Hard work, respect & integrity are values that have been instilled in me from a very young age by my mom, who taught middle school, and my dad, who has owned his own business my entire life. Combining these values with the creativity I was born with has been the recipe for my success.
When I was in 7th grade I built my first website. The reason I tell you this is because it's important for you to understand that even from a young age I have always enjoyed technology as it comes very naturally to me. While I did not pursue degree in the technology field, I never stopped learning and continued to be “the tech guy” among friends and family assisting with various projects throughout high school and college.
My business career started around the age of 10 when my brothers and I started buying candy from the dollar store to sell to classmates at school. I later started selling Watkins products door-to-door to folks in our neighborhood and throughout high school and college I worked a number of different jobs in order to pay for my school, with most of them being in the restaurant industry.
After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a degree in Business & Communication, I leveraged my experience in restaurants to get a job in foodservice distribution and spent the next 12 years in that industry. I held a variety of positions in my time with US Foods and Gordon Foods, starting as a Delivery Driver and Customer Service Representative, and later moving on to positions as a Territory Sales Manager, Customer Development Specialist & Division Sales Trainer. The variety of positions I held, as well as the experience of working within the hierarchy of a corporate structure, provided me a tremendous amount of skills that has proved to be very beneficial.
In 2013, during my time in foodservice, I started a weekend photobooth business, Mr. Pickles Photo. My wife was pregnant at the time with our 1st child and my goal was to create a business that would generate extra income for us to help pay for extra bills. However, it was critical that I created the business in a way as to not create a conflict with my career in the foodservice industry. The way I did that was by leveraging the knowledge and experience I had already learned and meticulously crafting a process that would practically run itself. This included implementing a CRM, utilizing automation, digital marketing, and creating the ability for me to easily track everything. It's been over 6 years now and the business has been tremendously successful. In fact, we were recently inducted into TheKnot Best-Of-Wedding "Hall Of Fame," 1 of only 3 companies to ever be awarded this honor in St. Louis. I attribute 100% of this success to our commitment of not only having a great product, but also to my ability to create a process to made sure no detail slipped through the cracks.
After I left the foodservice business in 2018, I decided it was time for me to work for myself full time so I started American Health Testing, a company that connected people across the country with various health screening they could do from the comfort of their home. You may see this as an unusual change for me as I had no previous experience in the health care industry, and you’d be right! However, I saw this was a great opportunity for my skill set so I found partners who understood the health care aspect and focused on what I was good at… creating the process. I created the packaging for the testing kits, implemented a CRM, created automated communication, hired and trained callers, marketed online, tracked everything, reacted to roadblocks, and it was a huge success! At one point, our production increased by 50% every month for 6 consecutive months.
For obvious reasons, adherence to compliance is paramount in the health care industry. Due to recent changes in legislation regarding reimbursements for this type of testing, I reluctantly decided to put the business on hold as I was simply not comfortable we could continue and still be 100% compliant with the new regulations.
All of this experience has helped me realize that my ability to manage complex projects and create efficient processes, regardless of the industry, is very unique and I should connect with other businesses to help them achieve their goals.
Here are a few important things to know about me professionally:
Here are a few important things to know about me personally: