Dave chose Georgia. He settled in Rabun County, just above the county seat of Clayton, after working, volunteering or traveling through every state in the nation, and many countries around the world.
He is the first-born son of a carpenter from Kansas and a librarian from North Dakota. He started his own family in Oregon.
Dave has spent his entire life serving others, as a soldier, a humanitarian, an environmentalist, a public servant, and an activist for safer birth.
Dave gave 25 years of national service, retiring as an Army Master Sergeant. His overseas duty includes Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Joint Guard (the Bosnian peace-keeping mission), and he was on active duty during Operation Desert Shield/Storm. His principal specialty is Civil Affairs, which involves all aspects of civilian activities near war zones, including keeping civilians away from combat operations, protection and/or rebuilding of a nation’s historic infrastructure, natural disaster planning and preparation, and more.
Dave founded a humanitarian non-profit. While serving in Bosnia, his heart went out to young students on both sides of the ceasefire line, so he spent hundreds of his own dollars to buy them school supplies sent from America by his librarian mother. He inspired his multi-national brigade to create a competition that raised $2,000 in additional funds and adopted schools for continuing support. When he returned from Operation Iraqi Freedom, Dave formalized his humanitarian effort and named it Schools to Schools Aid Project (S2SAP).
Knowing from his years as a Civil Affairs soldier that building trust relationships with local residents helps soldiers stay safe, Dave and his S2SAP supporters in eight states sent over 1,400 boxes of used and new school supplies to soldiers in Afghanistan, Horn of Africa and Honduras.
“There are few things more joyful than engaging children who are hungry for a chance to serve, even at a very young age. I actually had to caution them not to donate their siblings’ iPods and such.”
In his early 20s, Dave recognized that the fabric of life was suffering and he resolved to demonstrate the practicality of solar and other technologies. Dave designed two of the new homes he’s lived in and modified plans for a third. On one, he spent extra money on energy efficiency building materials and techniques as part of the State Oregon’s Residential Conservation Demonstration Project. He yanked out all of the windows during construction when they didn’t meet then State’s testing standards and replaced them at a cost of thousands. That home heated for $200/year. Data from the project fed into the development of modern energy standards for residential construction that impact nearly every American home built since the mid-1980s.
Dave began work with US EPA as a strategic planner, but spent most of his EPA career working with communities that were directly impacted by toxic wastes. He conducted public meetings, including the largest public meeting in EPA history (1,000 participants) for a small, but growing, community that was directly impacted by the spread of asbestos during subdivision construction. He wrote federal regulations, and he wrote a White Paper about how EPA could support a sustainable future which became a foundational document in his regional headquarter’s reorganization.
Early in his life, Dave was a freelance journalist for the local newspaper and a state park ranger in the magnificent Columbia River Gorge. He took jobs in light industry, including industrial metal worker and wood worker. And he knows full well what it’s like to work in the fast food service industry. He even pumped gas for a while, when that was still a thing.
Dave also knows what it’s like to weather a major recession. Unemployment insurance helped him meet his family responsibilities. Job training programs and the GI Bill put him on the path to his eventual successes and financial security.
Dave’s proudest moment was the home birth of his daughter, where he was an active participant. He and his wife were part of a national birth safety movement that improved the birthing experience across the nation. Photos and a Super-8 movie of his daughter’s birth were used for years at birthing fairs. His grandson will be 3 years old in May.
As a soldier and an American, Dave is committed to Democracy, and has traveled out-of-state to volunteer for 11 races in 8 states from 2004 to 2017. This includes being a precinct captain at the NV and CO caucuses, plus races in AZ, PA, KY, FL, GA, and VA. In 2018, he ran in the Democratic primary for the GA-9 US Congressional District. Dave conducted a 90-day campaign against an opponent that ran for well over a year. Starting with zero name recognition, zero volunteers, and zero local donations, Dave received 47.3% of the vote.
Dave is an avid pilot and plane owner. He’s a solid tennis player, who took his high school tennis league undefeated. He paid his way through community college teaching tennis in the college’s PE department. His best marathon time is 3:43:52 (it would have been faster except that he stopped running to walk with his hurt friend for awhile). He enjoys hiking, and was on the Pacific Crest Trail above the Columbia River the day before the bulging Mount St Helens volcano blew up.
He pursues writing, and one of his screenplays reached the finals of the third largest screenwriting competition in Hollywood. Others include a script based on his personal experiences during the Bosnian Peacekeeping Mission that lead to S2SAP.