Complex Problem Solver

I bring a calm and friendly leadership style to problem solving. I am getting into this race because I believe that my experience will shine a different light and perspective on how to best move the school district forward. I don’t get caught up in bumper-sticker solutions and political soundbites.

The secret is not to be the one shouting, but rather the one listening. Our community is in a place where frustrations are so high that shouting is a natural outlet. It’s just not a great way to get anything done.  By avoiding and not buying into the hysteria, and focusing on understanding underlying pain and fears, I will bring the complexities of the problem to the surface. Finding the true problems are key to building effective solutions.

I have a track record of being able to understand the complexities of a system that involves governments, tribalism, citizens desperate for help, food safety, and corporate greed. I will be able to handle Sacramento, Unions, Teachers, Students and Parents just fine!

I look forward to representing you and working for you on the School Board.

Position Paper – Hazard Pay

I tout myself as a complex problem solver. I push the agenda of Students First. Read my position paper to see if the following solves a few problems for the school district to get the students back in class. 

International Perspective On Community Problems

To us, our problems seem huge. They are right in front of us and they affect our lives. But we all have had the experience of stepping back and viewing our problems in a different light, making our problems seem smaller; less important; workable.

I have been in a unique position with my experiences and travels to 19 countries, teaching thousands of students, and working different approaches to solving problems.  When you can get this far away from Simi Valley, the problems here seem solvable. We live in a country of abundance and infinite possibilities. Making sure our children have a great education, safe schools, well-paid teachers, and administration accountable for results is not a heavy lift. It just seems that way because we are all too close to it and in some cases, bias and emotions hide workable solutions to the problems in our school district.

I have seen poor. We are not. I have seen kids with NO education. We have access to excellent education. I have seen parents and children carrying machetes both for work and personal protection. We are safe. I have seen government oppression. We are empowered to make changes in our communities and government.  SVUSD is not perfect, but with commitment and perspective, we can use our assets to improve it. I have solved problems in my work in the technology industry and in third world countries. I can and I am committed to doing it here.

Service – to individuals

Service to IndividualsThere comes a time in life when you are called to serve in a deeply personal way. My opportunity came almost 5 years ago when one of the owners of the Junkyard Restaurant here in town asked business owners to put flyers in their shops. She was looking for a kidney donor for her husband. I volunteered to get tested, got accepted, and On January 19, 2016, I got to offer my kidney to save a life. If you have never done it, I highly recommend it! Giving a gift like that is beautiful for the recipient but I have received much more as a result.

Service – to community

Service CleanupTo some, service comes in the form of military service, first responders, or being in a position of teaching children and preparing them for life. But service is also done quietly, behind the scenes. I live every day with an attitude of service to others. Running for office is a natural extension of how I live my life.

I get to serve Simi Valley in many ways but one of my favorite things to say is, “I am a Rotarian, how can I be of service to you today?”  Through Rotary, I have done cleanup along Tierra Rejada, planted trees in Corriganville Park, supported the Free Clinic, served food to our elders, and much more.  As a Rotarian, the work we do for our schools includes, every 8th grader gets a constitution on Constitution Day, outstanding students get a cash reward and recognized as student of the year at our club meeting, and we support leadership camps for Royal HS called YES and RYLA.

I was also proud to help my daughter on her “cleanup Challenger Park” project.

Service

Service – to the world

I am blessed with the best job in the world. I get to travel the world and teach in the coffee supply chain. In first world countries, I teach and consult on making a better cup of coffee and how to run a successful coffee company. It is important work but not nearly as satisfying as what I get to do in third world countries. I get to meet coffee farmers from all over the world and help them improve the quality of their coffee harvests and by doing so will dramatically change the quality of life for them.