Age: 38. Job title/occupation/place of employment: Assistant vice president, sales strategy and development at Cottingham & Butler. Volunteer activities: The contributions I make in the community come in several forms. As a family we have financially supported a number of organizations in the community including: Dubuque Community Schools, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Make-A-Wish, St. Anthony’s Church, Maria House, Mary’s Inn, Teresa Shelter, Roosevelt PTO, Eisenhower PTO, Cedar Rapids Derecho Fund, Barriers Project, C&B Better Initiative. Beyond the simple donation of funds we also do acts of kindness to offer support. As a family we’ve purchased dinner a few times for the Teresa Shelter residents and staff. We bring pizzas, dessert and drinks. It gives the folks a night off, provides an event for the families to look forward to and exposes our kids to some of the challenging situations people face. Recently we expanded our efforts by inviting other family to sponsor a pizza night for the shelter. The response was incredible. We got 25 family pizza night sponsors. We will be able to provide two pizza nights a month for the next year and beyond. In addition, I also enjoy building and creating unique pieces of wood furniture. In the past year I’ve donated well over $1,000 of custom furniture to support a few causes, and I am looking forward to doing more. All that said, I think my personal contribution that people will remember me for is in the way I help others. This isn’t the most public thing that I do and you won’t ever read about it in the paper. However, it’s the most fulfilling of all the things I’ve mentioned. I get a tremendous amount of satisfaction from helping people figure things out and solve problems. Whether it’s helping a neighbor fix something, mentoring a friends child through their 4H wood project, helping launch a charitable initiative, repairing someone’s old family photo, building festival games for the school or anything else people ask me for, I am always willing to lend a thought and a hand. Education: Bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University. Family: Wife, Kimberly; children, Jackson, William and Samuel. Person most inspirational to me and why: A large part of who I am has to do with how I was raised. My parents are my biggest inspiration. They have incredible work ethic and a reputation for being good people. I got to watch them earn everything they had and make do without everything they didn’t. They were my original role models for how to solve problems and learn new skills. I am tremendously proud of how I was raised and wouldn’t trade it for anything. I have also been extremely fortunate to work with David Becker. His support and guidance during my time at C&B has been a large part of my growth. In addition, all my C&B teammates have helped shaped me during my professional career. Some of the strongest relationships I have with teammates have been built on a foundation of respect. Respect for the skills and knowledge that we depend on each other for and that we can learn from each other. C&B has a unique way of hiring great people and creating an environment where they will be challenged, supported and rewarded. Favorite thing to do outside of work: Getting together with family and friends is always No. 1 on our list. I want our kids to experience the important relationships and the closeness I have with my siblings and parents so that one day they will replicate it in their own lives. In my personal time I usually like to spend time in my shop creating my next piece of furniture, fixing something, building some contraption to solve a problem or finding a way to make something work better. One word to describe me: Optimistic. I don’t mean in the common sense of everything is just going to magically work out or that I am lucky. I am an optimist because I believe there is always a solution. We can figure out how to solve any problem. What’s one thing that most people would be surprised to know about you: I can speak a gibberish language called Obish. Essentially you just put “ob” before every vowel sound in a word. I am very quick at it but it has yet to serve as a valuable skill in the real world. Greatest fear: If I am ever limited or forced to focus just on one thing. I have a lot of respect for people who are masters in their field but I love a variety of challenges, ideas and people. C&B has afforded me so many opportunities to make an impact in a variety of ways. Also, I am terrified of heights. God bless my wife for cleaning the gutters. What’s the one thing you are most passionate about in your life: My family. It was an interesting transition in my life when I become responsible for more than just myself. My passion for doing what I do is about taking care of and being there for my family 100%.