I was born in the mid-sixties in a town about 20 miles west of Portland, Oregon. I spent most of my childhood years playing in the forest and fishing and swimming in the creek that ran through our property. I learned to work at the age of four in the hazelnut orchard at my grandparent’s house where every fall, our family would spend each weekend harvesting the hazelnuts using machinery my grandfather built by hand. It was a great place to grow up and over the years, I learned the value of hard work from my grandfather. I can still hear him telling me “nothing worth doing is ever easy”.