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Which groups or activities were you most involved in at ASU? What did you gain from that involvement?
I was involved in the Greek system at ASU, where I served as president of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and then treasurer of the Interfraternity Council (IFC). My involvement in Greek life at ASU allowed me to broaden and hone both my social skills and knowledge on how to run an organization. Although I may not have realized it at the time, the leadership development within both the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and the IFC provided a great foundation for me to start two businesses.
How did your education at ASU prepare you for your current job or business?
My education at ASU gave me a wealth of knowledge that prepared me for the challenges of being an entrepreneur. I received a B.S. in Wildlife Conservation Biology and used a lot of the knowledge gained in those classes in in the first company I founded, Arizona Outback Adventures. I partnered with fellow alum Seth Heald ’96 B.S. to begin the company, which was an outdoor tour company that focused on teaching clients about the flora, fauna and history of Arizona.
After I left Arizona Outback Adventures, I collaborated with another alum, Nick Stocker ’95 B.S.D., to start Morange Design. The broad experiences gained from my time at ASU have played a key part in my ability to help turn Morange Design into a well-respected digital agency. Leveraging connections and networking are key aspects to creating a successful design firm, and my liberal arts degree and campus involvement experiences gave me the confidence to go out and sell both our design and marketing abilities.
Tell us about your involvement in the Sun Devil Send-Offs and the Portland (Ore.) alumni club.
The Portland alumni club started with a few game-watching tailgates and happy hours each year to try and get local alumni involved. About four years ago, we organized the first student send-off, and although it was not that big in terms of attendee numbers, the response we got from the students and their parents that did take the time to stop by, made us realize how important of an event it really is.
Since that first event, we have seen the send-off grow into our biggest event every year. My wife and I hosted the last two send-offs and we have averaged 10-15 students, their parents and 20 alumni. This is a result of the Portland Club building a core group of alumni that dedicate a considerable amount of time around the event to make it successful.
Why have you chosen to be a member of the Alumni Association? What value does involvement with ASU add to your membership?
I am a fourth-generation Arizonan and my parents both graduated from ASU – I am a Sun Devil to the core! I don't think there was ever a doubt I would join the Alumni Association as a way to both give back to the university, but also as a means to stay connected to fellow Sun Devils.
When I moved up to Portland nine years ago I reached out to the ASU Alumni Association to see if there was an alumni group in the area. My involvement in the Alumni Association has allowed me to meet, connect and become friends with many local alumni.
What are three "can't-miss" ASU experiences every Sun Devil should participate in?