I was born to an art director father and copywriter mother in Newcastle
Upon-Tyne, England—though I have no recollection of living there.
My earliest memories are of living in Lagos, Nigeria, where drinking water
was routinely boiled and stored in gin bottles and Santa Claus wore red
By the time I was five, the rigors of living in post-colonial Africa had
delighted my parents long enough. Going from one extreme to another, we
then made the great trek north to Stockholm, Sweden, where we lived for
a year-and-a-half before finally settling in Helsinki, Finland.
Halfway through my ninth year, we moved from Helsinki to Cedar Rapids,
Iowa (yes, Iowa), where I first encountered America at the height of her
double-knit, blow-dried glory. A year or so later, we moved thirty minutes
away to Mount Vernon, whose oak-lined cobblestone streets and small private
college made it seem as if it were a little slice of New England in the
middle of a rolling cornfield.
In January 1986, we moved to Geneva, Switzerland, where I attended the
International School, quickly making friends with an eclectic group of
students. It was there I got my first chance to perform with a band, having
been hastily drafted into playing bass guitar at a school fête.
The following autumn, I returned to the States, enrolling as a political
science major at the University of Iowa at Iowa City. My sophomore year—mostly
due to a sudden realization that the world didn't need any more lawyers—I
switched my major to Communications Studies, with an emphasis in Broadcasting
Four years later, I left film school to join an "indie" rock
band. Looking back, I feel that those four years of college, combined
with my years as a touring musician, have given me a unique perspective
on life and an intuitive understanding of people and popular culture—not
to mention an incredible avenue of creativity.
Over the next few years, the band zigzagged back and forth across the
country and released three critically acclaimed albums; at the same time,
I was co-managing a local outdoor specialty store. What I lacked in downtime,
I more than made up for in experience.
My double life came to a sudden halt in 1999, when I was unexpectedly
presented with the opportunity to return to Geneva to work as a freelance
copywriter for two global marketing firms. I immediately jumped at the
chance to enter a creative vocation that combined my two most prominent
skills: selling and writing. Without a second thought, I hopped on a plane
and set up shop in an 18th-century farmhouse in the foothills of the French
Alps, not far from the Swiss border. I lived, worked and skied there for
almost two years, until my return to the great American Midwest in 2001.
That year, I was hired as a writer/producer by Swanson Russell, a full-service
marketing/communications firm located in Omaha, Nebraska. During my tenure
there, I produced television and radio commercials, developed print copy
and created web content for a variety of clients, including a large west-coast
teaching hospital, a highly respected health insurance provider and a
global pet produts company. On June 26, 2004, I married a very lucky girl
called Holly, who is both smarter and prettier than I. It is the first—and,
with any luck, the last—marriage for both of us.
From 2010 to 2012, I honed my marketing communications skills further
as co-Creative Director of the niche healthcare consulting firm Orthopaedic
I am a card-carrying pop-culture nerd and font of useless trivia—and
I eat, sleep, and drink music. In lieu of children, my wife and I have
two dogs, a cat, and a bird.
And, yes, I have read Ogilvy
on Advertising, so I'm aware of the reversed type thing...