deserve leaders who understand planning and preparation are the foundations needed to weather the inevitable storms. Turbulent times should not come as a surprise. They recur throughout history. The question is, "Are we prepared when they arrive?"
Bridges fail, hurricanes and snowstorms hit, economies crash, viruses spread. Failing to plan is planning to fail. We need to plan and prepare for these events. For too long, Harrisburg politicians have short-changed pensions, infrastructure, schools, and health care. They act surprised when inevitable events arrive. We can do better. We need to do better. I will work as a PA State Representative as I have always worked: with energy, honesty and a clear eye on the future. We are a family.