I grew up in a quiet suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. Despite its reputation, it is not the “mistake by the lake.” In fact, it was an incredible place to live. Remember the cartoon strip, Calvin and Hobbes? The idyllic setting was based on the creator's home town, Chagrin Falls - the town next to mine. It was truly magical. Throughout high school and college, I had the privilege of working at Sea World of Ohio (there used to be one!) and was eventually promoted to an Area Supervisor. It was an incredible first work experience that shaped my future career in business.
I started college at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. While I was having the absolute time of my life, I found that my studies were creating an incredible hunger to learn more about the Christian faith. So when my family moved to Southern California, I decided to transfer to a small Christian liberal arts school in northern Los Angeles, The Master’s University. Within a couple of years, I had earned my Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies and found a wife!
While I was considering law school or seminary for graduate school, my mentor at the time suggested it was more important for me to be gainfully employed in order to support a family. I took his advice and began working as a consultant and Regional Manager for SUBWAY sandwiches. My boss at the time suggested looking into a professional MBA program and within months I was enrolled at Pepperdine University for graduate school.
About halfway through my MBA program, I had an opportunity to work with a family member in a Swiss-based company that had a distribution center for retail packaging in Austin, TX. Even though my Yankee upbringing resisted it to the end, I was saying words like, “y’all,” by the time we moved back to California almost five years later. The experience of helping to run all aspects of that business prepared me for the adventures to come!
When I moved back to California, it wasn’t to work for another company. It was to try my hand in the ministry. I always had a deep desire to serve the church, so when the doors opened for me to work for my old church, I took it. The long and short of it is that while I loved my almost five-year tour of duty in ministry, it didn’t seem to be the right season. By that time my wife and I had four boys and raising them needed to be my top priority.
In my transition back into the business world I tried a couple of things. First, I started an online social network for faith-based organizations, called, Connect Our People. It was essentially an early version of Facebook for churches. While it appeared to be promising, we were not strategically aligned properly to the market and the launch eventually failed. During that same time, I attained my real estate license in thoughts that I might learn something about real estate. Little did I know that would become my future.
In 2006, I started working for a mortgage broker in Orange County. Needless to say, it was an interesting time to get into the business. With a lot of grace from God and some hard work, I slowly got traction in the marketplace. I transitioned into an existing mortgage bank as a Branch Manager during the market crash of 2008. By 2016, I decided it was time to wade into real estate and operate as a "Hybrid Agent" doing loans and real estate. Lionsgate Real Estate Group was born and we soon had over 100 agents. I'm now the Broker / Founder of Hybrid Agent Group, Inc.
In my spare time, I enjoy playing the piano, working out, cooking, and being with my family. I've been on a long journey discovering my own flaws and codependency.
Writing is a passion of mine and this blog is an opportunity to periodically express that. I hope you enjoy it and God bless.